By the Seaside in St Leonards
Well what a surprise. England in September and by the sea and the sun was shining. It was actually hot. Not today, but on Tuesday the weather was glorious when I went to stay with a friend and have a look at where James and I may move ourselves to. Prise ourselves out of London, finally. To live by the sea. Let's hope the weather is this kind to us when we go house hunting.
Yes summer dresses and hats to keep off the heat, a blue sky and a turquoise sea, this was St Leonard's on Wednesday, or was it Tuesday? Days were rushing by me this last week as I strolled along the promenade with my friend. A friendly place, St Leonard's, made more welcoming by the sunshine of course. The pier is another casualty of arsonists, burnt out but in the process of being restored.
Moodier lighting to fit the sadness I feel at the destruction of another pier. I have a great fondness for them, brought up on the Sussex coast I used to love walking on the wooden boards and feeling like I was in the middle of the sea while standing safely on the pier. This one will be restored as will Eastbourne which has suffered the same fate but what a sad thing to see this once pristine structure reduced to its skeleton.
All along the sea shore are these beautiful fronted houses. They've taken punishment from the elements but are still standing and looking pretty glamorous in the sunshine. And next a truly extraordinary building.
Marine Court, one of the glories of the South Coast. Built as a recreation of the Queen Mary in 1938 it has undergone several transformations of fortune. Read more about it in an article in the Guardian in 2010 by Ian Sinclair..
So while appearing grand and exclusive, St Leonard's has also had a reputation for where the bad boys and girls went to drink and drug and do all the things that are designated as 'bad'. I saw no sign of this while I was there. I was taken by the old architecture and the tended gardens of Warrior Square but all towns by the sea seem to attract the young and reckless as well as the loners and eccentrics.
It is a pebble beach, no sign of sand and only rocks are revealed when the sea retreats. Here is a last picture of a classic shelter on the seafront.
These are the shelters of my childhood and adolescence, sitting moodily staring out at the sea in which so much threat and promise seemed to exist. Journeys to be made and storms to survive. All of which has certainly proved to be true.
Thanks for reading.
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