16. 11. 19

Seventeen wooden benches clamped to concrete bases, set along the gravel path. They all share the same view; causeway, island, lighthouse, off shore wind turbines. Small shrines nestle in the corners of several benches. Plastic flowers, resin angels, metal hearts, the painted surfaces long since scoured by wind and rain. Plaques attached to the back of each bench, dedications to the dead: remembered with love/at the place she loved best/watching the tide in peace.

More benches are scattered along the gravel track skirting the cliff, all with their own dedications, memories.

Follow the path passing the Old Butts, overgrown earth mounds, hawthorn, dog rose, brambles colonising what was once meant for target practice. Look carefully and you can see the remnants of a wooden trackway, slatted wood disappearing beneath grass and earth. The mounds are fenced off now, cliff subsidence rendering unsafe what was once a playground. In places the older path has slipped into the sea.

Carry on to the steps leading down to table rocks and a beach, uncovered at low tide. A man appears at the top carrying a bucket full of winkles. ‘Not for me,’ he says. ‘Can’t stand the bloody things.’ 

Down on the rocks, out of sight, but still with a view of the lighthouse, someone has left a folding metal chair, a rusting pick axe head positioned in an attempt to secure the chair. A thoughtful gesture, and a lovely place to sit for a while. Quiet, peaceful. That was a couple of days ago, walking along the cliff top today, the chair is lying on its side on weed covered rocks. From this vantage point the tubular frame appears twisted, the canvas torn.