Beach Huts and Fishing Boats

I’ve just had a “holiday-at-home” and come to the conclusion that it’s important (for me anyway) that a proper vacation away is infinitely more beneficial than a week at home.   It has not been at all restful, mainly because of the constant reminder of jobs that need to be done.  It’s been a busy week, whereas if I had actually packed a suitcase and taken off, I would have had meals cooked for me, visited places of interest and finished the evening sitting in a bar with a large gin and tonic (or two).    As it is, I have decorated my lounge, paid several trips to the recycling/rubbish tip, been out shopping and bought things I didn’t really need and managed one day in the garden.   The fact that it rained most days stopped me from spending all my time in the garden, which probably would have been more relaxing, albeit it hard work.

Many people may see living on the Sussex coast,  there is need to go on holiday with the sea just under a 10 minute walk away, a walk I don’t do often enough.   Yesterday, with a holiday perspective,  I  took my camera to the seafront with the idea that I would write a post with lots of photos,  introducing you all to the 5.5 miles of  Worthing coastline which runs  from Ferring and Lancing.

I took lots of photos, but there were dark clouds in the sky and the sun was coming in and out, making the lighting difficult.  I played with the exposure and what I thought were going to be good and exciting photos, were either over exposed or too dark.  Disappointing.

Today the weather is glorious, the sun is shining , without a cloud in the sky and this morning I went down to the sea again to give my idea another go.

All along the sea front there are white beach huts in rows set up on high ground, above the shingle beach to one side and an expanse of green sward, where families gather for picnics.    On a windy day, you will find windsurfers and kitesurfers with their paraphernalia laid out on the grass.

The photos of the huts below I took on Friday, you can see how stormy the sky looked.

What a difference a day makes.   The sun brings out the World and his wife so I had to wait a while for a break between people and their dogs walking along the path,  to take this photo.  I allowed the painter to remain where he was!

I would dearly love to own a beach hut.   These sell for between £8,000 and £12,000 which is astronomical for what is ostensibly a garden hut in a prime location.   The drive from Ferring towards the main part of Worthing, is one of my favourites, looking over the grassy area rising to the (mostly) pristine white huts evenly spaced with benches in between.   What we see in photographs is a very personal thing, but I love the one below and think I’ll have it made into a canvas.  Something about it reminds me of Stonehenge, although I can’t think why!

I can’t write a post about the seaside without including photos of the sea, so here is a selection of the many shots I took both yesterday and today.  The sun was really sparkling on the sea, and if you concentrate you may just be able to hear the swishing of the shingle as the sea washes over it and retreats ready to roll in again for another onslaught.

Worthing beach is very susceptible to seaweed and on days when the sea has been very rough, the ‘aroma’ of seaweed wafts around the town – not always very pleasant.  It lies thick on the shingle, making walking to the water’s edge difficult and in the summer if you feel the urge for a paddle, it wraps its slimy self around your ankles.   However, when you really look at it, the variety of shapes and colours is fascinating.

I can’t complete a post about our coastline without photos of the fishing boats.  These you will find dotted on the edge of the beach at the Ferring end and again at the East Worthing/Lancing end.  Fishing used to be the mainstay of the Worthing economy in the 19th century and even today you can buy freshly caught fish of the day from the fishermen in the car parks dotted along the way.

Whilst there is plenty of parking in the road from Ferring to Worthing,  there are double white lines on the road between Worthing and Lancing.  It meant I couldn’t complete my photo tour for you but this last photo is taken from what is called “Splash Point” and you can see how the bay runs around to Lancing, with Shoreham and Brighton in the background.   You can probably tell from the sky that this was another of the photos taken on Friday.

I hope you enjoyed this taster of the  Worthing coastline, it has certainly reignited for me the reasons why I live here.

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One thing leads to another…

It was with some surprise, when I opened my November issue of Gardens Illustrated, to find the drought garden on Worthing Seafront was featured.   The article entitled “Garden of the Year 2011”   was about four professional garden-lovers who met at the Garden Museum in London to celebrate the garden they visited this year and found most inspiring.    The garden in Worthing was selected by Anne Jennings, a garden writer, and her reasons for choosing this particular garden were interesting:  “A garden should form a lasting impression and provide significant landscape for others to enjoy.”

The drought garden I know well but many don’t so I thought I would tell you a little more about it.   In the article it was referred to as  Worthing Sea Front Planting Schemes, its proper name is The Waterwise Garden and was a joint venture with Worthing Borough Council and Southern Water.   I have included a link at the bottom of this post, which also gives a list of drought resistant plants used in the garden.    When it first appeared, I think a lot of people, including me, were slightly puzzled  as to what  the weirdly shaped wooden posts were all about.  These have weathered well and now seem part of the landscape, and  is certainly enjoyed by a lot of people, particularly today.   It has been a beautiful but windy day and I took my camera down to the seafront with the intention of taking photos of the garden to run alongside with this blog post.

I take my Mum down there because the decking, over the pebbles, leads to a platform and it means I can take the wheelchair further down towards the water’s edge. It’s even better when the tide is in, because she can feel the spray on her face.  She loves just listening to the sea, so is happy to sit there for ages.

This is where I divert from writing solely about the Waterwise Garden.   Last night, like a lot of the UK, we were hit by strong winds.  Frequently following nights such as that, we have wonderful rough tides, along with copious amounts of seaweed unfortunately.   I was lucky because today was one of those tides and the waves were wonderful, crashing down on the shingle, making a loud shushing noise as it retreats, ready for the next onslaught.

I love rough seas, and when the sun is shining too, it becomes all the more attractive.    After taking a number of photos of the garden, I turned my attention to the sea.   These are just a few of the photos I took and I wish that I could include sound to go with them, but I am afraid you will just have to use your imagination.

Although I knew all about the garden, there were two things I read about in the magazine that I will investigate further:-

(1)    The Garden Museum  : Until now I had not heard of the Museum which opened in November 1980.  It looks fascinating and is near the Tate Britain so it will certainly be a place to visit when I next travel up to London; and

(2)  Anne Jennings is an author who has written a number of historical books about the evolution of gardens, which include “Medieval Gardens” and “Victorian Gardens”, the latter I have flagged up as a book to read.

Why “One thing  does lead to another”?   If I hadn’t read Gardens Illustrated this week, I would not have gone to the Waterwise Garden with my camera and I would not have taken these photos of the sea.   I hope you enjoy looking at them.

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