It was just our luck that the day we drove to Eastbourne it would be foggy. Weather in England is always a bit of a gamble. One day it’s clear skies and winter sun, the next it’s constant drizzle and cloud all the way to the horizon. But, when it came time for us to see the coast and the amazing steep white cliffs, the fog rolled in to hide it all.
I’m not that familiar with fog, having only experienced it on one or two occasions in my entire life, so even though I was disappointed that our coastal trip was a bit ruined, the fog did hold some interest. There’s something kind of amazing about seeing the distance just fade away into white, ghosting as if it were not there at all. On the motorway, it’s enough to make me clamp my jaw and look away as cars emerge and disappear into the fog like wraiths. On the coast it’s a little more gentle. The waves break on a black pebble beach, and the cliffs fade away into the distance, with contrast providing more than enough for sight.
Luckily, the fog is not so close and cloying that we can’t see anything that Eastbourne has to offer. Dean and I take a wander along the pebbles as the tide roars and rises before us. It’s hard to walk on the rocks, and having spent most of my time at sand beaches, I’m still not used to it. It’s even harder to do it bundled up against the cold. I have a few close calls. Dean falls in very briefly.
The cliffs look fragile up close, as though they’re about to crumble into the ocean entirely. In the visitors centre, we can see just how much this coastline has changed in the last few years. It’s really incredible to see how the sea is shaping Eastbourne, just as it shapes everywhere. At the Seven Sisters, the spot we’ve picked to watch the waves, entire houses are missing in photographs showing the coast last year. The sea has reclaimed the land, and soon it might reclaim it all.
There’s not much we can do about that kind of power, so we just walk along the beach, picking up interesting stones to compare them as we fight shivers and think about warm beverages in the future. A foggy day at an English beach. Eastbourne is definitely somewhere I’d like to return to though, perhaps in the summer when nothing is there to hide those cliffs from me. One day.