Blyth Spirit – from the Front Line of Assignment Blyth by Julie Ferry

By our from the Front Line Reporter Julie Ferry

Imagine beaches, dunes, groynes, piers, wind turbines, a marina and beach huts all bathed in early morning sun, with evocative scenes (as mentioned on a previous blog) and beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see.    Now imagine the exactly the opposite, thick fog with drizzle at times, freezing cold temperatures and no sign of the sun whatsoever and you have Blyth on Saturday morning.

I have never been to Blyth before and have subsequently decided that I will only ever revisit in the summer.  The fog was so thick that I couldn’t see the sea!  I am assured by fellow togs that on a bright sunny day it is extremely picturesque.

We all met at the cafe at 10am, a good turnout considering the weather.  The challenge for the day changed a couple of times.  One bright spark suggested ‘sun rays’, more of an impossibility than a challenge, then the challenge to photograph ‘lines’ was suggested, to which Mr Ferry decided he would simply take a picture of my face, I am considering divorce proceedings!  Finally, the subject ‘holes’ was settled on and Tony proceeded to not only photograph holes, but to also fall in one on the beach, covering his lens and camera in sand, not a good start to the day!  My own thoughts were that the biggest challenge I faced was to come away with a half decent image.

However, I am pleased to say that there was plenty of activity on the beach.  People braving the weather to walk their dogs and quite a few surfers.   It felt a little strange talking to one girl who was happily stripping down to her bathing costume whilst I was wearing hiking boots, two pairs of socks, thick trousers, fleece, thick coat, hat and gloves and still managing to shiver.  She assured me that if I visited the beach every Saturday to surf I too would become used to the cold, I politely declined the offer.

Meeting at the cafe for lunch was a great opportunity to thaw out and have warm drinks and food.  Chips, scraps and jalapeño pepper bites, as I don’t eat fish, very nice!  However, the real treat for me was the vast array of ice creams on offer.  There were certainly a few of us who couldn’t make up our minds which flavour to choose.   The company and banter was excellent as usual.

Despite the weather Stephen and I had a thoroughly enjoyable morning.  I certainly don’t think that my images are particularly great, my favourite is actually from inside the cafe, an image of the ice cream parlour.   However, anyone who hasn’t gone along to one of the assignments doesn’t know what they are missing.  The chance to get to know your fellow ‘togs’ and spend time with them is highly recommended.  I look forward to the next one and thanks to everyone for a great morning.

Julie Ferry

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