There’s a particular row of terraced houses in Whitstable that always looks particularly decorative at this time of year, the residents of Gladstone Road doing their utmost to bring some light and colour to the darkness. I popped out a few nights back and tried a few things to capture its painterly appeal.
As you walk up the beach towards the West Beach at Whitstable, you pass this impressive row of three storied houses, known as Wavecrest, and every year the residents co-ordinate to put a row of diminutive Christmas trees across the front of their respective houses. It makes for a particularly cheering sight, and I went out there for another muck-about, with the gloom and Wavecrest’s demure light-show as my muse.
Two alternate views of Harbour Street here in Whitstable, in all its glittery splendour. These photographs were taken on the night of December 3rd, as we did our usual quick circuit around the quiet, windswept town.
On a whim one drab December afternoon, we drove out to the nicely forlorn stretch of beach at Seasalter just as the last of the meagre light was leaving the sky. I was after a bit of pre-solstice melancholy and some smudging, so went for long exposures and a touch of de-focusing mid-shot. Lots of grain and seasonal desaturation ensued, and some spectral appearances too.
A little festive offering today, throwing back but a few short days to the last weekend in November, when we gathered with a few of our neighbours for the grand switching on the Albert Street lights… Well, if not grand exactly, then a nice touch nonetheless, with the residents in our short row of terraced houses agreeing to string cascades of glowing icicles along the length of the street. There were even hot mince pies and mugs of mulled wine to stave off the cold – and it was cold, of course, the wind coming straight off the north sea to flap our coats and chase us back inside.
Like something from the end of an MGM or RKO Picture, the sun rays over Whitstable one late summer’s evening.
As the sun slinks lower and the evenings start earlier, I’m contemplating the prospect of winter with a touch of melancholy. Back in the high Summer of 2013, my friends and family paid Whitstable a visit, and it was all fish and chips, wind-burn, and the flying of kites. I look at these photographs today, and even though they are black and white and somewhat dramatised, I remember the heat, the way the noise carried across the shingle, and what a bloody nice day it was.
Okay, so just a few more skyscapes taken from Whitstable beach back in the Summer of 2009, for this week’s blast-from-the-past. Like something from the ceiling of Sistene chapel.
When you live by the sea, in a place famous for its spectacular sunsets, there comes a point where you have to say ‘no more!’. No more photographs of sunsets, however extraordinary. No more photographs of clouds, however painterly! No more! In my defense, these photographs date from 2009, so well before that embargo, and I still remember very clearly how special this particular lightshow was, boasting skyscapes so dramatic they could have come from a John Martin painting.
There’s no way around this. I’m showing off a bit about our narrow, over-stuffed strip of garden at the back of our old narrow end-of-terrace house in Whitstable. With words by Francine Raymond and photographs by Sarah Cuttle, our garden appeared this month on the cover of the Royal Horticultural Society’s The Garden magazine. The general gist of the accompanying article is ‘look how many plants you can cram into a small space!’. Just before putting this post together, I was outside chucking lots of fish, blood and bone about the garden before it started to rain. I smell a lot like cat food now. Oh, the glamour.