On A Misty Morning

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This is the pier in Hastings.  The day before had been warm and sunny, and something about the cooling over night caused the length of the coast in East Sussex to be covered in this morning mist on Bank Holiday Monday.  It was considered significant enough an event for the mist air over Brighton to be featured on the local television news (which might say more about the quality of the news, and our love of discussing the weather, especially over Bank Holiday Weekends, than it does about the rarity of the meteorological event).

The pier has been through a few trials and tribulations in the recent past.  Over the ten years I have known Hastings it has grown more and more shabby and less and less of it has been open for access, and then, a fire nearly destroyed it a couple of years ago.   I believe there is now a plan, and some money, to restore it.  I hope so, as seeing it, even in its sadly bolted and barred, dilapidated state, on a morning like this, adds so much to the appreciation of the landscape and the sea.  The waves lap against the shingle beach, but we want to see more, to reach out; we want to walk out over the sea and hear and feel the water lapping under our feet.  There is something about the idea of a pier as a place of entertainment and promenade that feels integral to our seaside heritage.

With thanks to Ailsa for suggesting beaches as a theme for this week.

A Nice Quiet Day at the Seaside?

2013-05-06 12.05.32It was sunny and warm, once the sea fog had lifted, so what better way to spend the morning than to have a stroll along the front?

But rather than strolling along to the gentle rhythm of the ebb and flow of the tide, as soon as I reached the promenade the air was full of the thrum and throb of roaring motorbikes.  Turns out Monday was the day for tens of thousands of bikers to converge on the town, the so-called Bike 1066.  The closer I got to the centre of Hastings, the louder and more all encompassing the noise grew, and I realised I was part of a trickle, and then a  tide of people heading east along the sea front.

IMG_3309Some were dressed in green, garlanded with leaves and ribbons, heading for the traditional Jack in the Green celebration (‘revived’ in the early 1980s….) , others dressed in the ear rings and t-shirts suggesting an interest in motor-sport, and that other motorbike related seaside bank holiday weekend tradition.

By the time I reached the pier, the pavement was already filled with motorbikes, lined up like sardines, and the crowd now included the leather clad, standing in small groups admiring the shiny bits and pieces and accoutrements of biking.  Some arrived individually, others in big gangs all dressed in the same embroidered jackets.  All roaring and revving their engines as much as they could; almost comically show-off-y.

By the time I came to the end of the beach and wanted to turn around and walk back home, the pavements were more choked than those on Oxford Street on the last Saturday before Christmas.  The fish and chip shops were doing good business with queues snaking out across the pavement, and much lemonade was being consumed in pub courtyards.  It was a relief to escape.

But now they all have to drive home…..

Yellow or Black?

IMG_3304My optimism about an improvement in the bank holiday weekend weather proved well founded, and on Sunday we went for a walk along the cliffs in the Hastings Country Park.

If you don’t take the path immediately next to the cliff, depending on the time of the year, and the cycle of land management, you can find yourself in an alleyway banked on both sides by pillows of gorse and broom.  Walking there with friends for whom it was their first visit, I was asked several times where the sea was.  Pointing over the tops of the impenetrable yellow bushes, I launched into an explanation that it wasn’t always so hard to see the sea, that sometimes the banks of bushes are burnt back to control the growth and to clear the area that should, more naturally, be grassland.  The raised eyebrows with which this pronouncement was received indicated a certain scepticism about my information.

So imagine my satisfaction when, over the brow of the next incline we saw this.

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Eternal Optimism

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Following on from my rather hopeful comments yesterday about the weather forecast for this bank holiday weekend, and to provide further evidence for those who are not from the UK that we do have an insatiable, and not always interesting fascination, with the weather……..

After a very windy and wet day yesterday when people (apart from a few hardy Morris Dancers) had retreated inside cafés and other drinking establishments to keep warm, it was this view in the evening, as dusk approached, that gave me hope for better on Sunday……. and as I am sitting with a cup of coffee by my bedroom window this morning, I am bathed in warm sunlight and feeling optimistic for the day

A Little Bit of Blue

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A bank holiday weekend usually signals a change in the weather for the worse, but  given this view on a breezy Friday afternoon,  I’m hopeful.

I like the way it looks like an exercise in capturing as many shades of blue as possible.

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