Pett Level – how can a submerged forest be preserved for 6000 years?

Blimey, it is well into January already…..
     I have not yet started implementing any of my New Year’s Resolutions.  I never start on 1 January – people are tired and strung out, the fridge is full of tempting Christmas left-overs, there are half-drunk bottles and half-eaten boxes of sweets on the kitchen work-top, and relatives still lurking in the house. I shall start on Monday 7 January.
     Christmas and New Year in the Battleaxe household were somewhat marred by illness – first me, and the Philosopher then caught a flu-like malady. It was very long-lasting and debilitating for both of us. He is not yet totally restored. Add to that the terrible wet weather, and it feels as if we have done nothing for ages.
     A couple of days ago I summoned up the energy to go to Tunbridge Wells to the sales. I don’t think I’ve written about those particular shopping delights in this blog, but oh the joy of Fenwicks.  It manages to collect most of the brands I like together on one floor. But, bargain-wise, I was far too too late. A ravening swarm of locusts had swept through the place before me, snatching up everything in their path. All that was left were either sizes 8 or 22, plus a few sequin vests and a couple of tribal print onesies.  I am writing about the challenges of shopping for stylish Battleaxe clothes on Bombastic Battleaxe.

     Today we went to Winchelsea for coffee followed by Pett Level for a walk. The tide was very low, and bits of the submerged forest were sticking up out of the sand. I squelched out and photographed some of the blackened branches and trunks. Apparently the forest dates from around 6,000 years ago, when the sea-level rose at the end of the last ice-age. How does the wood get preserved? I know wooden wrecks are preserved for a few hundred years, but this wood is far older.
     If you prod the wood, it is soft and sodden, like peat, and there are many sea creatures living in it. I can’t imagine it can last for much longer? Comments would be welcome.

We also noticed that the recent wet weather has caused a couple of cliff-falls and mud-slides.  A tree, still upright, has slipped down the cliff and is now apparently rooted on the beach at the bottom. I had a good peer at the newly exposed  material to see if there were any fossilised dinosaur bones sticking out, but it looked very soggy and unstable, with little trickles of water still running down. Any fossils would be more mud than stone, and one would do best to keep away from the cliffs – remember some poor young woman died in a cliff fall in Dorset back in the summer.

I collected up a few bits of driftwood for my Creative Endeavours, plus a few pretty stones – Pett Level has an excellent selection.
     I still haven’t used the ravishing power tools I got for Christmas. Philosopher went out to our garden studio shed today, switched on a fan heater to warm the place and dry it out and fused all the power to the house – I suspect moisture has got into his carefully laid wiring. The power is now back on but the door bell seems to have gone mad – it keeps ringing itself. We will have to get an electrician to sort out the shed.

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