I spent a great deal of time watching the sea when we first moved to this house in August 2012. I’d spend an hour or so unpacking boxes and then go and sit on the front steps to gaze at the water. It was an incredibly stressful time – transferring our lives from a neat, ‘finished’ house in London to a ramshackle house/project in a quiet seaside village, finding new schools for the children, a new work commute – and it took us all quite a while before we felt at home here. Throughout this settling-in period, the sea, that massive ever-changing body of water, was a hugely comforting presence for me. I’d always dreamed of living by the sea and now we had a house where I could see the sea from my bed, where I could stand at a window and watch ships pass, weather fronts approach and dark-blue shadows from clouds slowly move over a blue-green expanse. On a moonlit night, the sea looks as though it’s swirling in all directions. It really is mesmerising. And the skies! From the first cracks of bright orange on the horizon at dawn, to the reflected pink in the clouds at sunset, to the blue-black starry skies at night (so many stars), it is all captivating.

On clear days, we can clearly see France and almost imagine how a cross-Channel-swimmer might think it’s a sensible distance to swim (it is in fact 21 miles and a very busy shipping lane). Sometimes, when it’s very rainy, you can’t see where the sea stops and the sky begins; when it’s foggy, they both disappear. From the garden I can hear the waves rolling or crashing onto the pebble beach below and it’s immensely soothing to listen to the sound of the waves through an open window on a summer’s night as I drift off to sleep. It’s not so soothing in a force 8 gale but it is always awe-inspiring.

I have grown accustomed to the view over the past three years and spend less time standing and watching the sea than I did. But whenever I’m feeling off-kilter or need a little boost, I stop, look and soak it all in and I’ll always take a peek when I’m rushing past a window. And this week, thanks to the broken toe, I have plenty of time to stop and stare. I took these photos* throughout the day today (before it went too dark at 4.30pm to take any more) so I could share my view with you.

(* apologies for the mucky lens – school-girl error.) 

39 thoughts on “Sea-gazing

  1. Stunning photos! And as a fellow seaside dweller I know exactly what you mean – it’s never the same and always inspiring.
    Enjoy your enforced idleness, I’m sure you’ll be busy running around again soon!


  2. Oh what a view! I imagine it’s stunning whatever the weather. And how sensible of you to make something positive of your enforced lack of mobility. I hope you’re mending steadily, and can enjoy a slower pace of life for a bit.


  3. Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing Sam. A view of the sea is wonderful. I’ve been thinking a lot about our new old cottage now work has calmed down a bit. I need to find the energy and vision I had in the summer and early autumn and we need to walk up the hill behind the cottage from where we can see in the distance the North Downs (which will always be home to me) and in the other direction the sea. Reading you talk about swapping your neat finished home for a project has inspired me to think yes, we can do it. I hope your toe is getting better and you are not tempted to do too much too soon. Sarah x


  4. Absolutely gorgeous. It would be dream come true for me to live by the sea, I can imagine how amazing it must be, I would completely love it. Your photos are wonderful, and you’ve written about it so beautifully. Thank you for sharing. CJ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am lucky enough to be able to share a very similar view of the sea on the south east coast from time to time and although it is not near enough to hear the waves, it is possible to see the sun rising out of the horizon and I still find that amazing as a whole life city dweller where the sun only rises out of rooftops an hour or so later.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know exactly how you feel. The view constantly changes and when I am stressed just looking at the sea makes things feel better. The sunrise looked good this morning when I got down to the beach it had almost vanished! Sarah x


  7. So much empty space! I love empty space. I look out on a sea loch and like you, appreciate the way it is always changing. Your photographs are beautiful


  8. I miss my sea view and even the sea sounds that I used to love about a previous home. Unfortunately after the severe storms that destroyed a lot of the cliffs and homes on our Cornish coastline, I had to be sensible and move further inland. I now live in a village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, but thankfully I can still drive to a beach within half an hour.
    Beautiful view and photos that you have posted here – with definitely more blue in them than my recent ones! Grey, grey, grey – but only to be expected in November on the Moor, I guess.


  9. What a fantastic place to live with such views. The big compensation for a dismal month of November is the wonderful skies. And did you see the fantastic full moon this week?
    Good luck with your toe. I have broken 2 big toes and 1 little toe on various occasions because I never wear shoes in the house and obviously I don’ t look where I am going. Goodness, but it is painful.


    1. The moon was fabulous, wasn’t it? Oh my goodness – your poor toes! Yes, it is flipping painful. Ridiculously limiting, too, for such a small part of the body. I shall be wearing thick slippers indoors from now on…


  10. I grew up with a sea view and would give much to return to Falmouth. Nowadays I can see the sun rise over Dartmoor and am very grateful every morning when I open the curtains.


  11. I grew up in New York near the ocean, but have lived in the landlocked Midwest for over 30 years. I can completely understand your feelings about the sea, Here at least we have Lake Michigan, which is enormous, but there’s a flavor you get from salt water that no fresh water body can duplicate, no matter how large. Beautiful pictures.


    1. We are very fortunate Jennifer. I’ve spent my life moving around and mostly living in urban areas, so it feels as though we’ve landed in a very special place. Any time you’re in the UK, come and visit!


  12. Hi, just popping over from the Summerhouse by the sea, we do indeed share the same corner of the world, you have such a wonderful view. I hope you’re toe is on the mend, I’m just getting over a ankle fracture, so I feel you’re pain.
    Clare x


  13. It’s the second time I’m trying to leave a comment. I may do something wrong…Anyway. Your sea views are amazing, I also leave by the sea and can share your love for it.
    Happy new month and thanks for visiting.


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