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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On Swansea beach

I keep getting bizarre voicemail messages on my home phone. Well, what actually happens, is I'm told I have a message, the automated voice says 'first new message', and all of a sudden, my line starts to dial out. Don't know what that's about, but I hang up immediately it happens, in case I get connected to some premium rate line charged at £15 billion a second, or something. Anyone else have this? Anyone know what it is? Now it seems I have an AOL voicemail, and my mail program is taking eons to download it. Why would someone send a voicemail to my AOL account when they can call on either my landline or mobile, email me or send me an instant message?

Anyway, to return to the original purpose of my post, I took a walk on Swansea beach a little while ago, uploaded the pics to my PC and then totally forgot about them. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, forgetting about things. I suspect it's lack of sleep rather than early senility, though - hope so.

There's nothing quite like a walk along the Swansea seafront, past County Hall and around the Marina, on a nice, sunny evening. I especially like it when the tide is in, as it was on this particular evening. I like to sit on the steps outside County Hall and listen to the waves crash against the steps, roaring like a jet as they veer sideways, upon finding their path ahead blocked. My camera shoots video and audio too, and if I can find a decent, free video host, I'll upload the footage I took of the County Hall waves phenomenon. However, these images will have to suffice for now.

It amazes me to see the kiddies' play equipment on the beach, for no reason other than the fact that it hasn't been damaged or vandalised in some way. Maybe it's taken away at night? That would make sense. It is so good to see the beach being used again, and by a substantial amount of people. When I first arrived in Swansea, in 1984, hardly anyone went near the beach. You might see the odd jogger or dog walker, but that was it. Mind you, it was like Turd City [or Shitty City?] down there, at the time, because the old sewage system was so inadequate, and it literally stank. So good to see the beach as it is today, with marram grass and sea holly sprouting from the sand, rather than big, brown jobbies.

These next two pics got utterly mangled by the combination of me forgetting to adjust the exposure settings on the camera, and the strong evening sunlight. I'd used the camera a few days before in utterly different lighting and weather conditions, and forgotten to change the settings back. However, I had a play with Photoshop, and managed to correct some of the damage. The originals were really dark, so although not perfect even after a bit of therapy, they're okay for posting online, if not for printing. Only trouble is, the tinkering I did has enhanced the lens flares, as well as the bits I wanted to enhance.

When I first spotted this tree branch floating in the water, only the far right hand portion of it was visible, and although it doesn't show clearly here, the visible chunk looked for all the world like a partially decomposed and mummified arm reaching out of the water, complete with a clawed hand grasping at the air. Scared me half to death it did, until the waves receded and revealed the entire branch.

Every year, I swear I'm going to pop across to Cork for a couple of days, but I never get around to it. It's usually due to a lack of money, not to mention being surrounded by people who don't share my enthusiasm for such a trip.

Apparently, Swansea Observatory is open to the public for two afternoons per week, during July and August, Tuesdays and Thursdays, I think, between 1-4 pm. I've never been, but have always fancied a visit. If I get round to it this summer, I'll take some pics and post an account here. Until then, I'll have to leave you with this partial pic of it.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

You`re right: we are lucky to have that beautiful, and largely unspoiled, beach so close to us. I wrote an article about it, illustrated with my photos, which was published in a photo mag a few years back.
Those golden sands almost make living in Swansea bearable. Almost! ;)