The UK often describes itself as a sea-faring nation. We are an island people. We feel drawn to the sea. I live more or less dead centre in the UK – it’s a three-hour drive to reach the sea in any direction. That may not sound far to many of you reading this, but on congested roads it’s a long day trip. I haven’t seen the sea so far this year except from an airplane. I miss it.
I was going through the archive over the weekend in between watching Wimbledon, The Tour de France and the British Grand Prix. You can’t escape the Grand Prix where I live – it’s less than five miles away and the noise, like a swarm of angry bees, is hard to ignore. In addition the Red Arrows flew directly over our house repeatedly as they performed one of their memorable displays.
I was looking at the sea on my screen and found this image.
I remember the day very clearly although it was four years ago. This was taken at Littlehampton on the south coast not far from Brighton. It was autumn. One of those days when the weather couldn’t really make up its mind what mood it was in. There was no wind to speak of. The sun came and went, but it wasn’t warm. The clouds rolled by – some benign, some not so benign. Was it going to rain or wasn’t it? The sea was indifferent, almost moody. And far out to sea the light flickered between the clouds. It was a minimalist scene. I watched the light – a swathe of crepuscular rays – and shot the image.