Next week I'm going to spend a couple of days moving my brother up to Reading from my parent's house and it got me into an introspective mood about my roots. I come from a place called Canvey Island which is a small island in the mouth of the Thames. I moved out of my parent's house when I was 18 and left the (Canvey) Island life behind. After spending so long living not more than about a half hours walk from the sea in any direction it seems slightly odd to be so far away from all the things that go hand in hand with being by the sea such as ships, sea air, sand, candy floss and the like. After all this thinking I was inspired to search out some of the pictures that I took while on various visits back to my parents.

Ajax: Two boats, one of which is called Ajax, in the water near the bridge to Benfleet from Canvey Island.Ajax: Two boats, one of which is called Ajax, in the water near the bridge to Benfleet from Canvey Island.

Above is a picture taken on the edge of Benfleet (that's the mainland ;-) ). You can see a large bridge in the background. This is one of the two ways off the island. You take that road if you want to go to London and it's a road I've driven many times. Out of frame on the left is the start of the boat yards. This stretches around about 1/3 to 1/2 of the island. I've always enjoyed looking at the boats and when the wind catches the rigging theres a particular sound that is made that automatically makes me think of days spent playing with my friend who lived just across from sea wall while young. The tide is in in the picture but when there is a spring tide, the water rises significantly and the marshy green areas become flooded. When the tide is out most of the area under water drains away leaving an oily mud behind which can be lethal to walk on as you tend to sink rapidly into it. It also has a really distinctive smell and clings to clothes like glue. Traipsing through the muddy creeks as a kid was always an exercise in careful footwork, as a wrong step and you could get stuck, not only dangerous but embarrassing! I'll have to try and hunt out more pictures but I don't think I have any.