Back near the start of the year, I caught a news item that Storm Eleanor had caused significant erosion along the ‘Seven Sisters’ coast. The worst impact turned out to be at Birling Gap. I’m more familiar with the Cuckmere end. I also got confused by a report of dangerous slippage that – it turned out - related to a Korean student who lost her footing when being photographed by a friend (sadly, falling 200 feet). Not quite false news, but close.
|The official tourist brochure photo|
After Mary and I had been on the morning ‘field trip’ to Castle Hill, we’d also been to Shirley’s amazing sixth-floor apartment for an evening meal. I thought that Mary would be content with a quiet day thereafter. But she wanted to revisit another chalky grasslands site, which turned out to be Seaford Head. We packed some lunch and the walking sticks, coated up with sun block, and headed off.
Mary soon gets absorbed in the countryside. So all I had to do was let her saunter off, inspecting this, photographing that, and generally soaking up everything. I sat on a bench in the sun, and did not much other than look out over Cuckmere Haven while skylarks provided the soundtrack. Squinting into the distance at the Seven Sisters, it did look as though there was more cliff fall than I remembered from previous visits. However, I wouldn’t judge it serious enough to disallow any former paintings or photos of the landmark.
|My snapshot in the hazy heat|
Mary wandered back. She was clutching a blue somewhat prickly flower that she’d picked, having failed to identify it. At home, after searching books, we were still no wiser, though I would opt for meadow clary. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the specimen had wilted in the heat. Looking at the reddened state of my arms and neck, so had I.