Tuesday, January 01, 2008


We are still getting the hang of the area but have managed a couple of exploratory walks over Christmas. We walked up to Cadbury Camp, a bronze age hill fort of huge dimensions sitting pensive over the former bay just pondering where the sea went. Once upon a time it contemplated repelling attacks from the direction of the sea. Now even the sea has retreated and it welcomes guests with their thoughts, relationships and dogs. It fills you with a sense of interloping. This has been here for three thousand years. Nailsea has only really been a town for forty. We have been here for one.

Today we drove along to Sand Bay between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon for a bracing walk along the deadly sand. Waders and gulls wander undisturbed along the sea edge knowing that any human encroaching will be sucked to their death in seconds, or so the battered signs say.

At the west end of the bay is this amazingly impressive modernist structure, a bit like a honey-coloured Hoover Building or large hotel from a more popular resort. It is a former convalescent home, built with money from Birmingham hospital charities in the 1930s, and now some sort of private hospital.

Liz felt it should be the home of a bond villain with missile silos under the ornamental pond. A place where 007 had to gate-crash by pretending he was an expert in communicable diseases and surviving the interview's trick question in order to explore at night dressed entirely in black (we know all the Bond plots by numbers). When released from the riveting confines of her work her imagination is something else.

I love it when someone goes completely over the top on great architecture in the middle of nowhere. A folly-hospital, just because they could. The sea front houses along the rest of the bay, many with their seasonal, so currently closed, tea rooms were singularly depressing.

The joys of living along the Bristol Channel will take some while longer to fully appreciate.

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