Advent#16

Christmas comestibles.

Today the long walk in the sunshine took us back to the location of Advent #1
https://theoldmortuary.design/2019/12/01/advent-1/

Our visit to Jacka today was enhanced by festive baking. We weren’t exactly early birds, but were lucky enough to get there in time to get the last available slice of Stolen and one of their lusciously deep mince pies. Coffee drinking at Jacka this morning was hugely sociable . The coffee hounds Hugo and Lola were treated to snippets of delicious bacon from a generous benefactor while everyone at the various tables were talking to one another.

As this is a second Advent visit to Jacka I thought I would share some of the bakeries history . Gleaned from a 1985 published article displayed on the café wall .

Dated currently back to 1597, Jacka is the oldest working Bakery in Britain. It is said that it supplied Ships Biscuits to the Mayflower in 1620. Ships biscuits from this bakery were still famous worldwide well into the twentieth century.

Todays festive bakes were tastier than any Ships biscuit. Time to roll out the the word ‘ moist’ . The festive season is known for its traditional foods. In Britain moistness is demanded of Christmas cakes and Turkey. Today we added a third moist festive eating experience.

Bakery made Stollen , as far removed from the supermarket stuff as it is possible to be. A generous core of deep yellow marzipan surrounded by jewel fruited,doughy loveliness , gently dusted with icing sugar. The mince pie, no less lovely, had a deep, golden pastry case filled with dried fruits, quenched to plumpness and topped with a pastry star.

The coffee, as is usual at Jacka was made with great beans by a skillful barrista.

This may not be our last Advent visit.

Advent#15

Foraging.
Last year I was gifted a beautiful Christmas wreath. It lasted more than a month and when I came to throw it away I noticed it was formed on a very substantial frame. The frame went into the garden shed along with all the other really useful things we archive for an undisclosed moment in the future. Today, our morning dog walk was also a foraging trip for winter greenery. We didn’t particularly plan to break any rules or trespass but secateurs on a dog walk do give a scintilla of being up to no good. It’s a good thing we hadn’t planned anything bad as we met some friends, Mike and Shirley, as we set off. They were dressed as proper walkers, it would never do to implicate bona fide walkers in sculdugery.

The nature reserve where we walk is beautiful, so we just talked and walked for a while.

Soon enough though, a lovely bag of greenery had been harvested and as luck would have it, on our return journey, we also found some thrown away bits and pieces from old flower arrangements that had become virtually dried. It was all gathered together in the kitchen and something festive was created, fueled by tea, naturally.

I’m not sure how much this resembles a traditional Christmas wreath but it cost nothing and will brighten up our home for the last seven days until the Winter Solstice.

Advent#12

Baubles and Fish. Today was all about catching up with bauble chores, after yesterday’s bauble debacle. There was also a painting commission to be completed .

The commission has to be based on fish, painted, printed and divided into three separate canvases that will look abstract. I’m struggling a bit .

Here’s the first image.

Then I desaturated it but picked out the eye.

Finally I selected portions for abstraction.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this, but I’ve got another week to work it out.

Advent#11

Today has mostly been about untangling strings of baubles, the strings of baubles hang in our windows. Usually they hang on fishing thread but today’s untangling was monumentally unsuccessful. After a couple of hours of success, followed by abject failure and swearing the new regime is to have them hanging on ribbon . Only one window achieved instead of 5 .

The shadows are also quite interesting.

Advent#10

E225AEFA-BE87-4F83-AA72-E1B99D048B9D.jpeg

December night and the Cornish year-round bauble.

Eden project rose out of Bodelva Quarry , near St Austell in Cornwall, around the Millenium. A fantasmical dream of one man, Tim Smit, brought to reality by architect Nicholas Grimshaw, structural engineer Antony Hunt and constructors McAlpine.

https://www.edenproject.com/

It opened to the public in March 2001, 18 years on it is settled into the Cornish landscape and psyche. As with any big new development there have been rubs and chafes but plenty of good news too. Eden has been showing significant profits since 2012.

The Eden effect on Cornwall has been immense, by 2009 it had brought £805m into the local economy.

With a ‘locals’ pass Eden has become a year round destination for theoldmortuary. We can avoid the busy tourist-heavy days and use the outdoor spaces for dog walks and gardening inspiration. At Christmas time we use the shops to buy environmentally friendly gifts that are often locally produced. Walking the cool biomes during the late-opening evenings is a wonder of plant architecture and illumination. As ever with an oldmortuary outing there is always coffee and cake, and on this occasion a kangaroo too.

Advent#9

The Myth of Dionysus sculpture at the Eden project. by Tim Shaw

http://www.timshawsculptor.com/

Illuminated during the Winter Festival the sculpture looks all the more like late career Dionysus. Less the God of vegetation and more party boy drinking the fermented juices of the fruits of the vine. Appropriate really for Christmas when work parties frequently turn into Bacchanalian feasts

The Dionysian myths explore the truth of human nature that beneath the veneer of everyday life there lies dark and powerful forces of unpredictable magnitude. Also not dissimilar to the Christmas ‘work do’ .

https://www.greek-gods.org/olympian-gods/dionysus.php

Many of the plants at Eden also have nightclub glamour during the Winter festival, leaning together like tipsy colleagues in the spotlight.

The Winter Festival runs until 30th December. It’s safer than the work Christmas party.
https://www.edenproject.com/

Advent#8

Some days ‘popping’ into town takes a bit longer than planned.
https://www.santasonabike.org.uk/

Hundreds of Santas rode into town at 1pm. Raising money for Little Harbour Children’s Hospice .
https://www.chsw.org.uk/our-care/our-hospices/little-harbour

The town, already closed to traffic for a winter fete, was soon bursting with bikers in red, astride throbbing engines with fake fur on their faces.

Saturdays are never normally this vivid in South East Cornwall.

Advent#7

Mr.Robin, Britain’s National Bird and Christmas favourite.

In June 2015 Phillip Hoare described the Robin as ” Brutish,ruthless and ready to ruck.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/11/british-national-bird-robin-murderous-bully?CMP=share_btn_link

Stuck, as we are in Britain, with a General Election in the run up to Christmas it is hard not to see the Robins characteristics in some of our politicians. Just like the Robin they will pose innocently over the Christmas period hoping that none of us remember what they are really like and who they harmed to be there.