May 31, 2013

The north Norfolk coast


  It has done it again, the north Norfolk coast has worked its magic on my heart and soul.



We only had one sunny day of the four but we spent it all outside, on the marshes, at the beach, meandering, sitting in the dunes looking out to sea.


This was the view on Bank Holiday Monday, everyone seems to plop themselves down on the first stretch of sand nearest the carpark leaving the rest of it looking like the majestic wilderness that it is. I have spent my life breathing in this view and every time it is a perspective bringer. It is the place I feel most free I think.



Behind these north Norfolk beaches are pine woods, dappled, sandy-floored and full of that amazing piney smell when the sun shines.



It is suffused with happy childhood memories, playing in the sand, paddling, swimming with seals and having a bag of salt and vinegar crisps from the old lifeboat house on The Point, an island we boat out to (in an ancient wonky dingy!), just off the coast - you can see the dark blue Lifeboat house still, although no crisps now, a tiny maritime museum of sorts.


But the salty freshness of the air, the screeching gulls, distant clinking of mast riggings and the endless skies bring an instant bolt of happiness in the here and now, nostalgia welcome but not required. 

When the marshes are knee deep mud as they are at the moment, there is a lovely walk along the raised marsh dykes - looking across the marshes and out to sea one way,


with a snaking network of creeks in the foreground,




and fens and farmland behind, criss crossed with footpaths, all framed by the fiery yellow blooms of the gorse bushes.


I have always thought this cottage has the most amazing location overlooking the fen and farmland in one direction and the marshes and sea on the other.






Bliss. And this landscape always suprises me with the gift of some inspiration for my jewellery. Little treasures from the beach have already inspired my coastal collection - little sea-tumbled shells and pebbles




jewellery that speak of the colours of the sand and sea, 




but this time it was something less tangible perhaps but intriguing still to me - the way that the dunes, the little shards of broken shells and the shifting shoreline speak so much of erosion and attrition, that those timeless movements of natural forces create so much beauty as well as destruction. Often this inextricably part of what creates beauty in a landscape and a strong sense of place. I am thinking about the possibilities of those attributes in my designs, maybe rings and pendants with little areas of erosion, little marks of texture  contrasted with smooth surfaces and lines.....watch this space! I was also intrigued by the shadows and forms of the dune grass and will ponder those also at my jewellery bench. 




All this and my parents'  sweet cottage to come home to - very lucky. 


17 comments:

  1. I think that the shore, wherever you are, is always the best place to be. And I mean the shore, not the beach, that liminal strip between land and sea. We are blessed when we can spend time there.

    Beautiful, evocative images Belinda :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Annie, I totally agree, and the emptier and wilder the spot, the more dramatic the effect I find.

      Delete
  2. One of my favourite places too, and full of childhood camping memories. Luckily near enough for frequent visits too, as I'm only in the next county.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, that is nice to be so close, I feel a bit landlocked at times, 2hrs drive for us.

      Delete
  3. I always wonder at those plonking people too... and walking in the pine woods so close to the dunes and sea is bliss. Happy peaceful times. Ax

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a way it is brilliant isn't it, leaving the rest of it emptier? x

      Delete
  4. What a gorgeous place. "Our" Norfolk once looked a lot like that, but we stupidly allowed rampant growth and now it's just a memory.

    May i ask a flower question? My cutting garden has come back beautifully - packed with self-seeded nigella and larkspur. If i cut it back radically - i am seriously thining hedge shears - will it rebloom? Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hold on to those lovely memories!

      About the flowers, first I am so glad to hear the cutting patch is flourishing! If you want to keep the blooms coming with annuals, you have to make sure you leave young buds low down that will flower for you - if you cut to the ground, like you might with perennials such as cranebill geraniums or catmint, they will die I"m afraid. But pick or cut off the top blooms, leaving the lower buds and they will love it and keep flowering - cosmos are amazing for this. If you want more self seeding for next year though, you will need to leave plenty to go to seed, but nigella look fab with the most amazing seedpods, fantastic as an eccentric filler foliage in an arrangement. So maybe leave some to go to seed and cut others to low buds? Bxx

      Delete
    2. oops, missing an s in cranesbill! x

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the advice. One small trim coming up inthe morning! They are so pretty!

      Delete
  5. I love it when you do N.Norfolk posts. It is a very special place and as we are going again at the end of June your beautiful photographs have whetted my appetite for the wide open spaces - it can't come soon enough for me. Thank you for the pictorial tour. Magic.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the shot of the blue and white boat. Glad you were so inspired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thx, it always seems to work its magic!

      Delete
  7. Pleasure, have a fabulous time - have you eaten at the Wiveton Bell? Really yummy (and, if you like historical things, a ship left for the Spanish Armada from behind the church when the sea came right into Wiveton!). The cafe at Wiveton Hall fruit farm is lovely too. x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm loving the images here, Belinda! Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Alex, big compliment from a pro! x

    ReplyDelete