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MORTAL ENGINES (December 22, 2018)

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Throwback Thursday: Dungeness...

Visiting an open studio at Dungeness, out front was their 'grave yard' of old tools

Last month Rachel and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a short getaway to the coast, with Alice, staying at the hotel we'd stayed at for my 50th birthday.

On our actual anniversary, we visited Dungeness... and I fell in love. It's now giving Wales a run for its money as my dream retirement venue.

An isolated headland, consisting largely of pebble beaches, adjacent to the iconic Dungeness Nuclear Power Stations, there's a Portmeirion-level quirkiness to the homes that dot the area, an idiosyncratic blend of cutting edge architecture, tumble-down Victorian fishing huts and 1930s chalets.

The whole area has an atmospheric cinematic bleakness, reminiscent of the alien gravel pits of classic era Doctor Who or the weird science of Simon Stålenhag’s Tales From The Loop, that encourages eccentricity in its inhabitants.

It must be haunted, right? A totally round house would be 'interesting to decorate.
Also, note the wild rabbit resting in the grass in front of the wall.

It's no wonder it has a thriving artistic community and was, famously, the home of visionary director and artist Derek Jarman.

There's no phone signal and no wi-fi, even our satnav went a bit bananas as we were trying to find the car park for the railway station - the end of the line of the world-famous Romney Hythe & Dymchurch small railway.

Some people would say that "bleak" was a negative, pejorative, term to use for the area - but I would say that was all part of its stark, soul-shivering charm.

I took a number of photographs, but not many of the actual houses there as I felt awkward about snapping pictures of private property where people were living. And they don't really go in for many fences around their homes, they're just 'there' among the pebble expanse.

If you like places that give you goosebumps because you feel you're walking on a different planet (or, at least, an inventive facsimile of one from a retro sci-fi movie) then Dungeness is a place you need to visit.

You can read more about the geography of the area here at Wikipedia and its tourism here.

Doubling-down on the atmosphere, the area was shrouded in mist when we arrived.

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MORTAL ENGINES (December 22)