Note to self; summer solstice long gone, days getting shorter. Considerably, it seems.

Worked all day at a new piece of training, fed, watered and out in search of a portrait at 19.52. Sunset time 20.09.

With conditions that could only be described as squally, there weren’t many options to speak to someone about a picture before the light was gone. I wasted valuable time walking down to the shoreline only to be warned by the woman’s dog not to venture any closer.

Behind me a man who I had no hope of catching multi-tasked running for cover whilst battling to regain control of a coat that flapped and snapped in his wake.

A group of coloured blobs in the distance could have been a fanatical pack of boot campers, but I wasn’t headed their way. This was not a night to be on the beach. This was a night to be in the pub.

Which is a problem these days, for the institution referred to as the “heart of England” by Samuel Pepys, is in sad decline. Until recently inns, ale houses, taverns, and other variations of the pub were closing at a rate of 52 a week. Now that has slowed to 12, but that’s still a drastic number.

One of those still open was across the road from me. The Promenade, as it is now, formerly the Henry VIII, came up trumps and I met Norman on his way to a taxi. Is it my memory or was this place called the Norseman in my formative years?

In the time it takes to recross the road the boot campers had disappeared into the night. And who could blame then while there’s still a pub to go to?


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