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Beach Combing

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by tabtab13, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    I love a bit of beach combing - always have done since I was a kid.

    I collect bits of old, rusty metal, 'sea glass' (bits of broken bottles that have been worn smooth by the sea) and old pottery fragments. The rust metal will be made into a sculpture of sorts, the pottery into a mosaic and the sea glass we keep in bowls or in old bottles for decoration.

    Anyone else enjoy seeing what they can find along a beach, and if so, what's the most interesting thing you've ever found?
     
  2. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Not these days I have to admit, but yes I used to collect objet trouve, usually as worn objects of a seafaring nature or clay/glass, trouble is nowadays that so much detritis ends up on our shores of a doubtful nature, it is only useful when after a severe storm, my prize piece was a wreck salvage of the Lawson turned into a memorial, and now with the Isles of Scilly Museum.
     
  3. Jimjam

    Jimjam

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    When I used to live in PZ we often found the odd used condom on the beach. Didn't collect them though. Couldn't think what to do with them!
     
  4. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Yes - when I was young I'd clamber over Larrigan Rocks looking for crabs (or any other wildlife) and basically anything and everything that could flushed down the toilet could be found in the rock pools. And at certain times you took your life in your hands (literally) if you went swimming, avoiding anything of a 'brown nature' as it floated on by. Thankfully, all that changed - I still like to go out on the rocks and see what's living there and today it's a much more pleasant experience!

    On the subject of collecting things in general, anyone have any ideas on why we do it? And by that, I mean 'odd things', things that have no practical use or monetary value, etc, just things you find personally find interesting.

    Is it linked way back to our past and the instinct is still with us today, perhaps?
     
  5. 46traveller

    46traveller Member

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    My theory is that once we hit the beach we just seem to revert back to children and the "Shiny Things" syndrone takes over. As a child I remember I was always looking out for decent sized "Weird" stones for Mum to use as a doorstop, or to put in the front garden with all the other wonderful stuff I found. Absolutely no intrensic value at all. Summer saw a whole gang of children haunting beaches and coves, looking for "Treasure". Come on folks admit it, "We're all still kids, and something found is worth twice as much as something bought". After all Mums fruit bowl never looked better than when it had sea worn pieces of glass and wood arranged (Tastefully?) in it.
    And that's why the Summer Holidays went faster then !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Indeed ... I have still a piece of eathenware, dated some 3,000 years old, and various objects worn by Nature's Sculptor, the elements. It does have a fascination because of its priceless factor in that they have an intrisic value, if only known to ourselves. One of the most fascinating is a piece of meteorite/fireball that 'fell from the sky' as well as various rock samples I have collected, all of a personal nature. That is it, personal angle - that introduces another side, as being a part of ourselves that has observed this objet trouve as being our own. The same was true of the collections of brushwood that I used to collect, and cleaned up and mounted ... all now disappeared ...
     
  7. 46traveller

    46traveller Member

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    I've got a collection of marbles that still look good. They are "On Show" in two clear glass butter dishes (remember them) on my windowsill, when the Sun is right, they glow and refract the light. Ask children now if they fancy a game they ask "What's it on, PS3 or Wiii".
     
  8. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Yes - "Treasure!"

    I'm almost 50 now but I still get that childlike rush of excitement when I find a nice piece of glass/pottery etc. Or something that gets the imagination going and you think, "Now what could I do with this?" Perhaps a bit of hunter/gatherer going on there as well? Something else happens too - at least with my wife Nancy and I. We seem to have adopted a 'grading system' as well without really realising it. Brown, green and clear glass is fairly common, blue is not, so when one of us finds a blue bit, it's a case of "Yesss!!!" A bit of glass with a letter or letters on it (same goes for old pottery) ranks pretty high too, so an element of competitiveness going on too, perhaps?

    Bits of wood too are great. Yes, you can explain with science how it became smooth and polished but I prefer the more 'romantic' approach of Nature as sculptor. Found a fairly decent size bit once, nicely smoothed, nice shapes and we have it on our living room with white Christmas light wrapped around it - and very nice it looks too!

    At the risk of sounding like an old fogey and generalising as well, it's a shame more youngsters don't find this interesting and instead would rather sit indoors, blowing things up in computer games. Even if you don't find anything, it's the excitement of anticipation plus a few hours looking on a beach on a fine afternoon beats being inside any day - well, for me anyway.
     
  9. 46traveller

    46traveller Member

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    That is a magic word "Treasure", it conjures up gold dubloons, spent rifle bullet casings, and anything you as a child felt would add to your collection to impress your mates. A spent 20mm cannon shell was my pride of place object, along with an empty Blue Poison Bottle that poor mother washed about ten times along with my hands. But what a find !
    Today unless something has been washed off the deck of a passing cargo carrier that has value, the beaches are searched with metal detectors. It would appear that it's mainly older folk that do this, just makes me wonder if our generation are the last ones that think "All that glistens is not gold" and more to the point, you can't put a value on everything you like.
     
  10. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Too right - those are both excellent finds!

    I'm green with envy - or should that be blue?!
     

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