#634 theoldmortuary ponders

Science steps in to gently rub salve into my busy mind.

A visit to Bangkok’s Museum of Modern Art definitely blew my Contemporary art thoughts last month.

I really struggled with my own ignorance of Buddhist and Hindu culture. The first two floors, that I chose to visit, presented art created in the last twenty years but absolutely the subject matter were traditional tales, largely presented in 2d and rendered in styles that are centuries old. I was completely exhausted by hyper-real women with perfectly formed bodies perkily posing, predominantly for the male gaze but pretending to be a classic image telling a traditional story in a contemporary way. In short I was exhausted by perky breasts and buttocks and uncomfortable with images of prepubescent girls depicted with their clothes absentmindedly slipping from their bodies.

My apologies for this being a repeat sentiment of a previous blog. But since the last blog two second-hand books have arrived in my house. Short introductions to Buddhism and Hinduism.

I am making a start with Buddhism.

And in particular with Satan’s Daughters. 10 in number, and the subject of a painting that I really enjoyed trying to understand in Bangkok.

Satan’s Daughter(s)? by Surathin Tatana

Louis Pasteur clarified beautifully the artistic journey that I am on currently. Science is a wonderful thing.

Being surprised by something is the mind’s first step towards discovery. Louis Pasteur

This month Buddhism, next Hinduism.

#633 theoldmortuary ponders.

Not the blog that I expected to write today but a fine example of not being able to always plan ahead.

When the weather is good and the tides favourable I often combine my evening dog walk with a quick, solitary dip. This is my favoured location for the evening plunge. Last night my favourite spot was empty as I arrived and I was quick to get in. Only moments later a family followed me down. There was no sun and the water was a little chilly so my plan was for a quick in and out. But at some point I glanced over my shoulder and saw the family were holding an informal memorial celebration and tossing long stemmed red roses into the sea.

I really had no option, despite the chilly ness, but to stay in the water and keep out of their moment of peace and tranquility.

Soon enough they left and the sea was quickly spreading the many roses, placed lovingly in the sea.

If only I had been a little later they could have had the place to themselves. This really is a perfect spot to remember and reflect on other realms and people who are loved.

#632 theoldmortuary ponders

We have had a busy weekend in some glorious weather. There was just an hour or so on Sunday when we could sit in the yard and enjoy looking at the results of our replanting and reorganising, of the pots and planters.

Apparently Hugo needed some time to consider if plants were in their correct locations. Some had been moved to save them from his wee, I’m not sure he appreciated that plan. But he did appreciate us getting out a sun lounger for him to gain a higher perspective of the yard.

He also appreciated the cup of tea that we made to rehydrate after gardening in full sun.

Unlike us his paws and fingernails were not grubby with hard work and soil. We jokingly call him the yard supervisor, I think these pictures suggest that that is exactly what he considers himself to be.

Just when the garden supervisor was on a break his mature good looks got him spotted, again, as a potential dog model. Let’s see how this unfolds,as a pup he modelled neckerchiefs. He retired after only one campaign.

#631 theoldmortuary ponders.

Sunday sunshine and a bit of tennis. Oh the sun is glorious this weekend. We were up early to enjoy as much of the day as possible.

The tennis club gardens were looking gorgeous in the bright morning sunshine.

Hybrid Peony Bartzilla brought an acidic kick to the border near the tennis court.

The tennis also brought a kick of its own as back muscles complained about the early morning work out. June has arrived and so far she really is flaming. Tonight high tide is at 7 pm and the bobbers are planning a plunge. It will be fab.

#630 theoldmortuary ponders

Yesterday I was stopped in my tracks by a piece of prose written by Dame Judi Dench. Not being able to match this in any way. I will just share without pondering at all.

“Don’t prioritise your looks my friend, as they won’t last the journey.
Your sense of humour though, will only get better with age.
Your intuition will grow and expand like a majestic cloak of wisdom.
Your ability to choose your battles, will be fine-tuned to perfection.
Your capacity for stillness, for living in the moment, will blossom.
Your desire to live each and every moment will transcend all other wants.
Your instinct for knowing what (and who) is worth your time, will grow and flourish like ivy on a castle wall.
Don’t prioritise your looks my friend,
they will change forevermore, that pursuit is one of much sadness and disappointment.
Prioritise the uniqueness that makes you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit.
These are the things which will only get better.”

#629 theoldmortuary ponders


I’ve made two reels this morning for Facebook and Instagram advertising a communal gardening event in my local area. The links to both are above. The photographs in both are largely the same but for ease I chose two different pieces of accompanying music.

The music choices make a tremendous difference to the sensation of the reel but both accurately reflect the feeling of a beautiful secret garden by the sea. Before doing a Social Media course I was not a “reel’ kind of person but I was persuaded that reels increase engagement. For the most part I am a sound-off kind of person when viewing social media but recently I have realised it can introduce me to music I have never heard before. I’m not sure everyone takes their music/reel combos too seriously so the hit rate for liking reels music is quite low but I am willing to make a small sacrifice to find new musical paths to follow. Although I discovered this music at a funeral, I have shared it on some reels. I hope it makes your 2nd of June jog along on some great notes and proves that even 30 seconds of great music can make a difference.

Readers in London could experience this fabulous man at the Union Chapel on the 10th of June.

More than 30 seconds of mellow sounds. Welcome June, you are most welcome.

#628 theoldmortuary ponders

We have lived in this house for nearly two years. In this period of time the studio has been tidied 5 or 6 times. The most recent was yesterday.

Previous tidying was done because.

1- the studio was the packing box storage area.

2- all of the London flat moved into it.

3- we lost our passports in the move.

4 and 5 the studio is used as a dumping area over Christmas.

6. The studio now needs to be a multi function space. A studio, an exercise area and a playroom for small granddaughters.

The studio has never been tidied for art reasons. Although that remains the primary function of the space. Yesterday felt a little bit like an arty clear out but despite the other tidy-up sessions feeling diligent this was the one that located several lost paintings. Paintings that I couldn’t remember selling but also couldn’t find. Some of them have been missing for years.  Finding them was such a treat. One especially, of pumpkins, makes me so satisfied to have him back in the portfolio. But just now trying to find the picture for this blog he is once again not to be found.

I am very vexed. In a similar style to my poor care of the studio my Instagram page has suffered from me paying more attention to other Instagram accounts. These pictures are my Instagram grids. Loads of lovely images, interesting subjects but I really need to get paintbrush to paper very soon and get more art on there. But today I am satisfied with a tidy studio, procrastination at its finest.

#627 theoldmortuary ponders

Drinking out of a blue glass in the back yard.

A grey morning has quickly made me realise how wonderful the recent sunshine has been. The beauty of planning to do holiday type stuff, but from home and then getting great weather is that the pressure is off. There is no need to make the most of every moment because you are ‘away’

A forest of Echium at dusk.

Not being away, we gave ourselves permission to watch a couple of dramas over the long weekend. Great dramas for certain but rather too close to home for us.

Maryland on ITV x and Supernova on BBC. Both recommended by friends and coincidentally both about planned suicide by someone in the mid-stages of Dementia.

Both of our mothers died traumatic deaths. My mother had early onset dementia that started in her early 40’s and had her well and truly gripped by 50. Hannah’s mother was killed by a car in her early seventies as she walked her dog. Neither of them planned suicide. But Dramas always use leitmotif to punctuate the air with acid sharp poignancy. They are a stab in our hearts and souls and are seemingly unavoidable but two consecutive dramas using them exhausted us over the long weekend. Hence the blue illustrations, by the end of the second one we were tearful and sad, incapable of cooking or eating supper.

How do these things affect people with no experience of such moments? Do they set the scene and give depth and umami to the drama. A patina of feeling or experiencing something that most people are lucky enough not to experience.

Our list.

The first time your mum does not recognise you.

Identifying a body in a mortuary with a Police Officer.

Being allocated a Social Worker or a family liaison officer.

The sound effects of a car on human collision.

Police officer at the door.

Air ambulance flying over head.

Having to rescue a dementing parent from a difficult or dangerous situation that they have placed themselves in.

I realise this might seem a bit glum, and we were pretty glum having daftly watched two sad dramas with no light intermission. But my point, now I have got to it, is that writers could construct drama that is entertaining and informative without using this ‘bingo-card’of set scenarios. A clear indication that they are simply writing fiction with no depth of empathy or experience. Just ticking off boxes for dramatic and entertaining effect.

All that moaning, I would still recommend them as a good watch. But not back to back.

#626 theoldmortuary ponders

And that, my friends, was quite the Bank Holiday Weekend. So much went on and all close to home. Most importantly new bean bags arrived for me to lounge on in the garden. Lola found a jacuzzi at Buckfast Abbey in the early morning sun.

A small person came to visit.

The mums still insisted on taking us for walks in the early morning and evening when things were cooler. There is no way I can share the wonderful sniffs on here,or the great places we chose to eliminate but I can say that Lola drinking the jacuzzi water was not a smart idea. Some arty sunset shots were taken.

And apparently some bobbing occurred, although we are never invited.

Boule was attempted.

A good weekend, had by all.

#625 theoldmortuary ponders

Using a prompt today, not because I was lost for a subject to ponder, but more because there is always something to ponder.

Early morning pondering in the van, waiting for coffee. Two dogs on my lap.

What are you good at?

I’ve always been a ponderer and on the whole pondering is a private occupation, unless a daily blog is written. So with some self judgement I would say that I am a particularly avid and accomplished ponderer. Being good at something carries responsibilities, I have been accused of having too vivid an imagination or being lost in my own world. Well I adore vivid, that’s why some of my images are over-saturated and trust me,I have never been lost in my own world. I know exactly where I am.

So after all that self-justification here is todays ponder which is a little late and ludicrously vivid.

A chance encounter with a patient took us to Buckfast Abbey early this morning.

It was the most peaceful spot for an early morning dog walk with friends.

So peaceful that, beyond the vivid stained glass,I forgot to take photos.

The whole place is rather overwhelming and the Stained Glass is certainly a show stopper.

But coupled with an organ recital of some contemporary music the whole experience was quite other worldly.

Which I suppose is the point of an Abbey.