Pandemic Pondering #462

This is an image from our evening walk, coming out from the tunnel was the nighttime sound of a Jazz Saxophonist. Rather lovely.

The day preceeding the evening walk was rather less lovely. Several trips to the tip and the house moving favourite, cleaning the oven! We’ve been in the physical part of this house move for 5 days now, cardboard boxes are the most prominent feature of our current lives.

Since we have no usable sofas currently, walking is the best way to stretch our hard-working backs. We stopped a while to watch the sun disappear.

Until tomorrow…

Pandemic Pondering#461

Late in the day blog. I’m blaming massive domestic admin again. @theoldmortuary has relocated to the other side of the Tamar. Often with this view it could be predicted that this is a blog about bobbing but today this was our early morning walk. So brief and sometimes late blogs this week while we find ourselves in our new home and also find our stuff in the many boxes that crossed the Tamar yesterday.


Pamdemic Pondering #460

Monday has dawned after drenching storm last night. Yesterdays domestic admin got half the container plants moved between deluge.

But the twelve left have had a proper soaking overnight and will be twice as heavy this morning.The snails in our corner of the world are positively psychedelic with the tasty treats delivered to them.

Beyond getting wet and moving plants Monday for us will be a busy day of logistics. Facebook brought up some interesting memories for the 28th June. This one with appropriate Pride month filter was me heading off to Mansion House in London to a Ball to commemorate the staff and work of The Heart Hospital London. A Cardio/Thoracic specialist unit that was merged with Barts Hospital in the City.

After a day being wet and muddy it was nice to be reminded that I can scrub up for ‘a bit of a do’ even if such things are currently just a memory. Just as hugging for a photo is.

This was our last on call trio at the same hospital 24 hours each in turn. Happy Days, good to have dressed- up memories when the day ahead will feature a lot of psychedelic snails and not any dressing up.

The snails are by our granddaughter, in truth ours are not quite so vivid.

Pandemic Pondering #459

This is a weekend that is heavy on domestic admin. Yesterday was house stuff and today will be gardens. Before we buried ourselves in the nitty gritty of it all we had a swim and were joined, in the water,on this occasion by a pilot gig. The domestic admin goes on at a pace, we are moving ‘stuff’, finding ‘stuff’ and repositioning ‘stuff’.

This is the 178th day of the year. It would be an understatement to say that this has been an odd year. Is it odder than 2020? Maybe that can be my project for Sunday while I’m re organising garden plants. Have a good Sunday whatever you are doing with it. Plants and weather permitting tomorrow’s blog will be full of colour.

Pandemic Pondering #458

Summer Saturdays are an early morning swim.

Although at low tide the first bit is a bit of a wade through seaweed beds and rough stones. The ferries to France have become more regular swimming neighbours.

Saturdays are also about loving a friends picture of Fanny the Gipsy Hill cat completely owning the Oyster/Card reader, no fare dodgers on Fanny’s shift.

©Keith Hide

Saturdays are about enjoying new poppies in a friends garden, grown from seed from our own poppies @theoldmortuary

©Kim Cole

And currently Saturdays are about loads of domestic admin, represented here by Peonies and the dining table which looks calm in this picture but has been a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff in the last few hours.

All clear and ready to be filled with even more stuff in a few hours. Summer Saturdays are currently about being busy!

Pandemic Pondering #457

A balmy day with an awful lot of domestic admin is not the greatest inspiration for a blog but our evening dog walk was as refreshing as a glass of ice cold lemonade.

Another positive of the day was confirmation of my place on the Advanced Blog writing course and bloggers reunion in Spitalfields in October. A good chance to huddle with other writers.

Street/Public Art Spitalfields

Spitalfields was in my heart long before it became trendy, my student days were spent visiting friends in squats or squalid shared houses there. The bones of which are still standing but now they are million pound homes and offices.

The area retains a quirky irreverent attitude even with an influx of money and cleanliness.

Here is a younger Hugo finding his own version of a squat a few years ago.

Enough of Spitalfields and October. A Cornwall evening in June was the true topic of this blog.

At 9 am the dogs and I were in this exact spot but we were chased away by the assiduous attention of Horse Flies. By 9pm we could actually stand still and enjoy the view. We had a good old trudge around the nature reserve with doggy and human friends. A bug posed on Cow Parsley.

And I felt the need to turn a beautiful but non spectacular sundowner into a poster.

Have a great weekend when it arrives.

Pandemic Pondering#456

Visiting artists in their workspace is a multisensory experience. One I always have mixed feelings about beforehand but nearly always come away enriched in so many ways. Not always arty embellishment of my soul either. My mixed feelings are caused mostly by an inate shyness and reticence about walking into someone else’s creative space. Yesterday I visited three creatives participating in the South Tamar Art Trail. All in a small hamlet in the Tamar Valley known as Rising Sun.

My first visit was to Gudrun’s fused glass studio. A buzzy place with a bead making workshop going on.

Bead making is mesmerising. Fire, dexterity and concentration are significant factors in the magic of fused glass bead making. Gudrun also fuses ideas and creativity with her neighbour John who creates his craft in a woodshed filled with equipment and wood for recycling into wondrous objects.

Gudrun walked us over to John’s workplace. The smell of freshly drilled or cut wood was intoxicating as we first entered. John recycles wood from all sorts of places and the fragrances from unusual woods create a heady brew. From John’s workshop we walked to Suzy Billing Mountain’s unit on a small industrial unit nearby.

Suzy has been making fluid art for a couple of years. Walking into her unit blasts your eyes with colour. It is everywhere, including on Suzy. She gave us a demo of her style of working and we nattered a lot. Having said that our eyes were blasted, I’ve chosen a really subtle piece to show her style. Mostly because it sums up the colours of walking in the Tamar Valley in early summer.

South Tamar Art Trail runs until Sunday 27th June.

Pandemic Pondering #455

Chalets on the cliff at Whitsand and Bay

The Rame Peninsular in South East Cornwall is often called the forgotten corner of Cornwall. As it is on our doorstep it is not forgotten by us, but it managed to surprise us a few years ago. At the time we were living in Gipsy Hill in London and a neighbour rented a chalet on the Whitsand Bay cliffs for the New Year and excitedly told us about the breakfasts he had enjoyed at the Cliff Top Cafe expecting us to know it. With his recommendation it became a family favourite until one of our family members was killed in a road accident and we couldn’t quite face the cafe without her. Time has passed and this weekend we got up early and headed off for breakfast without any misgivings.

Hugo took posing for a photograph very seriously.

Whitsand Cliff chalets have had a bit of a metamorphosis in the last 20 years or so and many are rented out as Airbnb. The cafe sell this lovely postcard which sums up the general vibe very well. © Nicola White

I used a postcard image of the cafe because the necessary outdoor structures to comply with current Covid-19 restrictions and regulations don’t let the cafe look as pretty as normal.

The postcard, though, took me on another little circle of research about the artist and she too lives a London/Cornish life the link below takes you to a magazine article if you are interested.

What intrigues me, reading this article, is the similarity in our London experience. Living in South London the Kent coast and the River Thames become substitute Cornwall. There is nothing similar about them but the call to water can forgive the differences and nourish a coastal seeking soul. The Cornwall/London circle turns for many of us. The sea also allows memories to return more comfortably after a while.

Tregonhawk Cliff, Whitsand Bay

Pandemic Pondering#454

Summer solstice, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere has been rather a damp squib. ( A squib is a small firework, a damp one does not go off. Thus a damp squib of a day fails to live up to expectation.) The dawn swim occurred with a backdrop of gently changing greys and raindrops landing on our salty faces. The Bobbers, of course, were a brightly coloured pod of swimmers all there to be in the water at sunrise to support the three Bobbers who were in the water to swim a kilometre for a local charity. Dry land supporters were also there. Visible sunrise, or not, the elite Bobbers raised just over £800 for local charity Barefoot Project.

The gap between sunrise and sunset continued to be a damp and grey day but a solstice is a solstice and Bobbers who could not make the early morning dip commited to swimming at sunset.

The sun turned up just in time to set, like a friend who makes it to an agreed meeting five minutes before everyone else has to leave. Not one to just slip in quietly the sun was spectacular.

Even blessing the Madonna with a large coffee cup with some rainbow bathing, what a difference 16 hours makes!

Eventually only two Bobbers made both a sunrise and sunset swim.

But it was a day well lived.

Pandemic Pondering #453

Solstice swim part one, we got up at 4am to swim at sunrise for the summer solstice. A second swim tonight will mark the end of the longest day.

The torch in a dry bag was the closest we got to seeing actual sunlight. The longest day crept in under the cover of rain and clouds, let’s hope sunset is a little more photogenic.