The Beachcomber

I began dead-heading roses this morning.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Barton on Sea via Milford on Sea. We stopped off at Milford for Sheila to buy a stamp for New Zealand and maybe some wool from the shop that was also a Post Office. The Post Office had been permanently closed a fortnight ago and the wool shop was closed for lunch.

We had more success at Barton, because the Beachcomber Café was fully open for business, and we spent a pleasant time in their garden overlooking the sea.

Valerian and irises

The gate in a low fence at one end of the plot is now nailed up. This prevents wanderers venturing past the valerian and irises and dropping off the end of the crumbling cliff;

Paraglider 1

something I all but did, not realising the sward would so abruptly disappear, the first time I photographed the paragliders who were out in force today.

Paragliders and gulls


I had been so engrossed in striding across the grass to get near the gliders that I almost walked off the edge. The cyclist in this picture has his black labrador running alongside him.

Paraglider 2

Paraglider 3Paraglider 4 Paraglider 5

Today the fliers floated past the café.

Paraglider, birds, plane

This one was joined by birds in the air and by a plane high above them.

Beachcomber Cafe garden 2SpanielsBeachcomber Cafe Garden 4

Beachcomber Cafe Garden 3

The dog-friendly café caters for people of all ages; children in buggies; older people in wheelchairs, with walking aids, and post-operative crutches.


The usual avian hordes scavenging for scraps included an imperious gull,

StarlingStarling 2Starling juvenile

ravenous starlings,


and spritely sparrows.

The cake on the grass was tossed there by one of the customers. Jackie picked it up and placed it on the plate to encourage a photo opportunity. The last of the starlings was, we think, a juvenile. Perhaps that is why it was content to attempt to feed off an empty plate.

Our plates this evening were far from empty. They contained Jackie’s superb sausage casserole, creamy mashed potatoes, and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and runner beans, followed by sponge cake or rice pudding or both. She drank Hoegaarden, I drank Gilbert and Gaillard Chateauneuf du Pape 2014, and Sheila drank sparkling water.


  1. Is there any chance that Jackie would like to visit us in Montana and prepare some of the delicious meals your write about?!! If so, you’re welcome, too 🙂

  2. Great photos from your day out. Those birds certainly aren’t shy, are they? So happy you didn’t ‘walk off the edge’. I think Jackie might have been a trifle upset. 🙂

  3. If Jackie ever wants to come to Elk Township, New Jersey, she will be more than welcome in my kitchen, as well. – Loved the photo of the matching dogs followed directly by the photo of the matching spouses.

      1. Hi Merril – I see on your blog a wine bottle from Heritage Vineyards – That’s about 15 minutes from my house – And if you knew of Elk Township, you must be close by yourself. Funny that we meet via Derrick in England!

      2. I grew up in Woodbury ! WHS class of 1981. My mom & sister- in-law live in West Deptford & my in – laws are in Woodbury – right by Bell Lake. I’m there a couple times a month. My mom was just at the Riverwinds concert last night. Small World, as they say.

  4. I always wanted to try paragliding when younger – not now though, I prefer my feet on the ground these days. The bird photos are wonderful, especially where you have captured the oily rainbow sheen of the starlings feathers. I’m also glad you didn’t walk off the edge ……

  5. It sounds like you and Jackie could travel all around the world, couch surfing at your follower’s homes, for the price of one of Jackie’s dinners. We’d happily supply the wine and Hoegaarden.

  6. I don’t usually think of starlings and crows as beautiful, but in your pictures, they are. I like the green and pink sheen on the crow and the unusual color and complex design of the starling’s feathers.

  7. A beautiful day it seems. Wonderful pictures as usual. Thank goodness you did not walk off the cliff. That reminds me of myself when I am too intent taking pictures.

  8. Enjoyed your vibrant pictures of Barton on Sea, by any chance is it in the same province as Walmington on Sea from the famed Dad’s Army series?, the village has the same style of architecture.

  9. When I feel a little homesick for the old country I can absolutely rely on your to give me the tonic I need – these pictures could be no-where on earth but England. Even the cake scoffing starling!

  10. So many beautiful spectacles in this post, Derrick. Spectacle of the fliers, of the dogs watching and above all the spectacle of the birds eating so close to you 🙂

  11. Thank goodness you didn’t fall off the cliff.

    Now, am I going blind?
    “The cyclist in this picture has his black labrador running alongside him.”

    I clicked on the photo to enlarge, but ….

      1. Oh I see. I was looking at the photo directly above your comment.
        So your comment referred to the 1st photo…. Even describing which photo is getting confusing, lol. Thanks for clarifying. 🙂

  12. I liked this post with the menagerie of animals and birds, along with people in their “amazing flying contraptions (machines).”

  13. Glad you didn’t go off the edge. What we do for photos … I’m always happy to see dog friendly restaurants. And what a gorgeous place for paragliding. We paraglided off the backside of the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii a few years ago. It’s an experience I highly recommend. If I was rich, I’d make it a habit.

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