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A writer's idyll. Beadnell Bay, Northumberland

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Jan 2015, 09:30

Fig.1 The old fishermen's harbour, the 18th century lime kilns and a late December sunrise over the North Sea.

The sun coming up over Beadnell harbour, the lime kilns on the left, Dunstanburgh Castle in the far distance, sand dunes at my back a two mile beach walk to the river 'the long nanny' to my right. 

Fig.2. The iconic 'Beach Court' B nB - owned by a member of Showaddywaddy by the way ... 

A light frost on the seaweed and sand, our dog wondering why I've stopped in the middle distance. Several days with the waves, the views, the fresh air ... and bonkers relations who like to take a quick dip in the sea at this time of year! Not even the dog is that daft. The two mile walk to 'The Long Nanny' and the footbridge over the river is glorious as the tide goes out. 

What's this got to do with learning? Everything.

Time to reflect. Time to look back to my years running around here as a child the parents and grandparents, the uncles and great uncles and aunts all long gone. And from time to time there's a little bit of history to take in:

Fig.3. Ebb's Nook, looking out across the point over the North Sea many hundreds of years ago. 

We're looking for a spot to scatter my late grandfather's ashes. He came up here and stayed in a house behind Beach Court in the 40s and 50s until his daughter bought a cottage here and we spent our childhood here in the 60s.  

Fig.4 The Point, Beadnell at dawn. Volcanic rock poking into the North Sea. 

I can sit here for hours happily writing, drawing and taking pictures. I have my 'writer's notebook' as the OU Start Writing Fiction MOOC course recommended. I make notes about a talking lump sucker fish I once scooped out of a deep pool at low tide and took home in a large red bucket.

On the horizon there are now the occasional massive cargo carriers, just as I see back at home looking across the English Channel at Seaford Head. To the south the silhouette of Dunstanburgh Castle is a coastal landmark. To the north the Farne Islands are easy to pick out as the Longstone lighthouse flashes.

Happy New Year!

Does the Open University do a module on oceanography? 


Historic Environment Survey for the National Trust Properties on the Northumberland Coast. Beadnell Limekilns and the Links. 

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Thursday, 1 Jan 2015, 20:03)
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Sunrise on the Point, Beadnell, Northumberland

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 1 Jan 2015, 12:13





Why is the way the sun starts and ends the day such a special moment? This last week, wherever I have been up and down and across England the sunrise and sunsets have been fabulous. From the point on Beadnell Bay on the northern edge of the Northumberland coast, to the Cotswolds and home on the south Sussex coast.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by William Konarzewski, Thursday, 1 Jan 2015, 05:00)
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Beadnell remembered ...

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Dec 2014, 11:53

Fig.1 Dunstanburgh Castle from Beadnell Bay at dusk this morning

Fig.2 The tide coming in across The Point, Beadnell at sun up.

Fig.3 Something I never knew about The Point where I played as a child. 

Fig.4 The sea pushing in through fissures between the rocks and pools

Fig.5. The low cliffs, fingers of rock and pools where I scrambled.

Fig.6 A drain that intrigued me age 5, or 6 or 7. In a storm the waves came up through it. 

This was my playground until the age of 11 or 12. Easter, Summer and even half-term and weekends were spent here. Just two walks forty years later and the smell of wet sand in the dunes takes me back to being a boy - easy to scrambled around the dunes when you are seven. The rocks, the different textures under foot, the mesmerising waves that approached closer along the rocks as the tide came in, the birds and occasional seal, the Longstone Lighthouse always flashing its presence in the distance.

The foghorn lulled me to sleep. The noise of waves constantly crashing on the rocks changes from the loud chatting of people before the curtain goes up, to a jet coming into land ... it rumbles gently, or angrily according to its mood (and yours).

Yesterday I had the briefest of conversations with someone who had a deep Northumbrian accent that sounds like Norweigian spoken with an English accent. 

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Memory is an amazing thing ...

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From E-Learning VI

Fig.1. The gate across the fields from Beadnell Beach to the Village

Age six or seven I passed through these gates and someone told me it was a 'kissing gate' and we had to kiss. She was 18 maybe a little older. I would have been with other children, a brother or a friend the same age. These have been, ever since, a 'kissing gate'. I've never taken this path in over forty years, but it came to me as I approached. 

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En e-portfolio of everything

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 15:43

To start me off filling an eportfolio with EVERYTHING I've ever experienced I have a mind map in front of me that offers the following:

Big Wellies

A picture of me age five or six in oversize green wellies that I fondly remember as I loved it when I found water deep enough for the wellies to fill with water.

Fog Horn

The fog horn from the Lighthouse on Farnes Islands. I could here it from my bedroom window in Beadnell and like to watch the light as it appeared across the window. Not older than eight.


This is an O'Level Physics book that was sent home for me to read. I misssed an entire term of school as I had broken my leg rather badly in a skiing accident. I don't have the book, but I have it (and most others) listed. I could in theory recover a substantial number of the books I have EVER read?

Geography Essay

In text books I kept for my favourite subject that I went on to study at Oxford.

Tots TV

That my 14 year old daughter was watching on YouTube. She remarked, as she sang along, how she could remember the words. So could I. We used to watch it together since she was two or three.

Which triggered this idea of recalling distant memories and what prompts it required: a photo, a taste, a book title ...

Where e-portfolios still fail ... and I have a diary of 17000 pages, is the tagging. You have to find the words. I'd prefer to tage visually, so a an image to represent every page, or every event on every page? But what about a smell, taste or sound?

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