#217 theoldmortuary ponders

This should be the high flying version of a blog. Over this last weekend Zip Wire Flying should have happened at the Eden Project but Covid afflicted one of our friends and the group activity has been postponed. Instead a weekend in coastal towns and on the High Sea has filled our days and indeed led to this late blog, colour and not location is the flavour of this late blog. Sunday Cornwall thought it was in Greece. We stayed in the village of Golant just two miles up the river from our family favourite Fowey, more of that later in the week. Fowey River Class Dinghies created the first kick of colour.

We had over an hour to wait for the ferry to Mevagissy but being at the turning buoy kept us entertained and the sunshine was very welcome on our faces.

The slipway for the Fowey to Mevagissy Ferry couldn’t have been more Greek.

The ride was a little more lively than the average ferry.

We landed in yet more Hellenic vistas.

Meva harbour also joined in the colour project.

Two days with virtually no signal and no wifi does not a daily blog make. Normal service will resume tomorrow.

#200 theoldmortuary ponders

200 days since Pandemic Ponderings shifted without fanfare into theoldmortuary ponders. In much the same way that the actual pandemic has become without fanfare ‘ endemic’.

Always anxious to throw numbers about to illustrate the depth of the situation, news channels have been throwing the figure 15 million around this week as a total for worldwide Covid Deaths. Of course nobody actually knows, since around  40 % of the world do not accurately record either births or deaths. I know this because I’ve been doing a good bit of driving around this week. We all love numbers, ( I actually only love numbers if they are not anywhere near the word mathematics) Numbers give us scale to lifes failures, tedium and success. Round numbers are particularly satisfying and easier to cling to for some reason. My little number of 200 is well within everyone’s imagination as is 201 but 200 just feels more comfortable. But what does 15 million actually look like, and yet 15 million sits more easily in a sentence in a way that 15.33 million does not. In the same way #201 theoldmortuary ponders, will shrink into the shadows tomorrow.

When I haven’t been driving around this week I’ve been doing domestic admin and some fun stuff, very little sketching. In fact just one very quick sketch all week but I can relate it to this blog. I have been trying to sum up the discomfort of the Pandemic years with one image. Something I can expand for an exhibition later in the year. Playing with the truism about numbers that statistics are of no value to the individual. The header picture of this blog is a digitally altered version of my sketch, reimagined to be chaotic. The original sketch is the simple version.

Who could not understand two round figures/ numbers hugging.

P.s You can tell a lot about a person by the way they hug.

#151 theoldmortuary ponders

©Debs Bobber

There has been a curious circularity to the week which has been radled by a virus. Mostly exhausted, I have also had some lovely, in person face to face but masked up and at a distance conversations and some zoom or Video meetings. Lovely Ralph wearing his daffodil was part of the Video gang, he didn’t really play an active part in the commitee meeting but he clearly is aiming to be Chairman with this fabulous pose of authority. After yesterdays blog with my photo of the resting bee, Ralphs’ mum sent me this picture with a rescued bee which she popped into a daffodil to recover his equilibrium.

©Debs Bobber

The stand out theme of the week has been the non- Covid virus and its debilitating symptoms. It is on the wane now leaving me a bit bunged up and still without any taste or smell. My amnosmia and phantosmia are on going. I’ve given up cooking from scratch unless under supervision. Early in the week before I realised that I was more than just a little taste and smell impaired, a chilli dish that I produced caused quite a response in other people but for me the only response was the stinging of my gums. I am quite lucky that the phantosmia for me is not too negative. At its worst most foods taste slightly mildewy or just stale, but for the most part I taste nothing. It has been a great week for drinking all those unusual teas that seemed like a good idea in the supermarket, that then languish in the cupboard because they have all the allure of fresh urine. Last nights curried chicken was not strong enough to register anything, my gums remained un tingly and I thoroughly enjoyed what I thought I was eating which was fresh Mango.

My drink of choice has become ginger beer, the more gingery the better. Normally I can be a right lightweight with ginger beer but this weekend I will be heading to the Afro- Caribbean shops to buy virtual firewater. This is the hottest I managed to get in the west country. Depicted as a colour doodle.

Not a scintilla of heat in that! Talking of heat, I kept my phantosmia of burning wood and tar to myself whilst working at the museum, it really was better for everyone that way.

One more Ralph to send you on your way this Friday. I’ve not really been taking many pictures or been quite so out and about but whatsapp is a wonderful resource of other peoples pictures

©Debs Bobber

#133 theoldmortuary ponders

©BBC News

Colour is forcing itself to be a returning theme this week. Storm Eunice is whipping up a storm as I write. Eunice is said to be the worst Storm in more than 30 years. And has, unusually for the UK been given a red warning status. The last time I experienced a storm of this magnitude I was living in Brighton. As it happens, serendipitously, yesterday, I was painting some more colour cards for some of the places I have worked. Last weekends homework on the colour course I am doing. Hastily, I might add before this weekends homework arrives in my inbox.

I put three places together yesterday as they share some colours.

Brighton, Marylebone and the City of London.

It would be all too easy to depict Brighton with the colours of the rainbow. It is one of the beating hearts of the British lgbqt+community.

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/faqs-and-glossary/list-lgbtq-terms#:~:text=The%20acronym%20for%20lesbian%2C%20gay,%2C%20queer%2C%20questioning%20and%20ace.

Like a lot of places, Brighton, when you live there, feels many different things not just the one bold stereotype. At the outset it might seem strange that these three places are linked in my mind by their colour memory palate. They are all places where I worked for a long time and although work can dominate everyone’s thinking at times. The antidote to work is what we seek to refresh our minds and spirits to enable us to do the best job possible.

All three of these colour cards have a nod to my working life by having the predominant colour of my working clothes, scrubs. After that despite being strikingly different in real life, the colour palates are remarkably similar because I always seek the same sort of things to provide mental recovery. I love architecture, parks and walking when I need to clear my head. For me these colour charts are an instant return to a time and place. The only major difference is that Brighton has the sea while the other two are deeply urban, most importantly they are all a happy place.

Time now to enter Eunice and walk the dogs…

#125 theoldmortuary ponders

Not a muddy puddle, yet. Tasked by my on-line art course to take 3-4 hours creating a medatitive painting. Using only red, yellow and blue watercolour with colour mixing and just painting shapes. With the washing machine and dishwasher taking the load I set up the radio. Set to talk shows so my synesthesia was shut out of the process. My synesthesia bends and blends music and colours together and often informs my art, but not today. Watercolours are tricksy things and quickly turn to mud even when you least expect it. Who knew 3 hours could pass so fast.

Then just a minute on digital manipulation and something lively appeared.

Time to return to to the domestic machines and do some meditative domestic. No amount of digital tweaking makes that any more thrilling.

#89 theoldmortuary ponders

Lola is struggling with the concept of the festive season being over. Her first full day of normality was mostly spent as I de-rigged 3/4 of the Christmas decorations, snuggled in a blanket. The tree remains and it is the red lights from the tree that give her the warm glow to her face. Our local council is not offering a Christmas tree collection service this year. Without a front garden the tree must stay up and indoors until we can wrestle it into an old quilt cover and take it to the local tip. It is a completely different beast from the slender,fragrant and sheathed tree we brought home in mid December. Remarkably it is not yet dropping its needles but I know the minute we start its decommission we will be ankle deep in spiky needles. To be honest I have little truck with the bad luck concept of leaving a tree up beyond 12th Night, and a great deal of truck, maybe the M2 after Brexit, with the concept of keeping this dark time of year illuminated with twinkling lights. So for now snuggling in a cosy blanket illuminated by small red lights is still a thing in our house.

The tree has also gained its own festive coloured bag of Tea Bags. Thank you, again,Brenda Bennett. We may now have enough tea to see us through to the unpredictable end of this pandemic and possibly to next Christmas!

Pandemic Pondering #486

Spring colours on a summers day.

©Debs Bobber

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.

©Debs Bobber

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.

©Elle White Devon Wild Swimming

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.

Pandemic Pondering #213

Leaf Peeping is a North American term for tourism in Autumn. Visiting outdoor locations to view the spectacular colour changes of tree foliage. 

Tourism is pretty much off everyones agenda as Covid-19 intensifies its grip around the world. Time to peep at leaves locally. These pictures were mostly taken at The Garden House near Tavistock. It helps massively that on the day I visited there was also very bright sunshine.

The original idea behind the visit to The Garden House was a sketching day with my art group. Most of us had only seen each other on Zoom since February so not a lot of sketching got done, there was a lot of socially distanced nattering and a good bit of photography.

I spent plenty of time researching my latest project of depicting isolation and annonymity. That’s a pretty arty farty way of saying I engineered some ‘ Aloneliness’ time. See Pandemic Pondering #256. I’m at the sketching and ideas stage so not a huge amount to show for my research yet.

©theoldmortuary

On a lighter note I found some of the stars of the Leaf Peeping day taking a break on a bench or just lying down in the sunshine.

Unaware that just around the corner devices were to hand to clear them up and consign them to an entirely different world.

© Kevin Lyndsey

I’m not sure I have ever felt quite so threatened by a wheelbarrow and I’m not even a leaf! Have a good Sunday.

©theoldmortuary

Pandemic Pondering #207

Primary colours are the support mechanism for this blog. In truth I was at The Box again today, as a regular visitor. I couldn’t possibly write about it for the third day running, so I thought I would share some pictures from the last 24 hours .

Red

Red is represented by an amazing autumnal tree and a life preserver at Calstock. I met with a few artist friends yesterday . We basked and drank coffee in the morning sun, planning an exhibition later in the year. Not wishing to jinx things but we’ve done this already in 2020…

Blue

Blue is actually represented by The Box and gives me the chance to thank everyone who responded on various platforms to yesterday’s blog and in particular the comments about the door furniture as a tangible link to the past and people we have loved, passing through those doors.

Yellow

Hand blown Murano glass at St Luke’s Plymouth. Not as pure a yellow as my choices for blue and red . It’s slightly off yellow gives me the excuse for another yellowish picture. This one is definitely towards the green spectrum but it was too pretty not to include. Bubble tea from Mr Wok , highly recommended after our trip to the museum.

https://www.mrwokthainoodlebar.co.uk

Pandemic Pondering #197

As September slips gently into October it seems the pandemic has erased Halloween from many of the places it would normally be a quite obvious marketing season. ( Quite honestly I couldn’t be happier I have always hated it’s trashy threatening undertones) Mexican Day of the Dead is a whole different matter, a positive festival around the same topic.

The lack of Halloween has liberated me from disliking the colour orange at this time of year. 2020 the year of loving orange in October. Today started well with a spot of bright rust.

Followed by a gorgeous autumnal crema on my morning coffee

October is the time of the gourd and this year, so far, they are not being pushed out of the limelight by obese bloated pumkins.

Thank goodness there were some yellow squashes in this picture . It gives me the chance to lead into this zingy yellow Citroen.

With the absence of Halloween, Christmas has come a little early, so I managed to grab a little autumn colour enhanced by fairy lights, what’s not to love.

Without being overly contrived let’s hope that October goes swimmingly.