Winter by the sea

I had a half day on Friday and was keen to see the sea, so Sidmouth it was. My friend and I found a free parking spot right on the sea front, and crossed the road to check out the waves.

IMG_2399_edited-aLooking west they were roaring and churning.

IMG_2403_edited-band to the east, just as rough and the distant cliffs of Lyme Bay were hidden in the sea mist.

IMG_2404_edited-cWe wandered down the slipway by the breakwater. The only shelter from the wind was up close to the wall.

IMG_2406_edited-dBut there was more to see on the pebbles, I liked the black and white one and was tempted to take it home, but didn’t.

IMG_2407_edited-eThe lifeboat man ūüėȬ†stood guard opposite the RNLI station, he’s been waiting there for a very long time.

IMG_2411_edited-fWe’ll come back and check the cliffs a bit later. For now we’re having a little respite from the wind, and heading for town.


This beautiful and traditional shop,  Mountstephen, has been trading since 1902, but way out of my price range.

Trumps, a grocers for two hundred years closed down in 2014. It’s very sad to see this once wonderful shop go the way of so many local food shops. They sold fabulous food, but couldn’t make it pay any longer. It’s a Grade 2 listed building, and it looks like the upstairs isn’t going to be converted into apartments.

IMG_2427_edited-lThe Square will be elbow to elbow with people in six months time, for the folk festival, but all is quiet on the last Friday in January.

IMG_2428_edited-mThe Anchor is a lovely pub, all year round and they host live music and even story telling during the festival.

IMG_2434_edited-nWe had hot chocolate and rich, buttery shortbread in a favourite seafront café, Mocha, and then tempted by a bit of blue sky, stepped across the esplanade.

I wonder if my eyes deceive me, surely no one would be kite surfing in that sea, but yes and he must be crazy!

IMG_2443_edited-pWe watched for a while and I must say I was glad to see him safely back on the beach (excuse the photo, my i phone can’t manage the distance).

IMG_2435_edited-oThe empty esplanade is waiting for summer, just as I am.

IMG_2446_edited-qFor now we’ll head into the sea mist, towards the cliffs.

IMG_2455_edited-sAt the end of the promenade the river Sid trickles into the sea, and¬†it’s no longer safe to walk on that part of the beach, because of the frequent landslides that are eroding the sandstone.

IMG_2453_edited-rCan you see the pieces of wood dangling down from the clifftop?¬†It’s the remains of a fence that was previously beside the south West Coast Path, at the bottom of someone’s garden.¬†Lots of Britain’s coastline is being reclaimed by the sea, gradually washing away.¬†Sidmouth¬†could look very different in a few generations¬†from now.

I hope you enjoyed Sidmouth even if it was grey and damp, I’ll take you again in summer.

I’m joining Jo for her Monday walk – if I’m in time, but if not¬†this week maybe in a couple of weeks time!


A Contrast of Winter

Jude is having a garden photography challenge this year, and for January the theme is Winter Gardens.

I took the first photo at home a few days ago. I was surprised to see the young bud shooting out, it usually flowers from late April, and like many plants this year it’s confused.


It’s a¬†Beschorneria yuccoides, a Mexican plant that’s been in the garden for about seven years and was a baby, below in 2009’s snow.


Snow doesn’t happen too often in Devon, buds don’t usually sprout on exotic Mexicans in January either!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

There are very few opportunities for capturing anything vibrant in a Devon January, but I did have a day off today and a trip to Sidmouth. This pretty window attracted my attention, perhaps a dainty kind of vibrant.


On an autumn day out I spotted this on a building in Torbay.


These colourful windows were inside Castle Drogo, a National Trust property in Drewsteignton on the edge of Dartmoor.


I can’t miss flowers out when vibrant is the challenge can I? So here are two photos from Tavira, Portugal in September.




and Lantana!

Are you joining the challenge this week? If you’re in the tropics or Australia, it should be easier to go and find something vibrant this weekend, have fun what ever you do!


Lazy Poet’s Thursday Tanka for Tish

Deep colour spectrum

scribbled with arachnid silk.

Textured rays, fibres

terra pots disintegrate

and crumble back to grey dust.

Tish took and edited this fascinating photo, which she named ‘Through a Web Darkly’, and very kindly offered it as inspiration for our writing. I’d written this¬†before¬†I had a reply with permission to post! Isn’t it a good image?¬†I love it, thanks Tish.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Optimistic

I’ve always loved trains and the idea of long distance rail travel has been in my mind forever. In recent years there has been a spate of TV programs about train travel, most recently featuring the former politician Michael Portillo. His current series Great British Train Journeys, is okay, he dashes around the country and his¬†parrot bright¬†choices of jacket and trousers make up for the fact that he is visiting familiar places. But, it’s his continental rail journeys following Bradshaw’s travel guide that really have¬†me paying attention. So I’m hooked and this is what I got from my Christmas list.


It may not be this year, but I’m optimistic for the future!

If you have a photo for The Daily Post’s optimistic challenge, here’s where you go!