what goes around…

Charli Mills is back in the saddle and her prompt this week is

May 11, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story, using the power of erosion. It can be natural, cultural or something different. Is the force personified or does it add to the overall tone? You can use the word in its variations, or avoid the word and write its action.

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This cliff top has now gone.

I’m very conscious of erosion. Even as a small child holidaying on the north Kent coast I was aware of cliffs crumbling. There was a hotel at Beltinge, near my grandmother’s – the Miramar – where I saw the remains of the tennis courts, part of which was now in the sea. That seemed ineffably exotic to a ten year old.

Moving to Hampshire in 1969/70 we lived a mile from the sea where, at Hordle Cliff the self-same erosion took place. I experienced it first hand one day when, chasing the family dog, the path gave way and I tumbled down the cliff side. Happily, luckily, the cliff sloped rather than plummeted so I rolled and bounced and ended up embedded in a rather unwelcoming shrub. The shrub was not amused.

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The other side; longshore drift means this part of Dungeness spit is a lot further inland today

The upside to erosion, as far as I could ascertain was the prospect of fossil discoveries. These never amounted to much more than sharks teeth but the possibilities left open a space for continued excitement.


If you ignore the scarecrow in the foreground, you can see the sea defences put in by the authorities to try and minimize the erosion

Nowadays, I spend some time on the Suffolk coast, the scene of the sign Charli highlights in her post.

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The beach, just down from the cliff which the winter storms filled in with shingle

The town of Dunwich was once a thriving medieval port but the erosion has rendered it little more than a pub and a few houses. The rather beautiful Abbey clings precariously to the edge of the cliffs and the churches that once announced the town as something important are under some tonnage of seawater.

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Tumbling cliffs near Sizewell

However if you go further down the coast by a few miles the self same forces that are removing from the landmass are adding to the shingle cuspate at Orford Ness creating a spit of some length and a unique environment for the bird and wildlife.

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A bit further south than Orford, the erosion is of the breakwater, creating this rather arty shot

The Yin and Yang of erosion.

But, of course, erosion isn’t always a physical thing, as Mary is discovering. Last week Rupert helped rescue her baby and this week, she’s seeing him differently.

The Insidiousness of Love

‘Oh Rupert, it’s me.’ Mary held the phone tight to her ear. ‘I thought you’d like to know Charlotte is fully recovered.’


Mary squeezed her eyes shut, willing him to speak but the silence echoed. ‘Would you like to come round for supper?’


‘This is really kind. You didn’t need to.’

Mary thought he looked like a naughty schoolboy; all he needed was a cap to turn in his hands. She smiled and hugged him. He tried to step back but she held on. ‘I’m sorry. I’ve been terribly mean.’

He smiled. ‘Worn you down, have I?’

If you want to catch up with Mary, Rupert and the rest, click here.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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7 Responses to what goes around…

  1. Ritu says:

    Worn her down indeed…!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jan says:

    We were just in Hawaii where many famous beaches are disappearing – good use of erosion in a story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills says:

    Enjoyed the walk across your eroding shores. Even as an adult, I’d be mesmerized by a tennis court being consumed by sand and sea. Like how you used erosion in this story because it’s what Rupert has been doing all along!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Erosion « Carrot Ranch Communications

  5. Norah says:

    When I was in Northern Ireland I saw what was left of some castles that had fallen into the sea, when the sea advanced I guess. They tell us that sea levels are rising and that more and more land will be reclaimed by the sea. It is a stronger force than we. Looks like Rupert’s strength may have outlasted Mary’s. I like the way their relationship is developing.


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