Tag Archives: Brighton

Life Giving Water…

I am hard pressed to choose my favourite things in nature…
Trees, flowers, stars, rivers, oceans, wind, light, darkness…
I am a spirit who loses herself in the natural things of life,
and I may have to blog about each of them…

Life Giving Water - I'm happiest with my feet in the ocean... The Last Krystallos

Water. I am happiest when my feet are splashing in water. Whether I’m traversing a beach, sand beneath my feet and the ocean tide rippling across my toes, or standing on a rock or flat pebbles in the river as it rushes around my legs, or jumping in puddles, or even just wandering through rain, it’s all good!


Cait at Pembrey and Boots in rain © Lisa Shambrook

I was born and brought up in Brighton with its pebble beaches. I remember stalking, painfully, down the stony beach, wincing as sharp shingle stabbed my bare feet, and searching for small patches of sand for respite. Then smiles and shouts as sand appeared beneath the water and you could finally jump the waves!


Lisa 7 Brighton Beach, Rottingdean, Lisa 19 Petit Bot Bay Guernsey, Saltdean © Lisa Shambrook

I recall childhood walks on the undercliff pass at Saltdean and Rottingdean and beaches strewn with rocks and rock pools, and trips out to Goring and its huge stretch of sandy beach. Sitting on pebbles, eating fried chicken and then I would wander down, alone, to the sea and walk for what seemed like miles in the shallows.

We would holiday in Wales, Somerset, and Cornwall, and I would gaze at the pale sand and crashing waves. The sea in Brighton was green and the sea in Wales was blue for the most part. I could stand, or sit, for hours watching the ocean, anywhere.


Pistyll Rhaedr, Sgwd Eira, Blaenau Ffestiniog waterfalls © Lisa Shambrook

Then waterfalls! Rivers cascading over a precipice and its thunder, its roar, its power, and pure energy. Wales has been the home to waterfalls for me, from gazing up at Pistyll Rhaedr which at 240ft (80m) high it is the UK’s tallest single drop waterfall, to Devil’s Bridge, the Sgwd Eira Waterfall and Henrhyd Falls both of which you can walk behind, to many more. I’ve sat with my feet in icy cold waterfall river water up on the Black Mountain, and dabbled my feet in our local river, Afon Gwili, as our dog chases twigs thrown into the water!


River Dog, Roxy in the Afon Gwili © Lisa Shambrook

I’ve been out in torrential rain and once you surrender to the fact that you will get soaked it’s quite wonderful. Go and get soaked to the skin in a torrential summer shower (winter ones maybe not so warm or fun!).

Swimming is one of my favourite things; it helps lift my depression, is great exercise and is fun. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than launching into a pool and surging underwater, those few mere moments of being alone and at one with the elements. Then the rhythmic movements of swimming, kicking, breathing…living, and feeling the power of life within…


Swimming in the Blue Lagoon – Aberieddy © Lisa Shambrook

Swimming in the Blue Lagoon in Aberieddy is also an amazing experience. 82 ft (25m) deep and the most stunning green water ever. People regularly dive into it from the old slate quarry buildings, and it’s one of the most beautiful sea-fed pools in the country.

Water revitalises, refreshes, and gives us what we need to live. Water is life. Without it we won’t survive. It nourishes us, keeps us clean, and keeps us alive. No wonder water has so many links to religion, folklore, and fantasy, and makes its way into plenty of analogies and metaphors.


Penbryn Beach waves and Rain © Lisa Shambrook

I love this quote from Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad:

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.


© Lisa Shambrook

A beautiful sentiment! The power of water is insurmountable. It cuts through mountains, gives us electricity, waters our crops and gives us the basis of life.

Go take a look at my Let Me Swim Pinterest board – you will want to dive right in!

So, tell me, how does water affect your life?

Are you mermaid, or a dolphin, do you love your feet in the water?

Human 76, Human 76 An unprecended post-apocalyptic journey, fragments of a fractured world, Lisa Shambrook, Michael Wombat,We are so privileged to have fresh clean water, and we need to appreciate it. When we released ‘Human 76’, our post-apocalyptic collection of stories, we chose to give all our profits to Water Is Life, a global charity that provides clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education programs to schools and villages in desperate need worldwide. Our book is about those displaced and struggling to survive in a dangerous world and this charity fits perfectly with our stories. So when you buy the book you will be helping those in need.

Blues Buster: Rumble in Brighton

This week’s song prompt for Jeff’s Mid-Week Blues-Buster is The Stray Cats and ‘Rumble in Brighton’. So, I come from Brighton, I’m not missing a chance to write about it, lol!

Photo and texture by Lisa Shambrook – Madeira Drive, Brighton
(Please do not use without permission)
Rumble in Brighton
Tanya stared down at her fingernails peeling off a chipped strip of Constance Carroll’s ‘Shimmering Twilight’. She flicked it and watched it glint and flutter like a cheap butterfly in the morning sun. She looked up and gazed at the river of cubic zirconia cast across the ocean by the early morning sun. She peeled away more nail polish, until an inhibiting hand rested gently on hers. Tanya sighed and tucked her hands between her thighs, deep in her lap. She gazed out across the promenade, between the green, seafront railings and watched the glittering water. Morning’s breeze blew away the fog.
“Tanya, come here.” Steve’s wet kiss smeared her cheek as she avoided him. “No, a proper one!” He caught her chin and planted his lips squarely on hers. She hoped her smile was an accurate portrayal of devotion, but her stomach crawled and knotted with disgust. 
“Let’s parrrrtay!” Gary grinned and pinched Zoe’s bum. Zoe slapped him and Tanya’s smile broadened. 
Steve grabbed Tanya again and the smell of cheap beer soured his lips. “Tan, you’re mine tonight. I’m not doing this without my girl.” He looped his arm around her waist and pulled her close, his stubble grazing her neck. “We’re gonna have some fun tonight.” 
The sound of mopeds buzzed along Madeira Drive and Gary whooped. “C’mon, let’s go!” He straightened his leather jacket and stroked his skinny jeans suggestively. “I need lubrication, got any Brylcreem?” he quipped. 
Steve laughed and flicked his cigarette. “No, but I did shave just for the occasion!” He ran his hand across his newly bald scalp. “Like it Tan? ‘Cos I sure like what you’re wearing tonight!”  
Zoe snarled. “I thought Brylcreem was the fifties, not seventies?”
“Don’t matter!” Gary shook his head. “We’re re-enacting and it’s the eighties, who cares about accuracy?”
“It’s a party!” Steve twirled Tanya. “So let’s do it!” He raised his can of Stella and showered Tanya. 
The party broke down when bicycle chains and razor blades appeared, and all hell broke loose. Blue lights and sirens lit up the strip and Steve dragged Tanya through the heaving throng. “Don’t want no trouble…” he said, “Let’s have fun on our own…”
They stumbled across the railings and Volk’s railway track, and onto the dark beach. Tanya fought to stay upright in her white stilettos.  Away from the anarchy Steve pushed her against the concrete groyne and chuckled. “We’ve got a ringside seat for this…it’s going mental up there!” He stared wide-eyed up at the raucous on Madeira Drive then he spun back and grabbed Tanya’s hand. He kissed her fingertips then thrust her hand down to his belt. He pinned her against the groyne and pressed his lips against hers. Tanya’s head began to swim. “Steve, don’t…” she tried to speak. 
Steve pressed his mouth harder and drowned out her words, instead his hand slid up her thigh, beneath her denim skirt, and Tanya shifted sideways. Her foot twisted on the pebbles, her heel snapped and as she slipped Steve forced her down onto the stones. She tried to cry out, but the noise up on the strip was too loud. Steve came down on top of her and began unbuckling his belt. Tanya fought, and pebbles bruised her spine as he held her down. 
Tanya’s head whirled and she fought the urge to throw up. Instead she rolled her hand up Steve’s leg and moved her fingers towards his groin. He moaned in anticipation as she slipped her hand inside his pocket, feeling for the bulge she knew was there, caressing exactly what she was looking for.
Tanya stared absently across the beach and untucked her hands. The wind raised goose bumps across her flesh and she lifted her chipped fingernails to her face. She began to pick at her nails again, and the WPC beside her shook her head. “Forensics need to examine everything, even your nails,” she said. Tanya watched as policemen clambered across bloodied pebbles, and she smiled as a cop finally raised his arm, holding Steve’s own blood-stained flick-knife aloft. Tanya sighed and the morning sun sparkled on the handcuffs entwining her wrists.       
(695 Words)    

10 Places on Earth I am Grateful for…

My second post for the Gratitude Project…see here for original post. I considered the places that I am grateful for.
I’ve chosen places that evoke powerful memories for me or that mean something particular, though coming from a modest background means I don’t have any foreign travel stories…that will have to wait ’till the children have left home and Vince and I can travel! So my Places are all home grown!

1. This is Hove, or rather Hove actually… I was born in what is now apparently called Brighton and Hove, but I still differentiate between the two. I took this picture just after sunset one evening sitting with one of my best mates on a stone groyne beside The West Pier, or what was left of it! My favourite places are beside the sea. This picture, even shows the power station at Shoreham in the far distance, a chimney jutting up on the horizon…where my husband proposed to me!

Hove Beach © Lisa Shambrook

2. This brings me to Brighton…I miss Brighton terribly! I love the diversity and vibrance of the town I frequented as a teen and love going back. It helps that it’s on the seafront, I used to work in Brighton’s council offices, and my desk was beside the window looking out upon the ocean. Yes, I was a daydreamer when I wasn’t working…staring out at the sun twinkling on the sea! This picture brings back waves of memories…

Scan of a card bought in Brighton, unsure of artist – Brighton Promenade

Just along the coast is Rottingdean…and this is my favourite photograph, taken on one of those glorious days when the sky allowed rays of sunshine to burst through as we climbed across the rocks and pools

Rottingdean © Lisa Shambrook

3. Butlins always brings a smile to my face…many childhood holidays spent in the pool, funfair, shows and on the monorail (which is now sadly defunct). Minehead was the destination most years…and we’ve enjoyed a couple of lovely holidays there in the last few years with my own family! (That’s me in the blue costume).

Butlins Minehead in the eighties © Lisa Shambrook

The Stiperstones © Lisa Shambrook

At the foot of the Stiperstones © Lisa Shambrook

4. When I was young I loved reading Malcolm Saville’s ‘Lone Pine Five’ books, many of them were set in Shropshire…and I developed a love of the countryside he described, so much so that I desperately wanted to visit The Stiperstones. I wanted to see the ‘Devil’s Chair’.
I remember a trip up to Chester zoo a few years ago with the children and on the way home, following the map, I saw The Stiperstones just off on a little detour…not so little, but we got to the car park and set off, ignoring the ominous clouds brewing above. A long walk across the heather and grass and we finally made it to the rocks! It was late, about 9pm, and suddenly the heavens opened…we grabbed hands and ran, racing down the hillside dodging stones and dips in the grass. We got back to the car drenched to the skin, but laughing our heads off! The children remember the visit to the zoo, but it’s the adventure up to the Devil’s Chair that they remember most!

5. Talking of Devils…the next place is Devil’s Dyke in Brighton. Many, many memories over the years. Kissing in the moonlight, playing pool in the pub, breaking up, first romantic dinner out in the new restaurant, walks across the green hills, adventure, love, and an anniversary dinner just a year or two ago…

Saddlescombe Hill, Devil’s Dyke © Lisa Shambrook

6. Petit Bot Bay in Guernsey… I went on holiday with my friend, then a year later was spending my honeymoon there…obviously full of memories!

Petit Bot Bay, Guernsey © Lisa Shambrook

7. As I’ve said I love the ocean…and holidays in West Wales turned out with us living up here. A childhood holiday found Aberieddy, and years later I took my daughter there to swim in the gorgeous green water one hot summer day! Swimming in a sea-fed pool 82 feet deep, felt surreal and wonderful. People also dive off the ruined building on the far side of the lagoon…couldn’t bring myself to do that!

Aberieddy, Pembrokeshire © Lisa Shambrook

Edinburgh © Lisa Shambrook

Edinburgh © Lisa Shambrook

8. Edinburgh is in my opinion the most beautiful city in the United Kingdom. We took the children on a mystery tour…waking them at 5am, driving to Cardiff airport, giving them their first aeroplane ride and watching them trying to guess which destination we were flying to… We were in Edinburgh before we knew it and adored it! I loved the Writer’s museum and marvelled at the pavements outside. This was just beyond the Royal Mile in a quiet back square…and we discovered paving slabs covered in quotes and poetry…I loved reading them!

9. I love Welsh legend and lore, and the sculpture of Llewellyn up in Llandovery amazes me…anywhere with a castle and some history and I’m happy!

Llewellyn, Llandovery © Lisa Shambrook

10. My final place…is my home. Carmarthen has been my home now for eighteen and a half years. It is right in the middle of some gorgeous countryside…I’m close to beaches and the ocean, to mountains, to rivers and reservoirs, to castles…and waterfalls and woodlands…you name it, it’s here! We went up in a helicopter a few years ago and looked down on our house and got amazing pics of the town where we live. Just behind my home is a narrow forest of pine, opposite is the hospital (just in the right side of pic) and just to the north of the picture is a river that runs beside an old steam railway. My favourite dog walk is by the river, unfortunately they are planning to reopen the disused railway line…(you can see the railway in my banner at the top of my blog) so we can’t walk right by the river anymore.

Carmarthen © Lisa Shambrook

So these are  my favourite places, the places in this world which I am most grateful for, or where I am most happy to be!

Brighton Rocks…

Oooooh, after a weekend in my hometown…I have to admit I really miss Brighton!

I’ll tell you what I miss most…the seaside, I used to live one mile from the ocean and now I’m many more miles away from it.
That’s not to say I’m not happy with the welsh beaches I live close to, I adore the sandy shores of Pendine, Pembrey and Llansteffan…miles and miles of broad sandy beaches, perfect for walking the dog, splashing through the waves and soaking up the sun. They don’t get as busy as Brighton beaches and they are my favourite places to be.
But, and it’s a big but, I miss my childhood beaches of Brighton and Hove. I don’t understand why, but I even have fond memories of climbing up from the sea, across the pebbles ‘ouch’, hopping and stepping carefully to find your towel, placed strategically far up the beach… I remember wandering, again stepping carefully, across the beach trying to find the patch of sand that you know is there…but where? Then you find it… A metre square patch of golden sand…what a find, a real treasure! And sitting on the pebbles, throwing stones at drinks cans lodged ten feet away! And I love the ‘plop’ of stones as they arc and plunge into the sea as they escape your hands.

I love the big stone groynes placed between the beaches, I can remember spending warm evenings sitting on the end of these watching the sun go down and enjoying friendships and romances! I loved late evenings watching the sunset with the ocean stretching out in front of me…
I remember the magic of walking on the Palace Pier as a young girl, and staring down through the weathered wooden boards at the green ocean twinkling and sparkling in the sunlight below. The salty smell of the ocean and the wind rippling through my hair…I relived all these last week!
So I miss Brighton…I think there’ll always be a magic in your place of birth that you won’t find anywhere else!