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Landscape drawings cut into the ground expose the bedrock beneath. Here, in East Sussex, it is chalk.

As with the sculptural forms of the cliffs just down the road, the brightness of the white and the contrast of the green hills and the sky has made me think about materials again. It has also made me think about light and texture. It has mostly made me think about the importance of doing and of making (and of not thinking so much). In recovering from and living with a chronic level of fatigue, doing things has often been beyond my capability. I have spent more time in my head, thinking, considering, imagining. I need to be outside, experiencing my own physicality in landscape.


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I continue to walk to the sea and stare. I was reminded last week how many of us are drawn to the edge. The precarious cliff face proved just too tempting for some as they stood at the top of the cliffs on the South Downs Way. Here, at Birling Gap, there are regular cliff falls – always unpredictable, they are not unexpected. It’s the start of the summer holidays. The days are marked by the edges becoming more populated, with family holidays and tour buses.

Having intended to explore, to look for interesting things washed up by the sea, and to contemplate how to push coastal based projects forwards, I ended up doing what everyone else did – I got an ice cream, took a photo and left.

I was here.


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There has been a pause in posting here. In part due to a fluctuation in energy levels and health, and in part a result of pursuing my writing practice and developing my notebook on my website.

In October I began, almost by accident, a new strand of this project Body of Water. I began to collect a small amount of seawater from an incoming wave. It connected with my physical limitations and the joy of being able to walk to the beach again, even if it took all day to get there. What came next was a mission to get to the beach each day, the jars of water became part diary and part evidence of my achievement.

The writing that has begun to emerge since doing this has felt like it has reconnected with my initial intention for starting here, more than 18 months ago. Things take time. With an energy limiting illness things take even longer. It seems I also need to be able to wander off and start to do something without thinking too much about it – a tricky thing to plan for.

Last week a new piece of writing and images were published by Sussex University Life Writing Projects  and I shared my project at a Waterweek event Рspeaking on the beach at Birling Gap, East Sussex. It feels that this project has now become solid enough to be able to share it here and begin to reflect more on what it is I am doing/have done.


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At the end of July there was a full moon. There will be another at the end of this month. Checking my diary it’s a full moon tomorrow, a full 28 days have passed.

July’s full moon was to be a particularly special one: it was a blood moon. There was also a lunar eclipse, where the moon falls entirely into the earth’s shadow: the earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment. It happens a few times each year, but this was to be the longest lunar eclipse this century.

There was a great deal of excitement about this full moon. The moon is always joyful but this was a special one, I had planned to seek it out.

It had been the longest, hottest and driest summer I could remember. The night of the 27th July was sure to be a good one. It wasn’t. Cloud cover obscured the moon for most of us going to watch. Many people nonetheless lined the seafront with cameras clutched to their chests, waiting.

I have lost all sense of time. Recovering from chronic fatigue I have adjusted to my own internal body clock. I do things when I can, when I feel like I am able, and so inclined. Measuring myself against other peoples time frames is pointless. The Thursday before the full moon was due had been a long day, broken up with a long period of rest in the afternoon, I had felt all the achievement of a day from the mornings activities, and by the evening I thought it was Friday. I set out on the wrong evening to watch for the blood moon and the lunar eclipse and I was handsomely rewarded. The photos are poor grainy phone pictures but they show me that whole warm summers evening of watching a beautiful fat orange moon rise in an indigo sky. Reflections rippled in waves, I felt as though I was far away, somewhere far more exotic than I was, to be sitting on the beach in my shorts at 9pm.

The moon and the sea are inextricably linked. Tides are pulled towards the moon, it makes me wonder about other things so effected. It makes me wonder about me, the water within. In search of some greater understanding I found this online:

“What are lunar tides?
Tides are created because the Earth and the moon are attracted to each other, just like magnets are attracted to each other. The moon tries to pull at anything on the Earth to bring it closer. But, the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water. Since the water is always moving, the Earth cannot hold onto it, and the moon is able to pull at it. “

I need to go and learn more…


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