This illustration was a birthday present for a pal (life hack: become an artist and inundate loved ones with drawings instead of purchasing them presents with money). The drawing is from earlier this year, but it is to commemorate a notable moment from 2021. It feels right to share the story now that summer is around the corner.
About a year ago, when the days were getting longer, the weather was slightly bearable for Scottish standards and the lockdown restrictions were being eased (temporarily), I went to the beach with several (gasp!) friends. We disassembled some old chairs G & A wanted to get rid of - I used a knife to splinter the larger pieces into kindling - and we burned them. We warmed our feet in the sand, and we ate chips from the chip shop and watched the sun set.
When it was time to go home, Sarah and I cycled home through the dark, a bit tipsy, a bit giddy - from the beer, sure, but I think mostly because we had just seen our friends again. And because it was spontaneous. Because it was like the Old Times. Because it was possible. Because it made us forget about the general awfulness that year had brought so far. Looking back at 2021 now I really don't understand how I got through it as well as I did - but I think moments like this one have something to do with it. I think back to that evening on the beach; the fire, the greasy chips, that pastel pink sky, and seven happy faces; and it's a turning point, a glimpse of hope.