Things I love # 6 – Clouds

Ah yes! I love a good cloud.

Just look at the patterns and colours in the photos I’ve recently taken in my beloved Clevedon. Even when they are grey they are multi-coloured and textured. See the backdrop they provide to the pier – nothing short of theatrical. Blooming marvellous.

I am a proud member of the Cloud Appreciation Society. Ever since seeing a BBC documentary by founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney I have realised that my un-acknowledged appreciation of clouds was nothing to be ashamed of. Clouds add character to the sky and are objects of immense mystery and wonder. Not to say beauty.

My favourite story from that documentary was that of a hang-glider (or maybe a microlight pilot) who got caught up in a huge cumulonimbus in Australia. It wasn’t their fault – two large clouds unexpectedly combined to form a monster. The pilot was sucked up into a thermal, frosted over by the drop in temperature and shot out of the top where they were seen from an airliner as a living but unconcious snowman. They then were dropped back down through cloud and emerged at the bottom lucky enough to be sufficiently defrosted to gain control of their craft and land with just mild frostbite. Much luckier than their fellow pilot who was struck by lightning in the cloud and died.

Really, nature is beyond our comprehension. Appreciate clouds, people!

 

The colours of Clevedon…

There’s lots going on in Clevedon just now, thanks to The Theatre Orchard and their Theatre Shop.

We got to the pier too late to enjoy the ballet, but I love this shot: slightly misty and nostalgic. It really looks suitably Victorian to me!. You’ll need to imagine the music and the appreciative applause of the crowd…

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It’s fabulous to have so much extra going on locally, and it’s already clear that lots of people are visiting. I’ve seen Living Spit – who will be performing during the theatre season – before, and really enjoy their shows, and there is much more going on besides. So good to have performances in the community, as it really brings people together. Something, as they say, for everyone! Just have to make sure I get my tickets before everything sells out…

And, if there weren’t already enough reasons to grab your camera and mooch around the village and it’s environs, the shows add an extra buzz to the place.

In the sunshine, the colours of Clevedon really stand out. Here’s a small selection of my photographs, which I have just uploaded to my RedBubble shop – and if you really like them you can buy them on cards, prints, posters, phone cases, mugs, and even duvet covers and scarves!  Please feel free to browse!

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Spring Bank Holiday in Clevedon: taking to the sea

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So what’s a Spring Bank Holiday like in Clevedon? Well, a great number of people head for the sea front, and judging from the cars parked along the roads near the front, quite a few of those are from further afield. Although there’s the funfair on Salthouse fields, and the pubs and cafes were doing good business too, most people were looking at the sea, and a considerable number were getting onto the water too.

As you can see from the photograph, it wasn’t too sunny, but the clouds were spectacular and the slow shallow waves on the water were more like ripples than waves. Under these skies the water is silvery – imagine a lake of mercury. Great for photographs!

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There were a number of boats out on the water, mostly fishing, but also a speedboat and large barges and other merchant shipping heading for Avonmouth and other Bristol Channel destinations. The Clevedon pilot gig out for a practise run. Apparently in times gone by the pilot gigs competed to reach the ships needing to be guided into harbour to get the business.  The gig teams specialised in racing their speedy boats and the tradition continues to this day. As if rowing the gig isn’t challenging enough, the team needs to negotiate the narrow path down to the slipway, and it’s not an easy boat to steer.

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And I can’t really post a blog about Clevedon without including the pier. Only a couple of anglers today, but plenty of people enjoying the views, and the chance to give the progress on the new flats at the ruined Rock Hotel beside the pier the once over.

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It’s a paint chart kind of day

Here’s what the Bristol Channel looked like from Clevedon this morning:

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Looks very like something you’d pick up at the local DIY store! Lovely morning walk along the sea-front, with fresh air and the promise of nice weather, although the colour of the sky further south and west gave cause for concern. We couldn’t resist the shadows on the water either:

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And the clouds over the pier looked good too.Image

In Clevedon we often seem to be at the division between two weather systems, and this leads to interesting sky and sea effects. No two days are ever quite the same, and that really keeps the photographers happy.

A couple of speedy boats were in the area, throwing some shapes, so we toasted ourselves in the sun and watched the show for a while. What a pleasurable way to spend some time!

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Spectacular Cloudscape

Just had to post these pictures of this evening’s sky.  How fabulous!  Hope these quick snaps do the spectacle justice.  Such a variety in the skies over Clevedon.

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So inspired am I that I have joined the Cloud Appreciation Society.  I believe I may be member 33, 377, but it depends how quickly the site updates.  If you’ve never heard of the society, have a look.

That’s all!

Clouds

What a spectacular sky we saw yesterday:  great dramatic clouds rolling up the Bristol Channel.  Here are some photos to give you a flavour.

 

 

All three of the above were taken yesterday, within minutes of each other as we strolled along towards the pier – they just change before your eyes!

Of course we had some torrential rain to go with the clouds, but fortunately were tucked up in the Little Harp with a pint at that stage!  The pubs are nicely spaced along the coast, so you are never far from a haven if the skies open. I’ve also invested in a North Face coat, which I think will get plenty of wear through to the spring.

Living here I can understand how legends arose of magical lands that are sometimes there and sometimes not there.  There are days when Wales has vanished (sorry, Wales!) in a bank of grey mist, others when it looks like a distant shadowy land, and others when you can almost see the individual houses.  You could step across.

Firework night tonight, and there is a big display at the cricket club, which is on top of Dial Hill.  There should be good views from across town, so a chilly evening walk may be in order.

This week we have applied to join the Friends of the Curzon Community Cinema.  You get to have an insight into the decisions being made about the cinema, and we both love the fact that it is there, so the £125 for us to give some extra support for a year seems like a reasonable sum.  And, amazingly, I am joining the gym!  We have one just down Strode Road, and I need to have a little more exercise in my life.  Running up three fights of stairs, and hanging up the washing isn’t quite enough.

More soon about Clevedon, charity shops, soup and knitting, but not necessarily in that order!