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

Continue reading More time at Covehithe

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

Continue reading A wide, wide foreshore at Cogden Beach

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

Continue reading First visit to Cuckmere Haven

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

Continue reading Trip to Brighton and Cuckmere Haven planned

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

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

Dorset coastal resorts as busy as summer

We went for a walk on Hive beach in today’s wonderful sunshine. We had been aiming to just pop down to West Bay, but it was like a summer holiday day – if not busier! I suppose the first sunny day after weeks of dreary grey and pouring rain was bound to get people out, plus of course the New Year holiday. So since we couldn’t find a reasonable place to park we decided to drive along the coast to Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock. We knew that would be busy too, but reckoned the overflow car parking would be less underwater than West Bay.

Run from the waves

It was really good to get out in the sun,

Continue reading Dorset coastal resorts as busy as summer

Why is the beach at Marazion important to me?

The choice of Marazion for one of my beaches from the past is intriguing. I have described my choices as places that have hooks in me, strong emotional attachments that have drawn me back to them. Yet I have only been back to Marazion once since those two holidays when I was a child. Perhaps those visits were the first times that I was able to hold a strong memory, a solid sense of “place”. In a way, however, I no longer have true memories from my childhood: they are more memories of memories. They are idealisations, romantic pictures of my childhood; they hold the first hints of love, of special, personal friends. Perhaps there were the first steps to

Continue reading Why is the beach at Marazion important to me?

The horizon seemed so close at Cogden Beach

On Friday we walked on Cogden Beach in the wind. It was some time before I was able to see, my eyes were streaming so much to start with. Then at the end of the walk I could hardly see clearly because of the salt spray on my specs!

Cogden Beach is a wild, wide empty space yet it felt closed in and the horizon seemed so close. I cannot begin to explain why it seems this way. The sea has made a wider space between the low and high tide lines (and it was about low tide when we got there) and has thrown up a higher than normal bank perhaps, but that would only make the horizon seem

Continue reading The horizon seemed so close at Cogden Beach

Whipped for Christmas Day at West Bay

I wish I had taken my camera and camcorder when we went for our Christmas Day seaside constitutional yesterday. The sun was glorious; the wind whipped up the sea a bit; the sky full of colour and form; and there was enough nip in the air to keep the blood pulsing and the nerve endings quivering. But art and photography were not really on the menu. I hope I can get down there again on a sunny day soon before the sculpting of the beach has changed too much.

Christmas Day at West Bay

Caught the last of the sun at West Bay

I grabbed the last hour and a half of sunshine and went down to West Bay this evening. Long winter shadows, warm red glow. I went to West Beach because I wanted to make some more notes of the shapes in the rocks that protect the west pier of the harbour. That side of West Bay doesn’t get the sweeping views: you are forced to look at the more local, it’s more intimate, less beautiful but more human, friendlier. I love the way there is always someone in the shelter and Margaret opens the kiosk for some warming drinks. Today there was a line of laughing, smiling, chatting folk in catching late afternoon sun.

With the sun so low there

Continue reading Caught the last of the sun at West Bay