Post Mortem


One of the consequences of the heavy rain and stormy seas of the last two days is the amount of debris that has been cast upon the beach.  Driftwood of all sizes from tiny twiglets to tree trunks is scattered along the length of the high water mark, the occasional contrast provided only by some man-made addition to the detritus, or in this case an avian tragedy.  I’m used to seeing pheasants meet grisly fates upon our roads, but finding one on the sand is a first.

Nearer the sea there are further casualties as large section of the kelp forest, many still vainly clinging to the rocks they anchored to, have been torn from the sea bed and randomly thrown ashore where they lie semi-interred by the flow of watery silica returning to the waves.

And whilst the rains may be gone, their aftermath is not.  Streams that pass unnoticed across the beach have asserted their claim to broad swathes of shore; twisting and meandering into miniature deltas or diffusing into their neighbours to give a crystal sheen to the land underfoot.

All in all the place is a mess, but clearly not enough to deter the dog walkers who have returned to their usual haunt, including Elaine whose companion was determined to be in shot too.  Beyond her came the throng of angry bees as a group of four wet bikers raced along the coast to the best surf where they could entertain any passing photographer.  Whilst Seaburn is a blue flag beach I do wonder at the amount of effluent that has also been churned up by the recent violent currents.  I’d certainly have seconds thoughts if I was this chap!


Time Passages

My adoptive mother was 40 years older than me, and I always remember her as “old”, and even the parents of my school friends, though less mature, seemed to be both out of touch in their attitudes and physically haggard.

Now of course I’m viewing life through the other end of the telescope, yet it seems to me that my generation are very different.  People who I might once have written off with that terrible label “middle-aged” are still very active, healthier and seemingly better looking.

I’m not so pretentious as to claim to be still “down with the kids”, and I’m pleased that I haven’t a clue about We Are Scientists, the band that my youngest daughter is seeing tomorrow.  I have my own musical tastes and preferences, but I know that if I was prepared to put the time aside to listen to more of her music I would still “get it”.  Rock and roll might have differentiated us from our parents, but no longer.  Jagger, McCartney, Dylan and Mitchell are grandparents now, but deities in the pantheon of rock.

One of our friends had a significant birthday earlier this year, and whilst I offered to do a formal portrait shoot for her she was having none of it!  Unfairly then I ambushed her this evening on a girls night out with my wife.  Four women of a certain age and all looking great.  How is that possible?  Better lifestyles, better health, better cosmetics or just a different attitude, a refusal to be old before their time?  I think the latter, but whatever the reason I’m glad to be able to have the opportunity to photograph their beauty.

Thanks E – not just for the portrait, but in deciding on a title for this blog for reminding me about Al Stewart! x

Al Stewart – Time Passages