Morning Frost, West Sussex

Trees, Horsham, West Sussex January 2020

Christmas isn’t the coldest time of the year in the UK. In December, we can usually relax because the coldest months for us are January and February, So, after a relativly wet Christmas, the weather has turned increasingly colder and finally we having really hard frosts – as you can see in these photographs.

Frost on Tree, Horsham, West Sussex January 2020

This year, I forget to buy a calendar and to make any New Year’s resolutions. Is it too late? What should they be? I like taking photographs – as you can see. Should it be to do with that? During lockdown I wrote a novel (I think there will be glut of novels when this is over) – struggling with editing at the moment. Should they be to do with that?

What do you want to do in the New Year?

Frozen Cobweb, Horsham, West Sussex January 2020

Yachts, Shoreham Beach

Yachts off Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020

During October, we had some lovely weather in Shoreham, which made it feel like a gradual change from summer into autumn. At the time, the COVID number had slumped and people felt more comfortable being away from home. As you can see, the Sun shone and lots of people took the opportunity to take their yachts for a cruise off the coast

Yachts, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex October 2020

Morning Frost, West Sussex

Frost, Horsham, West Sussex December 2020

Right now, like many people in the UK, I’m living in lockdown again!

I think I’ve written it before, but one of the things I have appreciated this year, has been the opportunity to notice the passing seasons. I particularly remember the change from spring into early summer, and now, with the hard frost this morning, I’ve noticed we are in the hard part of winter. The picture is of ice which formed on my car overnight – I have taken pictures of this before, because I love the patterns the ice makes.

There is a weather forcast for snow tomorrow – have to see how that goes!

Tree, Horsham Park

Tree, Horsham Park, West Sussex October 2020

I may have posted pictures of this tree before – perhaps in a different season.

As I recollect it, I was sitting on a bench, when I thought the tree reminded me of a still life or perhaps a Chinese landscape painting. So I took a picture.

Dog on the Beach, West Sussex

Dog on the Beach, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex December 2020

After what has seemed like weeks of rain, yesterday, we had a few hours of sunshine, so I went to the beach. It was warm enough to sit on the pebbles and watch the waves for a couple of hours, so pretty mild for mid-December.

In the photo, the sea looks much flatter than it was, every so often there would be some quite large waves which arrived with a crash.

And then, large clouds formed and the sunshine stopped. Time to return to the car and drive home.

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.

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.

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