More time at Covehithe

Easton Wood is falling into the sea

Covehithe certainly has the makings of a place that can inspire me. I spent some more quality time there today and even though I was tired and lacking enthusiasm before I got there I came away after hours of dawdling feeling calm and bright.

Most of the time the sun was out and in the late afternoon the shadows brought everything into high definition. I loved the feel of the place and the eroding cliffs and the remains of trees add interest. It’s a place where the sea it’s winning. You feel that she can have anything she wants, it’s just a matter of time. There’s quite a bit of evidence of

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First taste of Covehithe

Spent a few hours at Covehithe in the end. I got there after the top of the tide so could have walked for miles either way. It’s something I’ll have to remember, always check the tide tables. The water comes right up to the cliff edge each tide so it would be easy to get cut off. And cut off is what has happened to the land here! The rate of erosion is quite dramatic. There were large chunks of wheat field on the beach and wheat growing right up to the cliff edge, evidence of recent land slips. Talking to a fisherman I learned that not so long ago you could drive right down to the beach past

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Return to Shingle Street

Yesterday I went back to Shingle Street for the first time in at least 15 years. It is so familiar yet strangely changed. The nature of single banks is it reflect the recent history of total action. The tide was high so I didn’t get any real idea off how the foreshore might be configured at present, but there was a spiral hook and island that wasn’t there last time I visited and the established beach seemed wider and had a greater covering of plants than I remember.

White line of whelk shells on Shingle Street

The weather was grey and damp (to downright wet) and the north-west wind was cold and raw, so I may not have fallen

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Setting out again

Sadly I have not been able to keep up as well as I had hoped with this Tidelines blog due mostly to all the preparations for my recent Open Studios event. It’s also sad that I’ve not even been able to get out for as many beach walks as I would have liked, but I have been successful in incorporating many Tidelines ideas and influences into my work. Nearly all of the pieces I showed at the Five Artists at the Chapel in the Garden exhibition were Tidelines-related, and even some of my #Collage365 work is influenced by this project.

Now that show is out of the way I’m hoping I can return to the Tidelines process in

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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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Hive Beach swept clean but a disaster for seabirds

Last Thursday I went for a walk along Hive beach and found there was hardly a tideline at all: the sea had been right up to the cliff base and taken all the debris and swept it down to Portland or buried it under a carpet of fine gravel. Even close to low tide the wind was propelling the occasional finger of foam right up the beach.

Really the only things I found were whelk egg clusters and numbers of pieces of drink cans ripped apart by the sea and shore . The tin can pieces dance east, driven by the wind at a pace I can’t keep up with walking. I have grown quite fond of these ragged bits

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Another major rock fall at Burton Bradstock

There has been a major rockfall today at Burton Bradstock on the same section of cliffs where Charlotte Blackman was crushed and killed in July last year. It is believed that no one was on the beach and thus no injuries resulted. The beach and coast path have been closed by the National Trust since the fall last summer and this latest landslide underlines the message that people are putting their lives at risk if they venture too close to the cliffs and other unstable areas along the coast around here.

Massive rock fall at Burton Bradstock. Image courtesy Stephen Banks

This image has been provided by local photographer Stephen Banks. You can see more of his work with

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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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