Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seaham England

 After being home for a month from a trip to England I am finally getting back to my blog to post a few pictures and  remember some special highlights of the trip. Seaham is a small town in the northeast of England  on the North Sea. The reason we went there was to try to find sea glass, and there was certainly plenty of it to be found. An artist who makes jewelry from the glass met us there and showed us around. (Her work can be seen here.)
The above picture shows smaller pebbles and pieces of rounded glass that are plentiful on the beach
 This pile of pebbles gives a good idea of the assortment of rocks on the beach. I have never seen so many different kinds of rocks in one place. I cannot imagine how so many different and beautiful rocks all came to be in one place. In fact, I found the rocks so attractive that I had a hard time keeping my mind on the glass hunting. (And I collected too many rocks to bring home with me. They proved to be quite an added weight to haul around for the next 2 weeks.)

Sea cave on the beach at Seaham
There are several caves along the beach and they are interesting and made me think what a great place to play pirates!
The glass factory that began over 200 years ago at Seaham  made glass  of all different colors for about 100 years. For a hundred years broken, imperfect, and leftover glass was simply tossed into the sea.The sea rolled and tossed the glass and turned it into frosted gems that lie on the beach today. There are all colors of glass, but clear or white is the most common, followed by shades of light green, the color of old canning jars.  Laws were passed that governed what the various colored bottles were used for. Cobalt was used to store poisons, acid was put in bright red or orange bottles. Ink was sold in bright green, purple, and yellow.

A long view of the beach at Seaham
 This is a view of the harbor where barges were being loaded with recyclables at the time we were there. It was a very busy working place, besides being beautiful

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lyme Regis in England

 We stayed at the Kersbrook B&B in Lyme Regis and it had a thatched roof. Some of the thatched roofs I saw had some kind of mesh or wire laid on top of the thatch, but ours did not. I wondered if the mesh was to keep birds off, but really have no other explanation. The tiny garden behind the B&B was wonderful.
The hills are very steep coming up from the harbor, and almost anywhere you go you will be going straight up or down. When we arrived and had to walk up to our B&B, I thought I would never be able to make it dragging that heavy rock filled suitcase. Each time after that it was easier. I suspect it may have gotten easier  because I had a better idea of how far it was and also because I was not dragging those rocks!

This is a picture of the harbor at Lyme Regis with the boats, all so picturesque. We had walked around sightseeing and then went to lunch for about an hour. When we came out what we saw in in the picture below. The harbor wall in both pictures is called The Cobb and was made famous by Jane Austen's book Persuasion. The aquarium is the building on the seaward side of the wall in the third picture.

The boats were all sitting on the bottom and there was NO water. I was pretty startled. The man who ran the aquarium laughed and started telling people that we came from a place that had no tides. They have 12-16 foot tides (whereas the Gulf has 2-3 foot tides) and this is a daily occurrence there. A boat had tried to come into the harbor while the tide was too low and got stuck in the shallow water. A tractor drove out to the harbor entrance and pulled it in. All rock bottom, it seems.

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