#7 theoldmortuary ponders

Today is a red letter day. This cement mixer delivered the last pour of concrete to the new steps and slopes of our swimming area just as the tide was receding yesterday evening. Over the weekend the wooden shuttering will be removed and the concrete left to cure for a while and by next week we should all be able to swim at our favourite spots.

Swimming yesterday was not without excitement, but there is no photographic evidence. A submarine quietly slipped into port alongside swimmers who were swimming between the buoys. The deep water access to Devonport Naval Dockyard is just beyond the swimming area between Devils Point where we swim and Drakes Island which is on most of our ‘bobbing’ photos.

This misty shot shows the geography quite well. Swimmers are permitted to swim out to and along an imaginary line that runs parallel to the island. There is a cheeky fishing boat in the area that is the near the deep water, underwater trench. There were mackerel in there at the time, the submarine came later.

Mackerel accidentally played a big part in the serendipity of yesterday.

Last week at the blogging course, I had the fattest,juiciest,oak smoked mackerel for my lunch. Provided by a fabulous cafe in Bethnal Green.


© Leila’s Shop

The only place I know to buy these gorgeous, golden fish, locally, is our local Polish supermarket. Anxious to enjoy fat smoked mackerel again this weekend, a trip was quickly planned. The supermarket happens to be next to an eccentric and fascinating junk shop. This became the most random shopping trip.

There is a world shortage of Bistro sets, the cute French inspired table and chairs sets made of cast iron or aluminium. Apparently, they are all trapped somewhere in containers. On the hunt for mackerel, we found a bistro set outside the junk shop next door.

This may be the strangest two item shopping expedition ever. Thanks to


and Delta Supermarket https://www.westendplymouth.co.uk/

Thankfully last nights sunset just about brings this odd blog together riffing on a theme of red, orange and gold.

#6 theoldmortuary ponders

I suppose the middle of October is a reasonable time to start mentioning mists. This was yesterdays early walk and if I set off now it would also be todays. Only an hour or so later the sun was properly out and this scene would have looked quite different. As it was I was struggling with heavy metal objects at the tip during the best sunshine of the day. Not really the best place for photography. But there is something uplifting about leaving the tip with an empty car. Yesterday passed with many small and irritating domestic admin jobs achieved. On days like yesterday the dogs get especially good walks because walking a dog is infinitely more interesting than the next dull, but essential job. I know that some time in the future, hopefully next year, my repotting of the Fig tree will bring strong new growth and lots of glossy leaves but yesterdays labours saw the fig tree move into his new but temporary home. A new (old) pot just a few inches bigger. Where, oh where is the instant gratification in that!

What Fig does not know, is that just a couple more inches of growth and he/she will have a friend, who is not much bigger to natter to. Just the other side of the wall our neighbours also have a fig growing. Never one to speculate! I think having a figgy friend so close might encourage all sorts of fig related development. Perhaps future October’s might look a bit like this in our kitchen.

For now the only figs in this house will be supermarket ones.

#5 theoldmortuary ponders.

©Emily Bobber

This is all that is left of the West Pier in Brighton. I used to pass it every day on my way to work in Brighton. The pier closed in 1975 and has been ravaged by storms ever since. For me it has always been a ghost pier. Something to focus on when looking out to sea thinking deep or not so deep thoughts. It is some years since I have visited Brighton. It was definitely a destination booked in for this summers great staycation but a complication arose with the dates and we weren’t able to go. Getting a “fix’ of Brighton every few years is an essential piece of ‘touching base’. Fondly known as London-by-the-sea it is a larger than life sea side resort.

One of our ‘Bobbers’ group ran a half marathon there this weekend and captured this lovely image.

Hunting in my phones image file I’ve only found one other blogworthy picture. Hugo, posing very regally at the Prince Regents Pleasure Dome, The Royal Pavillion.

Any future visits to Brighton will almost certainly involve swimming in the sea, no matter what time of year we schedule a trip and definitely more photography!

#4 theoldmortuary ponders.

Yesterday evening was the first time for a few weeks that I was able to walk along the coastal path nearest to the swimming beach that the ‘bobbers’ prefer to use. The beaches and the coastal path beyond the Artillery Tower have been closed for essential maintenance. Although the path is now open, the steps and slopes that allow us to get into the water at high tide are being refurbished.

We often joke that our ‘free’ hobby is anything but free as we buy various bits of equipment to make winter swimming easier and safer to achieve. But for our local council maintaining the concrete against twice daily tides and winter storms must be a huge budgetary responsibility.

Looking at the amount of work that has been done I’m pretty grateful that my only responsibility before winter is to get a wetsuit. But for now October is still being kind to us.

©Debs Bobber

#3 theoldmortuary ponders

Long before I started a blog, I had a normal job in London. One of the places I would seek refuge, after a nights work, was The Townhouse, Spitalfields. Home made cake and coffee embellished by the Townhouse itself always slowed the busy pace of London down to something more manageable. The link below describes the Townhouse far more comprehensively than I ever could.

Town House Spitalfields

There was serendipity at work when one of my favourite blog writers, The Gentle Author offered blog writing courses based at The Townhouse.

Returning this weekend for a second writing course with The Gentle Author was a treat, both visual and experiential. In between learning and enjoying wonderful food I hopped around like an overactive magpie gathering photographic trinkets for future blog use. It helped that bright autumnal sunshine barged its way into the corners and recesses of the early Georgian building, making everything a little more magical.

Taking magic to a different place was the bathroom we used this weekend.

And the kitchen where refreshments were served.


The link above takes you to the Townhouse website. I”m sure this will not be the last blog I write about this gorgeous building.

#2 theoldmortuary ponders

I could be in complete denial that autumn is in full glory this morning. The trees outside my room are uniformly green. Yesterday was bright and sunny and the street markets I explored were still selling whisps of dresses in bright sunshine. It is all a bit of trickery, the trees rustle with squirrels busy stockpiling seeds and acorns and market traders need to sell summer stock to empty their warehouses for heavier winter clothes.

Likewise, in denial, this beautiful assemblage of coloured- glass, domestic objects and a tea strainer, twinkle in bright sunlight against a robustly healthy Banana tree.

More trickery of course. The banana tree lives in a micro climate. Surrounded on all sides by tall, Georgian town houses that protect it from harsh easterly winds that whip the east of England and blow up the Thames estuary, burning delicate foliage at first touch.

Attending a writing course is a lot like trickery and microclimates. The conclave ( secret meeting) format relaxes absolute strangers into shared and deeper mental intimacy; providing a fertile literary microclimate to explore and evolve writing styles and to sort out the dry areas in our creativity.

The beauty of attending face to face meetings again is that we can be experimental and risky away from our domestic environment. The sights, sounds and smells around Spitalfields are so stimulating, the architecture spans centuries and the people are from every corner of the world. Every course member walks into the writing room with some new common layers of sensation sprinkled on to their existing diverse life experiences. Advanced blog writing was a blast this weekend, thanks to everyone who shared it. You know who you are.

#1 theoldmortuary ponders.

A weekend away on a blogging course and a little rebranding. Moving on from Pandemic Pondering as the world moves from Pandemic to Endemic @theoldmortuary will be pondering at large. My walk from Spitalfields to  Islington yesterday evening gave me the gift of this totally apporopriate sign.

There is an agreement within our blogging group that the course and its goings on are in the form of a conclave. While sticking very happily to those restictions I’m almost certain to natter on about the course in the future but not about the attendees or the contents. The venue is one of my favourite spaces in London and is always inspirational so talking about the course while not being explicit is easy.

There are 12 bottoms.

©Pádraig Macmiadháchain @Spitalfields Townhouse

Occupying 12 seats.

We talk about our blogs and how we would like to allow them to evolve and improve. Refreshment and blogging nattering occur over beautiful food.

Right now I’m on my way back for Day 2. Have a fabulous Sunday.

Pandemic Pondering #569

The weather, very kindly gave me a fine illustration for this weekends blogging journey. An open road with just enough fog to make the near future unclear. I’m heading off to the Advanced Blogging course run by The Gentle Author. Last night my dog walk on Wimbledon Common was damp and boggy underfoot but the evening sky also provided some blog embellishments.

Daily blogging into infinite was never my original plan but a Global Pandemic has blown a hole in lots of original plans.

Have a fabulous weekend. I’m off to Brick Lane for a brain enriching bagel before the course starts.

Pandemic Pondering #567

Yesterday was a strange one, Autumn has certainly arrived. The sea temperature and air temperature were equal, both at 14 degrees. The evening bob felt completely fine but we may have stayed in the water too long as we felt the effects of afterdrop for the first time in about 5 months. Afterdrop is the effect of body temperature continuing to drop after leaving the water. Hot drinks, brisk changing and lots of layers help to minimise the effects but we’ve got used to leisurely chats after swimming and not being too fussed about layers or bringing hot drinks. Time to take sensible precautions again. The word Christmas was mentioned!

A Christmas day morning bob is looking likely for this year.

On our walk to the beach we passed this glorious Virginia Creeper and Hop combination on a wall. A sure sign Autumn has arrived and is settling in for a few months.

Another crochet painting emerged from my new painting space in the garage. The paintings are stacking up in the studio ready to have their fine details and finishing done in the warmth of the indoor studio. Such luxury!