Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Beach Hut 8

Tonight was a first as not only was it hut 8 in our Advent Calendar but was also a book launch. Local author Cathy
Watts launched the second of her 'Sandies' books illustrated by Emma Ball. The books feature a cast of cheerful, colourful characters who live underneath the beach huts and have all kinds of adventures on the local seashore. 'Hello again Sandies' includes a story about 3 ships so the carol for the evening had to be 'I Saw Three Ships'!

There was an opportunity to buy the new book and to make a frosted beach hut but the fairly persistent drizzle made it quite difficult to engage in any craft activities. The display featured illustrations taken from the book as well as various items from the beach that could have been found in one of the stories.

After a our first full week there are still a number of people who have been able to collect a beach hut stamp for every day which is quite an achievement given the kind of weather we've been having but fortunately the forecast is a little better for tomorrow at hut 315.

Beach Hut 7

Brightest and Best was the carol but it wasn't reflected in the weather tonight as we started in the worst rain and wind we'd had so far this Advent. Despite this Janina persevered and set up her triptych of icons and by 6pm we were rewarded with a cessation of the rain and some respite from the wind and the evening ended quite calm.

Janina is a local artist who specialises in collage icons made from discarded material and things she finds on the beach and for tonight she had created three icons of the madonna and child as the carol is all about the infant saviour.

Janina also runs Poets Cornered - a local poetry group based in the Poets Corner area of Hove and she wrote a poem for tonight about the home where Jesus began his life on earth:

When I was 15
I'd dream of running away from home
Would plan spending a night in a barn
Until I saw one close up and realised
I'd be sharing it with rats so that was that
So then, I thought, I could break into a beach hut
Until I saw the size of the padlocks securing every door.
In the end - I ran away - anyway
and stayed with a family beside the A23
on my aborted attempt to walk to London
and became an aunty to three children overnight.
Jesus, himself, was born in a barn -
Not through any choice of his own - as it happens
But - as trite as it may sound
It's love that makes a home.

The sense of Jesus identifying with the dispossessed and homeless prompted Janina to talk to local charity Off The Fence to ask what they needed most in their work with the homeless this Christmas. The answer is hats and gloves and chocolate if you're local and can help with this or you can go to their website to make a donation towards this work.

Tonight local author Cathy Watts launches her latest childrens book at hut 332.