We spent a lovely week in Eyemouth, just north of the England/Scotland border in September. The beach was about 100m from the front door of our rental property so we spent a lot of time down there with the dog. One morning I spotted something glistening in the sunlight. A piece of sea glass. It had been a while since I’d last seen any. So I picked it up. Over the course of that week, I found another couple of pieces. And then I remembered reading about Seaham, on the Durham coast. Our next stop was East Yorkshire, so driving to Seaham would only add an hour or so to our journey. And so we did.
Seaham Harbour was the home of the Londonderry Bottleworks. Based on what I’ve read at the end of every day discarded and waste glass was dumped into the North Sea. After a century or so of being subjected to tide after tide it gets thrown up on the beach. In a new smooth form. And there is plenty of it. We spent about an hour or so on the beach. And there were bits of sea glass all along it. In different colours. I found it absorbing and didn’t want to stop. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
I sorted my favourite pieces. Washed and lightly oiled them. And they’re now in a small bowl on my bathroom windowsill. And they make me smile every time I look at them.
I love the industrial waste element of them. The idea that waste has been transformed into small objects of beauty and delight through nature doing its thing. And I love the subtle colours of my little bowl of them. The pale blues, the not quite clear ones, the slightly more aqua ones.
If you’re ever in the area, I’d thoroughly recommend stopping for an hour and seeing what treasures you can find just washed up on a beach in County Durham.