Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Rambles

My new print of Hallsands, South Devon, England. Can't wait to get it framed and hanging on our wall.
First of all, Lisa and Brad came over for a couple of hours on Friday and I was trying to stay at the other side of the room as I certainly didn't want them to catch my cold. That night they were attending a talk given by author Stephen King at George Mason University, and Lisa had won a raffle for a book-signing. Brad had some books he was going to take along, in the hopes that Mr. King would be able to sign them all. He did, what a nice man.

I badly needed a new raincoat and bought one online. The postman dropped it on the doorstep around noon shortly before they arrived. We went out later and it was raining pretty hard. Gregg, who had arrived home early, said, "You can wear your new raincoat." as I had already paraded around in it earlier to see what he thought of it. "Heck no" said I - with emphasis - "I am not ready to get it wet yet!" I didn't blame him for having a chuckle as yes how silly is that and what are raincoats for? But I'm saving it for when we go down to Virginia Beach for the shipmates reunion and want it looking pristine. Just like the old days when I used to go away on holiday and bought a set of new clothes, no way was I going to wear them before the holiday. Anywhere from six months to a year before traveling, I would buy something new and pack it away like it was precious cargo, until it was time to take it out of the suitcase to hang it up in the hotel room closet, a pattern I have continued to some degree over the years.

Saturday we did our usual errand runs, first stopping off at the post office to pick up a parcel from England. I bought another print off the same lady that I mentioned in this post right here. My purchase this time - at the top of this post - shows one of the lost villages of South Devon, Hallsands.

It is another nostalgia purchase as I remember Hallsands very well and used to go there with my parents, along with our golden labrador Jason. We would be on one of our rides out into the country, or as in this case to the ocean. Back then we lived only a couple of miles from the sea and would often drive to the shore or go down the coast for 20 miles, sometimes even longer carrying on into Cornwall. On one such trip I remember looking over the cliff top and seeing the ruins of a small village. Dad told me it had been destroyed by a very bad storm in 1917. This was Hallsands and below you can see the ruins of the cottages as it looks now. I found this photo online.
For 120 years this tiny village at the base of the cliffs on the south coast of Devon, was protected from the seas by its deep shingle beach. However, in 1897 Sir John Jackson obtained a license to dredge for shingle to use in the construction of Devonport Dock Yard. It was assumed that any shingle removed would be replaced naturally by more material out in the channel. It has since been learned that today the shingle that now protects the nearby villages of Beesands and Torcross was deposited thousands of years ago during the Ice Age and is not being replaced. So, within 20 years of that fateful dredging, the village of Hallsands was completely destroyed thanks to coastal erosion caused by Jackson's dredging. The following two photos were found online also, both showing the village as it was before the storm destroyed it in 1917.

Debbie, the lady I bought the picture from, paints historical paintings of the part of Devon I lived in from 1965 to 1975. We also had family holidays every year, twice a year for eight years before we actually moved to Devon, so Devon was very much in our blood long before we actually moved there. Debbie portrays the way places looked back in the 1800's-early 1900's. Her website is here, the history of Hallsands can be found here and there are more wonderful old photographs here. Scroll down to the thumbnails below the main photo and click on each to view.

I might be a bit scarce over the next week or so, as this evening we are going to pick up our English friend Rose. She will be staying with us for a couple of weeks and we are going to be super busy getting out and about and having fun, so please forgive me for not getting around to your blogs for a while. The good news is that I am feeling much better and am thankful that I no longer feel contagious. I would not have wanted to be the cause for Rose to get a horrible cold on her holiday, especially as she is flying on to Australia to visit with more friends when she leaves us.


  1. what a beautiful painting I am glad you are feeling better and hope you a nd Rose have a great time catching up.

  2. smashing post.
    Do hope you feel better!

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >


  3. Glorious picture. And such a shame that the village is now lost. My mama loved Devon and she too had many a family holiday there. I hope your visit with your friend is wonderful.

  4. Interesting post -you can see why over the years the sea has claimed the cottages on the beach back -loved the old photographs and your painting ! I always buy things and then save them for best-only to end up putting on weight or start wearing them when they start to go out of fashion -hope you are not as bad as me for that !

  5. The painting is lovely. The village photos are also. Have a nice time with your visiting friend.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  6. The painting is adorable!
    Glad that you are feeling better, I'm sending love to your heart!

  7. Have a wonderul time with your friend!
    Jane x

  8. Hi There, I'm back after a few weeks off from blogging. Hope you are doing okay. I have missed all of my blogging friends --but needed that break!

    Gorgeous print and photos... Hope you enjoy your time with Rose. Glad you are feeling better.


  9. I love paintings that evoke pleasant memories and wish I could find art of Hong Kong and Korea, two places I have visited. I already have one of Japan.

    Glad you are feeling better. Enjoy the two weeks with Rose!

  10. You always have an interesting story, Denise.

    I hope you're fine now and that thing about saving the raincoat for another rainy day is hilarious but so true.

  11. Nice one Denise... a wonderful post

  12. I love that picture and the ones on the links you gave us. I am also nostalgic about the places I have lived. Glad you feel better and have fun with your friend. See you when you return, have a nice time, I know you will.

  13. Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog today, Denise. I truly appreciate it.

    I'm getting over a cold too. Hope you feel better soon and have a great time with your company. :)

  14. Nice photo of a lovely, lovely place. Be well, friend!

  15. I love the print, and find the history of the village very interesting. Man messes with nature, nature strikes back. But only the innocent pay?
    Have fun with Rose!

  16. Lovely print and I so enjoyed the old photographs. I hope you have a wonderful visit with Rose!

  17. I had a professor in human development who always said Wear your best on rainy days it will make you feel good. He said most people wear their oldrest shoes etc/

  18. I love photos that take you back to your youth. Have a great time with your guest!

  19. gorgeous picture denise....have fun with rose!!

  20. I like the Print very much Denise.
    Devon remains one of the best parts of England, you will be pleased to hear.
    "Dont want to get my new raincoat wet yet."
    I know another Woman like that.{:))

  21. Lovely photo. So nice that she is painting the scenery true to it's earlier days. I nice way to preserve the past.

  22. Glad you're feeling better, Denise.
    The photo of the ruined village is fascinating. Love your new print, too.

  23. I just found your wonderful blog. What an interesting story about the village. I love Devon :)