While the sea may be the same globally-unfied expanse of water wherever it laps and wanders around the world, the nature and appearance of the sea as it washes up upon a shore will differ widely from beach to beach. While on the Mediterranean shores, sandy beaches and clement conditions are conducive to crystal clear seas tinted cerulean by the sunny skies, in England in the winter, the waters of the South Coast take on an altogether more electrifying, menacing quality. And yet those waters, while not inviting the viewer in amongst their freezing watery fold, are nonetheless as enticing as the sea in a warmer location.
So on Christmas morning, with the meat left roasting in the oven, and the family table freshly laid with a Christmas centrepiece made from lustrous winter foliage and gold candles, I was drawn to the Sussex Coast, which happens to be a mere minute from my family home. The weather was not unreasonable, but the beach was frosty and cold. Its waves were charged with so much energy that the water’s edge frothed and bubbled as it collapsed upon the stoney shore – so much so that it reminded me of egg whites whipped manically into meringue. Its wooden groins were almost totally submerged by the sand which had been newly hurled up upon the beach; Its plentiful pebbles were freshly scattered with shells gifted to the shore by the depths of the ocean.
As ever, I was on hand with my camera to capture these details. For Christmas Day is not just about the glitter and gold, but about taking time out from the busy schedule of the festivities to appreciate people, and nature, and the gifts of the season.
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