An off-piste pier view and some how to’s

No I haven’t hit the ski slopes literally or otherwise, fellow bloggers asked how I add arrows, shapes, text  and symbols into the photos I post here on my blog. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and I’m fully expecting, or rather hoping to see how creative you lot can get with shapes and arrows 🙂

I’ve created 3 PDF’s (Adobe) that you can download and read at your leisure – I do hope they make sense, I’m sure if they don’t you will let me know ! For those that asked I will send them as an email too, I know Celia was asking but she’s off gallivanting.

So no gardening or food today but there are some photos and a story to entertain you.


The photos today were taken the other week when I was walking along the promenade from St Leonards into Hastings. It’s less than a mile to walk, but late afternoon in Autumn / Winter the light will change as you walk – from deep blue to dark. As you walk, with the sun on your back you have to remember to  turnaround every now and then and take a moment to enjoy the view.


And for those that might wonder about the pier, it is currently closed and looking very sorry for itself. A major fire damaged it a couple of years ago – arson don’t you know. The smoke filled the area for days – you could smell and taste it, while the fire itself took several days to extinguish. And when the fire crews had left, Hastings was left with sorry state of affairs – a burnt out mangled wreck.


But there is light at the end of the tunnel, or should I say light at the end of the pier? as Hastings was awarded National Lottery money to refurbish and rebuild the pier. The relief is palpable. A seaside town with a pier in danger of collapsing into the sea is a miserable sight.  So over the next couple of years we should see the pier emerge from the ashes.

Pier and starlings

You may or may not have noticed that I try to change the header photo of my blog on a monthly basis, this month’s photo is of the pier and was taken on the same walk. And as a couple of eagle-eyed viewers noted there is a murmur of starlings above the pier – not very distinct but still visible (look above the pier and in the centre of the photo in the header). I watched them for 5 or so minutes, swooping and diving, soaring and changing shape. A wonderful sight.


The documents I’ve created are –

How to Add an Arrow or Shape into a Photo – HOW TO ADD AN ARROW OR SHAPE TO A PHOTO

How to Add Text into a Photo – HOW TO ADD TEXT TO A PHOTO

How to Add a Symbol like Copyright into a Photo – HOW TO ADD A SYMBOL TO A PHOTO

Ok back to the garden and food – and yes responding to the wonderful comments on here 🙂


  • What does off-piste mean ? Is it Latin for pissed- off ? I know what that means. Are the top ones paintings you did or is this a program that converts photo to painting look ? I will save the 3 docs. My skills are so primitive if I have to embed such I scan, use scissors, glue and rescan.

    • Hi Carl, it refers to being literally off-piste on the ski slopes, as in not on the marked trails or runs, when you are off piste, there is no designated run, you make it up as you go along, find your own route through the trees, avoiding the pitfalls and hopefully reach the bottom of the mountain in one piece ! But it gets used now for any old scenario where you are not literally following the designated or marked route – so in terms of my gardening blog, I’ve gone off piste from gardening and food and into the relams of software instruction !
      and what the heck, if it works for you then stick with it!!

    • a pleasure Cindy, I never get bored of the view – the sea always does something different, flat calm, or rowdy churning waves, changes colour according to th elight, tide is in or out. Always something to enjoy !

    • Hi Cindy, you’re welcome! I never get bored of the view as it is alway schanging – from flat calm to rowdy churning waves, bright blue twinkly colour to flat greys or pale greens, tode in or out. as I say never ending changes ! I’m sure your walks around Beaver island are beautiful too !!

  • Clever Claire – and Kind Claire (but that´s not so alliterative!). Thanks fo rthese docs, very useful. And I love the views along the shore at this time of year, the light is so beautiful. Great news about the lottery funding!

    • Slightly Krazy Claire 😉
      Isn’t it fab about the lottery funding, I relaise this post was very brief and to the point, and if I wanted to I could write reams on the pier! Luckily for everyone else my time is restricted 😉

  • How very sad about the pier burning! Good to know it will be refurbished! Yay!
    You are such a sweetiepie putting all the documents together for everybody – what a lovely Christmas gift for all your readers.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • As you can imagine it was a huge event for us, and walking past the burnt out pier has been a pretty depressing thing! So I’m looking foward to seeing the work start

  • Thank you, Claire, for the downloads and for taking us for such a great walk. We sure did take some lovely photos during that walk, didn’t we? Such a shame that vandals destroyed the pier and I hope whoever was responsible was brought to justice. Great news, though, to read that funding has been allocated to rebuild the pier. Your community must be quite happy.

  • Thank you for sharing your walk with us! Lovely indeed…but how sad the pier burned. Great news that it will be replaced with a new one. As always beautiful photos Claire!

  • How lovely of you to do the help sheets. Too bad about the fire, I just don’t understand such destructiveness. The photos are indeed lovely.

  • Fab photos and I love that pier! It is such good news about the lottery funding and that there are finally signs it will be brought back into use.
    Nice touch with the starlings in the photo. Always worth spending a few minutes of your time watching them shift and swoop into different shapes:-)

  • Your a champ. Thanks for sharing.
    My former mother-in-law lives in Brighton. That pier has also had a rough life.
    Your photos are beautiful. cheers 🙂

    • The pier at Brighton, the one with the beautiful iron and glass structure was stunning, and it was a dreadful business with it ending up burning and falling into th sea, such a sad sad day!

  • Hi Claire! Thanks for the tutorial, I saved the pdfs to read later. One question, there’s a J&B´s video at the end of your post, is it you or is just an ad?
    Have a nice day and keep enjoying those beautiful walks 🙂

    • Hi Giovanna sadly yes it is a video and it’s not mine but advertising. I think I need to try and separate out my post and the ads a bit more …..

  • Great post as always. Lovely photos. And I really like “murmur of starlings”. Didn’t know it was called that, but sounds perfect.

  • Thanks you so much for the pdfs: am an absolute dunce in matters such as these: so have also saved and shall try and make sense ‘upon the midnight clear’ 🙂 !

  • How sweet of you to offer some “how to” instructions.. I will send a new blogging friend over here to read this, right after he masters making a category list and a menu of pages, lol! I love murmurs of starlings, I would be enthralled if I ever saw them in flight! xx

  • Thank you for these very helpful documents, Claire. I would love to experiment. I am not sure I have the appropriate editing software, but you’ve given me a good jumping off point. I’m so glad to hear about the pier renovation. We love piers. You must really miss yours since the fire! When it’s back in action, I hope you’ll share an update! 🙂

    • definitely Debra, that will certainly be a Red Letter Day when the pier is re-opened. The old pier had a very funky bar on it, and there was nothing better than wandering down on a Friday afternoon after work, sitting on the deck watching the sun go down chatting to your mates. Happy days !

  • a SO-lovely walk along your promenade. that’s a deep gulp of sea air for me, just when I needed it badly. thank you! and thank you too for the little tips. kind you are.

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