The joy of where I live is that we don’t do extreme weather. Yes we get, snow, frost, rain and currently wind but it always seems to be worse somewhere else in Britain. Whether that is good or bad is moot it just seems to be the case. I was reading a while ago that Britain, per square Km has the second most number of tornadoes in the world (the Netherlands is the first.) As to the truth of that statement I guess depends on your perspective. The one thing we don’t get are the huge monsters that are the stock in trade of the Oklahoma and Texas. I somehow suspect that should we suffer from a tornado where I live it probably would be a bit of a let down (if you call not suffering massive damage to property and risk to life a let down!)
On the subject of understated I give you Britain’s equivalent to Area 51 – the area north of the River Deben in Suffolk. Where as the Americans have vast tracts of the western dessert to hide all their most talked about secrets here in Britain we have a slightly sleepy stretch of the Suffolk coast.
In this this area of around 300 KmSq there are:
- two nuclear power stations at Sizewell;
- the home of radar at Bawdsey Manor;
- the most magnificent boat burial anywhere in Britain at Sutton Hoo;
- The nuclear weapon delivery system test range at Orford Ness
- The home for a top secret Cobra Mist radar test area (also at Orford Ness) and
- The home of the most celebrated UFO sighting in Britain at Rendlesham Forest .
Now before we all start to put tinfoil hats on it should also be pointed out that Britain is a fair small place and so compared to America you can always find a number of unconnected things in close proximity to one another. What is clear, if you discount the UFO sighting, that this small are of Suffolk does pack a lot in.
I visited Orford 10 years ago and I have just rediscovered the images I captured there as a result of my Remastered project and it marks the pivot point around which my photographic output turned. Before Orford my photographic output was declining afterwards the images changed completely: Out went the many cameras, lenses and mountains of other equipment to be replaced by images created using the iPhone. One of the things I wanted to do with the remastered project was to reassess some of the images I had made before and image of the lighthouse at Orford graphically demonstrates that. The 2010 image is dark and angry whereas the image I made yesterday from the same same file reflects the wide empty spit that it Orford Ness – Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes is inspired by area.
In the end it is all about the sea and the tempests and waves it uses to sculpt the ever changing coastline (not too further to the north is the abandoned medieval port of Dunwich which was consumed by the sea. Which nicely brings us to the last image of a small yacht setting sail on to the River Deben by the entrance to Bawdsey Manor. It is a small world.