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It’s not every day that I go for a walk in a completely unknown part of the city and find myself face to face with something very familiar. This Street Art depicts an old pub, previously called The Long Room. The actual yellow building is on my daily dog walk. I had gone to get my flu and Covid boosters and had completely misjudged the parking situation about 2 miles from home. Searching for a space in labyrinth of small streets and cut through footpaths I abandoned the car and hastily found a way to my appointment.

Jabs done I had to find the car again. The route was a curious mix of elegant Victorian town houses and modernist social housing. A sure sign, in Plymouth, that I was in an area that was heavily bombed in World War II.

Something tells me I am going to have to find this mural again and try to make some sense of it, it is certainly not geographically accurate. I wonder if there are a series of them in the area. Finding it again might be tricky but street art is nearly always worth the effort of further investigation.

#354 theoldmortuary ponders

October the first has blown in on the coattails of Hurricane Ian. We have had our first winter style swim. A really rough swim in rainy conditions. The sea was warmer than the outside temperature and it was wonderful. After the swim we felt so full of good vibes, a healthy dose of free radicals and positive ions set us up for a busy day of doing things. We powered through a list of jobs and then at around 5pm the energy left us, almost as swiftly as we had gathered it. There was nothing left in the tank.

Winter swims are just the best thing, even in the autumn!

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Despite declaring the arrival of autumn yesterday.

#352 theoldmortuary ponders

Autumn put in a very summery face, today, for my visit to Cotehele, despite being in the midst of Drawn to Cotehele, two more exhibitions are in the pipeline. We sat in the bright autumn sunshine planning a winter Portrait exhibition. It was our inaugural meeting, time for the curatorial team to get together and set a schedule. As if on cue, as we were discussing 3d art, we were visited by a chap called Alfie.

A very fine example of flesh and blood 3D.

Cotehele was looking gorgeous.

But you can see from peoples clothes that the seasons are on the turn. Spring and autumn sunshine is sharper than baking hot summer days. The clarity of light gave me one of my favourite ‘ it’s complicated’ shots.

The exhibition we are currently running at Cotehele was bustling with visitors and the red dots, signifying sold work, are stacking up. The art is constantly restocked so the exhibition looks fresh every time I visit.

©Jane Athron

This one by Jane Athron sold really early on but has been replaced by another vivid picture from Jane’s studio. Another Jayne, Jayne Ashenbury is also selling well.

It is such a pleasure to have Cotehele as a base for Drawn to the Valley for a month, I am not sure when I last looked forward to meetings quite so much. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same if it was raining but I am really excited to see their pumpkin harvest display towards the end of our time with them.

Yesterday was just so lush, bright sunshine and glorious pools of shadow to give contrast and relaxation after the stimulation of early autumn colour.

Zoom meetings were never like this.

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Sunrise but looking west.

It, has happened in Stonehouse, the last vestiges of summer have slipped away and there is a chill in the air. Today was my first day in tights and a jacket, other clothes were worn. I was not just prancing around like a principal boy in a ballet. Walking around Stonehouse often involves random conversations with strangers. Today it was all about the weather.When the bobbers gathered at 6pm many layers had been added to our summer casualness of a towel, a costume and some summer clothing. It’s not the swimming that has particularly changed but getting out of the water is decidedly cooler.

Sunset looking west.
Sunset superimposed on sunrise

#351 theoldmortuary ponders

When this book was recommended to me a colleague warned me that I would need to take a break every now and then to calm down.

She was not wrong, I am only a quarter of the way through. Suddenly some things are blindingly obvious but not perhaps in the way I expected. From a historical perspective women often appear invisible because men took the credit for their work. I did not expect that simple fact to appear in my contemporary life this weekend. I was searching on line for a range of bone china that was designed a few years ago by a woman in collaboration with some art students. The design was easy enough to find using her name but when I thought about ordering some I noticed her name was nowhere to be seen. Instead the whole range was branded with her husband’s name. I am pretty certain I would have noticed this without being immersed in this wonderful book but now I am acutely aware and can’t quite bring myself to order the china.

Then today I was at a training afternoon and the course leader was trying to upscale a philosophy for children scheme * to engage with adults. I’m not entirely sure his plan was quite working as well as he had hoped, for anyone, when I also realised he had customised a visual aid by putting words in the shape of a male face with a moustache. The default male face as I now know these things are called.

So the warning on the book turned out to be a good one. Unfortunately real life is every bit as capable of winding me up now this book is my bed time reading. I also have the sequel. This could be a long week bookwise!

*P4C. Do not attempt to use on adults unless you are really sure of your material!

http://www.p4c.org.cn/en/About.aspx?ID=0

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©Anne Crozier – Golden Hills. This image can be seen at Drawn to Cotehele Art Exhibition.

My early morning walk had gusts of biting wind and brilliant sunshine. This whole blog could have been about the early signs of autumn getting a firmer grip on our daily lives, but between then and now I have attended a committee meeting and one word that I heard there knocked fading summer out of the blog for today.

Salmagundi in the context of our committee meeting was used as a word for a potluck supper. A meal or feast,for many, created by everyone attending bringing a plate of food to share.

Google suggests that the primary meaning of Salmagundi is of a mixed salad. But the words use to suggest a mixture in many different scenarios is also well established.

This, in a funny way also describes the weather between Summer and Autumn arrivng from all directions and a huge variety of textures; and the process of holding committee meetings, the opinions and experiences of a variety of people. In both cases different things come together to create a group experience.

A new word, for me, is a huge excitement, one that I am happy to share.

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Mine and Lola’s first time in a department store for 3 years, if you don’t count M and S, which I don’t.

The target items were kitchen items but here we are relaxing in the shoe department. Lola having the best time chewing a disposable sock.

In other news paintings are flying off the wall and this afternoon was spent framing two more to go to the exhibition.

Green Man

Low Cloud over Calstock

Saturday’s are fabulous things but as I write this late blog we are almost in Sunday!

#348 theoldmortuary ponders.

Yesterday was a surprise. Dawn was mighty fine and then I went to work at a gallery/exhibition that had been running for nearly a week with no publicity. I definitely anticipated a slow start but was pleased to see that there had been a few sales.

Red dots at a gallery signify that a piece of art is sold. The work is either taken away at the time or left in the gallery until the exhibition ends. A mix of both greeted me when I arrived and soon after we had a steady stream of visitors through our, quite remarkable, door.

There must have been something in the air because both myself and the other steward each sold a piece of our own work within an hour of being there.

Obviously, we couldn’t do the traditional artist happy dance of backflips and somersaults because we were in such an old and precious building. But the sentiment was the same without risk to life or limbs. I have a feeling this is going to be a memorable exhibition.

My plan for when the exhibition was quiet was to take loads of photographs to share our beautiful location on this blog. Now that has to be a job for another day. If you live anywhere near the Tamar Valley a trip to Cotehele in the autumn is always a colourful experience. Our art group has just added a little bit of extra interest.

https://drawntothevalley.com/

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©Mark Fielding

There is an irony to this blog. For the last ten days I have had loads of time to do Social Media for an art exhibition at Cotehele, a National Trust Property on the Cornish side of the Tamar Valley. The National Trust asked us not to do any Social Media during the mourning period for HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Today I am actually at Cotehele and free to do Social Media and I have two problems. Firstly we are really busy and secondly there is hardly any signal. This blog will be published by me visiting the bowling green, hopefully, or perhaps by waving my arms at the Dovecote. Another touch of British eccentricity if the last ten days have not seen enough of it.

©Peter Ursem

Working at a National Trust property is always a treat, I am sitting in a room that was a bed chamber in 1485 or possibly earlier as that date is the first of the recorded redevelopments.

©Gilly Spottiswood

All of the work here is inspired by either Cotehele House or the Tamar Valley. The website of Cotehele is below.

https://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/place/cotehele#:~:text=Cotehele%20House%2C%20a%20rustic%20house,their%20principal%20residence%20near%20Plymouth.

For now my lovely readers I am off to wave my phone on the bowling green. Failing that, who could begin to guess, this is a medieval house there could be somewhere even more delightful to get a signal.

©Michael Jenkins

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And so after 10 days of Royalty, but not Royalist-tinged blogs I bring the blog gently back to randomness and repetition. This morning Tranquility Bay was exactly that, tranquil. Hugo set about clearing the bay of floating seaweed, Lola ingratiated herself with a very impressed toddler and I talked about local cockerel activity with friendly neighbours, one of whom I have never met before. It was as if the last ten days had never happened. September days with gorgeous sunshine are just so blissful. Nothing more needs to be said.