25 February 2016

blegberry bright

It is just one of those few days, sandwiched inbetween cold frosted moon-bright nights. The tides just right, a chore fetching me out earlier than usual, so away earlier too, arriving thereafter on the almost windless coast, the sea barely moving at all. We found ourselves on this bit of shore just after christmas and I remembered then that I had not turned north from Blackpool for at least ten years;  thought I must come back here again when the weather is better. The air is cold to breathe in at first but silky smooth and as delicate as clear spring water.  once down below the cliff base there is no wind at all and I can take off a layer.

One thing is for sure: it gets no easier to make one's way across the acute angles left in the cliff stumps. Especially as I find myself called further away from the back of the beach by this line of water or that rib of stone. The result is that I have to struggle across these striations until I eventually arrive at the stretch below where the Hoche anchor has lain for 134 years. In the times I have passed by it has not been shifted by storm or even human effort, — the wreck's boiler too seems to be as it was when I looked down on it from the cliffs for the first time, twenty-eight years ago. But this time I note that the rudder plates I photographed last time I was here have finally succumbed to rust — or have been carried elsewhere by the tides. Anyway, I can't find them.

After a while then, and it is as much a relief as in previous scramblings around here, the teeth of sandstones relent, give way to the top of a  slatestone anticline, smoother, laminated and layered, running off to the sea west and disappearing under the cliff-foot boulders eastwards.  It is this Blegberry beachstrip then where I bask in winter sun and approve the limpets' choice of where to hang out between the tides. I love the linear qualities and the worn-smooth finish of this bit of foreshore, contrasting as it does with the jutting sandstone stump-lines either side.

The wear of the sea is obvious but the speed at which it takes place, here anyway, is slow, in human terms at least. I doubt one would notice much difference in a life time, beyond the more sudden slumps and cliff falls and the occasional arrival and disappearance of sands and shingle.

You can see a few more pictures I made on this visit on the Flickr album blegberry bright

Watching TV at the weekend – see this shoreline, as well as the famous wee house at the entrance to Blackpool beach, featuring in the BBC Le CarrĂ© thriller The Night Manager. Glad there were no telly crews there when I passed by! I can report that they left little trace of their use of the place although there is some rubbish by the outhouse that ought not to be there . . .