In Hastings the shore screeches with activity as sturdy fishing boats, each surrounded by a cloud of gulls, are pulled up the inclining shingle, a steel cable winching very slowly on greased timbers that are removed from the stern and replaced at the bow by the yellow-clad fishermen in a ritualistic dance.
Lowry seascapes at the Jerwood Gallery “They don’t really exist you know they’re just an expression of my loneliness”. The sea, a vessel that can contain whatever emotion the viewer projects on it.
Preparations for an anachronistic beauty parade in a car park. A dozen girls with salmon pink dresses sashed with ‘DOVER’ curtsy before a portly man with a large camera sitting erect on his belly.
At St Leonards I remember the covered bench I slept on as an impecunious teenager when I visited my girlfriend of that era whose parents forbade me to spend the night.
Bridget Riley curve paintings on show at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill pulsing and rippling like the ocean itself.
At Pevensey I buy some food for dinner and sit on the warm shingle, a live band plays outside a pub, they are good and I sit close enough to enjoy. I’m exhausted and three hours walking to go.
Sovereign Harbour bristling with upmarket shiny pleasure boats and a restaurant complex on a saturday night – feel adrift in the shoals of diners.
Pack of dog walkers gregarious with their own kind “I like Westie but I also like Bichon, so I got mix”
Eastbourne glides into view it’s pier given a pink halo by the setting sun.
The downmarket guest house I’m staying at berates me for entering and not ringing the bell even though the door was open.
Everything aches and I’m in bed as soon as the camera batteries are charging. A Geordie accent and a knock at the door. It’s a man in the room next to me who says he’s lost his key and they don’t have a spare in reception. Can he can climb out my window and into his? We are three stories up above spiked railings – I assume he’s joking but unfortunately I’m wrong. “I’m I builder like, I’m used to this”, He hangs all the way out the window his feet skidding on the curved parapet below but then to my relief he has second thoughts and hauls himself out in defeat “Thanks pal” he says before closing my door like its the most normal thing in the world. Sleep.