Eclectic Newhaven, East Sussex, Saturday 10 May 2014
We never got to Brighton today. Perhaps tomorrow. But we have enjoyed our activities and visits just hanging out in Newhaven town with Jacky, up close and personal. This is a long post. Enjoy the many collages of photos from this wonderful photo op day!
After a rainy morning, I took a walk with Jacky to explore her garden and deliver laundry to her friend Pete who offered to dry it for us. Pictures of his colorful garden included a sundial, birdbath, and headless knight. Rock walls and flowery yards were everywhere.
Walking about Newhaven Town Center, my favorite was, of course, the harbor at low tide.
While waiting for Rachel to get off the laptop, I took pictures of all the eclectic collections that fill Jacky’s impressionable home.
Jacky’s house is full of bright colors and reflected light; dolls, plants, crafts, her impressive water colors, and all manner of collections.
She’s also a remarkable gardener, skilled at plant lore and culture. Our favorite was the Nemesia which smells like vanilla!
Then I took a run down to the marsh and onto the levee that overlooks the commercial harbor, marveling at all the boats floundering on the mud at low tide, a most curious sight. This is a working harbor, filled with old derelicts, working class boats, and boat yards, not at all like the modern small craft marina near the quay.
Returning via the back alleys yielded additional textures and pastel colors of this working class neighborhood. The neighbor’s grey manx cat succumbed contentedly to fur scritching, but its purr was on holiday.
We loaded up on groceries for the next two days on our way home from our afternoon outing when we walked past the small craft marina out to the end of the quay in a half-gale force wind out to the lighthouse. I ran hard pushing in futility against the stiff breeze to cross the car park to the rocky shore to feel the cool foamy water, then practically floated back with the wind at my back. The only sandy beach for a hundred miles has been deposited inside the sheltered arms of the jetty, but the narrow stairs in disrepair have been sealed off, causing no small controversy amongst the locals.
An excellent excercise circuit by the football field attracted our our full participation, and I caught Rachel in motion having gangs of fun. The public restrooms had no sinks, but came equipped with a single machine that has soap, wash, and dry settings. Ingenious!
We also drove up to the top of the bluffs to see the Newhaven Fort and the National Coastwatch tower overlooking the white-capped coast. The sweeping views from the edge of the chalky bluffs were rewarding, but I lost sight of the girls, going back twice to the fort and the cliffs and still not finding them. They had traversed lower trails to avoid the wind, discovering a “fairy trail” through the verdure, as an enchanted Rachel called them.
Just before dark, I made one more foray to brave the breeze before the mast and picture the harbor with the water restored, boats afloat, the muddy bottom submerged again by the incoming tide. The symphony of clanging rigging was truly harmonious, and I was renewed. All in all, Newhaven is just my kind of unpretentious working class town, filled with interesting row houses, old boats, and diverse textures of rock walls and fences, not yet renewed or polished, and filled with genuine charm.
Rachel and Susan have been lively and poor Jacky seldom gets a break from our constant questions, language comparisons, and storytelling, but she gives what she gets and is a great hostess. We consumed a sumptuous meal of lemon butter and herb sautéed haddock, with steamed new potatoes, asparagus, and string beans. How rewarding!
And now it’s time to sort out hundreds of more pictures. Goodnight, midnight.