Free personal sand blasting at Weston Super Mare

This is my wife. You cannot see her face due to the automatic exposure control of my phone but I can assure you she is smiling and trying to stop herself being blown over by the wind.

For those of you unfamiliar with the UK, Weston-super-Mare (literally Weston on the sea) is a fairly nondescript seaside resort south of the mouth of the Bristol Channel. We decided to go there on the spur of the moment because the westerly winds were forecast to blow at 50 miles an hour. I love wind. This is a mere breeze compared with the 1200 miles an hour winds of frozen methane across Neptune but as we discovered when we arrived, even 50 miles an hour wind is something to experience.

On arrival we parked our car in a side road and noticed that there was no one on the promenade. Such was the force of the wind that it blew the petrol cap cover off time and time again so I had to re-park the car facing the other way. It required all my strength to push the door open to get out of the car. I had to get my feet on the ground and push the door at the same time.  Quite a feat. ha ha

We approached a restaurant on the promenade itself and on the way had the pleasure of our whole body being blasted by the fine sand which was being lifted off the beach. The only way I could proceed, and I was wearing glasses, was close my eyes, walk a few yards, and half open one eye to make sure I wasn’t going to bang into an obstruction. The sand went everywhere particularly in the hair and the ears. It piled up in the car parks. Goodness knows what it did to the innards of the cars. The sand  also made dunes along the pavements.

We finally made it into the establishment we found it was completely empty with the staff chatting to each other. I had a large latte and a freshly cooked scone with jam and cream. Françoise had a large nutty bar with a decaf tea all for £6.45. As a bonus we had a long chat with the waitress who was born and bred in Western and very proud of it.

When I am on a beach especially with the tide out I transform myself into a child very quickly probably due to association with many happy memories spent playing with sandcastles, making channels for water etc.  Today I made a mark  on the sand about 3 m from the rising tide and make a note how quickly the mark was inundated. I did this with great pleasure as did Françoise.  I think everyone should  become a child periodically.

I cannot recommend this resort for a holiday destination as the atmosphere is rather downbeat due to the large number of unemployed people who live there. I have nothing against unemployed people as such  but it is a bit tacky. Having said that, the Winter Gardens put on good shows not to mention business conferences. These buildings are currently  being upgraded. There are one or two good museums. Clevedon is nearby and worth a visit. You could regard it as a centre for visiting North Devon and you will find the prices of the bed and breakfasts reasonable and homely. I suggest you take a day trip there and see how you feel about it

The rest of this page is a pictorial illustration. My main point is to respect the power of the sea, the wind was blowing off the sea making the whole thing very spectacular. Also as a general point when traveling look out for notable items which are unusual and can be used for photographic purposes. The first example is just below.

an umbrella stand made out of cross sections of branches
a completely empty main promenade. The sand blasting area is beyond the building on the right. Alas, my camera did not capture the fine airborne sand
deceptively beautiful eh?  We could scarcely stand up straight with this lot
the line was drawn at 16.07 with the water 3 m away. It took 4 min to inundate these marks. The Bristol Channel by the way has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world.
This is a substantial movable barrier to keep the tides out
Stormy activity at high tide
this swimming pool on the right is designed to be inundated at high tide so the water is refreshed twice a day
now here is some clever design. Nature has weathered and hand carved this soft stone which they have put on hard stone blocks as part of the promenade defenses
quite difficult to walk along this pavement !
is that a Georgian postbox?
finally a photograph that I put in just because I’m proud of it. I am not making any particular point. You can see a long promontory to your left at the end of which is a  fort used 1871-1901 and 1940-1945



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