#133 theoldmortuary ponders

Another day of West Country greige so I decided to use lovely colourful pictures from the weekend to brighten up my own morning and tell a small piece of local knowledge. First up though this gorgeous rust and paint combo. Followed by another.

I suppose these are the gifts from all the greige we live with. A damp, moist climate brings out the best for rust lovers. Similarly lichen and moss can be glorious and after the recent storms the ground beneath trees is littered with twigs and branches embellished by these moisture loving plants.

Which brings me to a little piece of local knowledge.

Visitors to Devon and Cornwall often think that daffodils are deliberately planted on the roadside and at the base of stone walls. These daffodils are actually the descendants of bulbs discarded out of flower growing fields during the second world war. The fields were cleared for food crops to be planted to feed the nation during war time. Some really rare daffodils can be found in quiet country lanes. One more picture of a beautiful day while I am in denial about the true state of todays weather.

# 132 theoldmortuary ponders

Sun rising through Allium heads.

The sharp morning sun of late February is a real gift to a woman who loves complicated patterns.

Sun rising on railings

We are staying with some friends in South East Cornwall , I have a cosy nook in which to write the blog.

What I dont have is any wifi currently but a short walk once I have written this will take me to an mast where I can ping this off out to the world.

Our sleep was somewhat disturbed by a South East Cornwall traditional past time. Boy racers charging around village lanes in cars at 4 in the morning at high speeds. Engine noise and headlights on whitewashed walls break up the nights sleeping pattern. The boys wind their windows down to whoop victoriously as they pass the cottage on their loop of dangerous pleasure. I worry for them and my head is filled with the music of T-Rex as concurrently I remember a crumpled mini desolately wrapped around a tree. The beautiful man of glam rock, Marc Bolan, splattered like a trifle onto his windscreen. Memory is a funny thing in the middle of the night. Testosterone funnier, but dangerous. There were no sounds of screeching brakes and crumpling metal. As a long term resident of South East Cornwall I know these manifestations of masculinity echo through the countryside night after night. These boys have skill and courage, just like me they have woken up again to a Cornish morning.

Unlike me they were not worried.

#122 theoldmortuary ponders

Harlyn Bay

Yesterday was all about avoiding a Storm that was battering the south coast of Devon and Cornwall. We had to go to Truro to collect my typewriter from its service and took a chance that the North Coast might not be so badly affected.

Typewriter collected, and that is a whole other blog, we called in at Strong Adolfo on the Atlantic Highway for coffee and some lunch.

©Strong Adolfos

Sartorial and comestible choices had uncanny similarities!

Lola and Hugo looked on, their doggy colour blindness giving them no clue why we thought this was so funny.

All they really wanted was to get to the beach and blow off some energy.

I’m not sure we exactly avoided the storm by travelling South to North, we just altered the direction that the rain hit us. The video below gives you a minute of wave action. We were not tempted to get in for a swim.

All in all a Sunday well spent, now its time to get on with the week.

Pandemic Pondering #411

Saturday was not a day for swimming, so great were the winds and the rain that it was not a day for beach huts either. Which is why I managed to get this shot of beach huts uncluttered by the human form.

All started well enough.

But the weather was just not going to permit safe sea swimming so dog walking on the South West Coastal path was our substitute activity. We explored the area around Swanpool in Falmouth and ate picnics in the car while the weather swirled around us. The photography owes a lot to filters and this delightful seaweed which has been ripped from the sea floor by the storm.The seaweed provides the colour which is picked up in some of the shots.

I used the silky water filter and saturation filters to put some colour into a very grey day. I also accidentally created this double exposure which has quite a retro feel.

So off we go into a Sunday Celebration of the Silky Water feature as applied to a raging sea.

The good news is that the sea is less raging today so swimming is back on the Sunday agenda.

Have a restful Sunday.

Pandemic Pondering #283

The sun shone for the last walk around Sutton Harbour and the Barbican of 2020. It also snowed a little.

Our evening went to plan . This is the photograph for our family and friends distance, thousands of miles and many time zones, social media party.

Television watching for two, oh the dizzy heights!

The plan had actually been to go to bed early and show 2020 the disdain it deserves and sleep through its passing but actually it feels only responsible to not only see the year leave but also to make sure it has actually gone and shut the door behind it. For such a responsible observation a far less frivolous drink is required.

A fine cup of decaffeinated Yorkshire Tea and a Cornish Shortbread. Far less giddy than that party pleasing Snowball. Also guarantees a good nights sleep, essential after a year like 2020!

I can confirm 2020 left the building and the door slammed shut behind it.

Pandemic Pondering #283

Christmas 2020 it wasn’t Christmas but it was Christmas because that’s what it was.

The day started early with some ‘Bobbing’ admin.

Tranquility Bay

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.

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

Pandemic Pondering #208

What is the meaning of morsel?
A morsel is a small amount of something, a tid-bit, a sliver, a nugget usually of something of high-quality and much desired but not truly needed, like a morsel of dark chocolate or a morsel of gossip. Originally it referred specifically to food. It is something that gives a disproportionate amount of non- essential, exquisite pleasure.

My morsel for Pandemic Pondering #252 is an evening dog walk a couple of fields behind Rame Head. A snippet of the day. Morsel is a word we use, mostly at Christmas time, when the day has already given so much but self control is non- existent and you just desire that little but more of something. Today was unexpectedly gorgeous, fabulous sunshine and not too cold for an autumn day in Cornwall. Long walks on the coastal paths and outrageous laughter with friends as we rested on wooden benches overlooking the sea. Perfect conditions for fifteen minutes, or indeed, a morsel, of time, for a glorious sunset.

Setting out
Dog faces in the gloom
Peak Morsel
Back to the van for supper.

Pandemic Pondering #125

Launceston, the town of happy thoughts. My first happy thought linked to Launceston was unknown to me for many years.

Charles Causley is a poet that attracted me as soon as I met his poems.’ Timothy Winters comes to school with eyes as wide as a football-pool’My first experience and a memorable first line. The rest of the poem is beautifully descriptive in an ugly way.

Launceston was Causleys home town and in this portrait painting he is leaning on another favourite of mine, the highly textured walls of St Mary Magdelene.

Appropriately in a Pandemic Pondering the Charles Causley Trust has the most amazing office tucked above one of the ancient gates of Launceston.

In the current pandemic people are giving up offices in favour of working from home , but surely this one is way too cute to give up.

Happy thought number two happened soon after I moved to Cornwall from Brighton.My dad was a real ale drinker and long before the days of instant research on Google he discovered an off licence in Launceston that sold locally brewed ale by the gallon. Several Christmases running a Christmas Eve ritual for him was to drive to Launceston and collect several gallons for the Christmas festivities.It’s a bit shabby now but worth a picture for a happy thought.

Happy thought number 3 involves the Castle. There is nothing more exciting to a pair of six or seven year old boys than being given wooden swords and a whole genuine castle to defend.

Something my son and one of his friends were able to do if we were lucky enough to be the only visitors to the castle on the days we visited.Today the castle is chained up indefinitely protecting its volunteers from the onslaught of Covid 19.

The map of happy places.One final happy thought . A great extended night out of Bollywood Dancing in the Town Hall with RSVP Bhangra.Extended because the band set off the fire alarms and we all spent twenty minutes outside.

After the final happy thought, a final ponder on the beauty of driving to Launceston. Launceston is at the high point of the landscape, which is why it has a castle, the drive to it in any direction is through beautiful countryside, well worth an excursion.

Continue reading “Pandemic Pondering #125”

Pandemic Pondering #124

When I woke up this morning I had an idea that I knew which way the blog would go today. We were planning to travel north roughly in line with the course of the River Tamar. It has been a wonderful day both weather wise and experience wise , and that will inform later blogs but today was actually completely hijacked by a geological sentence.

Breccicated Beds derived from Downslope slumping.

We took the dogs for a walk on Widemouth Beach near Bude in North Cornwall. In summer, dogs are only allowed on the southern end of the beach, known as BlackRock Beach. The foreshore is marked by black rocks that run into the sea which obviously give the beach its name.

It was the cliffs at the back of the beach that stole the show today. That, and a truly delicious first sea swim for the season.

I’m a bit lost for words with the beauty of these cliffs

I hope these photographs show why the blog had been dominated by rock formations and that delightful sentence from the geological description.

I love these rocks because they look like food, a toasted muffin or folds of meringue for a celebratory pavlova. They also have a feeling of Modernist sculpture. Parts of them also look like rust, one of my favourite textures..

I also found some actual rust. An aged nail standing firm on a sea and sun bleached timber.

Downslope slumping, beautiful stuff.