What We Saw When We Couldn’t See

A day when the fog beckons

img_3897After a Saturday night out in Bridport which had delivered wine, beer and Hendricks Mojitos at the Venner Bar, the last thing I expected was an early morning. I am notoriously NOT a morning person

But at 7am on this December Sunday we threw on some layers, grabbed our cameras and headed off to soak up the atmosphere at West Bayimg_3830

The Station Kitchen Restaurant would have been a lovely stop – if only it had been openimg_3827img_3820

We walked by the harbour, where few brave boats headed out and quickly vanished. After taking a lie in, the sun stretched out, pushing the fog along the cliffs to Bradstockimg_3871

img_3927Leaving only stillness and calm in West Bayimg_3956

img_3955So: would you have gone out, or stayed in bed until the sun came up?

West Bay Weekend

Is that OUR van?

Having parked the van way too easily the night before (The Thrill of the Chaise / Pugs and Pink Jugs ), we were stopped in our tracks as we reached the car park

All down the back and sides of the van was a stream of seagull ploppings. In less than twelve hours it had been completely ‘pebble-dashed‘ and the two gulls on top looked pretty bloody smug. Baz suggested that perhaps the Bridport and West Bay Tourist Board could use this photo?

‘Still Life with Van and Gull’

At Bridport market I found lovely brass tiebacks on a stall where the lady remembers us even though it’s sometimes months between visits. Her price was so good I took the lot, and she shoved them into a carrier bag, telling us she only brought them with her as an afterthought that morning and that she’s still hoping to find suitable glass shades for my weird chandelier


We wandered around the junk shops of St Michaels without buying anything, then took a friend’s tip for lunch at the recently-opened Dorshi – absolutely delicious

After a coffee at the flat and armed with ice creams, we struck out in our walking boots in search of bluebells at Eype Down. My sprained ankle made me very slow, but I needed to see how it coped on uneven ground. Not very well, as it turned out. Unfortunately we were a couple of weeks early for the best of the bluebells

Chesil Beach was lit up by the sun and Portland stretched across the horizonIMG_8776.JPG


There were lambs – it is April, after all. They are such dear little things. There were ones and twos, blonds and brunettes

And even a little redhead


Back at West Bay we went out on the harbour and watched the late afternoon sun hitting East Cliff, along to Freshwater and Burton Bradstock


After missing out on beer the night before we had a proper night out with friends watching the Skimmity Hitchers at the Ropemakers (And yes, the beer tasted WONDERFUL)

Job done

Rough Seas at West Bay

‘Rough Seas’ hangs over our bed

The wind was howling around the building, and yet we slept brilliantly. There is something strangely comforting about a storm (especially since the roof was renewed!). We grabbed an hour in the morning to take the cameras down to the harbour before packing up the flat to go homeIMG_7304


The sea is possibly the most dramatic reflection of rough weather, and the landscape at West Bay changes completely when a storm hits. Last weekend the waves were hitting hard and herring gulls were out in force, riding the air currentsDSC_0132

It would have been fun to look for fossils as the tide was higher than we have seen for a while, but we couldn’t wait for the tide to turn. I love that there are still always people out walking (and plenty of runners) on the harbour and promenade, whatever the weather


It amazes me that the face of East Cliff remains so golden, even in a storm. Despite its elemental beauty it demands respect, and due to this weather there are likely to be further cliff falls in the next few weeks

seeking shelter

Autumn sun and pebbles, a weekend at West Bay

A weekend by the seaside is always a treat. We have just finished restoring the bedrooms at the West Bay flat and it looks amazing, so I treated myself to this painting by Avril Larsson of the Bridport Art Society. The colours and composition will work brilliantly against the white walls

Catch of the Day
‘Catch of the Day’
Our bedroom, now restored and relaxing
Our bedroom, now restored and relaxing

West Bay enjoys East-West light, making the coastline (and our little flat) especially beautiful at sunrise and sunset. The beach is a mix of pebbles and sand, and the huge bright golden cliffs full of fossils and deep faults look as though they could have been designed by Gaudi. On Sunday morning we threw on some layers and headed East along the beach towards Bradstock before the sun was fully up. The fishing boats were just leaving the harbour, the tide was out and the low sun caught the textures beautifully. It evoked Paul Weller’s haunting lyric, ‘Like pebbles on a beach, kicked around, displaced by feet…’

Stone stacks and found art are commonplace here
Stone stacks and ‘found art’ often appear
East Cliff in October sun
East Cliff – Gaudi-esque in the October sun

Baz spotted a Peregrine Falcon from the beach. We saw it land on a high outcrop and we climbed the steep mud path up East Cliff to get a better view. We found a spot to watch him for a while before he started to take the air through his wings and he took off towards West Bay, probably unseen by families and dog walkers on the beach

Peregrine on East Cliff
Peregrine falcon perched on East Cliff
Peregrine falcon resting
The view from the top

There is no season when I don’t love to be beside the seaside, but the soft autumn sun is a reminder to us all to make the most of every possible day outside and lodge the colours in our minds to carry us through to spring, like an animal feasting before a winter sleep