It was a ‘Tiara Bob’ today. In other words a Bobbers Birthday.
Also a two bob day.
Our informal ‘Bobbing’ group only has one rule. There always needs to be one non-swimmer for safety and photograhy.
Two bobs were called because Birthday Zooms were needed at the optimum tide . So we split into two groups, one for birthday zooming and one for optimum tide grabbing.
The birthday group were bouyant. The birthday bobber got gifts and Pandemically acceptable hugs.
In the afternoon the Optimal Tide Bobbers were obliged to not swim in the sea as the currents at our favourite beach were a bit too strong. Instead we opted an Atlantic Infinity Pool with a wave splash feature.
The sea swimming community in Plymouth is very welcoming.
When you drive along Durnford Street at 10am and see a woman walking along wearing a Tiara, it is a fair assumption, and in this case correct, that she is a sea swimmer celebrating something.
A double celebration as it turns out, a birthday and retirement.
The beauty of this lovely community is that everyone looks out for each other, in or out of the water. It is entirely normal to ask a complete stranger why they are wearing a tiara. Talking to this particular stranger gave me the heart image at the top of this blog. Her husband had made this heart on their gate to celebrate her birthday.
The smiles are not just reserved for Tiara wearing. Just doing a sea swim makes us smile inside and out.
Some other facial expressions!
But mostly smiles.
People are always willing to share their expertise. On this occasion, not swimming related, how to use drainage holes to frame photographs.
Two of our images.
And someone using their newly acquired knowledge.
As it happens within our ‘Bobbers’ group we have had two recent birthdays. Unaware of the informal Tiara rule, we just exchanged cards. (In future, tiaras will be involved!) ‘Bobbers’ also do original art.
Sea swimming is an amazing activity. We plan ours using Tide times and weather forecasts.
For local and constantly updated information, we often refer to Plymouth Open Water Swimmers. Link below.
The first lockdown baking session since non- Christmas took place yesterday. Orange and Almond Cake , as above, and Onion Bhajis. Both cooked because they appeared in articles I was reading and because they sounded impossibly easy to make. In my reading/baking experiment they proved to be as easy as the narrator/author suggested. They were only easy because we are nearly a year into Pandemic Lockdowns. In a pre- pandemic life they would still have been easy but a trip to a supermarket would , almost certainly, have been needed. @theoldmortuary we have become much more confident cooks, driven by dietary and lifestyle changes that were needed when a health problem revealed itself early in Lockdown 1.
Now we have a multi cultural larder cupboard that facilitated yesterdays cook with the aid of the internet.
Onion Bhajis , always a thing of great expectation and sometimes soggy dissapointment. No dissapointment at our house yesterday. In the book excerpt I was reading , set in East London, an unexpected visitor was welcomed with hugs, a cup of tea and freshly cooked bhajis!
Hugs!!! How retro is that.
So good was this experiment of bhaji making there were none left for a photo shoot.
Not so the Orange and Almond Cake created because a food critic said eating it reminded him of his dear mum.
It seemed implausible because it contained four whole oranges.
The cake was fabulous. Thank goodness there are the lifestyle changes that were needed to go along with the dietary ones in Lockdown I. Increased exercise for good health and immune system boosting helps to burn off the calories created by the baking experiments.
Yesterday was a ‘ bobbing’ day. Cold water swimming is very good for boosting the immune system. With cake and coffee packed we set off for Firestone Bay. Seas around Plymouth had been rough and messy earlier in the day but all that was left when we arrived were some curious currents and water that wouldn’t have looked out of place in our post-baking washing up bowl.
The cake was consumed post ‘ bob’ with hot coffee on the way home. Once home we checked a local swimming site on Facebook to see how other swimmers had fared during the day. To our surprise ‘bobbers’ were featured in a photograph.
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.
Today started earlyish, a dog walk prior to another morning swim. These are ponderings in a pandemic there will be a certain repetitive nature to my ponders. Dog walks, coffee and some wittering- on are the skeleton on which a pondering is built. As luck would have it a new habit of ‘ Bobbing’ started during the first lockdown, something new to bore you with. Often any of these activities occurs within the beautiful landscape that we are lucky enough to live in. Usually any activity can create a photo opportunity but not today. Greige was the state of the weather this morning. My excuse for using a bright Gerbera picture as the header image.
By the time we got to the ‘ Bobbing’ part of the day the greige had lifted a little. On the way to our beach we spotted a pod of dolphins cavorting in Firestone Bay. If we had swum a little earlier they would have been playing in our swimming area. Sadly they were attracted away by stand up paddle boarders. SUP’s. One of them captured this amazing picture. Something we would never have managed during our cold, submerged activity.
Time for this ponder to stop and just appreciate this beautiful creature.
2021 dawned spectacularly in Saltash this morning. @theoldmortuary was set for less pastoral pleasures though.
The ‘Bobbers’ were booked to swim at Firestone Bay first thing this morning.
Bobbers braved-2 temperatures to swim or gaze , or both, into the New Year.
The morning was beautiful and the sea was 10 degrees . An amazing way to welcome in the New Year. Cold water immersion is good for all sorts of things, we all talk a good bit of jibberish straight after a dip though. Then the endorphins hit and we are ready to take on the world. Although, due to Coronovirus restrictions, the world is not available, I did manage a quick nip into the Co-op for some bread rolls before we strode off for a lovely wintry dog walk. Endorphins though, in a similar way to pride, come before fall. The afternoon was spent attempting to read books but achieving dozing on the sofa. The fall to come.
Our evening took in a local harbour and a few Christmas lights.
But then things took a turn towards the awkward. In my haste to get a perfect shot for this blog I tripped over a curb and the precious camera/phone skidded in slow motion towards the harbour edge. I’m a bit bruised and the camera teetered on the edge but ultimately stayed on land.
All is well but the parking machine which told us it was out of action struck another blow. When we put a card across its reader, it was actually rather over active and charged us twice. Perhaps we should have stopped the day at dozing on the sofa!
But we did find a naturally occurring (ish) heart.
Christmas 2020 it wasn’t Christmas but it was Christmas because that’s what it was.
The day started early with some ‘Bobbing’ admin.
Mulled cider and mince pies were the actual admin that was required today.
Then it was a swift drive home and festive sandwiches made ready for beach #2 Harlyn Bay.
Don’t be fooled by golden sands, if Tranquility Bay looked like madness, Harlyn was madness+. A great walk in freezing temperatures followed by a convivial two van picnic observing all current regulations for Covid-19 control.
The dogs, of course, moved vans due to the superior picnic being served next door.
To be honest the idea of returning home and then cooking a traditional turkey roast began to feel less desirable the colder we got. A cup of hot tea was about as far as we could stretch when we got home.
Much later a mushroom Wellington made an appearance.
In between walking and talking we zoomed and whatsapped with people near and far.
Christmas Day in a Nutshell with not a cracker in sight.
Our last day with the relative freedoms of Tier 1. Today Cornwall is downgraded , that’s a whole new set of rules to remember! In
An unusual blog today, made up of a variety of things . A portmanteau blog if you like.
Our weekend had a plan that most definitely conformed to a usual pre-christmas weekend. Saturday started and finished with a watery theme.
It began well with some cold water bobbing.
In the evening we went to the National Marine Aquarium for a ‘Night at the Museum’ dining event which in itself was a curious piece of serendipity. The pictures we took will illustrate the rest of the blog.
We had been booked to attend this event at a different time of year but it was postponed until this weekend because of Covid-19. Our socially distanced dining area was in the room holding the Eddystone tank which is where the tenuous serendipity comes in.
In the morning we were swimming in Plymouth Sound above unseen sea creatures. In the evening we were dining surrounded by the same types of sea creatures that would have witnessed our flailing limbs from below. Not that I’m suggesting that ‘Bobbers’ swim to the Eddystone Rock, or in anyway disrupt sea lanes. We ‘ bob’ in the vicinity, quite a distant vicinity in reality and always with regard to the Sea Lanes. We are not the sort of sea swimmers who get mentioned in the Plymouth Evening Herald or are reprimanded by Harbour Masters or Port Admirals. I don’t think we even trouble seagulls.
In between these two events at 4:30pm Boris Johnson had delivered a monumental clusterfuck. Or Prime Ministers Briefing as it is officially known.
Without going into details, these can be found on any, far more reliable, news source. Christmas in Britain has been Clusterfucked.
This certainly affected the mood and ambience of our evening at the aquarium. We had plenty to talk about just trying to reset the logistics of a Bubble Christmas to the Clusterfuck variety. This may be the time to say that the food was great and being in an aquarium at night was wonderfully calming. The Rays were particularly meditative. We had a great evening.
Understandably, under the current circumstances, the streets of Plymouth, on our way to the Aquarium, were unusually quiet for the last Saturday before Christmas, as were some tanks at the aquarium.
The Sea Horses, our favourite exhibit, were missing.
Only time will tell if the Sea Horses and the good residents of Plymouth were spending their Saturday night doing the same thing. Officially the Sea Horses were ‘ away breeding’ It was a massive disappointment in a day inadvertantly filled with disappointments. I’ve been forced to design my own Christmas card. Exclusively revealed here!
A November like no other slipped quietly into December. Last night five of our informal swimming group ‘ Bobbers’ took to the sea at Firestone Bay to swim for the last time in November. For most of us it was the first time the end of November was marked in such a way. The positive aspects of Covid-19 can be difficult to appreciate but sea swimming and increased fitness is a definite @theoldmortuary.
The tail end of November was bright and beautiful, our exercise outings were either spent in the water or walking beside it. Fistral is a beach in North Cornwall where ‘ Bobbers’ would not get an effective swim.
Surfers though have a wonderful time.
Good morning December 2020 let’s see what surprises you have up your wintery sleeves.