We began the day with general introductions and what each of us hoped to achieve by the end of the workshop.  Hatted, gloved and armed with bags for collecting we headed to the beach.  High tide was due in an hour and so access was limited. However, with well sharpened observational skills and a sense of urgency as the waves lapped at our feet, many wonderful treasures were snapped up.


The rest of the morning was spent on capturing the landscape through writing exercises.  Looking beyond the visual we concentrated on other senses, listening to hear sounds beyond the roar of the sea, finding detail in the heaving mass of water and feeing the texture of stone beneath our fingertips.




DSC00911 DSC00913

Back in the warmth of the hall, the hushed sounds of pen on paper replaced the those of the boisterous elements and prose and poem took shape.


Sticks and stones may hurt

My bones but never break me.

Words can leave me wrecked.


Wooden bird lays prone.

I want to cradle it and

Wing it to my heart.


Broken vacuum flask,

Vintage photos, holidays,

Cherished memories.


Taken, thrown away,

Polystyrene pizza tray,

Picnics on the beach.


Mermaid’s purse washed up.

A tale waiting to be hatched.

Mysteries of the deep.


Val Denton

March 2014

Mysteries of the deep.

We broke for lunch and sat in next door in the cafe chatting whilst bowls of steaming soup and hot plates of filled potatoes were placed in front of us (followed by the odd wedge of golden sponge oozing with raspberry jam).

Replenished, we set about arranging our findings from the morning.  Brightly coloured plastic, seaweed, spars of driftwood, shells and the occasional bit of fishing net spilled onto table tops.





Whilst some continued to write, others hammered, glued, tied and drilled until gradually a set of figures began to emerge,









and finally a selection of beach combings strung into a mobile.




In the vast moving mother-sea
white-caps crash, roll against groynes
those rigid resisting rocks,
breathing in and out, out and in.

Waves batter granite-grey boulders,
shine wet in the slanted sunlight,
foam fizzes, percolates pebbles
disappears, now invisible.

Hardwood pylons brace the shore’s shift,
some uprights split by scouring seas.
A square sign says Beware Hightide;
to those possessing sea knowledge

a green skeleton pyramid
announces Shallow water here
and its sloping pole sings southward
away from the embankment wall

where welcome warmth is trapped
from a generous sun
and southwest winds whip air upward,
chilling despite high noon.

Waves breathe out and in, in and out.

Kaaren Whitney
2nd March 2014



I very much enjoyed the workshop at Felixstowe on Sunday. the weather and venue were great and the tutors very inspiring and non-intrusive. 

It was nice to have an event like this in Felixstowe as often I have to travel to Ipswich.  More please. The facilitators were both very knowledgable and able to impart their knowledge well and enthusiastically.