UK Coastal Tour 2019 – The Beauty and Rain of Devon

UK Coastal Tour 2019
3rd to 9th June

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Swanage Pier

It already feels like I’ve covered so much ground and done so much in this short space of time. Only having brief moments in different towns somehow makes time go slow, I’ve been enjoying each moment as it comes, and I feel that’s important to a happy life, let things be as they are, take in things slowly and realise that we have plentiful time. 

Poole and Swanage, both brief visits after leaving Bournemouth to head further west. I had nowhere booked to sleep. I knew Poole would be nice as I visited it once before and being it a Monday I didn’t expect many to be out, but the sun has this magic gift of bringing out everyone and placing a smile on their face! So the busking sets I had there were so lovely, at times I think ‘I wonder if this town and the people enjoy street music’, I usually have to make my own interpretation by the amount of people who stop and watch, who smile as they walk past, who buy a CD and who find me online afterwards. But as I was packing my things away in Poole, a stream of 5 people threw in a coin and told me how much they appreciate music in the streets, one woman didn’t even hear me play but wanted to show her support regardless, “I just caught you packing down, but have this as a thank you for bringing music out here, it’s always a more pleasant walk when there’s music!”. These happenings keep my love and determination to play that much stronger.

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Poole

As I had nowhere to sleep, and couldn’t find any accommodation within my budget, I camped out in the car. I spent the evening walking around Lulworth Cove, which is absolutely stunning, then found a nice quite spot to sleep, but feared as it was on a hill that I’d somehow flinch in my sleep and throw the handbrake down..and end up driving ‘asleep’ down a very long hill and into a house somewhere. Pretty silly thing to fear really, but it kept me up, so I drove towards Weymouth with intent to find a nice spot to pull up. But I kept driving and found nothing, so I just drove to Weymouth. Then as I got there, I was almost hit several times by I guess ‘boy-racers’ in a 20mph zone in some back estate, which shook me up. Then I found a car park by the pier and just sat, but from a distance I headed many people shouting and throwing bottles around, opened to door to hearing loud running footsteps and ‘propah chav slang ennit’ screaming. Figured it wasn’t the right place to be! I found somewhere, eventually, in Bridport. The rough sleep kind of ruined the next day of busking, a lesson learnt.

But this is Lulworth Cove, es muy bonito; IMG_20190603_205950.jpg

From sleeping in the car in Birdport to waiting for the rain to pass in Sidmouth. Sidmouth, where I found myself the morning of the 4th June, in a cafe here is where I created my own Patreon page, here;

www.patreon.com/chatfield

Patreon is a platform in where you can support creators by subscribing to their art and paying a price of your own choosing. A place where creators can continue to make that which you enjoy and give more back to you.

This website now allows you to subscribe to my art and gives me the opportunity to give more of myself and my music to you. So I’ve designed a few perks so far, one of which I’m quite excited about is sending you postcards/letters along this journey! But I have plans to grow this page with perks such as ‘House Concerts’. I’m also welcome to suggestions on what I should do, so please pass all ideas my way.

Any support on this journey truly helps me massively, it gives me belief that I am doing something of good for this world and allows me to continue growing. From the simple acts of following this blog or liking my Facebook, to tipping me whilst I busk or via an online tip, to buying a CD or joining me on Patreon. It all aids this journey that I’ve began. I wish to make the world smile, and if I’ve made you smile then that’s a big step forwards.

Video taken by my busking friend Ethereal, out in Poole.

So after the creation of the Patreon page and the rain cleared from the land of Sidmouth, I managed to play a set of songs in the middle of Sidmouth. A lovely little spot right in the centre of different shopping streets, benches around and people queuing for ice-cream. It was a quiet day, but after a few songs there was an outburst of CD sales. The whole busk was enjoyable, but my energy was low due to the rough sleep. As the town quieted down I spent the early evening sat by the sea playing guitar and reading. A little bit of the playing here;

Next on the road was ‘Exeter’. As I got into the city, I was totally surprised by how big and busy it was, completely not expected. Cities sometimes freak me out and I get claustrophobic because of how busy it gets, so as I played my first set here I was filled with a few nerves, self-doubt kicked in and I was very uncertain. Rain broke up my playing so I stopped and was almost deciding to pack up and head to a smaller town. I just ran straight out of my comfort zone and set up to play again, I’m extremely glad I did, as it lead into another 4 sets of playing! Pushing through uncertainty sometimes feels daunting, but taking just a few small steps can change that entire feeling. 

Here in Exeter, I met a couple of really friendly buskers who shared many nice conversations, had many lovely people take CDs and bumped into ‘Grow Magazine‘.

Grow – ‘Relentlessly Positive News’.

They took a video and shared on their social. Their mission and what they’re doing is beautiful, I highly recommend following what they do and get reading some of their content, it’s massively inspirational and feelgood.

I’m massively glad I stayed and played a while longer in Exeter!


From Exeter to Teignmouth;

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Once again shut down by rain most of the day, it’s done that a lot this week! You wouldn’t think so by looking at these pictures. But it’s unexpected, it shifts from heavy fast rain to bright blue skies so quickly. Here a small little vegan cafe ‘Kud’, gifted me a cake, the owner was sat reading her book just outside the cafe whilst I was playing, then as she closed for the day, came over and put a cake in my case. I also met up with an old college friend who I haven’t seen in a few years, Savannah who grew up here. We made music in a rather ‘echoey’ tunnel, video to follow (soon)!

Teignmouth to Torquay;
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Now this picture gives you an idea of the rain! It didn’t really have many sunny outbursts this day, well not until the evening, but by then there wasn’t really anywhere to play where people were congregated, apart from the louder pubs and clubs, but playing their would basically be pointless, maybe I’ll give it a shot one day! 

It was such a lovely place to play, it was very cosy under this cover, and quite fun just sitting back providing music for the people of Torquay passing by quickly to avoid the rain. Still many people stopped and watched me play. As you can see the guy behind the window on this picture, looks rather happy! 

From Torquay to Totnes;
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Same weather conditions, same foul playing music in it! It rained even heavier than the day before, but luckily I found another decent sheltered spot. Throughout this whole set there was a German girl dancing while she was stood selling her flowers and garden produce to the people of Totnes. As soon as I began playing here a group of French students gathered around and watched like 3/4 songs, they all bought a CD and took a bunch of pictures. The German girl later gifted me with a head of lettuce from her garden, it was a pretty tasty head of lettuce, made for a great addition to my lunch!

From Totnes to Brixham;
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Finally a full day of sun! This was such a fun place to play, although it was massively busy, where the majority of people were a pirate/20’s themed event seemed to be happening. I found a quiet spot outside a bunch of cafes instead to make some noise. The cafes and their customers seemed to like this noise, they even came and gifted me a cup of coffee!

All in all it’s been a pretty awesome adventure this week, a lot of places discovered that I wish to return to and explore more, great people met, a lovely catch up with a few friends and lessons from my own doings learnt, as well as lessons from the conversations had with the people I met.

You can follow the trip on this interactive map.


Someone, somewhere, is thinking about you…. and smiling.

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