Saturday, 27 December 2014

OOTD: The Breeze & I

This post is probably one of my favourites in a while. Not only because I had so much fun taking photographs, but because it sort of depicts the heart of what The Salty Sea Blog is about at the moment. It combines ocean inspired real memory photographs that document the beauty and poetry I find in the great outdoors, but also a sense of personal style and finding ones identity in those things. I find my identity in Cornwall, the sea, exploring, myths and stories but also writing and art. I recently wrote a story for my degree inspired by the little fairy folk that live down the mines (Knockers) and one day I'll share it with you. I achieved a whopping 80% (First) on my degree for it, so I'm currently stashing it away for a childrens fiction writing competition. But to the point, I'm delighted to share with you a variety of photographs from mine and Georges Christmas Eve ramble along the coast paths near to where I grew up. 


Monday, 22 December 2014

On The River Sessions

Back in the early autumn, I spent an incredibly dreamy afternoon in a magical nook of South Cornwall with a great local band called Loose Change. Photographing musicians is something I love because I adore live music, so when George's step mum Niki asked me to come along with them to document an 'informal jam' on the river... of course I was game. We drove over to St.Anthony which is on the creek. I absolutely love this part of the Helford because it combines two things I love, the river and the sea. We came down snorkeling here one evening last year and my toes got pinched by a 'dear' little crab. It's such a tremendously beautiful spot and there's a little peninsula you can access through a secret path where there's a sneakily hidden vardo and some people have been known to camp here. We set up our little jamming zone and a bonfire as it was a chilly day (summer was on its way out) and it was wonderful just paddling in the river, snapping real moments and listening to the people I love making  beautiful music. 
Sarah and Jem (The Guitarist/bassist/violinist) are close friends of the family and make homemade apple juice for their little brand 'Helford Creek'. They make the juice on their own farm and if you're a local to Cornwall, you will definitely recognise their products on the shelves! (They also happen to make my favourite Elderflower pressé). This trio are fabulous company and this has to be the best musician sessions I've ever been a part of. 

 I should probably add that their band is called 'Loose Change' and they perform all over Cornwall. Of course George and I and the rest of the family are number one fans.

 Niki is fearless. George honestly has the coolest stepmum ever. If you can ever count consistently on someone to be up for any adventure and jumping in the ocean clothes and all, it's Niki. We've spent many a summer evening snorkelling/bathing down at Godrevy cove with one of her best friends Mariette. I have such a small family and being  my dads only child, it's such an exciting contrast being around Georges enormous clan. I love all the adventures we have, the silliness and the banter. Also, they seem to know every single secret cove and creek in Cornwall so life is never ever boring.

Please don't labour under the false delusion that I'm a violinist. I had lessons for about two years at University but I am terrible and lack commitment when it comes to practicing. Niki got a few sneaky shots of me practicing (Terribly) on Sarah's violin, but at this moment the peace and tranquility of the river was shattered by the sound of lamenting siamese cats (my playing).

It's the middle of the winter, and now George is in Bath with me I have run out of excuses for regularly darting back to Cornwall. I'm counting down the days already for the Easter holidays because the weather will be milder again and I can get back to my favourite 'laughing places'. I love winter when it A) snows B) is stormy C) is calm and clear but I only have two precious weeks and so far, this wind and mizzle is unrelenting.  Snow in Cornwall is about as common as Rocking horse droppings so hopefully my only silver lining of returning to Bath is the potential for a white wonderland! 


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Friday, 19 December 2014

Welcome Home

The storms welcomed me back. I arrived home late Sunday evening and it was blowing a hoolie. It's now Wednesday, and that very same hoolie is still a blowin'. There was a momentary stillness on Monday evening where we went to Goonhilly downs and the sky cleared. We could see the milky way, the constellations and the infinity and dammit I had missed that sky. We glimpsed a few strays from the previous nights meteor showers and with that entire twinkling abyss above me, I hoped the world might turn upside down so I could fall into it. The downs were terrifying by dark. Even surrounded by George and the family, the howling wind made me think of wild wolves, monsters and ghosts. We stood near the spot where the Highwayman's ghost is rumored to linger and despite it being just a local myth, I didn't feel so brave on the wild downs in the pitch black. But the stars made it better. 

After three consecutive days of blustery gales and rain, we decided that we weren't going to succumb to cabin fever. We had to remind ourselves that we were wild, weathered and Cornish. I refused to believe that the city had turned me soft. Shrugging on winter coats, boots and layers under our jeans we hopped into Charlie my little yellow car and trundled off to a nearby cove to explore. 

Poltesco could  be tricky to find if you didn't already know about it. I had carpooled a bunch of kids there the previous day because the National Trust run a 'Bush Craft' club (I wish I was 13 years younger!) and even though the hoolie was still blowing... George and I decided to take Bobby, his dog for a walk. It's down on the Southern Lizard Peninsula near Kuggar. The smell of the sea in the winds is something I always notice after being away for a long time.

Pony friends. George wanted them to moonwalk like the dancing pony from an old advert, but the best display we got was one doing an interested bum-scratch dance against a picnic bench.

Georges Dad is a stone mason, and this being an old Serpentine works is naturally one of their families favourite haunts. I'm always super surprised by the Sanger boys' insane knowledge of stones and general geology and it makes me realise how little I actually know about this incredible natural world. Sure, I could tell you the French word for 'slippers', tell you all about the poem 'The Kraken' and probably name any creature from Cornish folklore that you throw at me. But it's the real world I struggle with, and that's the most important realm of all. It's there, right in front of you. All this insanely powerful and awe inspiring land, sea, wind and trees. Everything. It's so big, I'm so small and I just want to know everything there is to know about it. Just to be in it. A tiny thing, unimportant and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But know my place, and be happy there. That's all I really want out of life. To surround myself with the incredible natural world (And maybe be a mermaid).

This is a line from a song I love by 'Gregory Alan Isakov'. It's the kind of jolly song that I can listen to in the city, or by the sea and it always fills me with a great sense of belonging, of place and love. Sometimes, when it's just us on an enormous beach or in the winter by a stormy cove, it's easy to fool myself into thinking it's all mine, The great big Ocean. But that's fools thinking, and I have to remind myself, It's me that really, belongs to the Ocean. And I always will do.

I'm beginning to feel unsure that we'll see the back of this Gale during our stay at home this winter. It's going to involve alot of stormy rambles and grey dreary pictures that seem melancholy and austere. I promise you, I find much joy and adventure in the storm and the grey. We are explorers when the lands are empty and it makes it all the better to pretend that it's true and we are the only ones that exist in it.

The winds dropped for a while and we were able just to sit and watch for ages. We sat, and we watched and dreamed until the rain came back. I don't mind the rain when I'm out, but with the rain came the wind and Bobby is only a small dog. I think it's entirely possibly that he could get blown away.

Now we're tucked up warm indoors while random objects are blown around the neighborhood and the palm trees in the garden sway about cheerfully. This is the time for story writing. Less than a week to Christmas, and less than a week til the traditional arctic plunge that is the Coverack Christmas day swim! Ooh lala. I really hope the storm subsides for that at least! Although I should think it exciting to swim in a storm.

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