Pandemic Pondering #439

Yesterdays ‘bob’ was a little different. A nearly 10 mile walk, enlivened by lemon cake and tea in the clifftop village of Mortehoe before we descended to Barricane beach for a dip.

Fresh Foxgloves and lots of mud was the reward of walking after a day of heavy rain.

After serious refreshment in the village of Mortehoe, made prosperous by farming, smuggling/wrecking and tourism we descended down to the coast. Farming and smuggling created beautiful architecture, tourism less so. But what humans can make ugly nature can improve, and the views on the way down were spectacular.

Nature and cultivation pulled out the stops too.

Barricane Beach, a small rocky cove was hugely enhanced by sunshine and the fragrance of curry being prepared. Sri Lankan Curries are the evening speciality of this amazing location, prepared by the Barricane Beach Cafe. Please go to their website below for photographs of the actual beach . I managed not to take a single picture!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Beach/Barricane-Beach-Woolacombe-163881457003060/

An hour or so of resting in the sun, was followed by some wonderful swimming/ bobbing as the tide came in and a first time ever experience of freshly served curry to warm us up as soon as we emerged from the waves.

Not a bad day at all!

Pandemic Pondering #437

Goodness it has been a busy couple of weeks. In reality what I’m probably saying, in the context of 16 months of living through a World Pandemic. Is that I’ve had a couple of almost normal weeks. It is not my body that has noticed, particularly, but my mind. I constantly worry that I have forgotten something but actually haven’t, so far.

Yesterday I introduced a Tamar Valley friend to Tranquility bay. Tranquility Bay is just to the east of the perilously swirling waters of Devils Point where the River Tamar enters Plymouth Sound. She lives with her family,near the river, in the Historically Industrial and Horticultural areas about 10 miles upstream. It is surprising how little known these beautiful and unspoilt beaches are, even to people who live fairly close by. Seeing somewhere familiar through new eyes is always enlightening . Also because I was not swimming the dogs got to walk there too so it was a double bonus visit.

Visits for bobbing at Tranquility Bay have been quite social events this week. Family members coming along to bask in the sun and see the location of our year round swimming ( bobbing) adventures. Today was a red letter day, visitors and a full turnout of the new hoodies.

Tranquility Bay and Devils Point did not allow us to be the only vibrant attractions.

Even a flower was out being vivid  while clinging to the wall.

All this activity fueled by a Hutong Bagel!

The same bagel is attempting camouflage on the header image.

Pandemic Pondering#433

Plenty of sunshine and a lovely bit of misogyny.

A sunny Bank Holiday weekend has brought many moments of mirth and pleasure. I took this comment from our towns community page on Facebook. I too think the mowing of the wildflowers is a dreadful shame. In the portion of the graveyard that we overlook, the graves  are so old that they are extremely rarely visited. The wild flowers make the area calm and contemplative. Pollenators love it. Never could the author of the comment have imagined she would get such a delicious example of misogyny as a response. Alan R is quite the man for going off at a tangent, in unexpected ways. In other churchyard news the poppies are  really showing off.

Planted to mark 100 years since the end of World War 1, this their third year is their most glorious.

Despite spending over a year walking every inch of our local area we discovered a new viewpoint yesterday. High up, ovelooking Plymouth Sound. There is a tarmac viewpoint just behind the old Marine Biology building on the Hoe.

The views are splendid.

On such a beautiful day it would have been impossible not to swim, or bob, in the sea. An evening bob with bobbers, friends and families was the perfect end to a gorgeous Monday.

Unexpectedly early, some of the bobbers took delivery of their new summer, post-bob, cover ups, this weekend.

All excitedly modelled on the Whatsapp group.

In other news my fabulous school friend Dai Pullen, an occasional contributor to Pandemic Ponderings has entered a short story competition. If you have the time please visit the facebook link below, read his entry and vote if his wordplay floats your boat.

Pandemic Pondering # 417

The May weather is so shocking in Cornwall this year that my poppies are ravaged. I can show their purple loveliness inside but their outsides are not photo worthy. The insides though are a velvety pleasure zone, too bad the weather that is battering them is also keeping the pollinators away.

In contrast the dreadful weather is not keeping us out of the sea and miraculously the storms have not stirred the sea bed too much so the minute the sun comes out everything looks pristine.

©Debs Bobber

The sea temperature has started to edge up a little so the rush to dry off and dress quickly after a swim is getting less desperate.We can even feel some warmth from the sun as we stand around enjoying our flasks of hot drinks.

©Debs Bobber

After some thought the Bobbers have decided to take their relationship to the next level. With temperatures rising slightly the need to dress like arctic explorers, post swim, is less essential. Water bottles have mostly been discarded already, along with wooly bobble hats and one layer of thermal underwear. Some time soon there will be a post swim photo of Bobbers posing in their new team hoodies, a ‘ Next Level’ sign, I’m sure, that ‘ bobbing’ is set to continue as the Pandemic restriction ease off and we could all be off doing different things. Two years ago this location was just somewhere to walk the dogs, a year ago, at the height of restrictions we dreamed of being able to get here to walk the dogs. Now after restrictions eased and exercise was a valid reason to travel short distances we swim here at least 3 times a week and mark special occasions with a dip. Something none of us would have considered until Covid-19 recalibrated our lives and mindsets.

Pandemic Pondering #358

Last Mothers Day pondering of 2021. We had a Mothers Day afternoon Tea in a box today which bought the event to an end in a lovely way.

The actual day started for us with a really early outdoor breakfast, bacon butties and coffee and delivering some bumches of daffodils to friends. We were joined by George the cockerpoo from Nazareth House.

He encouraged giddiness in the dog world.

Luckily he arrived after the bacon butties were finished.

After a breakfast as tasty as this we needed to get some exercise in. 15,000 steps later we also rewarded ourselves with an eclair each, a nod to both our Mothers who had a weakness for choux pastry.

This is what the rest of our very small family got up to.

Gin and music
Walking in London
Long Ducker

The smallest person in the family went for an enigmatic stroll.

During our stroll of 15,000 steps we met some other friends. We nattered and shared news and dog cuddles, we also learnt the technique of Split Squats. Life changing!

When we got home a message popped up on our Whatsapp.

A message as unexpected as this was a lovely embelishment to the day, it made our eyes water as much as the split squats!

Pandemic Pondering #357

Post Mothers Day Meandering.

Just like 2020, 2021 was an unusual Mothers Day. In honesty we don’t really have ‘usual’ Mothers Days even in non-pandemic years. Some of us in our blended family hold firm to gathering together while others hold firm to not participating. Then there is the third category of those who have no choice in the matter, those who have passed into another realm and are forced to join us through our anecdotes and memories or possibly just our private thoughts.

The third category are almost the most interesting participants.

They loom, making us a little sad, not all of them are actual Mothers,some are aunts or cousins, some are unborn or uncreated children, some are unrelated and others,dare I say it are men.

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is an African proverb that recognises that Mothering/ Nurturing is a complex old business achieved by an ensemble of characters involved with a childs growth and development.

Happy Mothers Day, Nurturers, whoever you are. We wouldn’t be who we are without you, all of you.

Pandemic Pondering #287

Its been a funny old festive season @theoldmortuary . We have a smallish family circle and a larger circle of friends. We are very lucky. One Christmas lost to being decent citizens, who stuck to the rules, is not actually a ‘ lost’ Christmas just a diminished one without all our treasured people around us.

Pyjamas @theoldmortuary

Today it is 360 days until Christmas 2021. Our strange distorted world will look very different.

Anish Kapoor at Pitzhanger Museum and Art Gallery

And while it can never turn the full 360 degrees to return us to our pre-pandemic normal. ( We can’t ever turn back the clocks.) Things will look and feel very different 360 days from now.

Less

A feature of a cleaning cupboard at The Box

And more.

The tunnel at Royal William Yard during Illuminate 2019

Pandemic Pondering #82

Today @theoldmortuary attended the webcam funeral for a dear friend and regular reader of this blog. I think he would consider himself ordinary but actually he was one of the loveliest people you could hope to meet. There was so much love in St Petrocs Chapel it was easy to feel comfortable with this new way of celebrating and marking the passing of a life well lived.

The celebrant and family created a beautiful service that warmly evoked everything about our friend. Wonderful music had us dabbing at our eyes from almost the first note. Could this be a new way to mark the passing of someone when there are reasons that make actual attending of a funeral difficult.

For the first time ever , we travelled, digitally on this occasion,to the Crematorium at Bodmin. It was a beautiful day and the natural backdrop was perfect.

Is a daily blog, particularly in a pandemic, Social History ? Particularly in the hands of an ordinary person who just ponders and then writes about it.

I wondered about the appropriateness of mentioning a funeral in a blog, but it was an experience that has been altered by the Pandemic and this is our new normal for the foreseeable future. It may shape the future of mourning or it may just be for now.

If nothing else a daily blog is a way of recording the changes we are all experiencing.

Pandemic Pondering #51

A complex image with a lot going on.

Pondering now and yearning for the ‘New Normal’

This reflects our minds at the moment @theoldmortuary. It’s Saturday, a day before the Government presents the new roadmap of British Life in Lockdown.

That’s one roadmap to consider then, there is our personal new roadmap to think about and the roadmaps of those we hold dear. That’s a lot of roadmaps to keep twirling. We keep busy and we work hard physically but sometimes in this pandemic those two things are not enough to keep us asleep at night.

What we all need are our friends and family, close enough to hug, squeeze, weep on and snuggle into. We are all denied that. We are touchers, I hadn’t realised quite how much we touch our friends and family. I miss you all physically, emotionally and desperately.

Ironically during Lockdown we have gained some new friends and many of our neighbours have certainly raised in status to aquaintances. The epic week working on the Cornish Hedge outside the oldmortuary gained many regular friends and quite a few offers of contracts to tidy up other people’s gardens. A new friend, S, has suggested we call our business “The Lady Gardeners”. Seriously our skill level is way below a name of that Calibre. We swap calories with S, containers of baked and cooked goods find their way from one house to the other whilst maintaining social distance. Those foods are then shared a third way with MLR who is isolating completely, she in turn provides our grandchild’s plush pig with crocheted super hero clothes.

We work on the theory that shared calories don’t count and obviously all super heroes wear crochet.

We’ve never met MLR or indeed M who is part of the food share and lives with S. But we have seen him on a balcony. This all goes to prove you create friends that you don’t touch or even get closer than 2 metres and even don’t really know.

Friendship is an organic thing.

Other 2 metre friends, A and K were first met last week in two different social distancing queues. By the power of Facebook we met them in a queue again today and then spent some moments sitting in the sun 3 metres apart enjoying a take out breakfast.

Then we took the dogs for a walk to a favourite ‘pop up’ social distancing coffee shop and met two of the owners who we’ve known as customers for three years and usually greet with a hug.

Then outside Lockdown, there is the infinite variety of our longstanding friends and family that exist ‘out there’ that we cannot see face to face or talk to without using technology.

Friends and family come in all shapes and sizes with varying longevity we are missing you all, we’ve added some strangers to the mix while we’ve been apart.

New Normal cannot get here fast enough. Someone find us the roadmap. We are desperate.