Friday, 14 February 2014

Village Grocery, Overcast and Ashdown Forest

"Village Grocery" :- Fresh fruit and vegetables sit outside a greengrocers in the village of Rottingdean on the south coast of England. The afternoon sun picks out the natural colours and the pineapples feel as if they are back home once more as they warm up. Rottingdean's first official mention was when it was recorded in the Domesday Book (which compiled and written in 1086) but it was already in existence then and probably dates from when the Saxons invaded the region in 450- 500 AD. Either way the village is extremely historical and very old. Two of its most famous inhabitants were the renowned Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones and (his nephew) the author Rudyard Kipling.

"Overcast" :- Storm after storm after storm has hit Europe and Britain has been right in the firing line each and every time. I managed to make the most of it a few days ago as the winds dropped and the rain stopped long enough for me to get out and explore the beach to see what damage had been done. The undercliff walk has held up extremely well and it's protected much of the fragile chalk cliffs from the angry seas that have been hammering the coast. The pebbles and sands have shifted a lot, being pushed up towards the sea wall which has exposed more of the shoreline than you would normally expect to see. As I was taking in the sea air this large bank of dark and foreboding cloud moved in and settled right along the line of the cliffs and sending much of Brighton and the surrounding area into dark shadows and on that note I decided it would be a good time to make my way back home.

"Ashdown Forest" :- This is the real 100 Acre Wood and home of Winnie the Pooh. Alan Milne (the author of Winnie the Pooh) bought Cotchford Farm near the village of Hartfield in East Sussex and would often take his son Christopher Robin on long walks through the forest. Christopher Milne later wrote : "Anyone who has read the stories knows the Forest and doesn't need me to describe it. Pooh’s Forest and Ashdown Forest are identical". So somewhere out there you could possibly encounter heffalumps and woozles or even spot a bear covered in mud hanging onto a blue balloon whilst trying desperately to look like a "small black cloud in a blue sky". It's also famous for being a medieval hunting forest created soon after the Norman conquest. King Henry VIII (a highly notorious King of England) used the forest a lot and had a hunting lodge at Bolebroke Castle, Hartfield and also courted Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle. Today the forest covers 9.5 square miles (2,500 ha) and is largest open public access area in south-east England.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill