Having tried to find a cure for my malaise, we thought a day out would do the trick. Initially we thought a quick flip along the coast to Eastbourne, via some beautiful country routes and back for lunch. As always, the best laid plans of Mice and Men.
So we happened upon Birling Gap. We hadn’t been there since our last German group decided to take a walk in the winter. Part of the cliff had just collapsed into the sea and the BBC were filming there. Naturally, the kids were more interested in trying to get into the news interview than having a geography lesson on erosion. Licking an ice cream we reminded ourselves how brutal the sea can be. In fact out of the 4 coastal cottages, I believe, only two are still there, the others having been demolished before they fell into the sea.
If you are so inclined to follow this link, you can see the demolition of the coastguard cottages before they plopped into the edge.
Onwards to Beachy Head and a wonderful unfenced off cliff edge.
The Lighthouse had been moved back, via rollers, so that it, too, didn’t drop off into the sea. Used for the making of The Life and Loves of a She Devil way back in the 1980’s it has lost a lot of its cache and now sells ice creams and tells you the nearest loo is xxxxx number of yards away . If you walk there now, you would be between the lighthouse and the sea. Previously, as in the link below, you would not have been between them.( ps please don’t notice my backside. it isn’t really as big as it looks. the jumper around my waist made it look so)
A wonderful stretch along the Beachy Head, I am amazed that more people haven’t casually wandered off the edge. Of course we know that many, sadly, do this intentionally but there may be an awful lot that are entranced with the view and just ” topple over!”
I have to say we do live in a stunning part of the country…..
Impressed with the weather and the roof on the car, now down, we thought we would saunter over to Rye. An idyllic and beautiful town.
Ancient; unchanged and full of mystic. Also, the home of Henry James, (famous Writer,) for a period of his life.. Its National Trust now ( and thank heavens for that) so its a quick tour around his garden. So many ideas for mine.
As luck would have it, the Bell Tower was open and we charged to the top and admired the view.
Never one to be short of an idea, I suggested another plan.
“Look”, I said, “there is Dungeness. Home of Derek Jarman and his eclectic garden. Lets go !” ( I have to say here and now, LM didnt know who the f**k Derek Jarman was, so he kept quiet and kept driving.
So we took ourselves off in another direction again. Such larks….
Dungeness is a beautifully remote and barren piece of landscape.
(NB. The lady in the picture is NOT me) Made famous by both Derek Jarman and his now famous garden and of course the Power Station. Nothing more than a spit of land where fisherman worked and lived, it has now ( sadly in my opinion) gained a sort of Trendy Weekend Resort for People from London who have tried to reconstruct the old traditional timber bungalows by using eco friendly ” plastic” wood and triple glazed windows. They want to believe they are fisherman living in a hostile environment but all the time hiding behind eco friendly homes and central heating. Okay, so I am biased, but its an amazing and atmospheric place to visit. Derek Jarman said best seen in high summer. I disagree. To get the real moodiness of the place, visit just as dusk is falling. Mid winter!
Again, another tower was opened and we hauled ourselves up to the top of the Lighthouse….and finished it with a dubious cup of tea whilst watching the RHD steam railway shunt up and down the tracks
Derek Jarman’s house has become a shrine for many gardeners; Film Buffs and fellow sufferers. A notice on the window, asks you not to peer inside. I have never seen anyone living there. I am hopeful someone does…
Does anyone know the words written on the side of his home? You can just make them out in the picture….
A journey back via Battle and Hailsham with a swift half in “Green Man” in Ringmer.
A wonderful day out with lots of new experiences, but best of all, a therapeutic one. Let’s see how long it lasts…… 😦
LB – the Home of Ellipses