When the Tide is Out

The sea is moving closer. It eats away the clay cliffs, and the rain turns soil to flowing brown custard, cascading down onto the sand.

As it falls it takes with it memories of the past. Roots and rocks once firmly embedded in the land. Concrete comes down, from roads we once travelled on, and from the foundations of homes.

It creates a space between land and water, surreal and compelling. Drowned forests, ruined bunkers, fossils, sea glass, twisted metal.

There is life in the wreckage. Kelp, red algae, sargassum on the rocks and sand.

This coast buries its past in the blue depths. Piers, villages, towns drowned; not in a dramatic swoop. More like a crack in the soil one year, a fallen fence the next. The land dribbles away. Sometimes it shifts down a metre or so, as if it is furtively attempting to escape our attention. Then another metre. And next week it is smashed boulders of clay and clumps of grass across the beach.

There are ghosts here. They emerge when the tide goes out, and make us wonder what their story was before the sea came.

Walking the forgotten Holderness coast.

Thank you for reading.