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

Looking forward to the past

In this beautiful post Colin says he hadn’t realised how much he likes ‘to see the murk of history.’ I know what he means and I fear rubbing away the lifetime of a building. Patina is so important and I would hate to have an old house that did not reflect its journey. That is my goal – to allow the wear and tear to sit alongside the additions. We bought this house because I love it, not because I want to make it like other houses. Conformity is simply not for everyone!

Colin Bisset

This week’s Iconic Buildings on Radio National’s Blueprint for Living highlights the wonder of Chartres cathedral (see here). I mention the recent contentious restoration of its internal painted walls which supposedly takes them back to the original colouring of the mid-1200s. I wasn’t sure if I liked that idea but shortly after recording that piece I was on my way to France. I hadn’t planned to visit Chartres but somehow it just became inevitable.

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