Monday, 19 July 2010

The beach

Today we went to the beach for an impromptu picnic, with last nights leftovers and a freshly made salad. We love this beach. It is a rarity in that it is vegetated shingle - there are very few parts of the world where shingle beach is stable enough to allow the few specially adapted plants that can live on it to thrive. The photos are ones that I took a few weeks ago and I will probably post plenty more, because the beach changes with the seasons and looks beautiful all year round.

 A year or so ago a letter turned up in the local paper from a woman suggesting that the council should have gone out and cleared all the 'weeds' because it would encourage more tourists to use it, that the beach was somehow a disgrace to Portsmouth. This woman could not see the beach for the beauty of the stately pale green sea kale bending with the breeze. The mauves, the greens, the blues, the pinks and yellows of the vegetation against an ever changing sky. The birds that this habitat supports. She couldn't even see that the vegetation provided a further layer of sea defence for a city that sits barely above sea level. Apparently the tens of people scattered along the beach enjoying the relative tranquilty (to the 'tourist' beach a mile down the coast) were not enough for this woman; she would not be happy until the entire beach looked like Brighton on a bank holiday weekend.


 I think that that woman was wrong.

So did someone else:

Memorial benches line the promenade, as they do in most seaside towns. They are poignant reminders on sunny days of the brevity of life and what really matters. Someone took a lot of time to decorate this bench with knitted panels (looped through and stitched at the back). At first I thought it was a totally awesome bit of random knit graffiti, until I saw the top middle panel, which had 'Isobel' stitched in pearl beading, the name the bench is dedicated to.

I think that when I go, I would like a bench overlooking the sea someplace; and I would like some good crafty friends to come and embellish it once in a while, to remind others to stop and look at the flowers and feel the breeze on their skin; and be filled with thanks that they are alive.

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