I headed down to the seashore on yesterday evening around sunset, looking for a beer and a bit of quiet to set the week aside. Bournemouth Pier is free to wander once the summer season is over at the equinox; the beaches are less crowded and the best light comes comfortably earlier than in August.
A large, still knot of people clustered around the dry wash that the city built connecting the depleted River Bourne to the sea. Inside the circle, a dancer wheeled around a metal sculpture, offering potted plants openings in the panels, glinting in the sunset. Behind me the crowd parted to let a space-suited actor enter the space.
‘twas, indeed, Bournemouth Arts-by-the-Sea time.
I’d forgotten that the event was on, and spent the rest of the evening wandering the various bits scattered through the Lower Gardens. The annual event consists of sculpture and performance arts, with rotating displays and troupes through the week.
The collection of glowing blue spheres, thrumming with low-frequency music, were a crowd pleaser: the local orchestral ensemble in the Pavilion was less of a draw (people don’t like sitting on the grass when the weather gets cold).
I was fond of a brilliantly lit grove of trees, pulsing to music, halfway up the south slope of the park while the kids liked the whistling lines of illuminated boats nearby. A torch-light parade was scheduled to kick off around ten pm, but unfortunately an hour longer than my parking meter back along the East Cliff drive.
All good fun, and still it left time to wander the pier to enjoy the wind, the waves, and the buskers, each making their own sorts of music.