Here’s a view of some of the Guernsey cliffs near Torteval. Anyone who spends a lot of time near the sea knows that a view can change greatly across a year. Even within an hour, the view can become almost unrecognisable. Islands with no rivers to carry earth out into the sea are particularly variable. Guernsey is no exception. The sea there often seems capricious. I have covered up and shivered in a cold squall of rain only to find a t-shirt too hot a few minutes later. The islands of the English Channel often look as if they have been dropped into some tropical sea. You can go on believing the fiction right until you put a toe in the freezing water!
This particular shade of almost milky light turquoise is a little unusual, even for Guernsey, but spend any amount of time there and you will see it. Torteval is one of my favourite Guernsey parishes. It is in Torteval (meaning twisting valley), that the sky really opens up. The Guernsey cliffs near Torteval become more austere as one approaches the heights of Pleinmont. The effect is heightened by the relics of the German occupation: massive observation towers and underground workings. But before that, the cliffs are softer and there are fewer signs of the occupation. In the spring, all the Guernsey cliffs are a riot of wildflowers. In the warm sun one delights in the coconut perfume of the yellow gorse, and the white and mauve of sea campion.