Pandemic Pondering #476

At last we have WiFi. Back in the world of communicating via tech. It’s funny that my morning walk showed me benches and seats that are set up to allow non tech human to human conversation. The one above is set up high on a look out point accessed via one of two ‘secret’ Gardens close to home. The view from here is spectacular.

But two deck chairs set up for side to side nattering has huge potential for a satisfying conversation. The other`secret’ garden has a bench for four people to enjoy a lively chat.

During the various lock downs we have sat at each of these locations to have conversations and coffee. Much as we love a good natter for its own sake the benefit of talking and laughing or consoling with other people has been immense in the last 18 months.

My final great seat of nattering is a beauty.

Large enough to hold two bubbles of people and perfectly positioned outside, but under a stone canopy for inclement weather. This one has been a winter favourite with one negative point. It is made of metal and can be very cold on the bum.

A small celebration of the potential of conversation on the day @theoldmortuary is finally back in the loop.

Pandemic Pondering #457

A balmy day with an awful lot of domestic admin is not the greatest inspiration for a blog but our evening dog walk was as refreshing as a glass of ice cold lemonade.

Another positive of the day was confirmation of my place on the Advanced Blog writing course and bloggers reunion in Spitalfields in October. A good chance to huddle with other writers.

Street/Public Art Spitalfields

Spitalfields was in my heart long before it became trendy, my student days were spent visiting friends in squats or squalid shared houses there. The bones of which are still standing but now they are million pound homes and offices.

The area retains a quirky irreverent attitude even with an influx of money and cleanliness.

Here is a younger Hugo finding his own version of a squat a few years ago.

Enough of Spitalfields and October. A Cornwall evening in June was the true topic of this blog.

At 9 am the dogs and I were in this exact spot but we were chased away by the assiduous attention of Horse Flies. By 9pm we could actually stand still and enjoy the view. We had a good old trudge around the nature reserve with doggy and human friends. A bug posed on Cow Parsley.

And I felt the need to turn a beautiful but non spectacular sundowner into a poster.

Have a great weekend when it arrives.

Pandemic Pondering#434

The lost blog in The Lost Gardens of Heligan. This mornings blog was lost in the herds of tourists that have arrived in Cornwall for their holidays now no-one can travel abroad. Then it was further lost in an uncharged phone.

A trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan is a regular treat for us and one that normally we dont plan too formally. But in these busy times we had to book and the only time slot available was really early. Not too tricksy I thought I can blog before I go. Unfortunately due to fashion and stupidity I needed to quickly collect some blister plasters before we even set off. I plugged my phone in to charge on the drive down and was surprised to arrive with only 10% battery. Three pictures later that was it.

One dead battery and many photo opportunities missed.

So apologies for the late arrival of this blog some days the moments in life just dont quite stack up for 600 words before 8 am.

Pandemic Pondering #427

And another day of rain! Thankfully I had to go and replace some spotlights at the art exhibition so I could at least see some sunshine in paintings as I worked.

© Sue Richardson Drawn to the Valley

This picture has everything, sunshine, maskless faces, and a crowd. Spotlights fixed, I had hoped to take a walk around the Industrial Heritage, old mine workings, around Gunnislake, but the weather chased me into the car and back home to domestic admin. Finally just before sunset the rain stopped and the sun popped its head out for 30 minutes of golden moments.

The harbours captured the best images of the turbulent clouds.

This was our usual walk around Sutton Harbour, Cattedown and The Barbican, the sun put in only the briefest of appearances. Luckily one of the entries at the art exhibition shows the Plymouth Gin Distillery in a better light than we saw it last night.

We didn’t actually attempt loving our local gin. Its not a good midweek habit on a school night.

Pandemic Pondering #426

This one picture is all that was left of the day once weather and breakfast had taken what it wanted out of our waking hours. The Pandemic, guilty as it is for so many things, did not affect Sunday, or indeed this blog.

The weather was the most damaging. Another day deluged out of existence. This blog should have early morning action pictures of Pilot Gigs and happy rowers rowing on the Tamar. But the wind and rain postponed that. Nothing stopped our first meeting with friends indoors to share breakfast and natter over too much coffee. The rain continued to pour down on their courtyard garden , making everything lush and tropical looking. The trouble is we forgot our manners, we’ve not really used them for more than 15 months. A breakfast gathering suggests that other things might be done with the rest of the day. Not with guests like us! We left the breakfast gathering at 4:30 in the afternoon. We had talked and talked, fueled by good coffee and breakfast, but we had talked the day away, our ribs and faces aching from mirth. At 4:30 the rain still battered the streets but dogs needed walking, any pretence that anything else might be achieved was washed into the gutter with rainfall. A brief dog walk in waterproofs got the essentials done before book reading and cooking filled a couple of hours. Finally at 8:30pm we could find a rain-free period when dogs could be walked and 10,000 steps could be achieved. One day, one photograph, some sort of milestone.

Pandemic Pondering #425

After two days of near normal human socialising it was a huge shock to accidentally do something that involved no other humans and after a week of storms a couple of dry hours was an added bonus. We went to Dartington Hall for a dog walk and had decided to do the walk regardless of the weather. Suitably dressed we set off for a walk in the deer park. We were soon immersed in a landscape little altered for centuries. The recent rains had made the walk quite gooey underfoot. I’m sure this is the reason we didn’t meet any other humans. Despite having dogs with us, on leads, we saw plenty of deer close up, their natural camouflage protecting them from both predators and my photography. The bees were easier, fat and somnolent from rich pollen harvests they rested on blossom long enough to pose for pictures.

Bluebells and wild garlic scented the air of the woods and when the sun came out there was a woodland version of petrichor in the air, not perhaps as vivid as in an urban setting but there never the less.

Deep within these woods there were echoes of unseen steam trains chuffing and whistling their way on a local historical rail track. Running a service for the first time since last summer. Instead of a muddy, damp trudge it was a hugely relaxing walk in dappled sun. The sun came out properly when we got closer to civilisation.

With civilisation came coffee and for Hugo the chance to grab a quick snooze in a sunbeam.

Slow Sundays . Link to location below.

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Pandemic Pondering #398

The bright sunlight of Sunday turned this blog into a riot of blue and green. Starting at 8 am with vivid seaweed.

From the exact same location I could turn around to show you the sillouettes of the trees that were trimmed last week.

Its not only the trees that got a trim this week. Hannah also got a haircut this week so we are 25% tidy @theoldmortuary as Hugo and Lola can look pretty shaggy after only 4 weeks away from their salon visits.

The post swim dash to breakfast took us past this Ceanothus and this gorgeous door.

After a morning spent on human pursuits the dogos waited patiently for their turn, with a bit of a blue background.

A dog walk on a slightly different part of the coast found one more blue and green image.

So here we are, its Monday again.

Lets start the week with a splash!

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 #290

Day 1, Lockdown III in England ( Cornwall)

I chose to take my one hour exercise on the Cotehele Estate in the late afternoon. I had slightly misjudged things and the sun had already left the valley. Everything was already in shadow and a little bit chilly. But once my walk was done driving out over the rim of the valley I caught the end of a beautiful sunset.

It seems really important to make my one outing of the day count.

In other news Ive started to knit a scarf on really small needles , I anticipate I might just finish it with this latest lockdown set to run and run. It will be a very dull scarf and will only feature in blogs when my mind is an empty echo chamber with dust in the corners and fragments of ponderings caught between thought and keyboard.

Pandemic Pondering #216

The weather has been a little wetter this week than at any time during Ponderings. It means that daily dog walks require a little more planning, or in fact less, if the serendipity of a dry spell is to be utilised . Two dogs with a good proportion of poodle in them equates to eight little paws that act as sponges in wet and muddy conditions. Any walk is best finished with a bit of pavement walking to stamp off the worst of the weather before entering the house. Our walk yesterday produced these three lovely pictures of autumn leaves all within a few yards of each other.

I took these three pictures and then promptly forgot about looking for the beauty that was laying at my feet. I realised that I have already missed the glossy perfection that is conkers emerging from their velvety beds within spiky shells. Also cobnuts and hazelnuts have been and gone. Just a little research in the picture archive gave me this painting of cobnuts, figs and blackberries from two years ago.

I need to start paying a bit more attention to things before the colours of autumn are lost for another year.