#363 theoldmortuary ponders.

On Reflection. One single sentence brought me up with a jolt yesterday. I was settling down for a quiet hour with the leftovers of the weekends newspapers. The sun was streaming in through the windows and I had just returned from a satisfying walk on the common. I had gathered cushions and was feeling pretty comfortable.

” This makes me feel like the Queen”

A sentence that is no longer relatable. Unless of course I was cosied up in a lead box. Just like the rest of the world, feeling rather special should, now, correctly be ” Feeling like a Queen”

A friends mum, who married in the same year as the Queen, died last week at the age of 96 having been pre deceased by a beloved husband. Achieving a rather unusual imitation of a life imitating a life.

I have been lucky enough to rehome some of my friends parents collection of coloured glass. Such a practical way to reflect and remember lovely people, as we use these glasses nearly every day.

#357 theoldmortuary ponders

Currently we are working with a fine ratio of grown ups to new baby. 3:1. Even with that ratio things get a little blurry. Gentle pink roses are a fabulous illustration to a dark tale of gender neutral toilets in a maternity unit.

Gender neutral toilets in a maternity unit reception certainly save space but the reality of sharing such a facility with men who are faced with imminent fatherhood is hardly a fragrant pleasure. The dark miasma of many male anxiety poos is as good a reason as any for some locations having gender specific facilities.

Just saying……..

#263 theoldmortuary ponders

Quite the red letter day in the yard today. Firstly the bees were going crazy for the poppies in the early morning sun.

Then a small under gardener arrived from Hong Kong via London and Sennen Cove. Never has the 10:15 from Penzance brought such a precious person.

She quickly set about the watering tasks. Then it was time to find the play park and walk the dogs.

Dog walking is a serious business when you are 3 years old. But for us all wildlife spotting became very serious when we spotted a Smooth Hound Shark at Freemans Wharf, not far from home. That is setting the bar very high for the rest of her visit. We will do our best, but I fear we may have peaked too soon!

#258 theoldmortuary ponders

©Lauren Webb

Yesterday was all about watching family members doing sporty things. The weather was kind to everyone. Hannah and friends Emily and Becky swam to Drakes Island and back.

Just once a year swimmers are allowed to swim across the deep water channel entrance to Devonport Dockyard between Devils Point and Drakes Island. The swim was sponsored to raise money for the Chestnut Appeal, an organisation that raises money for research into Prostate Cancer. A disease that is close to our hearts and minds as far too many men have lives blighted by this disease. When I say close to our hearts the comment is emotional not anatomical. The prostate gland actually lives just below a mans bladder and surrounds the urethra just after it leaves the bladder. Clearly nowhere near a woman’s actual heart! It is the size of a walnut or chestnut. The prostate is a busy thing making the juice that sperm swim in, but in engineering terms it is badly designed for longevity. My dad described it as having ‘built in obsolescence’ . As men age it swells and becomes thickened, which is benign disease, and makes men wee a lot at night, sadly it is also the site of a very common cancer.

The swim was a little delayed because a big ship needed to pass.

But soon enough the swimmers were off.

And 30 minutes later back again.

Rewarded by coffee provided by their very attentive support team.

My second stint of watching involved the TV, our family had tickets for Wimbledon and while on an outside court had front row seats. Unfortunately the BBC overlayed the exact spot they were sitting with a score checker.

When they were in court 1 they were just tiny dots of pink and blue.

Never in the history of @theoldmortuary has a blog had so many people in it! The dogs were there, at swimming, not Wimbledon, too.

So after a day of watching other people do stuff I felt duty bound to take a little dip in the sea. The crowds were smaller and reaching the island positively not allowed.

#251 theoldmortuary ponders

3 years since the last Glastonbury Festival and,coincidentally, 3 years since we have seen two sets of friends, who we met up with this weekend. The TV coverage of Glasto has been the soundtrack of our weekend and on Sunday Glastonbury defined where we could meet our friends without either set of people getting caught up in festival traffic.

West Bay became our destination of choice and the sun came out with a side serving of cold blustery wind.

The day started with marmalade for breakfast. Traditional enough you might think but for us the day started with marmalade ice cream. A very fine toilet on our route can be found at an Ice Cream Farm. Despite the earliness of our arrival it seemed rude not to partake in their titular product.

Gooseberry and Marmalade Ice cream at Otter Valley Farm. https://g.co/kgs/Bmh7fB

The next stop was Bridport, it seemed fitting on this occasion to have cake as this comfort break was at a bakery.

Glorious Baked Goods at Rise Bakery Bridport https://g.co/kgs/t1nLJC

These were way to fancy for our tastes and we decided to buy something a little simpler, and save it for the return journey.

And so the three year reunion occured. We hugged and laughed and walked a lot and drank coffee.

West Bay did not disappoint it even gave me two of my favourite things. A glitterball and an old weathered door.

Three years has been a long time, the gentle trickle to normality is gathering pace . I’ve loved seeing great crowds of people enjoying themselves at Glastonbury and at a different level it is just so good to give friends a good old hug and a squeeze when we meet. Ice cream for breakfast; not an everyday occurrence for sure but definately an opportunity to be taken occasionally. Random opportunities are assets waiting to be realised. It may have taken a world pandemic for me to fully realise their value.


Link above to happy news article.

#235 theoldmortuary ponders

Blogging about pondering is an almost inexhaustible subject. There are often a few potential blogs bubbling away in the background waiting for a denouement or an illustrative image. Todays blog is a little different as it only really has one image and no denouement in sight. I ping these words out into the ether never knowing where or with whom they will land. The daily stats on any blog tells me how many humans and in some cases bots have looked at the blog on any given day. People are also kind enough to comment on various platforms. This week has been a week of real world interaction and talk of blogs when I have been out and about. I’ve had some fabulous chats about how motherhood impacted the career trajectories of women who created families in the eighties and nineties and about the power of lateral chatting. The thing is with these lovely gems of blog induced natterings, they are never long enough and I always think of something useful to add ten minutes after I have walked away.

The gentle art of lateral conversations.

The picture above and the link below illustrates lateral conversations in a far better way than I can. Thanks to Jack for the real life conversation that inspired this particular train of thought.


Talking is the thread of this blog, this next conversation may not be so easy to have, laterally or otherwise, but maybe the women who held on to careers and some who couldn’t, need to talk about being a working mother in the eighties and nineties. Being a working mother was not about banging our heads on a glass ceiling, at least there was a chance of breaking through that. The bondage of being labelled a ‘Working Mother’ by society was the most disempowering title ever applied to me and a whole generation of women. Thanks Clare for our chat that made me realise what we all achieved against the odds.

©Matt Holmes.

And so back to my original illustration which nicely shows how life, and blogs, is a series of interconecting shapes all created by the line we walk and that even computers can’t make it perfect. Life like this image is made more attractive by its imperfections. The imperfections are what make great conversations.

#181 theoldmortuary ponders

And then the sun came out properly! After 4 days of mist with just an occasional sunny break through, Monday, finally, delivered on some good weather. Our morning walk took us to Mount Wise overlooking Plymouth Sound and the Stonehouse Peninsular. Looking back towards our home and regular swimming, bobbing, location.

We have been home birds for the whole of Easter and we have had many adventures but all the photographs look like this.

This was the view from our Sunday lunch destination, booked for the combination of extensive, breathtaking views and good food. The food did not disappoint. Below is a link to how the view should be.

Fog or mist included we had a great weekend of socialising with family and friends. By Monday evening it was time to get back to normal and an evening ‘bob’ was called. 10 bobbers gathered in the evening sun with tales of Easters elsewhere, and photographs to make us jealous.

Pembrokeshire © Nichola Bobber
Mid-Wales © Gill/Marianne Bobber
East Wittering ©Gilly Bobber

Not that Tranquility Bay put on a bad show last night itself.

Tranquility Bay, though, was in a tricksy mood and had some nasty currents which exhausted one of the bobbers. Last night was a fine lesson in why we are Bobbers who Bob together. Towards the end of our time in the water two bobbers were a little late returning to the chattering zone. After some robust shouting our two strongest swimmers realised there was a problem and took off back to the buoy. Coach Andy has his finger poised to call the emergency services, but the tired and emotional bobber was dragged back to the safe area and we all left the sea, happy that we have each other and that some of the bobbers are good enough swimmers to keep us safe. Easter eggs and hot drinks returned everyone to their normal settings and Coach Andy’s Emergency Finger was returned to his coat pocket until it is next called into action. And with that Easter 2022 was concluded.

#167 theoldmortuary ponders

Some days should be celebrated for their ‘ normalness’. Lola has returned to her pre-surgery, happy, self so the dog world, in our house, has returned to near normal. In the outside world, we had a day that was really very similar to pre-pandemic life. We said goodbye to some friends heading off for some prolonged travelling and I went to an in-person bookclub where 90% of the members attended with no-one away with Covid. The only person who couldn’t attend couldn’t come because she was too busy elsewhere. These may be really mundane observations on the activities of a day but the fact that they are so normal is spectacularly exciting. Near normal days have been almost impossible for more than two years. Normal is really rather lovely. A normal day ended with a beautiful, but normal for here, sunset. Pretty much a perfect day.

#158 theoldmortuary ponders

Mothers Day 2022.

A day to be grateful for mothers and nurturers. Thankfully almost anyone can nurture so even those of us without actual mothers can celebrate being cared for and nurtured. Nurturing has come in all shapes and forms during this last two years of a world Pandemic

Science and Nurture have pulled most of us through some very dark times. Nurturing one another will make our recovery far more comfortable.

Happy Nurturers Day 2022.