Archives for posts with tag: Seaford Head

KDANGG is the sound of the garage door connecting with my forehead, in no uncertain terms. The sharp blow forces out a loud and vile oath, and I sink to the forecourt, moaning. Gill, sensitively, keeps well clear and silent, though in retrospect I think I would have preferred being smothered in sudden and huge sympathy.

The plan was to cycle along the seafront, though this could be postponed now, due to my life-threatening concussion. I sit on the concrete, staring. But it’s a golden warm autumnal day; it would be a shame to waste it in A&E, queuing for hours with railing-trapped children and drunks with axes in their heads.

So to Lewes Station and a train to Newhaven (this is not an endurance test). We take the cycle path that goes through the nature reserve and turn off at Tidemills, an old ruined mill and village, once home to 100 workers. The last residents were forcibly removed in 1939. From the beach you see the long black arm of Newhaven Harbour, lighthouse at the end silhouetted against a blue sky and glittering sea. Tiny figures climb the steps onto the harbour wall, only to be repulsed by barbed wire.

We cycle along the promenade towards Seaford Head, and stop at a little kiosk; it serves good espresso and has a blackboard, saying: ‘Frankies Forecast. Dry, Bright, Sunny, Clear & Warm. Light Gentle Breeze From the SW Gently Lapping Waves Carressing The Shoreline With A Welcoming Embraceā€¦’

A little further we pass a bench with the inscription ‘Glad and Ron Wellden, now dancing together always in the hearts of those who love you.’

A sky of solid blue, blazing sun, and the shushing of waves on the shingle beach – and it’s October.

We’ve carried our picnic down from the car-park to the beach steps but the tide is coming in and soon there will be nothing to sit on; we walk up the path to the top of Seaford Head, clear a space in the rabbit-droppings and spread the ancient blanket. Bacon and parmesan muffins, asparagus, figs and a bottle of Sauvignon in its silver chiller-jacket: this is a classy picnic – we’ve got Sheffield son and girlfriend with us.

We walk down the hill past the much-photographed coastguard cottages and spread our towels, and after limping over the pebbles I have to dive into the sea. It’s colder than it looks, and after a bit of puffing, floating and staring up into the blue I’m crawling painfully back out again.

A beefy-bicepped man in tattoos and shades strolls along the top of the beach with a tiny dachsund straining on a lead; another, leathery dark-tanned, poses in tight split-sided trunks. A thin white youth in flappy football shorts fails to skim stones over the sea.

Just the whoosh of the waves, distant children’s squeals, seagullszzzzzz….