The coastal path ……

ABERDOVEY FEB19.jpgAbove : Wales 2019 – my Sons childhood holidays…… photo by me.

It  is a languid, cold, rainy, slow Sunday afternoon in March 2019 and I am tucked under the cosy blanket on the sofa at home idly flicking through the travel pages of a magazine when I see an image so powerful and evocative to me that I burst into sudden tears.

It is an image that squeezes my heart with such an emotional punch of simultaneous joy, sadness and longing for a by gone time   (and other complicated feelings)  that I am  instantly transported back to 1987.

The image is the iconic coastline of the stunning jurassic coast, specifically, the winding coastal path that makes me rediscover my inner child as I let my mind wander to past trips to stunning Durdle Door.

It magically conjurs up that feeling of warm sand between my toes, a tummy full of ice cream and a heart full of love. A snap shot of a  precious time that can never, ever happen again, but can be returned to within the corners of my mind, filed under the name of Uncle Freddie by seeing a photo in a magazine.

I happily recall endless summer days wandering barefoot across the beach, searching for fossils and only the most beautiful shells for my treasured collections and staring out to sea while imaging escaping to sea on childhood adventures akin to the stories  filling my head from the many books I loved to read, at the time, think famous 5, Swallows and Amazons and my much loved The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.  Narnia surely was behind the soft sea mist and just  around the coast, just beyond my permitted radius?

Yet, while it is wonderful to remember those blissful, near perfect sunshine  happy days on the beach, it is not that which makes tears come to my eyes, it is the memory of my wonderful and much loved and idolised Uncle Freddie, who is now long gone but still fondly remembered and much loved.

Losing my Father at 2 years of age meant that my Mums lovely older brother took on the male role model for me that informed my early years. He was my absolute hero! He set the blue print for which I searched for in my adult life, kind, funny, amusing, clever, exciting and loving. Uncle Freddie  was accepting and encouraging but above all brave and strong. My uncle was a kidney dialysis patient and I would spend hours sat with him while he had dialysis. We would talk and laugh and I would draw and write stories. We were very close and even his musical taste has influenced mine. He had a big impact on me and I adored my Uncle very much. My son is called George Freddie in his memory.

I was wary around men as a child, and this man was my safe haven. He was always around and he and my lovely Aunty took me on holiday most summers to the jurassic coast. Some of my happiest memories are on the beach, with my pens and paper, books, and of course a bucket and spade. They let me explore and I remember the joy of climbing on the rocks and searching for fossils.

This love gave me freedom, and it nurtured my love of nature and our beautiful British Coastline, but what I remember strongly is the utter joy and anticipation of  walking that winding path down to the beach.

It was truly stunning to see Durdle door and the panorama ahead, of blue, blue ocean and a day of sea air and magical adventures but it was a view I had slowly forgotten until I saw that photo in the magazine.

It  is a view that took my breathe away, but what made me cry when I saw the photograph is the fact that it triggered a memory of Uncle Freddie gently holding my little hand as we walked that steep but much loved path. I have no photos of those treasured days spent  together at the beach.

Perhaps this is why I feel so compelled to capture moments, everyday moments, holidays, adventures, my sons childhood. Will the photo above of Aberdovey where we take our boy most summers evoke strong emotions when he is older? I hope so. It will  always be meaningful to me, forever. These photos show the stories of our lives.  It is our history.  We can never go back, can we?

I wish I did have a handful of snaps from my childhood holidays, those sunshiny moments captured forever but there is not any, sadly, but  thank goodness I can remember how it felt, I can feel all that love and sense of adventure.

I know one day I shall return to Durdle Door and gaze across the sparkling water and I know I shall walk that lost path and be captivated by that view once more, and Uncle Freddie will be just beyond the sea mist,  just beyond the horizon.

Where did you holiday as a child and have you ever returned? Thanks for taking a trip down the coastal path with me.

with love, Lou xx

March 2019- Under A Pewter Sky Photography- Need a photographer? Get in touch with me xx



Cloud Busting: Why Under A Pewter Sky?


Cloud Busting : 

I have  often been asked why I called myself Under A Pewter Sky Photography.  

Let’s start way back  at the very beginning of my life filled with childish wonder and imagination, and a lot of time by myself.  

I was the little  girl who thought the moon followed her on dark starry nights as we whizzed by in car journeys. 

This was a time before seatbelts. I would lie flat on the cool black leather seats in the back of the car  ( an excitingly nippy  Escort Mexico!) and feel utter exhilaration at the speed  of our journey as I watched in awe as the moon  and Milky Way chased after us and played peek a boo between the tall buildings and trees we passed by.

These celestial car adventures  would be soundtracked by Pink Floyd, Prince, Queen, Led Zeppelin & ELO and added to my fanciful imagination and fascination with the sky, clouds and stars.  

I was the girl who never minded the rain,  the snow,  or fog, mist, & sunshine or many clouds on the horizon of a blue Sky day.

I just happily watched the drama unfold, sky bound. I have always noticed the clouds, because  my head was always in them! ( Dolly daydreamer was my moniker as a child)

I was the  girl who day dreamed her way through school, who counted the thunder claps and Gods Piano crashing up above, the girl   who  dreamt of vast valleys filled with underwater lost cities and church bells ringing through the darkness on rainy grey days.

My favourite sky would be the dramatic and epic cumulonimbus clouds rolling in  with the thunder clappers, the ones that make your heart pound and the skin on the back of your arms stand up.

They are the ones that are beautiful but destructive, fleeting weather  filled with energy, life,  & momentum.

These clouds are the  dramatic ones that offer extreme weather, torrential downpours, hail, snow storms and thunder clouds, Angry skies looming above us or skies full of wonder as we watch the first snow of the season fall making everywhere beautiful.

 I love these dark clouds, they are the ones that are Pewter, Black , blue, grey, silver, shimmering delightfully above us, they are ephemeral yet evolving, & ever changing, yet from inception to dissipation I am  forever awe struck.

I wanted my photography to be like these clouds, caught in that moment, capturing the energy of life, dramatic and real  and of that time……And so my name was born.

Give me a big sky and open spaces  and I am happy, give me trees and woodland and the ever changing seasons and I am happy.

Hand  me my my cameras and let me just be behind the lens and I am extra happy, just watching the moments unfold.  

Let me sit a while and watch the clouds or stars go by and  I am very, very, happy……

Take me star gazing and I am over the moon!……. capturing life makes me ….. HAPPY!

So, I think I’ve said HAPPY quite enough for one blog, but now you know why I’m called Under A Pewter Sky because it’s my favourite place to be….. I’m a simple soul, I guess. 

What weather makes your heart sing?  Tell me?