The incoming tide washes up some amazing things. I love beachcombing, but we don’t get much of interest on Dymchurch beach. The odd flip flop, bits of wood, though once, several years ago , hundreds of oranges appeared overnight, a beautiful sight.
There’s a wonderful blog written by Nicola White called tidelineart.com. It’s of a type which is which is known as a “mudlarking” site. Nicola scours the banks of the Thames for pieces of driftwood, pottery, glass, old rope and plastic. She then creates artworks from her finds and gives new life to these fascinating fragments from history . It’s a beautiful Romantic idea and I urge you to have a look.
A few years ago we were camping at Barns Ness near Dunbar and we met a friendly man who lived in Edinburgh. In fact he was so friendly he invited us to see where he lived. He was a Collector and my goodness what a collection he had. Beautiful glass and artwork, including a rather good drawing by John Lennon.
In addition to acquiring some of the finer things, the man had a penchant for combing the beaches of Britain looking for bits of coloured plastic that had been released by the sea to be hidden amongst the sand and shingle. He sorted them by colour and stored them in deep trays. The variations of shapes and shades within the colour categories was fascinating. Collected together there was beauty in these redundant, mass produced objects that had fulfilled their purpose in this world and had been cast into the deep blue sea. Within their boxes they had a new life, they were now looked at, admired and there to be cooed over. People could actually look at them and minutely observe their nuances of colour, shape and function.
I’m digressing, getting swept along by a tidal wave of arty thoughts but there is a serious side to my musing around all this water borne polychromatic plastic stuff.
I want to talk about the Pacific Trash Vortex ( no they’re not an East Coast death metal band – although it would be a great name) . In reality it’s an almighty swirl of plastic and non-degradeable muck that inhabits that particular area. It’s not just in the Pacific though, it’s all over the world’s oceans. Within our seas there is a massive amount of plastic which causes real problems for marine life. You only have to walk our shorelines (though not the pristine beach of Dymchurch) to see how much there is.
I was on the shingle at Littlestone recently and found a blue plastic bottle top, on it were written the words “Choose Aqua Pura Life”. I was struck by the perfect irony, a piece of polluting discarded plastic, its message:
“Drink the clean healthy water within my bottle, its good for you”…….
Then throw me in the sea and pollute the very water that we rely on for our existence……
They say that when we pick up pebbles from the beach, the stone chooses us, not the other way round. The Aqua Pura top had chosen me. Was it telling me something?