Rottingdean’s beach last Sunday was covered with all kinds of curious seaweed. Here and there a slipper shell and a few wrinkled crab husks their undersides a bright sky blue. Further along there was a pearly white well worn oyster shell, two cuttlefish, an empty black and a grey mussel case. Found a few coloured pencils and made a quick sketch.
Rottingdean has had to cope with a such a lot of change recently but the small local businesses are still thriving! Luckily visitors and the locals are keen to support the local cafes. Open Art Cafe (which also sells crafts and cards) Beyond with its unusual decor is on the coast road and several others on the High Street.
Near the beach there is a little shop selling wonderful ice cream and useful things such as beach shoes and nets for those who want to take a closer look at the wonders of the rock pools.
The Parc shop raises funds for local charities and, as well as bric-a-brac and a few clothes, it has a brilliant ever-changing array of secondhand books!
Worth popping into the Grange Art Gallery and Museum. Rudyard Kipling and all that! There are regular art exhibitions too and, currently you can still see a display of the historic marionettes from the film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ for just another couple of weeks before they vanish… probably forever!
Lovely to wander through Kipling Gardens, then walk back along the High Street, browse through the books, bric-a-brac, jewelry, small gifts and memorabilia at the Emporium in the High Street. This shop used to be called Farthings and we were so sad when it closed a few months ago.
Luckily a similar enterprise has taken its place which looks and feels the same with individual cabinets filled with a whole range of goodies at modest prices. All that seems to have changed is the name.
Oh and I just loved these swings at Rottingdean’s Annual Fair a few weeks ago. Wonderful wooden boats traditionally painted a bright yellow.
I first discovered swing boats at the the Hampstead Heath Fair in the late 40s.
As one gets older one tends to get nostalgic – you have been warned!
Swings and Roundabouts (late 40s)
trailing over Hampstead Heath
to the fair, the music drifting up from
the roundabouts, the thrill of the swing
boats, rifles at the ready for men to be
men and knock down the moving targets
in an attempt to win a solitary goldfish
in a plastic bag, the hoopla with furry
toys impossible to win, the mechanical
bird sitting in his gilded cage singing his
clockwork song ready to pick a fortune
written on a tiny piece of paper for a
threepenny piece placed in a gypsy’s