#101 theoldmortuary ponders

Defiantly red on the 3rd Monday of January. Traditionally the Blue Monday of the Northern hemisphere. Maybe it should be the Blue, blue Monday as the world marks nearly two years of Covid restrictions. We are all a little tatty round the edges regardless of the day. Maybe Blue Monday has lost its bite in the pandemic as life has progressed so long with a slightly blue tinge.

Bucking the blue trend as well was Miss Spearmint who is very assertively making sure the local beach is closed for the day by resting on the steps. Yet enhancing the day by spreading out her tail flipper to show off her lovely pink webs.

© Debs Bobber

#100 theoldmortuary ponders

#100 a late blog, not for complicated reasons. More weather related, we woke up to sunshine this morning and just felt the need to walk in sunshine and harvest Vitamin D while it was still an option.

The bright sunlight did provide some lovely complicated images though.

Fennel seed heads, shadows and repaired, cracked masonry.

Our walk just took in really familar territory at a ponderous speed and lots of basking in pools of daylight.

Cast iron railings, shadows and masonry

Nearly four hours of walking required two stops for coffee, and of course a wee.

Complicated shadows and textures outside a loo.

We were not the only ones having a bask. Miss Spearmint was also making the most of the sunshine.

As were the Cormorants.

And then just like that nature turned the lights off …

Rusty downpipe and masonry.

#99 theoldmortuary ponders

Earlier this week the dogs had a true post pandemic moment. Of course they probably have no concept of the pandemic but they must be aware that the past two years they have spent far more quality time with us. This week they went to the vets and a mummy was actually allowed to accompany them into the consulting room. Such is the skill of animal nurses and vets that they almost certainly have no thoughts on attending the vets without us. But for the humans @theoldmortuary visits to the vets have been additionally traumatic as we have had to wait in the car park as they have endured, and not always silently, their various treatments and procedures. Our veteran 24 year old cat took the single ticket, one way trip to the surgery last summer and Hugo has had a very intimate area probed. His howls of indignity filled the car park and set off supportive howls from all the dogs in the car park. Lola in particular took the howling to operatic levels of sound and drama. So as they snuggle on the rug I imagine they are looking at me with gratitude.

But in reality I think they would like me to move on and leave them in peace.

#98 theoldmortuary ponders

Candy coloured houses. The clear blue sky of yesterday lunchtime gave me this gorgeous photo. These homes are on the beginning and end of my dog walks. The dogs pay no attention to the colours of the houses but are very particular about sniffing all the canine messages that are left on the low walls to the front gardens. Sunshine has really lifted this week out of the rigours of January. The Christmas selection tins of chocolates are beginning to look completely ravaged which is another sign of the seasons moving on in an encouraging way. I think I am unusual in loving the fruit creams, so for me a ravaged tin is one that only holds anything that isn’t a fruit cream. Either way sunshine and ravaged sweet tins are fine markers of the Northern Hemisphere turning towards springtime!

#97 theoldmortuary ponders

Very close to sunrise and Spearmint, the seal keeps a watchful eye on a paddleboarder. She escorts him out of the water but decides not to clamber up the slope that he uses to exit the water. Instead she decides to swim off to a nearby swimming beach.

Just moments later with the sunrise properly established she finds a beach with several swimmers. All the swimmers know not to be in the water with her and step away from their proposed swims.

Spearmint takes a few moments to bask in the rising sun.

And have a bit of a morning face wash with her flippers.

The swimmers all managed to sneak into the water on the far side of the beach and swam as she settled down for a sleep.

Its been a long two months without much sun. Sunrise and a seal is a lovely way to start the day.

#96 theoldmortuary ponders

Funny to start an early morning blog with a sunset but this one is a pointer to the next day, which is today.

Yesterday was a day of dreadful mists and traditional West Country Greige.Until this gloriously over the top sunset arrived, better late than never! The whole day had been an impenetratable colour and sensation of meh. My actual day was hardly any more enlightened with dull, domestic tasks and my relaxed moments filled with a book I had no wish to read. Over Christmas a small pile of lovely new books has appeared. I have yet to start any of them due to other reading commitments. In the greatest piece of bad luck, this months book group book is by a new- to- me author that I have a tiny bit of history with. I will name no names but the author is a well known T.V. presenter whose books, apparently, are both breathtaking and on many lists of bestsellers. Prior to Christmas,and probably against my better judgement I downloaded one of her literary mistresspieces. Having read one chapter I returned it, the prose being not quite to my taste. Flimsy would be my best description. Imagine my horror when the book club book for January was by the same author. I decided to adopt the cold water swimming approach and just get straight into it. I dedicated all of my reading time over two days plus some extra to get it done so that I could start on my Christmas pile.

Was my one chapter and out behaviour the correct approach? Mostly yes, but the plot of the book club,book choice, was really quite clever and deserved much better, deeper writing than the celebrity author had bothered with. Surprising really as she is not a foolish woman and has a wide breadth of life experiences. The editor also had an off day, some of the inaccuracies were absolute howlers that had me reading them several times to try and make some sense of them. There was no sense to them!

So, bad weather and bad book was yesterday and so far I have no idea what today will bring, but my, very cold, early morning walk shows promise.

The dawn sky was as good as last nights sunset. There is a millionaire parked up in the Sound.

Luxury Yacht just off Drakes Island.

I think I might have chosen somewhere a little warmer to park my $250 million super yacht in January. Presumably the owner of both the Dallas Cowboys and this boat has his reasons.

More heart warming than a Super Yacht was this bouquet of flowers on a bench. The bench is dedicated to someone, now deceased, who loved this area.

The dew that had formed at dawn created a poignant reminder of the tears we all have for the people and moments that we have lost forever.

And an even more powerful reminder to push on through the greige days because the sun always returns, eventually.

#95 theoldmortuary ponders

Misty nights have so much more charm than misty mornings, currently. There is a cloak of greige over everything this morning. It started to creep in last night making our evening walk softer and more mysterious.

At the book club meeting yesterday a friend said she felt suffocated by the current weather. This morning it is easy to sympathise with that statement. January really is a hard month to love.

There was a break in the greige yesterday. I am ashamed to say I missed it, a fellow ‘bobber’ grabbed this photograph yesterday morning at Trematon.

©Angela Bobber

That really is a beautiful ‘break in the clouds’ I will keep my wyes open for something similar today, but I’m not holding my breath!

#94 theoldmortuaryponders

Is the 10th of January 2022 a little late to conclude the reading and viewing plans of the 2021 Festive season?

Even the 10th of January is pushing the truth a bit as my piles of to-be- read books are nicely replenished by the festive season. Just a nice number to revel in rather than overwhelm me.

This book gave me this particular deadline as it is the Bookworms Book Group read and the meeting is today. For completeness I also watched the BBC 4 part dramatisation. Link below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p08qf8md/us

I enjoyed both, David Nichols writes books that have emotional depth even if some of his characters lack it, deliberately. The BBC drama had the added benefit of giving me 10 minutes when I could enjoy the acting talents of my lovely next door neighbour, Keith,who had, unknown to me, a small part in episode 3.

I say ‘unknown to me’ as if I insist on knowing where my neighbour has his small parts. This is not the case!

Us gave me light relief after an ill advised Christmas read. My favourite historical period to read is what is known in English speaking worlds as The Jazz Age or Roaring Twenties or in French Années Folles.

My book of choice was-

On Christmas Eve I commented that I was unsure where the book was going. By Christmas Day I was all to aware that the destination was Jersey in World War 2. Even more of a surprise and grimly shocking was that I was actually reading a Biography. It is not that the book wasn’t well written or that I am not glad to have read it but maybe not my usual subject matter for the Yuletide!

Let the reading of 2022 commence.

#93 theoldmortuary ponders

This time last year our Christmas decorations had been packed away extra carefully in preparation for a house move. Not a single one was broken. The job this year is much easier. They are just stored away in shoe boxes and then kept in a large Sandalwood Chest which in itself a tough old thing that survived the Indian Uprising of 1857-59. A series of mutinies and rebellions against the British East India Company that functioned as a sovereign power on behalf of the British Crown. The uprising is more properly known as the First War of Independence. 900, 000 people, mostly Indians lost their lives in a series of violent and cruel events where civilians were the largest group of victims. Truly dreadful things were done to innocent people. All of the usual cruel and demeaning acts of war and domination plus a torture that is readily relatable to everyone who cooks. A paste of mashed chillies and peppers was applied to the eyes, genitals and rectums of victims.

Our Sandalwood box arrived in Britain after the Partition of India in 1947 and has lived with me since the death of my parents. It has lived a peaceful life for the last 30 years protecting Christmas decorations.

A somewhat grim meandering for a ponder about Christmas decorations , but not without reason.

With a nod to history, our Christmas tree always has a few peacoocks, an unintended but direct nod to the Victorian domination and rule of India. Only the tail is visible in the picture above. This may just be family folklore but it does make some sense.

It would have been rather dull to remove our Christmas tree without some form of celebration. The tree has been part of our lives for a month and has provided light for the darkest of days and a focal point for our festive gatherings. Mince pies and Baileys was the perfect accompaniment to a prickly end of the Festive Season.

#92 theoldmortuary ponders

A photograph never lies. Digital photography is certainly a big liar and analogue photography was not so squeaky clean either. Check out dead child Victorian photography to see how photographers altered the truth.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36389581

Less macabre but also deceitfully the Cottingly Fairies were also a photographic hoax.

https://qz.com/911990/the-cottingley-fairy-hoax-of-1917-is-a-case-study-in-how-smart-people-lose-control-of-the-truth/

No deliberate deception is intended by my window picture but one quick glance might suggest now is a good time for the early morning elimination walk for the dogs. It is not a good time, the rain is blowing sideways and no amount of the ‘ right’ clothing is going to make any walk this morning a pleasure. Maybe the dogs are cleverer than I think, they got me up at 5 this morning for a quick comfort break in the back yard.

None of this is actually the point of this blog. This house is surrounded on three sides by the sea. The fish in our window are swimming in the only direction that would take them to dry land. Having only just realised this I feel compelled to turn them around. Having done that I now wonder if they were always fleeing predators.