Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Come to sunny Dorset?

This paper is one from Falkiners, ( gratuitous mention!) it’s a Japanese Chiyogami, which I have actually used before but in a black/red colour way. I think I like the black one best but the yellow is very Spring-like and jolly. They remind me of a Rennie Macintosh design.

Now then, brace yourselves for another Dorset geography lesson! I went for a walk this morning the sun was shining although rain was forecast, so it seemed churlish not to make the most of the beautiful weather we have been having. I went to my favourite spot, Hive Beach (my header image was taken there) but instead of walking along the beach to the east (as in my header image) I went to the west. The tide was in so I couldn’t walk along the beach. I walked along the cliff tops instead. The cliffs are amazing, they are made of layers of sandstone and are called Hive cliffs.

These are some other photographs I took a while back when the tide was out.

It’s a lovely walk along the cliff top but the edge is very dangerous at it is crumbling and prone to slipping.

I think you will agree that the views are very special. I do have a big problem though. The footpath eventually leads to this.

A huge caravan park (it’s about 4 or 5 times the size you can see on this photograph) and in my mind it’s a huge blot on the landscape. I know it’s only fair to share this beautiful coast and I know that I am very lucky to live in an area where people pay to come on holiday but really! These caravans are so ugly and so WHITE! No attempt to blend into the landscape. I must admit they are my pet hate. But then on my way back, I passed this

The white houses are on the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach, one is a hotel and the other is a house belonging the Billy Bragg, the singer. Every time I walk past them I wish I lived there.

Today I thought “Actually, are they any less of a blot on the landscape?’ They are also big and white and I suppose spoil the view – perhaps not so much as a huge caravan park covering acres of land but they are just as conspicuous in their way. Am I being a hypocrite? Or even worse, a snob? What do you think?

22 responses to “Come to sunny Dorset?

  1. Daddy Papersurfer April 10, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I hate to say this …….. but we’ve just had an offer accepted on a cliff top house, well bungalow really – tee hee. When we clear some small trees, bushes and brambles, we’ll be able to see the sea. Hopefully nothing will go wrong ……. touch wood and cross eyes.
    The TG says I can have a shed as well – yippee.

  2. susanne49 April 10, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    That’s a very nice and pleasant place to take a walk at the beach!

  3. Teresa April 10, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Both big, out-of-place, white things can be considered a blot on the land, with the white houses less so just because of scale, as you mentioned. My husband tries to get structures in colors of the land – green tent, brown shed, etc. He’d blanch (no pun intended) at the sight of those caravans (I guess we call them RVs here in the States).

    While I think the secret binding takes a lot of skill, I have to say I prefer your books with the bows. :) The red bows on the red and black book are perfect!

    What a gorgeous day you had there; did it start raining after all?

  4. Lady Banana April 10, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Who needs to be going abroad when you have such beautiful places to visit here at home!

    If only the weather was reliable..

  5. Diane April 10, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    DP – actually, I think I am about to answer my own question – I would move into the white house on the cliff top tomorrow (but would draw the line at co-habiting with Billy Bragg in order to do so) I envy you your new place and hope it all goes smoothly…..and you get your shed :-)

    Susanne – it is indeed!

    Teresa – my point exactly, if the caravans/RV’s were camouflaged a little by being green or brown or made of wood it wouldn’t be so bad…

    I like making the ribbon books I must admit but every so often I feel I ought to make an effort to try something new….

    No, it clouded over but no rain. Why are the forecasts so rubbish? In this case, I’m glad they were though :-)

  6. Diane April 10, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Lady B – I know, there are so many gorgeous places to visit in the UK but the weather is so dodgy. If we get the Mediterranean climate we have been warned against, I’d find it hard to complain I must admit ;-)

  7. tulibri April 10, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Diane, you lucky one! We’re having such a crappy weather here, ever since I came back from holiday (where the weather wasn’t much of a pleasure, either). Winter had a startover at Easter and didn’t leave until last week … BTW, that black chiyogami had since ever reminded me of Rennie Macintoshs roses. I wonder – who was inspired by whom :)

  8. Diane April 10, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    They keep saying we are going to have rain, snow, winter is coming back – and it does for a day – and then the sun comes out again. I love it. After the horrible summer we had last year, it’s nice to see the sun again :-)

    I’ll send some your way….

  9. Lunes April 11, 2008 at 9:40 am

    You are neither a hypocrite nor a snob but someone who is passionate about their part of the world! If you could buy on a cliff top would you? If you had to live in a static caravan where would you choose – the edge of a town centre or way up high on a cliff top? Kylee x

  10. Diane April 11, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Yes, I confess I would love to live on a cliff top but I also have a passion for barn conversions so if I was offered a barn conversion on a cliff top (preferable one not crumbling away!) then I would jump at the chance….

    …as for static caravans, I wish they could be replaced by something made of wood so that they blended into the landscape a bit more.

    Oh and I’d still need a nice town nearby. With good shops – including a Waitrose and an M&S.

    Don’t want much do I? :-)

  11. Creechman April 11, 2008 at 10:44 am

    What is aesthetically pleasing is hard to describe. You just know it when you see it. :)

  12. Durano Lawayan April 11, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Diane,

    This is a beautiful place. I can understand why you would feel the caravan park is a blight on the scenery. It’ is something you’d like to share and show around, but at the same time feel a little peeved when non-residents stay too long and pollute the place. You’re so lucky to have such a grand view of a wonderfully crafted piece of the planet.

    Somehow it reminds me of a scene in a movie. Did Donald Sutherland shoot a film here sometime ago? Something about him being a Nazi spy pretending to be English?

    Anyway, nice photos and nice book cover. I like the yellow one too. :-) –Durano, done!

  13. Diane April 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Creechman – so true. It probably explains why the caravan park offends me but the house doesn’t….

    Durano – I don’t mind them staying – I’m an ‘incomer’ myself, I’ve only lived here for 14 years or so, I just wished the caravans weren’t so white and ugly! It’s so beautiful otherwise.

    Do you mean ‘The Eagle has Landed’? He was an Irish man working with the Nazis to kidnap Churchill in that one – it was filmed in Cornwall which is the South West of England – sort of my neck of the woods. Or he was a Nazi spy in ‘Eye of the Needle’ but I see that was filmed in Scotland.

    Either way the UK coastline is rather gorgeous – I am just very protective of my bit – the Jurassic Coast – it has been designated a World Heritage Site after all, so i must be special!

  14. strugglingwriter April 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t know how I missed this post. Sorry!

    Great photographs.

    The huge caravan park does seem like a blot and the houses seem more like an accent.

  15. Teresa April 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    The weather, like humans, is hard to predict. ;) Glad it didn’t pour on you though!

  16. writinggb April 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t know. It’s more than the whiteness and bigness, isn’t it? Caravans are also symbolic of so much that is ugly — factory-made rather than hand-crafted, cold metal rather than warm wood, transitory use of land rather than integration with landscape.

    No, you’re not being hypocritical!

  17. Diane April 11, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Paul – I’m always impressed that you are usually the first to comment! Glad you like the photographs. The caravan park is a blot – and on such a pretty beach too…

    Teresa – it’s still not rained – even though it was forecast again today – very odd…

    writinggb – that’s it in a nutshell! If the caravans were chalet/cabin like, made of wood so that they blended into the hillside, they would look so much better. The houses are permanent, (at least until the cliff crumbles) and are built with materials that will weather – the stone they are built from will become part of the landscape.
    Yes – your comment sums up the difference perfectly :-)

  18. Jenny April 12, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Lovely photos! Of the books and the cliffs!

    You’re neither a hypocrite nor a snob … but who can blame all who are able for wanting to take in that incredible view? On the other hand, the caravan park is most distressing. Seeing all the other caravans would ruin the view for me completely. But I guess you could take your lawn chair and refreshments out to the beach and sit with your back to all of them …

  19. Diane April 12, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I know, I’m torn with wanting to share Dorset with everyone and wanting to keep it uncrowded!

    I can just make sure that I only walk where I can’t see the caravan park but people who go there on holiday don’t have that luxury…

    Glad you like the books and the photographs :-)

  20. Durano Lawayan April 12, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Diane,

    Yes, I was referring to “Eye of the Needle” from the book of the same title. Thanks for the correction. It looks very similar though.

    And yes, I can”t agree with you more about being protective. It’s what we ask coastline dwellers to do, to be protective of their environment and not to over fish.

    Besides, living there for 14 years qualifies as a resident, definitely.You can lay claim to it !
    :-)–Durano, done!

  21. Heather April 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Wonderful photos, of a beautify location!!!

    I understand your feelings regarding the caravan park…I live on a lake so I know what if feels like to want to keep the area special!!! I suppose we have to share…but something low rise that blended with the landscape would be much preferred!

    Your books are lovely…Heather

  22. Diane April 14, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Heather – glad you like the books – and I agree with your comment. I love living by water – I have a river running through my garden too!

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