Shingle Street 15

Sunday 13th January 2019.  A buffeting wind gusted in from the west setting the reeds in the Oxley Marshes in a nonstop dance.  It whined in machinery and wires; the Union Jacks flapped and snapped, their ropes tapping against the poles; and little plumes of spray blew from the top of waves on the incoming tide.  The sky was streaked deep purply grey to blue, fissured occasionally as the sun tried to break through.  Wispy low cloud floated by against a static backdrop.

Shingle Street, Suffolk, January 2019

Most houses looked silently shuttered for the winter.  A few lights showed and one family sat by a picture window for Sunday lunch.  Hunched figures trudged with crunching steps over the shingle ridges; dogs picked their way warily across the stones; and the voices of children collecting shells for the whelk line floated away in the wind – the line still ran from the Coastguard cottages to the shore.  I sheltered in the porch of the German Ocean Mansion.

Shingle Street, Suffolk, January 2019

The shingle was bare and exposed.  No summer colours of valerian, sea kale, horned poppy and hoary mullein now, instead their dried remains, brittle brown and grey stems bending, rustling and shedding fragments that skipped away in the wind through scant grass.  Wood pigeons and a few gulls wheeled about, all ashy drabness.

Shingle Street, Suffolk, January 2019

The incoming tide lapped and sucked at the sinuous line of the spit – a sign at the car park warns against bathing due to dangerous currents – and a ridge of shingle offshore was slowly submerged.  A solitary boat stood motionless out to sea.

Shingle Street, Suffolk, January 2019
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2 Responses to Shingle Street 15

  1. Roy says:

    Loving these pictures and accompanying text Brian, you’ll soon have enough material for a book without any contribution from me!
    It is such an intriguing location and I admire your fortitude in visiting it on a bleak and windy winter’s day. I really must revisit the place.

    • brianhuman says:

      Thanks, Roy. Yes, it was a bit bleak – but I was saved by my camera battery running out, so had an excuse to leave after an hour or so!

      Indeed an intriguing place and I’m amazed how much it changes from visit to visit. I’d like to be there in really rough weather to see how the waves actually shape the coast.

      Hope you can get back there as we should definitely consider joint book.

      Hope all is well with you.

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