Eastbourne Carpet Gardens.

Carpet Gardens early 1900s

The famous Carpet Gardens are the centrepiece of Eastbourne’s Promenade with vibrant displays of bedding plants and special planting features. It was around 1904 that they first appeared on the Grand Parade near the pier. It is not known who first thought of adorning the sea front with some such a gorgeous display of horticulture but Eastbourne Borough Council do a fantastic job in creating year round displays to reflect the seasons.

Above is an early postcard of the gardens. Make a future date to come and see them how they are now in our beautiful town.

Storm Ciara and Spring Tides

Storm Ciara hit the UK with a vengeance today 9th February. Billed as the Storm of the Century, gales reaching over 70 mph in places have disrupted air, sea, rail and road travel.

Met office weather forecast

It’s not been all bad though. A British Airways flight made the fastest subsonic New York to London journey. The Boeing 747-436 reached speeds of 825 mph (1,327 km/h) as it rode a jet stream accelerated by Storm Ciara.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7983919/British-Airways-records-fastest-transatlantic-flight-Storm-Ciara-blows-jet-US.htmlMore info about AMP

It’s been spectacular on Eastbourne Seafront, where Ciara combined with a full moon and spring tides to give a pretty amazing weather picture.

Eastbourne Pier

A spring tide is a tide after a new or full moon, when there is the greatest difference between high and low water. A spring tide or ‘King Tide’ refers to the ‘springing forth’ of the tide during new and full moon.

High waters

The Fisherman.

Eastbourne, East Sussex January 2020.

The Fisherman

By W. B. Yeats

Although I can see him still.
The freckled man who goes
To a grey place on a hill
In grey Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies,
It’s long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.
All day I’d looked in the face
What I had hoped ‘twould be
To write for my own race
And the reality;
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.

Maybe a twelvemonth since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face,
And grey Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark under froth,
And the down-turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream;
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, ‘Before I am old
I shall have written him one
poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.’

“The Fisherman”, published in 1916, depicts Yeats’ considerations into the loss of Irish tradition through the persona of a fisherman.

This image, caught on my Eastbourne seafront run last Sunday morning, made me think of The Fisherman by W. B Yeats.

English Seaside Saturday.

I often think that there is nothing more depressing than an English seaside town in January, however I quite enjoyed a winter Eastbourne Pier this afternoon.

So a little information about the pier:

Work began on Eastbourne pier with a working capital of £15,000 in April 1866 and was completed in 1872. The pier is 300 meters long and built on stilts, which rest in cups on the seabed allowing the whole structure to move during rough weather. During the Second World War decking was removed to host machine guns to provide a useful advantage point to repel enemy landings. In December 1942, an exploding mine caused considerable damage to the pier and nearby hotels. It’s 1000 seat theatre was then destroyed by a fire in 1970 and was replaced with an evening entertainment venue that has since become home to Atlantis Nightclub, The Waterfront Cafe/Bar. In 2014 the pier caught fire again, this time destroying the large arcade and saloons in the midway. Mr Sheikh Abid Gulzar a local hotelier, brought the pier in November 2015.

All the fun of the Pier.?

The pier also used to have a Paddle Steamer service, (wish I had been around to see this) operated by P and A Campbell, who ran trips from the pier along the south coast and across the English Channel to Bolougne, France from 1906 until the outbreak of World War Two. The service was resumed after the war, but then gradually withdrawn. Culturally the Pier has appeared in various Agatha Christie ‘Poirot’ episodes, the 2001 film Last Orders and the 2008 film Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging. In addition the 2010 version of Brighton Rock used Eastbourne Pier to stand in for Brighton’s Palace Pier.

Looking out from the pier west towards Brighton.

A wander on it passed a grey January afternoon nicely.

Christmas Robin

Came across this little chap having a bath this morning. Did some Robin research:

The robin gave its name to the first postmen who wore red-jackets and became known as ‘robins‘.

Robins are one of the first birds to start the dawn chorus and one of the last to stop singing at night, even in the winter when they sing to defend their winter territories.

The robin is Britain’s national bird and was declared as such 15 December 1960.

We watched each other for a while then both continued our days.

Road Trip

I love a road trip! I especially love a road trip with my Partner. He works all over the world for 80% of the year, so I spend a lot of time travelling solo. This means that travelling times together are very special. Here is our Milly and Vinnie road trip playlist:

Simultaneously similar and different!

Parkrun Virgin

Saturday I ran my first Parkrun

Parkrun UK

Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in:https://www.parkrun.org.uk/

I ran in the Eastbourne Shinewater Parkrun.

https://www.parkrun.org.uk/eastbourne/

Up until now I had only run on my own. I started running just over a year ago with the Couch to 5K App. I have gradually built up my running distance after finishing Couch to 5K to about 11K, albeit it takes me a while! I’m training for the Eastbourne half marathon in March, so as part of my training and to experience running with others I decided to do a Parkrun. I went into it feeling fairly confident. That soon disappeared when I arrived. I felt way out of my depth among all those pro-looking runners in their ‘on trend’ running gear, stretching and jogging on the spot, warming up as we stood waiting to start on a very wet and windy Saturday morning. Then we were off and I was bunched in the crowd. At this point I felt more confident and started to enjoy it. I started off faster than I’d like but found my pace once the fast runners shot off. However it quickly became apparent I was a jogger not a runner, although the friendliness and encouragement from the marshals and better runners was welcomed. I kept with it, jogging the whole distance. The going was slippery and full of deep puddles. I didn’t come last! I came 235 out of 257 with a time of 36.58. Safe to say I was in the slower crowd but I enjoyed it and will keep going as other commitments allow. I have five months to keep working towards the half marathon. I don’t really mind how long it takes me to run the course. I want to finish and finish in time to get a finishers medal!

I’d like to say I was out front- left the others behind 😂 . Photo by Martin Sales

We blew the cobwebs away.

To get through a very wet and windy Friday in Eastbourne we did some baking. Felt like a rainy morning thing to do.

Then enough was enough and I needed to get outside. I live at the beginning of the South Downs Way, which starts in Eastbourne, East Sussex and finishes in Winchester, Hampshire.

We blew those cobwebs away on The Downs on this typical Autumn day in Sussex, me and my dog.

And took a few photos on the way.