Sunday, 15 November 2015

Living by the sea

Would one of your dreams be to live by the sea?  I still pause on our doorstep and take in the distant sea views as I leave the house, or every time I hear the waves crashing on the shore  I appreciate how lucky I am! It was very interesting this week, therefore to be reminded that living by the sea was not such a popular choice in days gone by....


There was the fear of stormy seas, ship wrecks, invaders and pirates and fearful stories about the sea. Even within 10 miles of here the coast has in the distant past been invaded by Greeks and Vikings. Only those people making a living from the sea lived close to the sea shore.

This all changed in the 18th century when paintings showing the beauty of the coast were produced by artists such as J W Turner.  For many it was the first time that they had seen glimpses of the sea. Doctors started praising the health benefits of drinking sea water and sea bathing. Suddenly living and visiting the sea became fashionable. Many resorts including Weymouth began to appear along the coast and with the introduction of the railways in the 19th century and more leisure time people  had the opportunity to visit the sea. Nowhere in the UK is more than 70 miles (113km) from the sea.


 After the first and second World Wars the land along the coast began to be developed, and planning laws were tightened.

The National Trust concerned about  the damage to the natural environment  launched the Neptune Coastline campaign 50 years ago. The aim of it was to protect the coastline and allow us and future generations to enjoy the dramatic, beautiful and diverse landscape. They now own 775 miles of coastline.

The coastline of the British isles is 19,491 miles, (31,368 km) this is longer than the coastline of India! There are also over 1,000 islands in the UK, the majority of which are in Scottish waters and the majority of them are uninhabited.

Briport Literary Festival
Bridport Literary festival
Coastlines The story of our shore
We learnt all of these facts at Bridport literary festival, when we attended a talk by Patrick Barkham the natural history writer for the Guardian newspaper, who was talking about his latest book Coastlines The Story of Our Shore. It was a very entertaining talk and we didn't come away empty handed, although I will have to wait until after Christmas to enjoy reading it! Do you have a literary festival in your area too? The one in Bridport has been going now for 11 years and always invites many interesting authors.


Different branches of our family have lived by the sea since the 1700's and their lives reflect the changing story of the shore too, most of their stories are still to be told here. 


The weather has been mixed this week. This sunrise greeted me one morning as I put Tavi and Twinkle out into the garden. It was lovely too for a few minutes just to stand and watch and listen to the flocks of seagulls overhead, heading out to sea for their breakfast.


We were surprised on a walk around Abbotsbury sub-tropical gardens to discover still so much autumn colour. The mild weather and sheltered position seem to have delayed the inevitable.


It has been very blustery here too - it almost felt we were been pushed down the hill on our walk this afternoon, we took the more sheltered way home, rather than struggle against the wind!  The wind is howling outside the window as I write, how lucky we are to have the benefits of modern life to endure these conditions.


Wishing you a happy week ahead, thank you for all your lovely comments about Tavi, in the last post.

Sarah x

55 comments:

  1. Yes, it's interesting the way perspectives changed! I can't enough of learning about the Victorian and Edwardian seasides- I LOVED teaching that in Year 2 and I loved 'Sanditon' Jane Austen's unfinished novel about the seaside which was completed by someone in recent times- really enjoyed it! x

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    1. The children must enjoy those lessons too! I haven't heard of 'Sanditon', I will have to read it as I love Jane Austin. Sarah x

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  2. Almost as grey as our North sea today. It must be wonderful to have that beautiful light that always seems different over the sea. Thank you for sharing the pictures

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  3. What a lovely series of photos. It looks gorgeous there and I was so interested in those facts you wrote about. Thank you very much for that. I would love to live by the ocean and really miss it. Always good to get there when I can.

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  4. Oh yes, I would love to live by the sea, just a walk from the beach. But, I would not venture far from the shore. I loved the facts you presented. I didn't know any of that, except for the pirates and invaders.

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  5. You have me wondering if water is your favourite element Sarah..x

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    1. I am born under the sign of Aquarius. I don't enjoy swimming following a scare as a child, but I do love looking at the water. Sarah x

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  6. I miss living by the sea more than I can say! Someday I will move back, meanwhile I'll enjoy the beauty of where I live now.

    xo

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  7. I just luuuv your blog!! It is always sooo interesting!!! Lucky you being able to see all the different seasons by the sea. Do you find many fossils on your wanderings?? Helen F from downunder

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    1. We do find fossils if you walk on the right beaches. I promise I will dedicate a post to them sometime. Sarah x

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  8. We visit the sea (West Coast of Canada) at least twice a year and have a plan to live there one day. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. A very interesting post. I love to be by the sea (though that's a rare event!) and when I'm on the coast I imagine what it must be like to live by the sea, or to have a coastal retreat perhaps, but having spent my whole life totally landlocked, surrounded by hills and moorlands, Í don't think I'd ever actually live by the sea if I had the chance - I think I get fed up of the winds too quickly!

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  10. I would like to live at the sea, but I live on a hill! So I always must spend my holidays at the sea.

    Sigrun

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  11. Hey Sarah,
    I never take living by the sea for granted. I feel very lucky to be able to raise my family in such a beautiful place, and to be able to take advantage of all that it has to offer. After a very wet walk with Honey yesterday, I am also glad for the modern comforts of home!
    Leanne xx

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  12. Our quest to live by the sea brought us to Brixham and now we are settled at Broadsands I'm sure we would hate to live inland now. I too love opening the windows or doors to hear the sea, but the weather can be challenging. I think the thing I like most is the change in seasons not for winter colour but the activity preparing for the tourists in spring and the close up for winter.
    Your talk sounds wonderful, we have the Agatha Christie Literary Festival and Dartington hold a literary festival too.

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  13. Oh Sarah, you are indeed SO lucky! Enjoy it all you can my friend. There is nothing like being near water, and though we are in the middle of the country here, at least we have many lakes to admire. ENJOY YOUR DAY!

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  14. I absolutely love living by the sea. We look out over the Channel and I spend a bit too much time watching it! The sea changes every day and within each day, and there are always ships passing. I'd miss it terribly if we moved away. Fascinating post Sarah. I might have to add that book to my christmas list... Sam x

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  15. I really enjoyed this post. It was so interesting to read about life by the sea. I've never experienced that, but I would really like to someday, even for a short period of time. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a good week.

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  16. Sweet Sarah, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and combined with your words there is no doubt that you enjoy your life by the seaside. And no wonder. Your surrondings are so beautiful and I'm so happy for you that you get to experience this beauty every day. :)

    Take care dear Sarah and thank you for a lovely post.♥

    Charlie
    xx

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  17. When we retired, we moved to the coast, the Northwest Coast of the United States, in Oregon, where storms and shipwrecks are notorious. Our coast is a lot like yours, windy and cool, and wet for many months, with spectacular up-swells that change the coastline regularly. I would not change this view for anything.

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  18. A lovely post Sarah extolling the pleasures of coastal living. We have looked into it but a property on the coast proves to be too expensive for us - so we will just have to make do with our regular jaunts instead.

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    1. We never thought that we could afford a home with a distant sea view, but in our house search we did find this house and another one that we could buy. This house had no mention of a seaview in the details either, so we were quite surprised to discover it on our first visit! Sarah x

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  19. A lovely post about the sea. I remember being amazed a few years ago when I realised that it was only 300 or so years since people stopped being taken by pirates as slaves from Devonshire seaside villages. Loved your last post about Tavi. Can't believe it's a year ago already. That pic of him with the big view in the background is lovely. Hope all's well XX

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  20. Many interesting facts in your post. When I read about ship wrecks, pirates and smugllers in the old times I must think of the book Jamaica Inn of Daphne Maurier, one of my favorites when I was young and I still love to read it sometimes. Your sea photos are gorgeous, to have a walk along the beach with stormy weather is just lovely.

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    1. I love Daphne Maurier's books too, she lived in the same village as my Grandmother and many of her books are based in the surrounding area. That's one of the posts I still need to write! Sarah x

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  21. I had no idea about the length of our coast compared to India's! I knew we had a long coast, but not that far! It is wonderful that really we are all quite close to the sea if we wish to be isn't it. xx

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  22. Your picture of Weymouth takes me back to my Student teacher training days there. I remember applying for colleges and they were all by the sea. At that time I lived in London suburbia but the draw of living by the sea was immense. I think it's in your blood. Little did I know I would meet my husband in Weymouth and then go back with him to live on an island 9 by 5.....more sea than I could ever have wished for. That book about the coast sounds fascinating, I will look out for a copy! B X.

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  23. Ahhh yes! I treasure the seven years I lived two blocks away from the ocean... No doubt we too have literary fests in the Portland area although I have not attended one. Thanks for sharing some of the interesting facts you learned from the one you attended, Sarah. Wishing you a safe and happy week :) xx

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  24. Hello dear Sarah, this is a post so near and dear to my own heart. I love the sea. My grandfather was a searfaring man and both my parents grew up within a stone's throw of the sea and my early years where also spent in a seaside city. When I lived in South Africa I lived inland for a while, a long long way from the sea. My bones ached to hear the seagulls, smell the salty air and feel the breezy wind. I now feel so very very blessed to live around a corner from the seashore. I hear seagulls daily and they always make me smile. I love the rain, the stormy seas, the bright sunlight on a warm day everything about living near the sea makes me feel alive. Have a lovely week! Sharon x

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  25. Such a lovely post Sarah.
    I love being near water the sea, a lake, a river, a canal ... there is something so wonderful about it.

    The wind has certainly been howling in certain parts of the UK recently - no sooner does Storm Abigail pass than we have Storm Barney to look forward to - well perhaps not look forward to! Certainly to be aware of.

    I hope you have a good week, thank you for sharing some lovely pictures.

    All the best Jan

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  26. It is where my heart dwells..my belonging..the sea

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  27. Being by the sea is the one tried and true place that totally helps me relax. Every time... I've never lived on the coast but about 2-3 hours away and yet our ideal vacation is always to go to the ocean. Mountains and lakes are nice, but they just don't have that same, wonderful effect! Your images are wonderful: loved this post!

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  28. I live near hills, which I love, but I also love the sea, walking along beaches and the cliff paths. We are not far from the sea and I have often thought it must be lovely to live so near that you can walk down to the beach every day and take in that bracing sea air.

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  29. I adore living by the sea and am very lucky but can imagine how hard it was in times gone by ! I went out for a blustery walk with friends & dogs yesterday & it really did blow the cobwebs away !

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  30. Sarah, I could get lost in the photo of the sunrise. Even the cloud looks like a seagull on the wing! Thank you for the mini-history lesson on the Britain's coastline. I recently read that our state of Maine, whose coast line measures 250 miles as the crow flies, is 5,500 miles long if stretched out and has 6,200 islands. They can know all this now because of satellite image. Our earth gets more amazing all the time.

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  31. What a wonderful post, Sarah! You are so very fortunate to live so close to the sea. There's a part of me that wishes we lived near the ocean. Every time I go to Victoria to visit my son's family I think I would like to live there. But then on the drive down the lake as I head back home to my cottage I am so happy to be back. So I guess for me I'm just happy being near any water, be it salt or fresh.

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  32. What an interesting post, Sarah. I would love to live right by the sea, it changes from one day to the next but never fails to comfort and energize.
    Amalia
    xo

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  33. I suspect you will have blustery seas tonight Sarah - I can already hear the wind making noises down our chimney. We have the Cheltenham Literary Festival here which is a huge affair with marques in the town and TV and radio in attendance.
    It was kind of you to enquire after my son and family, thank you - I was relieved to learn that all was well with them.

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  34. The sea does look very rough, but beautiful. I'll look out for the Coastlines book - it looks like my sort of read. Hope the weather's not too wild down your way, and that you are cosy and warm.
    Cathy x

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  35. You're blog is so cool I'm so jealous and I'm sorry to ask questions but I don't think you'll mind this one , how do I add you ? Do you do video blogs of your adventures ? X

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    1. HI Daisy, It will easier to come over to your blog with some hints. Sarah x

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    2. HI Daisy, It will easier to come over to your blog with some hints. Sarah x

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  36. Beautiful photos and great post. I moved from Long Island NY, close to the ocean, to the mountains. I find beauty in both.

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  37. I absolutely loved living by the sea: one of my homes was literally at the top of the beach but higher up, out of reach of the stormy seas and the sounds were fantastic. Another home was out of sight of the sea but within hearing distance; Iloved to hear the waves crashing from below the cliffs when I was lying in my bed with windows open. I really miss that sound now that I live a few miles inland, but thankfully am still able to drive to the beach regularly to breathe in that wonderful ozone and listen to the waves. (And enjoy a cappuccino in the Beach Cafe!)

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  38. Dear Sarah,

    Something so wonderful about living near the sea and going to sleep with the sound of the waves. I enjoyed seeing your lovely photos. We have had windy weather and today the ferry crossing was a little wild.
    Also enjoyed seeing the sweet photos of Tavi - hard to believe it has been a year and it only seemed like the other day.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  39. So beautiful...its lovely living near the sea and you show us amazing pictures from your place!
    Have a great weekend now, take care...
    Titti

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  40. Your second photo is amazing, Sarah. So dramatic, and really shows the power of the sea. Until I moved to London, I'd always lived by the sea due to my Dad being in the Royal Navy. I never thought I'd adjust to being away from the coast (and am still enthralled by it) but I've learned to love the countryside just as much. I'd find it very frightening to be living too near the sea when the weather turns bad, I can't imagine how people endured in past times. This has been a lovely post to read, full of fascinating information. I think colder weather is forecast for this weekend but I've been very grateful for mild temperatures up until now - just wish that I'd got on with clearing the garden a bit more!
    PS. I'm pleased that you'd like some achocha seeds - could you email me via the contact form on my blog (it's in my header bar) to let me know your address? Thanks, Caro xx

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    1. The second photo was taken on Portland during the bad winter storms of 2014. That's as close as we wanted to go, you could really appreciate the power of the sea as the waves crashed on Chesil Beach, Sarah x

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    2. I thought it looked familiar. I was always in awe of Chesil Beach, so powerful on one side and so calm on the other. I don't think I'd have wanted to go any closer either! C x

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  41. Your photos are just wonderful! That sunrise is just breathtaking! I would like to read the coastlines book too. Hope it's worth the wait!

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  42. Hello Sarah - I hope you have a had a good week.

    You were asking about watercress sauce in you recent comment on the low carb diabetic blog, and I replied I sometimes used it with fish ... salmon especially.
    But just wondered if you had seen this lovely recipe - you may like it, it is a good no fuss fish dish with watercress sauce.

    http://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/roasted-cod-with-easy-watercress-sauce.html

    Take Care, and keep warm in this present chilly weather!

    All the best Jan

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  43. Hi Sarah! A wonderful place to live and a great way of living.

    A new follower from the South of Spain

    Marina

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    1. Hello Marina and welcome thank you for becoming my latest follower. Sarah x

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  44. We have Palm Oil on the beaches here too - I posted a picture of a large chunk of it in most recent Hastings Battleaxe post.
    http://hastings-battleaxe.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/two-bright-days-vintage-fair-at-de-la.html

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