Sep. 10th, 2010 01:05 pm

I have uploaded more SS Falcon shipwreck photos on Flickr. Click on the photo to see the set.


Sep. 8th, 2010 10:37 am
I walked along cliff tops at Langdon Bay, near to Dover, and then downwards, through the chalky pathways to a stepladder, which led me to the beach. After traversing the shingle, and trying not to slip on seaweed, I stepped on to the rusty shipwreck, the SS Falcon. There were barnacles clinging, and rock pools full of seaweed, but considering the boat sank in 1926, there was surprisingly quite a lot remaining.

The sea was coming in, so I climbed back up the ladder and there were tunnels and little rooms, where searchlights stood. I looked out to sea from there, watching the ferries sail out from the port of Dover.


May. 2nd, 2008 07:48 pm
More than three years later than this entry about Dungeness: 02/04/05, I still frequently imagine myself wandering across the shingle and ignoring the power stations, but instead peering into the ramshackle huts and gazing out to sea. When I last visited Dungeness, a few weeks ago, a storm was brewing. The end of a rainbow could be seen, and I ran against the wind, and over the shingle, trying to get photos of the rainbow, next to the striped lighthouse. In my photos, the rainbow is barely visible, and appears like a little blotchy aberration of colour.

The Pilot was closed, so I sat on the shingle, watching the clouds, imagining dowsing for water in the desert, and wondering who I'd meet if I spent every spare moment in Dungeness, perhaps waiting for the little huts to collapse more and more, so I could take photos of them from every angle.

The rain pounded down and my lightning-bolt umbrella turned inside out, again and again, as I rushed across from Derek Jarman's house to one of the huts I had photographed before, that had sadly fallen down some time ago and was lying sprawled out on the ground, abandoned.

Photos on Flickr: Dungeness.


Feb. 12th, 2008 09:08 pm
Orange Folkestone
British seaside towns feel different in winter, as if it's okay that all the ice-cream shops are boarded up and the crazy golf courses are faded and litter-strewn. In the summer, it just feels sad.

In Folkestone, I bought fake leather trousers and artificial pot plants from charity shops in the high street before descending to the beach. As a child, my favourite shop was the joke shop, which is now closed, like most of the other shops on the cobbled street down to the harbour. There are signs around the town that mention regeneration and of creative quarters, so perhaps it will regain popularity.

My childhood memories of Folkestone are mostly from playgroup coach trips: of the smell of the stalls on the way to the beach selling pots of fresh seafood, of building sand-castles and rivers, of sitting underneath the arches and drying off from paddling in the sea, of eating sandwiches that were always a bit sandy, of finding pretty shells on the beach.. the usual kind of things that you might do as a child, when the beaches were crowded and full of brightly coloured swimming costumes, wind-breaks and buckets and spades.

On the beach in Folkestone last week, I walked through a number of the arches. Most of the arches were dotted with litter and some with graffiti, and looked somehow sinister and decayed, and not quite like I remember as a child. The beach was empty apart from a few people walking a dog, and a child on a bicycle. I couldn't see the sun itself as it set behind the other side of the harbour, but the beach glistened orange and the waves began to look mostly unreal, and that was what made Folkestone beautiful on that day - the sun and the sea.

Hay Bale

Aug. 20th, 2007 10:48 pm
Hay Bale
I'm in Kent now and am tempted to play amongst the hay bales.
I watched Before Sunset again recently and am thinking about the scene where Céline says, "Now that we've met again, we can change our memory of that December 16th. It no longer has that sad ending of us never seeing each other again. Right?" and Jesse replies, "Yeah, you’re right. I guess a memory is never finished. As long as you're alive..."

I suppose that's how I'm trying to think at the moment, about Southampton, that my memories of it aren't finished.
I received the Open House London guide for September 15th and 16th and am trying to decide what to see. Is anyone else intending to go?
Romany Camp
Just after noon, the adventurers reached Groombridge Place Gardens and Enchanted Forest and stopped for a picnic luncheon in the kitchen garden. As they ate thick slices of toffee cake, they noticed the peacocks on the roof, looking as if they were ready to pounce. It was then that they decided it was time to explore the formal gardens, some of which had appeared in mysterious circumstances for Sherlock Holmes.

First, they wandered into a garden of white roses and the girl wearing a blue hat stopped to kiss an old tree underneath the mistletoe. Soon after that, they found themselves in the Drunken Garden, where even the topiaries looked as if they had succumbed to the lures of alcohol.

Read more... )

King's Wood

May. 1st, 2007 10:56 am
King's Wood
When I had visited King's Wood in Kent before, it was in the middle of winter and I was unimpressed by the wooden sculptures that formed a children's play area.

But this time was different..

Amongst the trees, there were bluebells everywhere you looked, such a density, and where they formed a thick carpet, the scent was overwhelmingly glorious. I was in awe. The bluebells seemed so utterly magical and beautiful and I felt deliriously happy.

Those moments just don't happen often enough, so tell me about the last time you couldn't stop saying "wow"?
I collected freshly fallen conkers from the edge of the churchyard. During my childhood, the horse chestnut tree sat next to a dark building that was part of the builders' yard, but now the tree has a protection order. It's still growing, but in someone's back yard. It's still the tree I think about if I think about conkers.

I drove my mum's car, on the roads that featured always in my dreams, when I was driving. The roads I first drove on, I suppose, but in the dreams, I drive only uphill, away from the village.

The rainbow was faint and the jet trails fell from the sky like a feather.

At Kingsgate, I clambered down through a small chalk ravine to the beach and then found caves churned out of the rocks, glistening white. Castles loitered at the tops of the hills, but it was the archway that was the most impressive sight.

I made plum pudding and now, thinking about it, I should have served it on manhole covers, like food is served in Reasons To Live. My dad is still pulverising the garden, searching for drains.


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