My day started with a desperately needed haircut at 7.00am with Lisa at the newly Covid-perspexed Village Hair Shop in East Hoathly. It was so good to catch up with Lisa and Michelle and hear their lockdown news.
An hour later I set off from Goring Station and headed south for the seafront: was a very grey and blustery morning – lots of white horses and a few crazy wind and para-surfers in the sea – they were really moving, the surfers being lifted incredibly high above the waves. It wasn’t raining and it wasn’t cold and the wind behind me just carried me along as though I was land-surfing.
The whole stretch of promenade from Goring to Shoreham is so beautifully kept – no litter, its lawns and flower beds neat and tidy, some great places to stop for coffee and the loos would get my Tripadviser 10/10 .. the last one is quite important when there are no bushes. (OK, probably too much information!)
Two years ago FSH held a fashion show in St Paul’s Church in Worthing. It was called Cut Up & Cool – design students from Burgess Hill Girls’ School showed how old clothes could be turned into cool new outfits. We’d planned to hold a second show which would have taken place yesterday, but this has now been postponed until next spring.
My friend Antonia, who lives in Worthing, came and walked a little ways with me which was lovely. It was tempting but we decided against having a Worthing Gin and opted for a hot chocolate from Dave at Cloud 9 Coffee – delicious! At the east end of Worthing Antonia set off home and I continued to be blown along looking as though I had opted for the gin!
A pirate with toothless grin standing in a children’s play area made me smile – a bit like the yesterday’s scarecrows and fishing boats with their colourful lobster pot marker buoys brightened up the gloomy grey and were crying out to be photographed.
As I powered along past Lancing Beach Green it brought to mind FSH’s connections with nearby Lancing College. The College has been incredibly supportive of FSH, giving us the free use of meeting rooms, hosting a Hymnathon and organ recitals in its awesome, spectacularly vaulted Chapel, and last year the college hosted a hugely successful black-tie dinner in its magnificent dining hall.
The Widewater Lagoon was a real surprise. The guide described it as a “beautiful coastal nature reserve and a hidden treasure” and it really is. All around the banks of this saline lagoon, plants and flowers thrive in shingle and grassland.
Turning inland from the seafront I passed the Shoreham Riverbank Houseboats – a remarkable collection of dwellings, living up to the description in my guide as “the wackiest houseboats in Britain”. Many of these barge homes have become living works of art: everything from a WWII bomber, a rusty coach, and a car sticking out of one of the houseboats’ walls. At Shoreham Ferry Bridge I was met by Ian and Paula Gough (windswept, below) who accompanied me back through the town and the finish of this walk.
I was surprised how much there was to see and enjoy along this nine mile coastal promenade. The monotonous bits gave me some time to meditate on today’s Buddhist offering “True freedom means freeing oneself from the dictates of the ego and its accompanying emotions”. This is such a wonderful journey.
My thanks once again to the sponsors of this section of the Sussex Hospices Trail, Sir Patrick & Lady Cable-Alexander and Ian & Paula Gough.