A wide, wide foreshore at Cogden Beach

Featureless Cogden Beach

With an hour or two to low water the foreshore at Cogden was as wide as I have ever seen it. This morning’s full moon has caused a pretty big tide for here and with the gentle seas of the last few days the tide has left a wide swathe of regularly shelving beach: all smoothed out, featureless and patted flat like sandcastle walls. There is even a zone at the top of the foreshore of hard-packed sand – yes, sand not gravel or grit – that allows swift walking or even, if you had a mind to, running. This meant I could stride out and get some much needed exercise. It also meant that I

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First visit to Cuckmere Haven

I’ve been staying in Brighton both as a birthday holiday treat and to gather information and inspiration for my Tidelines project. Yesterday I revisited my old haunts along the coast from Brighton to Rottingdene, but today I visited the first of my “new” sites, Cuckmere Haven.

I chose Cuckmere Haven because I read an article about it in a newspaper where the author clearly felt it was a hidden gem. Perhaps they felt the same way about the place that I do about my special beaches and so that would give me an additional way to look at the place maybe. Of course there is the iconic backdrop of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head behind so it was ripe

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Trip to Brighton and Cuckmere Haven planned

I am pleased to be progressing with my work on the Tidelines theme and I have been in the studio the first three days of this week working on some pieces about chaos and control (my favourite theme!) inspired by Holkham and the ever unique interplay between sand, tide and wind (with a bit of Cogden thrown in).

Now I am looking forward to a few days in Brighton, with a trip to Cuckmere Haven. This few days away is my birthday treat from Sally and we will meet up there with my daughter, who shares my birthday and is exactly half my age this year.

This trip will mean I can revisit one of my important seaside places of

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Old photos of Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea plus a bit of a ponder about photography

When I say old photos I mean my old photos. I believe they are from a holiday in 1991 when I took my family to stay in Wells-next-the-Sea. It marks the moment that I fell in love with Holkham. I had been there once before but this holiday gave me extensive access to the beach and the meditative process of searching for the perfect scallop shell. I have been scanning in some old snapshots from my childhood and while in the mood, looked out for pictures I took on past visits to my chosen beaches. I have been shocked to find how many of the old prints have deteriorated and may have to pick the best and have some sessions

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Nice piece about Cogden Beach

I came across this nicely written article on the “this is Cornwall” website. I have not spoken about the many collections of beach litter that have been gathered together in structures and patterns at the top of Cogden Beach, but perhaps I shall soon. Click here to take a look.

Christmas beach-litter baubles

The Jurassic Coast has got Christmas decorations made from beach litter. Local artist Claire Nuttell and students from Arts University College Bournemouth used discarded bottle tops, plastic bags, crisp packets and sweet wrappers collected from Sandbanks and Chesil beach to create 20 football sized baubles to decorate Christmas trees at five sites in Dorset.

Beach litter Christmas baubles: Photo stolen from @LitterFreeCoast on Twitter (hope they don’t mind)

It’s great that someone is trying to get the issue noticed but I have to say I am not really that impressed. This is supposed to be by an artist and university art students, so it’s a bit depressing that the best they can muster – physically, conceptually, intellectually or artistically

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A quick climb to Thorncombe Beacon before the rain

This morning I managed to get out for a walk back to Thorncombe Beacon to try to capture something of the feeling of the view east I got when I walked that way with David on Wednesday. The air was pretty still and the atmosphere quiet, so it was not as cold as Wednesday when there was bite from the north wind. The forecast was for rain this afternoon so I was keen to get up to the top before I lost the sun. By the time I parked at Eype (and was shocked at the honesty-box price for parking!) it was already a bit milky out to sea and the sun was filtered through thin clouds much of the

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Coastal walk still strong in my mind

On Wednesday, with my friend David, I went for a walk from Seatown up over the cliffs past Thorncombe Beacon and down to Eype’s Mouth, where we sat on the sand, ate an apple each and talked about art and the colours and lines in the sea. Then we walked back and had lunch at the Anchor and talked about the Test match before collecting two bags of blewits and meadow waxcaps.

I wanted to concentrate on my time with David so left my phone at home so I wouldn’t get to fiddling and looking things up and tweeting and…like you do when you have a phone handy! However I had meant to take a compact digital camera with me

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Spice jars, lighting and lighters

I took advantage of the good weather yesterday to get out for a walk along Cogden Beach.

The stormy weather has pushed the tideline high and scattered the debris a wide swathe. Mostly it’s flotsam but there’s a lot of plastic bottles and kitchen rubbish – spice jars, sauce jars, wine bottles. I came across two fluorescent tubes and a light bulb: how the hell do they not get smashed? Inevitably there were lighters galore, mostly without the metal tops, just the plastic tanks. No particular colours but strangely quite fresh and unscratched. I found a number of bottle half buried in the gravel – a sure sign the beach has been churned up. Lots of gull primaries again: it

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And talking of rubbish...

Talking of rubbish earlier, I forgot to mention that the Bridport Film Society presentation last night was the brilliant, award-winning documentary Waste Land by Lucy Walker which follows internationally successful Brazilian artist Vik Muniz as he leaves his New York studio behind and travels to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill site, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he meets the ‘catadores’ (‘pickers’) who make their living by collecting and selling recyclable materials such as bottles, plastic and metal from the landfill. In a bid to raise funds for the site’s workers’ association, Muniz selects a group of six catadores to pose as subjects for a new series of portraits made out of recycled waste they have

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