Should I sit and stare out to sea,
Or stroll the length of this wall
And see what there is to see?
Sea wall, Norfolk, UK
Time to revive my Sunday strolls I think! It’s not that I don’t go out in the winter, just that weekends have been busy and I’ve either been away or had visitors.
Last weekend I was staying with my son. They moved house last summer and they’re still discovering their new area so they decided to show me somewhere I hadn’t been before. The morning was foggy, but it made for some great atmospheric shots, although by the time we had walked across the headland and onto the more commercialised seafront the sun was burning through the mist and families were out in force, on the beach and along the promenade. It seems it’s never the wrong time of year to build sandcastles or eat ice-cream!
Walking across the narrow estuary that creates the ‘Island’ was an eerie experience – the sand was still wet and boggy with the recently ebbing tide and moving shapes loomed out of the mist, although the ‘ghost ship’ seemed to be securely anchored in the small harbour. I didn’t get close enough to see if it was still in working order or had actually been abandoned! Away from the harbour and headland the Island becomes a typical seaside resort, hard and sharp in contrast to the soft contours of the sand and coastline. The beach huts are brand new and a welcome burst of colour on what started out as a very grey morning. The local council are still deciding whether to sell them individually or rent them out during the summer season…… quick short-term profit or long-term investment? Wouldn’t mind one myself!
The seafront cafes behind the prom were busy and enjoying a boost in trade on a beautiful day with many people opting to sit outside, even if they were wrapped in winter coats, scarves and hats – but we managed to find a corner to have lunch in the sun before heading home!
(I will explain that the vignette effect on the harbour wall is not deliberate – well, not quite. The filters that I had for Christmas were the wrong size for my lens fitting so we had to buy an adaptor. I leave it on so I can add filters when I want to but it creates the ring around the edge unless I use a lot of zoom. Usually I crop it afterwards but there are some pictures where it just seems to look right – so I leave it.)
This place has been my salvation over the past few weeks. It’s not very impressive from the outside but if you look beyond the functional exterior you will have some idea of the views to be had from the inside.
I’ve been swimming here three times a week since the New Year. The pool looks out over Carmarthen Bay and on a good day, on to the headlands in the distance. In the other direction Caldey Island sits firmly in the waters of the bay, often looking more like an extension of the mainland rather than a separate entity.
I love swimming…. I’m not a fitness freak or an exercise junkie ….. I don’t do the gym or cycle or run but I am partial to a walk in the fresh air – and swimming. At the moment, owing to problems with my knees, I find swimming the easier option. I am not a fast swimmer, or a powerful swimmer or a very gainly swimmer but it makes me feel good. I’m an Aquarian and I know that’s an air sign but I definitely have an affinity with water – although rather than carrying the water I am happy to let the water carry me.
I’ve got a lot going round in my head at the moment and some mornings I find it hard to get myself motivated – but the thought of slipping into the warm water, letting it take the weight off my knees and enjoying an hour and a half of exercise with no aches and pains is enough to get me there. It’s not a particularly exciting pastime, swimming up and down, particularly as the pool is only 10m long so it takes quite a few lengths to hit my target of swimming 1km each time, and yet something draws me back there day after day. I know I will come away enlivened and able to tackle the tasks that I keep putting off.
I’ve had a hectic couple of weeks with lots of visitors, lots of cooking, lots of cuddles with my granddaughter and lots of walks in the fresh air! Eventually things will get back onto an even keel and I’ll be able to post regularly again.
Meanwhile I took this shot on Tuesday as I walked along the coast path just a few minutes from my home. We’ve had real Jekyll and Hyde weather this week – yesterday, by contrast, struggled to get properly light all day and yet this morning the sun was streaming into my bedroom again. At the moment the wind is howling and driving the rain against the window as I type!
Christmas provided me with a host of new gadgets for my Nikon – a tripod, a wide-angle lens and a set of filters plus a ‘Dummies’ guide to my camera. Seems there’s no excuse now to get out there and find out what I can really do!
I’ve been rather preoccupied over the past few weeks, having moved from the east coast of the UK to the west. As a result I haven’t been posting and I’ve only dipped in to take the occasional look at what’s going on. But, things are settling down…. the boxes are unpacked and I’m establishing some kind of new routine, although there are still a few bits of remedial decorating work to be done. My garden is definitely a work in progress as I try to resurrect a somewhat neglected lawn and trim the hedges back to reveal the shrubs I planted when I first bought the house 6 few years ago.
This was my retirement plan, but things have changed in six years and now I’m needed elsewhere, so this is only a temporary residence until I can sell and move closer to my family. Meanwhile I’m going to try and make the most of the beautiful area I’m in. hopefully entertain some visitors and get out and about with my camera.
A completely unadulterated shot of one of my many local beaches to be going on with…..
Walking along the East coast you’ll come across many abandoned wartime relics. This gun emplacement at Mundesley was never used though…. apparently when test shots were fired the vibrations threatened the underlying cliffs and so the position was abandoned before it could be put into use!