A couple of days after Christmas I re-visited this classic view of the Seven Sisters cliffs with my son. This must be the third or fourth year in a row that we have used a fine day just after Christmas day to have a good walk together. This view has been photographed, painted, and published as a Postcard, Poster or Illustration countless times and still it grabs my attention. In the foreground are the old Coastguard cottages, the beach (extreme left) is Cuckmere Haven, and from there the Seven Sisters stretch into the distance. The furthest dip in the line of the cliffs is Birling Gap.
This headline image doesn’t scream ‘nice day’. It’s all a bit grey, but for once we got the weather spot-on. As usual we were late setting off for the one-hour drive to the parking area on Seaford Head, where we munched our way through sandwiches. By then it was already 2.30pm with about an hour and a half of daylight left. But what a glorious ninety minutes of light we had ahead of us.
The sun made an appearance, and the views out to sea were superb. The soft light of a wintry sun really does result in some glorious images. We walked along the cliffs away from Seven Sisters towards the town of Seaford – a walk I’ve never done before. The compressed view of the cliffs from the classic site doesn’t really give a good impression of the length of this particular piece of coastline; but as we walked the views back to the cliffs really opened out and we started to get a far better impression.
The sky was magnificent too.
The light started to change all too soon and as we turned round just on the edge of the drop into Seaford, the light warmed up and what I would call an Alpine Glow slowly turned the white cliffs to gold. The Alpine Glow, as it’s known, is a familiar sight in the Alps when the snow-capped peaks are lit up by the setting sun, but I’ve never experienced that effect on an English landscape quite as good as this.
This was a special day. January is not a month renowned for special days, and since then the sun has been conspicuous by its absence. The days have been dull and grey. It’s the season when we want to hibernate. I took a two week break from WordPress which seems to have stretched into a whole month. Once you stop blogging, it isn’t easy to get started again! I’ve not achieved a great deal this month apart from printing a lot of B&W images and preparing entries into club competitions and for a forthcoming club exhibition.