Thanksgiving, Shoreham Beach

Swimmers, Shoreham Beach November 2020

I was going to write about life on the beach – but then I noticed the date – and decided that I would write about Thanksgiving instead.

In the UK we tend to slowly take on things from the US – liablity lawyers, Adam Sandler – all the good stuff. But I do think we should get the British Museum to borrow Thanksgiving from the US and forget to return it – or take molds from it so we can cast our own.

I think in the UK we do lots of things well, but if we had this holiday, it would help us to recognise them too and then maybe when New Year’s Day comes around we wouldn’t feel quite so down.

In a moment I will go for a late night walk and think about things I should be grateful for – what would you choose?

Trees in Fog, West Sussex

Trees in Fog, Horsham, West Sussex November 2020

I think I have walked around the park every day since the first lockdown. Normally, in the noise of work and rush, the seasons tend to pass outside the window, but because we have all been at home I have been able to notice the changes in the weather as the seasons pass.

As you can see, we have had a patch of foggy weather, which makes me think we are transitioning into winter. I’m trying to think of a good poem to quote which would describe the feeling of walking through a foggy landscape. Any ideas?

Anyway, to come back to the original thought – it is gently pleasing to see the seasons pass – notice the days get longer and then get shorter again. I used to hate getting up to go to work in the dark and then returning home in darkness. But it did mean that I got to see sunrise, which always feels special, particularly in spring, when the light seems golden on the morning frost.

Trees in Moonlight, West Sussex

Trees in Moonlight, Southwater, West Sussex November 2020

My first post of the second lockdown!

I’m back to walking in the park either early in the morning, or late at night, when sensible people are snug in bed.

I missed the full moon (which was smothered by thick cloud anyway), but I’m still pleased with the amount you can see. In reality, it was a really dark night, but in the photo, I think it almost feels like twilight. In the latest update, all you have to do is hold the phone up for a count of five – and hey presto! No need to blend photos because the Moon is so bright. I love it, but the ease makes me uneasy. A bit like satnav, rice cookers and booking flights – making something which required skill and judgement, fairly routine.

The Causeway, Horsham

View down The Causeway, Horsham, West Sussex October 2020

The Causeway is a street in the old town of Horsham. The Causeway runs from Carfax (which is the old centre of the town) to St Mary’s church. As I took this picture, a passerby stopped and commented that it was a view which hadn’t changed in hundreds of years. And he was probably right. On the left-hand side are a row of – probably Georgian – houses, where some of the town notables (Neville Duke – who set a flying world speed record and Hamond Innes – an author) lived.

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach

View of the Sea, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – Friday, 23rd October 2020

Although the morning started with glorious blue skies, by the time I got the beach it was clouding over. Looking along the beach towards Worthing, there were menacing rain clouds and a steady breeze. And there were also lots of kite surfers out, racing back and forth on the waves. I think I was on the beach for an hour or so, but you can see how the light chnaged in that time. And then the light went. So I had to withdraw to my car 🙂

One of the kite surfers had seen me taking photos – so here some are! I had my small camera with me, so mostly fairly scenic pictures. Next time I come, I will bring a bigger camera and get a few more details!

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – Friday, 23rd October 2020
Kite Surfers in the Shallows – Friday, 23rd October 2020
Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex – Friday, 23rd October 2020

Morning Walk, Shoreham Beach

Walking along the Beach, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020
Further Down the Beach, Shoreham Beach 2020

How do you feel about mornings?

When I was a student, there were mornings when I didn’t get up until almost lunchtime and being particularly self-aware, I didn’t think this was particularly strange. Then I joined the working world and waking at 6 o’clock for a commute to work. Then in later years, rising at 5 o’clock for an even longer commute to work, watching the Sun rise by the time I got there.

Yesterday, I had some business in Shoreham, so I got up extra early so I could go for a walk on the beach before my meeting. There was a clear sky and the air felt cool. In front of me I could see a couple who had come bundled up, apparently fresh from bed. If I were a little more social (and the times were a little more social too), would have liked to know a little more about them. But I didn’t, so they wandered off to the water’s edge and I walked along the beach to take some longshots of the waves breaking onto the shore.

Technical Details

I have taken photos of Shoreham Beach for a few weeks, trying different cameras to see which work best. For these photos I was using a Sony RX10. I used this because I wanted to be able to use a telephoto lens to “compress” the beach, which tends to make the waves look a little larger and more dramatic. Another benefit, is that it has the longest lens I own, so i could take photos of ships and yachts a little way out to sea. And lastly, because the camera is an all-in-one, I don’t have to change lenses, which on a beach is inviting trouble with sand and salt water. My only disappointment, is the flare on the second photo, which I am trying to convince myself adds atmosphere.

More from Shoreham Beach

Kite Surfing Seascape, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020
Kite Surfer, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020
Windsurfer, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020

I keep coming back to Shoreham Beach. I suspect, it is because haven’t been to the seaside in such a long time. Or it could be because I like drinking warm coffee while I get blasted by on shore gales. I don’t know.

While I was taking these, another photographer was doing things properly with a long lens on a tripod. The guys on the windsurfers seemed to know what they were doing, so I’m wondering if I gate crashed a photo shoot! In which case, I thank them for their generosity.

Almost Monochrome, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020

Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach

Waves, Shreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020
Kite Surfers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020
Kite Surfer, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

As you can see, the weather has changed on Shoreham Beach, where before it was calm and inviting, now it is much stormier, with quite powerful waves.

In the 1970s, surfing and skateboarding were very popular and whever I came to the beach, I hoped to see young people carving up the waves – but I never did. The problem is, the beach, it is quite steep – so the waves break onto the shore, rather than further out – which is what you need for surfing!

As you can see here though, the beach does get used for kite surfing.

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

Shoreham Beach is a pedestrian bridge away from Shoreham-by-Sea and I suspect during storms, parts of it get a bit closer.

After a few glorious, almost July-like days, the weather has finally turned and begun to cool down. On this occasion, the tide was out, so I got to walk on sand for a change. Here, the tide makes a huge difference to the beach, the sea being 40m further up the beach at high tide (maybe higher). On this occasion, there were still plenty of paddleboarders cruising along the coast, but fewer bathers.

Paddle Boarders and Bathers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

Worthing Pier, West Sussex

Fishermen, Worthing Pier, West Sussex September 2020
View of Worthing Pier, West Sussex September 2020
Worthing Pier, West Sussex September 2020

It is strange how seasons change from the edges, the mornings and evenings are much cooler than they were mid-summer and obviously it gets darker much earlier. But as you can see, during the day it is still warm and might even be mistaken for a summer’s day.

Piers were a Victorian fad, with seaside towns competing to have the longest. As the years have passed, most have fallen into disrepair, but a few, such as Worthing Pier have remained. Given that they stand in the sea and are subject to storms, they require fairly continuous maintenance.

Worthing Beach from pier, West Sussex September 2020