Pandemic Pondering #114

Wembury Part II- The beach is closed to dogs, as is normal for the summer. Summer is a time for the cliff paths and always, at this location,some contemplation for a soldier unknown to us.

We walked to his memorial bench, positioned at a bend on the cliff path.

It is a beautiful spot overlooking the Mewstone. It commemorates a young life lost at war. These two links tell the story of his passing. Yesterday was his birthday.
https://www.gov.uk/government/fatalities/lieutenant-colonel-rupert-thorneloe-and-trooper-joshua-hammond-killed-in-afghanistan

https://youtu.be/s6ODJw014YY

Pandemic Pondering #112

Keeping ourselves nice.

Socially distanced birds at a supermarket

Back from our Lockdown release gallivanting, we have socialised,done a little shopping, a lot of garden maintenance and a lot of driving. We caught up with the really important things in life, friends and family.

Stag, Richmond Park

Throughout the pandemic restrictions we have used the term ‘ Keeping ourselves nice’ meaning that we’ve stuck to and are mindful of the rules.

Bulbous Betty , Richmond

The term is one I heard in my childhood and the simple explanation of the term is – Is this person sexually continent. It was used in hushed tones by the older generation when discussing unmarried people and in less hushed tones when discussing their friends and neighbours who were not ‘ Keeping themselves nice’

I don’t even know if it was a common phrase, although I once heard a comedian saying his mum had commented that she hoped ” He was keeping himself nice”

Our slightly tongue in cheek use of the term is more about being socially continent and mindful of restrictions and other people’s needs.

‘ Keeping ourselves nice’ has become a way of life.

Working From Home Perfection. Laptop, coffee and peace in a park.

Pandemic Pondering #111

London. North or South?

PP#111 is very brief. All @theoldmortuary has done recently is paint fences black. There is less to write about when painting black fences than there is when renovating a Cornish Hedge.

North Londoners joke that there is nothing worth crossing the river for. Suggesting that South London has nothing of interest.

South Londoners know better than to retort negatively.

The most common reply is that South London is greener.

This is particularly true in our tiny patch of garden now we’ve painted the fences black.

Now the fences are back to black it’s all looking pretty lush. Not only that but I haven’t has to look too far for some stencil graffiti and Palimpsest with a green theme.

Stencil Graffiti bear , Gipsy Hill,
Church door Palimpsest, East Dulwich

Should you want to read about the North/South debate may I suggest this link- https://www.luxurytraveladvisor.com/destinations/north-or-south-london-which-better

Written by a proper writer rather than a mere scribbler. South London, it’s greener.

Pandemic Pondering #109

Restrictions being lifted on travel and overnight stays could not have come at a better time for @theoldmortuary.

A scumbag fly tipped outside our flat in London this week

Imagine our happiness when we discovered our neighbours/friends had tidied it up.

London , like many big cities, has a reputation for being an unfriendly place but from the moment we moved here we were surrounded by neighbours who quickly became friends.

Shit happens everywhere and our neighbour/ friendships were forged over another adverse event. Three days after moving in we were burgled, traumatic enough in itself, but the day after, our flat and by extension ourselves were subjected to a frightening police raid.

Our lovely new neighbours swooped in and picked up the pieces just as they did this weekend.

Socially distant Pandemic Pondering in the garden with our neighbours.

Pandemic Pondering #108

July 4 the and the first time @theoldmortuary were able to travel and stay overnight somewhere. The early morning cup of tea gave it away. Getting our hands on a fluffy Sally or being trusted with the business end of nursing are not normal @theoldmortuary behaviours, so clearly we were not at home for our breakfast.

There were many giddy moments as we ticked off counties and the differing landscapes that we drove through. Oh, the exotica of the Somerset Levels and the Cotswold Hills. Wimbledon welcomed us, no wombles today, they are still shielding, but lovely family members and some great walks.

A tiny blog, but useful. Never will you be puzzled by the term ‘ fluffy Sally’ ever again.

Pandemic Pondering #107

I don’t think I’m alone,as a creative person, in having utterly failed to fill the pandemic lockdown with a meaningful career defining response to these strange times. I’ve drawn,painted and sketched. Written obviously. My Magnum Opus is,so far, eluding me.

My Mistresspiece is missing.

It will come as no surprise that I am utterly disappointed by this definition of Mistresspiece.

An outstanding example of female beauty.

What utter bollocks!

A Mistresspiece is career defining creative work by a woman.

It stands alone and is not in my opinion mistress + piece, after masterpiece.

Rant over , time to continue the pondering about my missing Mistresspiece.

To be fair, a missing Mistresspiece is just a symptom of Lockdown Ennui. Expressed by so many people who have failed to do tasks or achieve goals, during Lockdown, that has previously been excused as a failure because of time constraints.

There is something going on in my studio. I doubt very much if it is the Mistresspiece. It hovers somewhere between collage and Palimpsest.

It is an attempt to get down in 2D the swirling thoughts of Pandemic Insomnia, which in turn seems to involve a return visit to those complex and often sinister repetitive dreams of childhood.

To be continued.

Pandemic Pondering #106

Pondering was not the only thing I started on Day 1 of lockdown. A small clothing research project started.

With hindsight it had all the makings of the sort of research idea that should have been quietly binned early on.

All my non wardrobe clothes are kept in a chest of drawers in the spare bedroom. With no likelihood of guests I decided that as clothes were worn and washed I would store them on the bed. Then after lockdown I would know which ones never got worn and I could bag them up for a charity shop and I would have sorted them organically.

While I can allow pondering to go on I think this experiment failed from day one because it was a bad idea. Judging clothes usage from one of the most unusual period of my life has given me a clear idea of how to make a spare room look messy and very little else.

The piles of clean clothes stand on the bed like those towers of pebbles that are found on beaches and other pebbly places. Most of them have their tops removed where folded underwear was quickly removed to be worn.

Proper winter clothing remains, a wooly, dense reminder that late March was the last time I needed more than one set of clothing for socialising and existing in the outside world.

There are a couple of bright piles from early on when putting on a bright jumper or t shirt lifted my spirits artificially when the reality of a life in prolonged Lock down was difficult to process.

Because the weather was so good almost as soon as lockdown started I needed summer clothes to take my daily exercise dog walk.

I’ve improved my positional memory immensely, by knowing more or less when specific things were last worn and in which pile it can be found .

Handbags lay on the bed, unused, alongside gym clothes. When Joe Wicks YouTube exercise videos or dog walks are the pinnacle of fitness you can pretty much do it in anything. I wonder when a Handbag will feel essential ever again.

Somewhat madly I have put on, liked, but currently not essential, garments to go to the supermarket simply to save them from staying in the cupboard and facing the clothes equivalent of the last trip to the vets for a loved pet.

Not that charity shops are reliably open to receive my organically selected rejects.

Packing my bag for my first weekend away from Cornwall has made me realise this experiment had got to stop. There are about two bags of clothes left in the chest of drawers to go to charity shops if I stick rigidly to my own guidelines . I’m not sure it was worth the effort. They may just be clothes not required in a Pandemic.

Pandemic Ponder #105

Some blogs just write themselves. I warned that blogs written this week would probably be composed sitting, in comfort, on a sofa whilst watching recordings of Glastonbury Festivals of the past.

Three pieces of serendipity have mapped this blog.

1. It is being written on a Wednesday, which as you can see from an old poem suggests that “Wednesdays child is full of woe” ( I am not a Wednesdays child)

2. It follows PP#104 which is about the word desolate which is officially inclined towards woeful.

3. Mark Radcliffe, the DJ presenter of the BBC’s archival coverage for Glastonbury 2020 introduced me to a new word.

Kenopsia- The forlorn atmosphere of a place that is normally bustling with people but is now abandoned.

One word that completely describes Worthy Farm in June 2020.
https://glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

Researching Kenopsia took me to this article from the Independent Newspaper.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-top-ten-obscure-sorrows-10506971.html

Follow the link for the full ten. I’ve cherry- picked the ones that resonate with @theoldmortuary.

The Independent took their ten from the early workings of a book that is soon to be published.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
https://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/

I’ve delved into the same material and come up with some words that slip perfectly into future Ponders. For now I present my current woeful favourites.

Anticipointment. The realisation that the excitement and expectation of an event are greater than the reality.

This word is a true slap-down for an optomist, she wrote, pessimistically.

Monachopsis. Subtle maladaption. The sense that you are not quite in the right place.

Like a seal mum who lumbers onto land to endure the discomfort of birth and its after-effects in an environment that makes her clumsy and not quite in control.

Knowing that she will become graceful and confident again when she and her pup can glide back into the sea.

Zenosine. The sense that time keeps going faster.

I can only add Zenosine+P

Where exactly did Pandemic Ponderings #1 to #105 go.

July 1st already, utter madness.

Thanks to the BBC and Mark Radcliffe for fueling this blog with a new word used in their Glastonbury coverage.

The research for the blog has taken me to some intriguing places and gave me the perfect ending to blog PP#105.

Diligence and the internet led me to someone called the ‘ Disappointed Optimist’. Fact checking for accuracy got me this far.