Pandemic Pondering #305

Another greige old day. Hannahs birthday,and we had plans, weather permitting, to walk on beaches, enjoy coffee and have a great burger for supper. The weather was having none of this and an unplanned but essential session of domestic admin stole time and space to achieve the planned day.

Modified plans held the same ingredients but not quite the same pizazz as anticipated. Coffee was from a drive- through and picnic lunch was a side order whilst we read through mountains of paperwork. The dog walk was taken during a miraculous break in the weather, we were still blown about like shuttlecocks but without a side serving of torrential rain. Hands were firmly dug into pockets so no photographs of joyful dog bottoms enjoying a playful walk. Facebook came to the rescue on this particular subject. Offering me an image from 8 years ago. Hugo’s first day out in South London, about to create his first patch of yellow snow!

The only bit of our day to stay on plan was the burger. In some ways another South London throwback. Zephyr Burgers were a pop-up in our neighbourhood. https://www.zephyrburgers.co.uk/

What you don’t expect when you move back to the West Country is for a familiar London pop-up to pop-up close to home again. Currently parked at the back of Bullet Proof Brewery on Mutley Plain.

Our burger choice marked not only a birthday but also had a nod to the inauguration of a new Potus.

Either the carb load or a more reliable hand on the nuclear button made for a good nights sleep.

Pandemic Pondering #304

Storm Christoph shaped our 10,000 step exercise hour today. We walked from Victoria Park to Mutton Cove via the 18th Century Richmond Walk. Ordinarily this walk is a heady mix of beautiful seascapes and a mix of marine and industrial landsapes. Today the greige of a wet and foggy pre-storm made scenic pictures a pointless exercise so we concentrated on Street Art and man-made embelishments to our route. Contrariwise the first picture is of King Billy our halfway point turnaround.

The reason for the slightly odd order of pictures is the unbelievably grim, greige weather. On the return walk it was easier to see and stand still with the weather at our backs. The next three picures show a man made structure being taken over by the sea and nature and then being recontrolled but not reclaimed by humans once again.

Next a lovely palimpsest of heavy iron doors, paint, rust and graffiti caught our attention next.

Followed by a lone tag on an old wooden gate.

Then a colourful flourish to the end of our walk in the tunnel beneath the Stonehouse Bridge.

Not a greige image in sight. A modern miracle on a day like today.

Pandemic Pondering #303

Our first bunch of supermarket daffodils illustrate this blog today. They have just emerged from tight buds. Strange to think that daffodils were a favourite subject when pondering started. Now there are so many favourite subjects that I would not have imagined a year ago.

My maternal grandmother would often say ” Some of us quite enjoyed the war you know”

I cant say I’ve enjoyed the pandemic, could anyone? It has forced me to adapt my life and I enjoy many of those adaptations. The unexpected benefits of a pretty dire period of history.

Daffodils are also known as the Heralds of Spring. I think mid- January is pushing that title a bit, particularly in Cornwall where daffodils arrive early and long before the worst of the winter weather. Regardless of their reputation they are very welcome guests @theoldmortuary , particularly in this tricksy period of the pandemic. Maybe the next time I buy the first supermarket daffodils of the season, life will have taken on a more easily navigated road map and just possibly I will have stopped pondering Pandemically.

Pandemic Pondering #302

Blue Monday is a strange concept in a World Pandemic where, to use the same colour qualities, the United Kingdom is currently in deepest Navy Blue.

Our hours exercise took us to a quiet beach where I got three pictures of an annonymous surfer. There was a bit of blue to carry on the colour theme . Hopefully, with the arrival of a vaccine, we can all ride a wave of recovery.

As well as he does.

This is not a perfect surfers beach however . The skill shown in these pictures is all the more impressive when some of the harder geographical features of the same beach are revealed.

A fine Blue Monday metaphor for the current situation.

Pandemic Pondering #301

A little bit of Plymouth Street Art. I’m not sure what it means but curiosity aside,it is a lovely thing to look at. I was looking for something blue to illustrate this blog. Then this jaunty seagull took me on an unexpected journey.

Here we are in the second weekend of the third lockdown. Worse than that this is the weekend before Blue Monday . Said to be the worst day of the year. So called, because of dark evenings, poor weather, festive joy draining away,  and bills arriving by post.

I’m not sure any media source will be brave enough to joke about Blue Monday this year. January can be very flat even without a worldwide pandemic but glum is the word that springs to mind when thinking about January 2021.

Searching for something blue to illustrate “blue Monday’ brought me blogging luck.

The Street Art seagull brightens up the street and puzzles with his enigmatic message. He most certainly is not glum, almost the reverse. Then Google steps in.                      

‘None Here’ is the tag of Exeter based artist. Steve McCracken.

©Steve McCraken

https://www.stevemccrackenart.com/artist-statement/

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/solving-mystery-breathtaking-artwork-appearing-4213302?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Follow the two links above to understand the artist and the enigmatic bird. The seagull does exactly what the artist desires. Perfect Street Art.

Pandemic Pondering #300

Pandemic Pondering #300, again!!! After last weeks recalibration of pondering numbers . I can celebrate reaching 300 for the second time in a month. Dysnumeracy rules! Today we can celebrate with a naturally occuring heart, which I found at the rear of our regular swimming beach.

Regular or repetitive these posts maybe but today was the day for socially distanced swimming at Tranquility Bay. An hour of exercise, of which only twenty minutes was spent in the water. 10 minutes stripping off and probably another 20 trying to get our clothes back on when fingers and feet no longer belong to us.

©Andy Cole

The swim today was fueled by coffee from Cakewhole who were closing as we arrived but understood our need as they sea swim too.

https://cakewhole.co.uk/ 

Cake may also have passed our lips but winter sea swimming has a way of clearing out vexascious thoughts. Cake can be very vexascious.

The peril of a swim later in the day is the timing of the sleepy zone that follows the euphoria and energy boost that cold water swimming brings. By 9pm we thought it was midnight and slunk off to bed. Ostensibly to read books, the truth, of course, was that barely had the cup of tea cooled to drinking temperature before the sleep monster wrestled us into the duvet.

Pandemic Pondering #299

The quiet observance of two resin ruminants. One of our regular and frequent walks on the Stonehouse Peninsular takes in part of the Southwest Coast Path, Hugo and Lola always like a sniff of these two quiet cows.

They ruminate on a green which would have been a historic walk from a tunnel where animals were unloaded to walk across the green to a slaughterhouse that was part of the Royal William Victualling Yard. The place where the Royal Navy loaded up ships with food, drink, and essentials to keep sailors fed and effective.

We did a couple of circuits of our usual walk once in each direction. A friend had told me she had seen a rare daffodil on New Years Eve . I didnt find it first time around so I put on more clothing, the wind was brutal, and walked back in the opposite direction. Success!

A single clump of Grand Primo Citronaire.

Identified by Kathy’s photograph from a Daffodil Identification Day.

©Kathy Lovell

10,000 steps, ruminating ruminants and Grand Primo Citronaire. What more could I possibly want from an hours exercise!

Grand Primo Citronaire

Pandemic Pondering #298

Organising life around just being allowed out for one hour a day takes a bit of planning. Some days I’m really lucky that the whole hour can be spent just walking the dogs somewhere local and beautiful or doing a sea swim. But other days, like today, require rigourously timed visits to achieve everything. Oh goodness it was a mundane hour today. Essential dog food purchases, farm honestly box shopping for eggs and a quick wizz round a supermarket before a scamper round a park. Just as I got home I noticed this feather resting on a geranium.

It was caught in the leaves and then whisked a little further onto a wind damaged bloom.

Such a lucky find on a day mostly filled with domestic chores and a bit of really dull knitting.

The wonderful bonus of dull knitting is that it is perfectly possible to watch television at the same time. You might think that a BBC Politics channel would be as dull as my knitting but we live in strange and dangerous times. With a strange and dangerous government. People used to knit while watching executions or great events. Within the restrictions of a pandemic I am carrying on that underated tradition and not a stitch dropped. Also photographing feathers. Lockdown in January. February is going to have to work hard to keep up with these excitement levels.

Pandemic Pondering #297

Pondering numbers recalibrated and we are looking forward. But for this blog a little bit of retro. Every morning Facebook offers a look back at old posts. It is not something I look at often , but today the images were very varied , I’ve picked four to ponder over. The first is a heavy snow day in Dulwich Village in 2010. 11 years ago.

Memorable because the walk to and from work in Marylebone was a challenge, and a milk float overturned just outside this gate scattering milk bottles everywhere.The milkman was unhurt but he must still have the memory, as do I, of a thousand tinkling bell sounds as the bottles smashed on the icy road.

10 years ago January 13 th was very bright. These lovely sculptures by Mauro Perucchetti were located at the top of Park Lane near Marble Arch. For 3 months between October and January they were smiling observers of my journey to work.

8 years ago a new puppy called Hugo wakes up a friend with early morning snuggles. ( This is the day I had to hide a puppy poo up the sleeve of my jumper in order to give Hugo top good behaviour points, when his toilet training failed him when visiting someone)

2016 Brixton, 5 years ago, a street memorial to David Bowie who had recently died. Another travelling to work landmark.

My idiosyncratic use of a cameraphone might be a little bit, or a lot, irritating to my nearest and dearest but today this little retrospective imagery reminds me that January life is as varied and colourful as any other month and every day is filled with moments, even in a lockdown.

Pandemic Pondering #296

Sunset swim and numeracy failure were the high points of the day. The numbering of the blogs has gone wrong and will be corrected very soon. The sunset swim was a choppy affair and not , in truth, quite as pretty as the picture above. I just had to tweak the saturation to make the sunset live up to the last few days. We also tried a swimming shot. Having practiced in the sink beforehand.

The practice may not have made perfect.

The blog numbers failed for a variety of reasons . Some blogs have been removed but replaced . I managed to transpose and not notice some numbers and boosted myself by 45 extra non existant blogs. I just dont ‘feel’ numbers in the same way I do words so I didnt notice. I love numbers for their visual pleasure.

Just a little blog while I sort out my numbers.