I am an abstract painter, my abstracts are inspired by small portions of the landscape, usually but not exclusively I like to depict the margins and boundaries where natural beauty and man-made constructs merge. theoldmortuary is where myself ,the tea addict ,and my partner Hannah, the coffee addict, share everything about Art, Design and Style that inspires us.
theoldmortuary is the place where all my creative worlds merge. Part blog and part website, everything creative will end up here.
Interviews with creative people
Reviews of all types of creative experiences.
Interior Design inspirations
What lies beneath? From personal experience all sorts of bobbing paraphernalia that we somehow manage to lose during a dip. Even if a bobber notices immediately we never seem to be able to recover the missing item. We joke that there is a cave where the seal keeps all the human trinkets that he finds in the sea that is either lost or caught in the rising tide. Yesterday something caught the eye of a bobber in about 80 cms of water. Someones precious Apple Watch. No one else on the beach and no clue to the owner. We took it home and placed a message on a local lost and found site and a swimmers page.
Nothing happened all day but in the evening a man knocked on our door. He had been tracking his watch and had tried many houses before he got to us. Watch and man were reunited, seemingly very happily.
Yesterday we were on fire and finished building the flatpack furniture. Not something we would normally do on a hot summers day, but essential to the last of the unpacking and sorting out of the recent house move. Fortunately for this blog the energy and enthusiasm for this task was fueled by a great night out at the evening reception of our friends wedding; which is a far more enjoyable thing to write about than the making of two identical chests of drawers.
A day that started with the wedding of Tess and Adrian.
Finished in the walled garden of Uphill Farm with dancing, pizza, cake and wonderful company.
And finished off with nattering around a firepit.
More photos of the wedding can be found on Instagram #tessasmiles. I’ve just got one more to share which sums up my particular interest at weddings. I adore what I think of as wedding litter. The beautiful small details that are always a significant part of the planning, coupled with the detritus of the day. This picture sums things up and not being in focus is a clear sign that a good time was had.
Pictures of the gorgeous venue can be found on Instagram @uphill_farm or on their website.
A series of firsts yesterday. A wedding! Beautiful weather despite warnings of a storm as we gathered in St Eustachius Church, Tavistock, for the wedding of a friend. A large number of family and friends , cleverly seated and spaced by a beautiful team of ‘ Best People’* witnessed not only a wedding but the first singing in that particular church for over 17 months. People have worshiped on that site since 1193 and in the current church since the 15th Century. I doubt if there has been such a long silence in that place of worship ever before.
I wonder if St Eustachius was as thrilled to finally give his Eustachian Tubes a good blow out as we were.
Goodness this was a well planned Wedding Service, the music and readings celebrating, most importantly a marriage but also shining a light on our human need to begin to mark the gradual return to a more normal life. Sacred spaces of all faiths carry some magic left by centuries of worshipping. It felt lovely to tap into some of that yesterday.
The first hymn to the tune of Morning Has Broken had us feeling a little tearful. Thankfully the serious business of the actual Marriage Service gave us something to focus on before hitting us with a hymn sung to the tune of ‘Thaxted’ by Gustav Holst. You can take a woman out of Essex but you cannot take Essex out of a woman. Particularly this one who has a fair bit of her gene pool resting in the graveyard of Thaxted Church!
The penultimate treat for our happy ears was the Widor Toccata. There is nothing better than an organist who can get his fingers competently around Widors Toccata. St Eustachius organist did exactly that, beautifully. Wedding service done we hopped off for a cheeky iced coffee.
And then returned to the churchyard for the glory that is Bell ringing. Something I can share with you with the link below.
As soon as pictures of people who were part of this wedding appear on Social Media I will include them in a blog but for now I just want this blog to reflect the flavour and sense of loveliness of just being able to be part of something like this once again.
Here is one of the readings, which was deliciously appropriate.
Thoroughly uplifted we travelled home.
* Best People. The bridegroom did not have a Best Man but a delightful team of Best People. Surely the way forward. Have a fabulous Sunday.
Yesterday was on the cusp, caught somewhere between a summer heatwave and the inevitable summer storm. In some ways a perfect day for capturing bright colours that are bleached out by harsh sunlight and that struggle to shine in a storm. These ice-cream coloured houses are on the way to our regular swimming bay. They exactly match a chrysanthemum that is currently living in our kitchen.
I want to become Lilliputian in size and stretch out in the centre of this gorgeous flower and then take a dip in this tiny emerald rockpool that also twinkled in the softer sun of yesterday.
In reality, of course I am far from Lilliputian. The chrysanthemum may well contain an earwig who would gobble me up for a snack if I were so small.
Yesterdays changeling weather also brought new swimming companions to the bay. Not the sort that make us gasp with excitement, more a tingle of anticipation, and certainly not something Lilliputian me would like to meet in a rockpool.
The Compass Jellyfish was basking in the shallows yesterday. The stinging nettles of the sea. Our photograph was rather drear but this lovely green one from a local Wild Swimming site captures yesterdays colours perfectly. Have a lovely Saturday.
Friday follows Thursday. In Pandemic terms yesterday was my first working day at The Box ( Plymouths Museum, gallery and general cultural space) since the government announced Freedom Day when all legal restrictions were lifted on the English public and organisations and individuals are free to decide the level of restriction they wish to self impose.
Suddenly a huddle of strangers is considered to be a safe option. The Box as an organisation decided not to go into full on super spreader event and restrictions remained much as they have been for many months, so the only obvious crowd were these Mayflower passengers. The museum visitors were still booked in and limited in numbers but they were, I felt more willing to engage and interact with the gallery guides and yesterday felt like the museum had a much more normal buzz about it. It helps, of course that the museum has wonderful air conditioning and we are in the midst of a heatwave.
Heatwaves are a summer thing and this morning a heatwave picture popped up on my Facebook Memories page. I wish I had remembered this image earlier in the pandemic because it is a pretty good image to demonstrate looking after yourself in a pandemic.
A classic ponder involving two subjects that are largely unrelated.
This morning I am wearing a playsuit. Really a preposterously named garment for anyone over 10. This one is left over from my brief days as a hands-on grandparent. Obviously when fulfilling the role of grandparent I felt the need to dress like a tropical forest. This may be the exact reason her parents decided to whisk her half way across the world. Who could possibly need a grandparent dressed as tropical forest when Asia can provide the real thing, the forest that is. The photos above are the tenuous link to this mornings blog. In case you haven’t spotted it, the mug swaggeringly hanging on my playsuit belt depicts a harbour. Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Our recent move has taken us to live among harbours, although not a Asian ones swanky enough to have thermal mugs depicting the skyline!
I love a harbour, all the glamour and thrills of travel with none of the faff. Today turned out to be a cornucopia of glamour. A cruise ship with 5 masts.
Shyly peeping into Plymouth Sound. Before hiding behind Drakes Island.
If only I could briefly roll back time to when hundreds of ships like this were jostling to dock in Plymouth. On an olfactory note the area where I took this last photo was very reminiscent of times past. I stood on an area of concrete frequented by solitary fishermen and others in the twilight hours, they really do like to build up a historic fragrance, which was still resonating at 7 am this morning. Beer, tobacco, fish, piss and marijuana. Not perhaps the historic experience passengers on this luxury cruise liner are searching for!
When does Bobbing become swimming? Probably when we stop chattering. At its least active bobbing is just about being submerged in the sea and chattering. Any bobbing session contains a variety of distances and topics covered by Bobbers. Last night 4 Bobbers bobbed away from our usual bay, just to the left of the iconic Tinside Lido, pictured above. It wasn’t a traditional Bob because the target activity was actually getting a fish and chip supper, but when we are this close to the water it would be rude not to, and there is nothing tastier than fish and chips after exercise.
The sea swimming portion alongside the Lido is in the process of being refurbished so it wasn’t most scenic location to bob but it was a lovely place to get an easy bob without the tricksy currents that are a feature of our usual location. The Fish and Chip Bob was in fact the second of the day.
Earlier,in our usual location, the nearby tidal pool was getting a wash and brush up. Making our swimming water a little murky further down the coast.
The empty pool was an almost exact colour match for the sails of a sailing school.
Very little wind and the tricksy currents mentioned earlier led to these novice seafarers being rescued moments later by their instructor in a motorised rib. Vivid green was also a feature of this lovely window on our walk away from the beach.
A shameless dogblog. Low tide this morning and an empty beach gave the dogs a rare chance to scamper on the beach. Lola is perfectly camouflaged on her new local beach.
Hugo, of course, would only be camouflaged at pure white tropical beaches, which are not local to us.
It’s not only our swimming hobby that stops them visiting the beach often. They have very low respect for other people’s activities. The peaceful activities of strangers are their main interest, book reading or yoga are activities to step away from the hurly burly of regular life. Neither experience is enhanced by a furry nose and whiskers snuffling extremities, however unthreatening the intention.
Sun setting on an extraordinary weekend. But also a reminder to always keep our eyes open. Today I walked passed an ex-colleague who I would dearly have loved to have a natter with. Our weekend has been filled with meteorological sunshine. It’s pretty cool to walk from home to overlook the finish line of an International Sailing competition and your tea still be too hot to drink on arrival.
And then to watch the competitors sail back in to their temporary accommodation.
The sunshine also lit up our back yard.
And at night the back yard lit itself up.
All that lovely sunshine stored up in Solar panels to make the evening brighter. This weekend has also had some darker moments but life just like the weather can’t be constant sunshine, we just need to keep some reserves in hand to make these things more tolerable.
In other news, a very old bear was unpacked today. There was a serious problem with his stuffing which required immediate attention. The patient is seen here enjoying a post anaesthetic cup of tea. He will soon be back on his feet.
Passionfruit and Mango Sundaes to mark the end of Sunday.