Sussex, meaning South Saxons, is a county with much of interest. In my map of England (the one in my head) Sussex might be represented by castles and beaches. Allegedly, Sussex dialect has many words for mud, which is not such an attractive thought. I have a special category for Shoreham, and there are other places in Sussex that I may paint in the future.

The identity of a county is a tenuous thing that had more substance in the distant past. The globalisation of products and minds has chipped away at identity. Some argue the benefits of this, saying that a world view is oceanic, and not insular or tribal. But others point out the loss of dic=versity and difference. Few people would want to see a return to the kind of inbred superstitious suspicion that is the popular notion of rural communities. Actually, I wonder if this might be another relic of the state propaganda that helped bring about the enclosures. Identity lingers though, and there are always people to reinforce it.

It seems to me that people in Sussex towns look happier. I have no evidence for this, indeed there is considerable deprivation in the county. But there is a lot of beautiful coastline. Highlights are the beach at West Wittering and the vegetative shingle of Shoreham in West Sussex, and in East Sussex, Cuckmere Haven and Birling Gap, and Camber Sands.