Sunny strolls around Seaford and the Birling Gap

Hello there folks! I had a lovely Easter break with my sister, who came to stay with her husband and two little dogs. We had lots of fun showing them round our beautiful new coastline. I managed to take quite a few photos, once the sun finally decided to shine, and thought I'd share some here so you can see something of the beautiful East Sussex coastline. We're on "staycation" next week (moving house is rather expensive, but we don't feel the need to get away anyway as there's so much to explore right on our doorstep) so things will be a little quiet on the blog. But I suspect this will be followed by a large outpouring of photos of our travels! I'm so looking forward to be doing something other than DIY :)

Those of you who follow along on Instagram will have seen plenty of these pretty pastel beach huts at Seaford - I can never resist a shot! So apologies for sharing more here, but I thought these magnificent clouds were too amazing to stay locked away on my computer!

We drove the very scenic route from Seaford to the Birling Gap and headed up on the cliff path with the dogs. We wandered in the direction of Cuckmere Haven, taking in the stunning views and trying not to get too close to the edge. I'm forever worrying about tourists who go so close - it's hard to see how sheer (or crumbly) the cliffs are when you are up there.

We congratulated ourselves on packing a picnic and sat admiring the beautiful views whilst munching our sandwiches in the sunshine for free :) I can't recommend this route highly enough - but be warned, it is very strenuous - lots of very steep inclines and declines - my bottom is still feeling it from our weekend walk!!

By the time we returned to the Birling Gap the tide had gone out far enough for us to be able to have a decent wander. There's just so much to delight and feast the eyes upon.

I found quite a few shells, close to the cliff edge. My collection is growing quite quickly!

It's really hard to capture the majesty of this place in a photograph. The scale is so epic - those cliffs are so high and so sheer - and so white! When the sun shines and the sky is blue, it looks tropical....

As always, more images can be found on Flickr in my East Sussex 2015 album - it's looking quite colourful considering most were taken in the winter months/early spring!

Exploring our new coastline

Well, helloooooooo there folks! I'm sorry it's been so long. We've been rather busy sorting, fixing and nesting after the big move.... It's all been pretty exhausting, but oh so worth it! I won't bore you with our many plumbing woes, but thought I'd share some pictures from our adventures from the last couple of months. We haven't managed to get out as often as we'd like, but there's plenty of time for all that :) Our new coastline really is pretty stunning. I hope to share a few pics of our interiors too, just as soon as we are a bit more sorted.

First up is a little montage of iPhone snaps from Brighton, Eastbourne and our home town, Seaford. Absolutely loving all that fresh sea air and the beautiful sunsets.

Next up are a few shots from the lovely Pevensey Bay - our nearest beach with a bit of sand and lots of lovely space. So many dog walkers out and about - we are definitely living in dog territory - I've barely seen any cats! Just as well, as we are hoping that a furry friend may join our family soonish.

Then we have the absolutely stunning Birling Gap on a perfect sunny Sunday at the beginning of February. This place really takes my breath away. The scale of the beautiful towering white cliffs and the pounding's all very humbling.

I was in heaven staring at the mesmerising waves and clambering over the beautiful white stones. In fact, I don't think I've been more excited since we got here!

Of course, it's not just all stunning cliffs and crashing waves - the rolling South Downs are pretty spectacular too - just look at those beautiful green undulations. There really is so much to explore. We also wandered up the cliff path to see the mighty Beachy Head - it really is such a beautiful spot, and somewhere I know we are going to visit often.

I hope you're not too bored yet, as I'd love to introduce you to the most beautiful Camber Sands as well. A bit of a journey for us, but so worth it to see those beautiful sand dunes and all that stunning S-P-A-C-E. It really reminded me of Saunton Sands in Devon. We totally lucked out with the weather and were basking in beautiful sunshine - there really is nothing finer in February!

It was so lovely to see so many people out and about enjoying the sunshine - there were horse riders galloping along making the most of the space, dog walkers aplenty and families playing in the sand. I could *almost* believe it was summer! I'm definitely ready for more sunshine!

So we really are some of the luckiest people around to have all these beautiful spaces within easy reach. I'm looking forward to plenty more exploring - we still need to go west! Z x

My 5 favourite things to do in Cornwall

I absolutely adore Cornwall. I was born and grew up in Jersey in the Channel Islands and I miss the sea terribly. One day we will move there - for now, we visit as often as we can. We made our annual spring pilgrimage in early April and I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos and things to do. This is a bit of a monster post, so you might want to go and make yourself a nice cup of tea and get comfy :)

1. Watching the sunset on the beach at Watergate Bay

Nothing can beat the beautiful display that nature puts on each evening. I love being down on the beach from golden hour until after sunset, enjoying the light show, whilst the waves crash on the shore. I love how different it looks each time, depending on the weather, the clouds, the tide.....and how it changes from minute to minute.

I also love watching the surfers - their energy and excitement is infectious. I love seeing them all pile down to the beach after work if the waves are looking good. It's such a beautiful sight to watch...

And it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the weather can change. All of these photos were taken on days that started out grey and rainy and full of thick cloud. For the last 3 years we have stayed in lovely apartments at the Waves complex (with Beach Retreats), only a couple of minutes away from the beach. I can't recommend it highly enough - it's so wonderful to look out the window and see the weather brighten up and then be able to leg it down to the beach with camera and tripod in hand. We had a very late dinner some evenings, but it was totally worth it!

2. Cliff path walks

There is no better way to get the city out of your hair, than a bracing cliff path walk. I love the epic views that make me feel so small and humble. There is so much space - perfect for clearing out your head and making room for fresh thinking. And the lungfuls of fresh air really help too.

Some firm favourites of ours are the walks from Watergate Bay to (a) the Bedruthan Steps, via Mawgan Porth and (b) going in the opposite direction to Newquay, via Porth. If you're feeling very energetic, the walk from Mawgan Porth to Harlyn is pretty spectacular - and there is nothing finer than dipping your walk weary feet in the sea at the end of that walk!!

3. Pottering around St. Ives

It's often said there is something special about the light at St. Ives and I would absolutely agree - it seems to glow, even on grey days. I can see why it is such a draw for artists.

There are lots of wonderful places to eat in St. Ives. My absolute favourite is the Porthminster Beach Cafe - amazing food with amazing views. I love Porthminster Beach too - on a lovely day it can look tropical. Other favourite eateries are Blas burger works and the Seafood Cafe.

As well as exploring the many and beautiful beaches at St. Ives, I love pottering around the narrow cobbled streets and looking at all the pretty houses and doors, dreaming about living here... The Tate and Barbara Hepworth museums are also lovely places to visit - and you can enjoy a coffee in the lovely Porthmeor Cafe just outside the Tate on the beach - it has fabulous brightly coloured chairs and the best views!

4. Playing with pebbles on Sandymouth Beach, near Bude, North Cornwall

Sandymouth beach is one of my all time favourite beaches: masses of lovely sand and space to reflect the sky (perfect for doggie walks), lots and lots of super smooth beautiful pebbles, and the most impressive cliffs and rocks - it's a real geological wonder.

I'm a big kid who never grew up and I love to play with pebbles :) It's a bit of a tradition to create some pebble art when we are here - I love hunting out the smoothest, roundest pebbles....I made the first two hearts below and went off for a wander - when I came back, my husband had made the third one - guess I'm not the only kid around here ;)

5. Exploring Chapel Porth beach and the tin mines near St. Agnes

And last, but not least, another favourite of mine is the beautiful beach at Chapel Porth (masses of sand when the tide is out and lots of caves) and the stunning cliffs above it, that are home to wheal coates, the old tin mines. It's a truly beautiful spot and a wonderful place for walking.

I know I said 5 favourite things, but I just have to mention these two, that each have their own post :)

6. Japanese Garden at St. Mawgan

7. Marazion and the fabulous Fine & Dandy vintage shop

Apologies for such an epic post. Cornwall is just so photogenic, I can't help myself. If you haven't seen enough photos (!), feel free to have a browse through my Cornwall collection on Flickr.

Home to Jersey

I've lived in Oxford for well over a decade and this is my home now, but I still always think of Jersey as my home....

I was born and grew up in Jersey and guess I've lived there over half my life - it will always have my heart.

St. Ouen's beach

I miss the sea terribly and am still so torn between city and coast - for now it makes sense to live where there is work, and visit the sea as often as I can, but one day I hope to live by the coast....

St. Ouen's beach

So no apologies for the gratuitous sea photos in this post - this girl needs a regular sea fix!


I've just returned from a short visit to see my lovely family - the first time we've all been together for a few years. The winds of change are blowing and it's time for my Dad to sell his house and home of 20 years and move onwards. This visit was all the more special knowing that it might be my last visit to our family home by the sea. Change is needed, and I know there are still many more lovely memories to make, so I'm OK with that.

So there were lots of favourite places to visit, walks to walk and views to cherish. And of course my Mum's grave to visit, with armful's of her favourite pink roses to wish her happy birthday. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her. Always in our thoughts. Forever in our hearts. Peace perfect peace.

My family

My absolute favourite beach in the whole wide world is St. Ouen's, just a few minutes walk from the family home. 5 miles of glorious sand, big skies and S P A C E. A place to forget your troubles, blow away the cobwebs and ground yourself. I love it, whatever the weather. But on a glorious day, there is no finer place.

St. Ouen's beach
St. Ouen's beach
Blo Karts at St. Ouen's
Sand dunes at St. Ouen

This is the view just down the lane from the family home that leads to St. Ouen's beach. It's looking super lovely at the moment in full glorious technicolour.

Unapologetic colour at L'Etacq, St. Ouen's
Sand dunes at St. Ouen
View from L'Etacq, St. Ouen

Another firm family favourite is Beauport beach, with it's gorgeous smooth round pebbles that I'm rather partial to :)

I've spent many an hour hunting out the smoothest, roundest, most perfect pebbles.....

Hello from Beauport beach, Jersey!

We also had a lovely wander around Ouaisne and St. Brelade's bay - I could listen to the waves crash and roll for hours...

Waves at St. Brelade's Bay
Waves at St. Brelade's Bay

So, farewell lovely Jersey - for now - I'll be back!

If you want to find out more about the lovely island of Jersey, do check out and of course there are always more of my Jersey photos on Flickr. I highly recommend a visit - and while you're at it, pop over to the beautiful tiny island of Sark :)

Watergate Bay: tonic for the soul

I had a lovely week in Cornwall in late March. We were lucky enough to stay in a lovely apartment right next to the beach at Watergate Bay. I adore the sea and miss it terribly - we get away as often as we can. I find it so restorative - the waves crashing and rolling in an endless loop and the sheer enormity of it all helps puts things in perspective. Troubles seem so small against a backdrop of such beauty and strength and timelessness. I find I sort so much out in my head in a week away!

We had typical British weather - i.e. lots of cold, grey days - but we still got out for a brisk walk on the beach every day. We were lucky enough to have two fabulous weather days while we were there - our first and last days - and the pics below are from those. I thought you'd prefer full bright uplifting technicolour to dull grey :)

Blue and yellow - some colour at last!
Tonic for the soul
A whole beach to themselves

The pictures above are taken from the cliff path looking down on Watergate Bay. There are two lovely walks you can do from Watergate Bay: one to Mawgan Porth and the Bedruthan Steps and the other to Newquay - the coastline is just stunning.

Dog walking (and surfing) is a common activity on Watergate Bay - I love the sheer joy of dogs running helter skelter across the beach to retrieve a ball - I defy anyone not to smile!

This beach is all mine!
Lovely day for a walk

The first day we visited the surf was really high and the waves were so beautiful and energising. It was snowing back in Oxford - so happy we escaped just in time for some much needed sea and sunshine :)

Peace is now restored to the Power house - after a few weeks of the nasty Norovirus and an upside down house due to renovations, everything is back to normal and I hope to have some time to be creative. Hurrah!

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead.

The white horses ride in
Look at those waves!
Waves, wonderful waves

A lovely long weekend in Devon

It's been a while since my last trip to the sea - too long. There's something very special about watching the waves crash and roll, over and over. It's very humbling. Reminds me how small we are and how the world will go on without us. A marvellous way of putting your troubles in perspective. And I love a good dose of fresh sea air, even if it is ****** freezing! So, when my lovely sister asked me what we wanted to do, the answer was the same every day - go to the sea!

Braunton Burrows
Look what I found!
We found the sea!

So we visited Westward Ho! with its very jolly exclamation mark and lovely pebbles and shells, then my absolute favourite, Saunton Sands, via a rather longer than expected trek through Braunton Burrows (i.e. we got lost!), and finally topped it all off with a trip to the glorious Putsborough beach. All very worth a visit. And very cold. And mostly grey - until the last afternoon, when the sun pushed its way out from behind a bank of cloud and we bathed ourselves in gentle spring sunshine. On the beach. Oh yes!

Kissing shells :)
Treasures from the sea

Oh and my sister has a new puppy - the cutest little thing you ever saw - he's called Max and is just 12 weeks old. Can you spot him below?

Watercolour Westwood Ho!
Is that a Puppy in your coat?
Sea, sky, space: tonic for the soul

Time for a sea fix

Well, I've made it through January and most of February and now I'm in desperate need of a sea fix. So I'll be taking a short break from the blog whilst I go in search of sea and - finger's crossed - maybe a little sunshine to recharge my batteries. I'll leave you with a couple of shots of the delectable Saunton Sands in Devon on a bright sunny day in March 2011. For more, do have a peruse through my Seascapes Set on Flickr. See you soon!

Where I'd like to be right now...

2012: a review in pictures

Well, it's that time of year again! Time to look back and reflect on 2012 and all the lovely things I did, places I visited, pictures I took, people I met, things I made, things that inspired me...

I won't bore you with lots of details, you'll be pleased to hear! Instead I've created a couple of mosaics of my favourite pictures from 2012. It's impossible to pick just a few!!

The first one is all about landscapes and natural beauty in the world around us. I was lucky enough to visit Brighton, Cornwall a couple of times, Devon, Jersey (where my folks live), Bath and Christchurch. I LOVE the sea, so this is a big influence, and all that fabulous S P A C E! We also found the most amazing, beautiful Japanese garden in St. Mawgan, Cornwall, in the spring, so this features heavily.

2012 Faves Part 1

The second one is all about Blythes, beautiful handmade things and interiors. 2012 has been the year of Blythe - it all started on new year's day 2012 round at the lovely Candy Pop's and I've been hooked ever since. I've "met" so many lovely people online and in the flesh through this hobby and it's rekindled my love of crafting and making things. I also introduced my sister to the wonderful world of Blythe and she is totally hooked too and has been busy knitting away making wonderful creations for her Etsy shop....They are so much fun to style and photograph! I've also really enjoyed giving our home a bit of a vintage makeover and have collected so many lovely things over the year - and look forward to more of it in 2013!

2012 Faves Part 2

Instagram has been a huge part of my life in 2012 too, so I couldn't write this review without a mention. I've taken far too many pics to even pick out some favourites, so I've included a screenshot of my Instagram page below instead :) You can find me on Instagram as @zoepower

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has followed along, looked at my pictures, commented, faved, and shared the journey :) I wish you all the most fabulous, inspired, creative and above all Happy 2013!

A rather soggy but very lovely July week in Cornwall and Devon

It rained and it rained! But the sun did come out a *little* bit and then we rushed out with our cameras! We stayed in a super lovely holiday cottage near Marhamchurch, Bude. We were out in the countryside surrounded by sheep! But only a few minutes drive from the coast - perfect location! It was so peaceful and relaxing. And we had the most amazing huge copper bath in our bedroom, which we made good use of!

iPhone montage of our Cornwall holiday

We had some lovely beaches nearby, including Summerleaze and Crooklets. Summerleaze had lots of really pretty pastel beach huts and an outdoor pool, filled by the tide. Widemouth was really close too, and a great spot for surfing.

Beach huts
Beach hut blues
No. 45
Beach huts
Summer breeze

I think my favourite day was a trip down a very scary, narrow, windy lane/dirt track to get to an amazing rocky beach to play with my Lee Big Stopper. For once we got the timing just right and arrived as the tide was coming in. These shots were all taken on a tripod with a Lee 0.6 ND grad filter, plus the Lee Big Stopper, which allowed me to slow the exposure down to 30 seconds to get that lovely misty, ethereal effect as the tide washed in. It was my first time playing with the Big Stopper, so I was pretty happy with the results!

Sea whispers

Another lovely highlight of our trip was a visit to Clovelly in Devon - it is privately owned and no cars are allowed, so you have to park outside the village and pay a fee to enter. It was worth it, though, as it is so very pretty - lots of houses have decorations on their colourful doors and there are flowers everywhere. The steep cobbled windy road leads down to a pretty harbour....

More pretty geraniums
Shabby chic
Summer in a pot

More photos can be found on Flickr, as always.

Seascapes galore in Cornwall

Al and I were lucky enough to escape to the Cornish coast for a week in early April. We stayed in a fabulous apartment, right on Watergate Bay - can highly recommend it! Makes it so much easier to get out for those sunrise and sunset photoshoots - especially for those moments when the rain stops suddenly and the sky is full of amazing clouds and light. Plus there are some very lovely cafes/restaurants right on your doorstop (I can especially recommend the Beach Hut right on the beach, underneath Jamie's fifteen).

We spent the first two days blissfully car free. On day 1 we walked the coast path round to Mawgan Porth, with its glorious golden sand, and then on to the Bedruthan Steps and back again. Day 2 took us on the coast path in the opposite direction, to Newquay - a really beautiful stretch of coastline. And we were so lucky that the sun shone brightly for those first wonderful days.

We did lots of other lovely things and took far too many photos! One of the non-coastal highlights for me was the beautiful Japanese Gardenin St. Mawgan - so serene - I could have spent hours there... We also made a quick trip to Redruth and I managed to find some beautiful vintage china that I had seen last September and was still there, waiting for me :) All in all, the most loveliest of holidays.

It's very hard to pick out the photo highlights - there were so many - but I've tried below. The full set are on Flickr, as always (although not quite full yet - still got lots of editing to do!). And this time there's quite a strong contingent of Instagram iPhone pics - so much fun to take, edit and upload straight away :)

Pastel sunset *3*
Dwarfed by the sunset spectacular
Menacing clouds
There's a storm brewing….
Sand, sea, surf and sky
Sea grasses
Blossom bokeh - I just LOVE the 50mm f1.4 :)
Pink path
Blue sky and blossom
Blossom Charlie
Charlie girl in the pink
Gorgeous Tulip display at the Eden Project
Softly, softly
Our home for a week in Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Vintage china haul from Redruth
Dunes at Mawgan Porth - is it summer?!
Sunshine and blue skies - bliss!
More Watergate Bay loveliness
Nice day for a surf lesson! Watergate Bay at its best :)
Al enjoying some rays at Newquay
First paddle of the year - just love the swirly sparkly water!
Newquay harbour
Newquay harbour