In Search of a bit of Looting and Pillaging

It’s Friday and the start of a holiday long weekend. I have a friend, June coming to stay. June is an accomplished photographer unlike me. My technique usually involves decapitating or otherwise maiming my innocent subjects. When I try to put some clever composition trick to work I usually end up with something farty rather than arty.

June and I are going to be driving up the coast where I live taking shots of various sites of historical interest – providing they stay still long enough. What is she on about I hear you ask. Erosion that’s what. This part of the UK’s coastline is disappearing fast into the sea and taking with it anyone or anything that happens to be on the spot at the time. It’s nothing new. In Roman times the coastline was about 2.5 miles further out to sea than it is now. Clever people at Universities suggest that the coastline will, eventually, get back to its original, post-ice age position. It’s got about another 13 miles or so to go yet.

The problem is the soft clay that makes up the cliffs and surrounding land. Under attack from both the sea and heavy rain which washes the clay into a soft chocolaty goo, the cliffs sigh, sag and slip quietly into the sea.

The history of this area is littered with stories of disappearing villages, church bells tolling out at sea, corpses falling out of cliffside graveyards to find new resting places on the beach below and even some good old fashioned murder, looting and pillaging.

So this weekend June and I go in search of all this history – especially the looting and pillaging bit – haven’t done any of that for a while. We aim to capture and record what we can and who knows there may even be a book in it.

Have a good weekend and don’t go driving on these roads!
Aldeborough Road End 2.jpg

Aldeborough Road End.jpg

It’s too cold for ice cream

I’m going to be typically British this morning and talk about the weather. So it you’re expecting the usual pearls of wit and wisdom look away now – you’ll be disappointed.

Being a skylark, I’m normally awake by 5am and up and about around 6.00am. This morning I let the clock get to 7.00am before I dragged myself from under the duvet. All I wanted to do was hibernate. I could hear the wind whistling and rattling the old windows; my nose was cold (no not a sign of good health – that’s for dogs)and, when gingerly putting toes to floor they shrank back in horror at the caress of the clammy cold.

Where is spring? This time last year we were basking in gentle warm spring sunshine. Today half the country is under snow and ice. Here on the east coast it’s been triple X gales for five days – cruel biting winds that have shrivelled up my newly-planted hedge; lazy winds that go through you rather than around you. When I peer out of my seaward windows it seems foggy outside but in reality each window is coated in a thin film of wind-whipped sand.

Down on the beach huge rollers break like a ragged chorus line in grubby petticoats. They throw up driftwood, crab traps, pink and yellow mooring buoys and the inevitable disgusting assortment of plastic bottles and bags.

Want a skin peel or laser treatment? No need to spend a fortune. Stand facing east for 60 seconds and have your face sand-blasted for free.

For me, one of the perks of living in the UK is the changing seasons; the clear distinction between them and the delicious anticipation of change as winter yields to spring. Over the past few years that pattern seems to have gone awry and there is less definition between them.

I’m undecided about global warming and climate change – I don’t really understand the “evidence” put forward and there are so many contradictory versions. However it is times such as these that I’m inclined to let heart rule head and believe that mankind has certainly done something to put the planet out of kilter and the Gods in a pet.

Please can we have some warmth and sunshine. I don’t want to have to move again to warmer climes.