Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The last desolate coast


On Saturday I went down to Essex, for two reasons; to see my father and to visit the sea shore and gather such material that the time might grant. We went to Tollesbury, on the very edge of the coast some 70 miles East of London.

I have been before. It was the need to connect that impelled this visit.

From the Tollesbury village it is about 5 minutes by car to the water's edge, now grandly called a marina. Fishing boats moored or quietly decaying or being perhaps refurbished with all the paraphernalia of fishing and sailing is littered everywhere. Each item makes its own picture. I selfishly gathered material, a few drawings and many pictures.

Thence out of the harbour, up through the village, stopping at the bread shop for two iced-buns and out onto the coast abutting the farm of John Seabrook.

On the farm we walked along the sea wall, fabricated from bright rusted iron sunk deep deep into the land to hold back the sea. This deserted small area of Essex coast where the occupying Romans would sink their amphorae into the mud to collect the sea and evaporate it into salt. The water was to high to collect the shards of their pottery which are so plentiful at low-water.

The light was flat a leaden sky spread flat upon choppy sea and May-green corn land. Wind from off the sea chilled us and made re-gaing the car a pleasurable moment.

The last special place.