Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ceaseless activity 1.

Life has been more than a bit busy lately, hence the blog silence.

The last Saturday but one, we went for a walk with our walking friends from the centre of town down to the sea at Newhaven, which used to be a separate fishing village but is now part of the city. There are still quite a few of the original fishermen's cottages but many were demolished and replaced by less interesting buildings in the 1960s. 1960s town planners have a lot to answer for.

By the shore, these people - Newhaven born and bred and proud of it -  were raising money for a Newhaven museum by selling mugs, tea towels, postcards and so on. I'm not terribly confident that they'll succeed but we had a nice chat. Then they sang us a traditional fisherman's song - rather well, with harmonies and everything - and tried to persuade us to join their choir. I think they were trying to recruit younger members from among us mere 70ish people... . 

One of our party, who's nearly 91 but extremely fit, remembers the fishwives in their distinctive striped aprons and with their creels (big baskets) of fish, travelling on the buses. These creels could weigh over a hundredweight - over 100 pounds - and the women helped support the weight by having straps from the baskets on their backs which then went round their foreheads. These were so heavy that sometimes they caused brain damage. 

We walked up through Starbank Park, which Mr Life and I had always meant to do - we've seen it often enough from the road.

January's not a great month for gardens, but it was very pleasant. We must go back in the summer. We talked to some volunteer gardeners, who told us about a visit from Prince William and Kate. They were very nice, apparently - very natural and friendly. 

Starbank House was built in 1815 and lived in by Alexander Goalen, the uncle of William Gladstone the Prime Minister. After it was bought by the council and the garden was turned into a park, the house was the park keeper's home (rather nice!) but is now divided into two flats lived in by retired council employees (still rather nice, I'd think). 

More traditional cottages. Cars are never an improvement to a street. 

Further along the shore are these modern, but rather nice, statues of a family going to the beach. 

On the Sunday we visited Son and family, taking the Edinburgh Two. Here are the four children swinging in the park on a ... what is it? - a big rope hanging horizontally for children to climb on. 

And here's Son with Big Grandson (his nephew) and Medium Granddaughter (his daughter) sitting on his knees. 

And then, on Monday... (to be continued). 



  1. An interesting visit.
    One feature of gardens in winter is that you see the beauty of the structure of trees

  2. You have been busy! (in a good way) I can't believe how much weight those women carried. What a life! I feel very spoiled.

  3. Oh, Starbank Park! We always used to roll our Easter eggs there when we went to visit my granny (she lived in some of the aforementioned horrid 1960s maisonettes at Laverockbank!)

  4. Oh I look forward to the next instalment! You blooging pioneer! We have come to appreciate the urban walk over Lockdown, when the high hills were just too far outside our ten mile limit. There's a lot to be said for the beauty of streets and parks and encountered folk. Having spent last half-term near Skye I feel guilty about describing our hills as high. Highish hills.