Pandemic Pondering #305

Another greige old day. Hannahs birthday,and we had plans, weather permitting, to walk on beaches, enjoy coffee and have a great burger for supper. The weather was having none of this and an unplanned but essential session of domestic admin stole time and space to achieve the planned day.

Modified plans held the same ingredients but not quite the same pizazz as anticipated. Coffee was from a drive- through and picnic lunch was a side order whilst we read through mountains of paperwork. The dog walk was taken during a miraculous break in the weather, we were still blown about like shuttlecocks but without a side serving of torrential rain. Hands were firmly dug into pockets so no photographs of joyful dog bottoms enjoying a playful walk. Facebook came to the rescue on this particular subject. Offering me an image from 8 years ago. Hugo’s first day out in South London, about to create his first patch of yellow snow!

The only bit of our day to stay on plan was the burger. In some ways another South London throwback. Zephyr Burgers were a pop-up in our neighbourhood. https://www.zephyrburgers.co.uk/

What you don’t expect when you move back to the West Country is for a familiar London pop-up to pop-up close to home again. Currently parked at the back of Bullet Proof Brewery on Mutley Plain.

Our burger choice marked not only a birthday but also had a nod to the inauguration of a new Potus.

Either the carb load or a more reliable hand on the nuclear button made for a good nights sleep.

Pandemic Pondering #304

Storm Christoph shaped our 10,000 step exercise hour today. We walked from Victoria Park to Mutton Cove via the 18th Century Richmond Walk. Ordinarily this walk is a heady mix of beautiful seascapes and a mix of marine and industrial landsapes. Today the greige of a wet and foggy pre-storm made scenic pictures a pointless exercise so we concentrated on Street Art and man-made embelishments to our route. Contrariwise the first picture is of King Billy our halfway point turnaround.

The reason for the slightly odd order of pictures is the unbelievably grim, greige weather. On the return walk it was easier to see and stand still with the weather at our backs. The next three picures show a man made structure being taken over by the sea and nature and then being recontrolled but not reclaimed by humans once again.

Next a lovely palimpsest of heavy iron doors, paint, rust and graffiti caught our attention next.

Followed by a lone tag on an old wooden gate.

Then a colourful flourish to the end of our walk in the tunnel beneath the Stonehouse Bridge.

Not a greige image in sight. A modern miracle on a day like today.

Pandemic Pondering #297

Pondering numbers recalibrated and we are looking forward. But for this blog a little bit of retro. Every morning Facebook offers a look back at old posts. It is not something I look at often , but today the images were very varied , I’ve picked four to ponder over. The first is a heavy snow day in Dulwich Village in 2010. 11 years ago.

Memorable because the walk to and from work in Marylebone was a challenge, and a milk float overturned just outside this gate scattering milk bottles everywhere.The milkman was unhurt but he must still have the memory, as do I, of a thousand tinkling bell sounds as the bottles smashed on the icy road.

10 years ago January 13 th was very bright. These lovely sculptures by Mauro Perucchetti were located at the top of Park Lane near Marble Arch. For 3 months between October and January they were smiling observers of my journey to work.

8 years ago a new puppy called Hugo wakes up a friend with early morning snuggles. ( This is the day I had to hide a puppy poo up the sleeve of my jumper in order to give Hugo top good behaviour points, when his toilet training failed him when visiting someone)

2016 Brixton, 5 years ago, a street memorial to David Bowie who had recently died. Another travelling to work landmark.

My idiosyncratic use of a cameraphone might be a little bit, or a lot, irritating to my nearest and dearest but today this little retrospective imagery reminds me that January life is as varied and colourful as any other month and every day is filled with moments, even in a lockdown.

Pandemic Pondering #292

Some winter days start with promise and just keep giving. Today was a day for harvesting vitamin D.

Either end of the day were gloriously golden . The middle bit was filled with a happy Zoom meeting and some packing up and planning for our future fake Christmas. Date currently unknown. The freezer holds all sorts of festive foods and decorations are packed away, not for the usual year but for a shorter period.

As our days begin to stretch slightly at either end the sunshine is a great bonus.

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 #284

It was a huge surprise to wake up hungry on Boxing Day morning. We had accidentally avoided doing anything too traditional, for us, on Christmas Day and were lucky enough to avoid any lachrymose moments. Avoidance worked to the point that we were too exhausted to even cook a proper festive roast.

Boxing Day has a tradition in our home of no traditions . It always has an organic free flowing style. Decisions are largely predicated by weather and participant enthusiasm and availability. Today despite the greige and the cold a walk on the Hoe was our chosen activity. Unusually for Plymouth we found some profound graffiti.

For us today it is about learning Tier 2 rules and working out a life pathway up to the next Covid based government decision. Basically we need to throw on the thermal underwear and do anything that involves other humans outside. What we have not considered is the dogs temperatures while socialising outside. As this is likely to go on for a couple of months we’ve just ordered doggy thermals. Meanwhile Lola loved a hat

Sell-by dates also inform our current lifestyle. Our festive season attendance @theoldmortuary was abruptly cut by 2/3 so there is an element of cooking food for 6 in a way that 2 can come out of the non festive season not looking like overstuffed Turkeys.

An actual roast is occuring today , purely to provide us with traditional left overs. One of the best meals of the festive season is Bubble and Squeak. Cooking it at home is one thing but eating it at Borough Market crafted by the wonderful cooks at Marias, takes Bubble to new levels.

In our house it never has its full title the dish is just known as ‘ Bubble’ the word is traditionally shouted with a South London accent.

@theoldmortuary has adopted the ‘love’ logo to share some love over the festive period because there is so much about the festive season and in fact the whole year that we love to share with friends and family, we’ve really missed you all . A little logo of love lets you know we are thinking of you.

And finally Christmas dinner was cooked and consumed.

Pandemic Pondering #278

An unusual blog today, made up of a variety of things . A portmanteau blog if you like.

© Britannica

Our weekend had a plan that most definitely conformed to a usual pre-christmas weekend. Saturday started and finished with a watery theme.

It began well with some cold water bobbing.

In the evening we went to the National Marine Aquarium for a ‘Night at the Museum’ dining event which in itself was a curious piece of serendipity. The pictures we took will illustrate the rest of the blog.

We had been booked to attend this event at a different time of year but it was postponed until this weekend because of Covid-19. Our socially distanced dining area was in the room holding the Eddystone tank which is where the tenuous serendipity comes in.

In the morning we were swimming in Plymouth Sound above unseen sea creatures. In the evening we were dining surrounded by the same types of sea creatures that would have witnessed our flailing limbs from below. Not that I’m suggesting that ‘Bobbers’ swim to the Eddystone Rock, or in anyway disrupt sea lanes. We ‘ bob’ in the vicinity, quite a distant vicinity in reality and always with regard to the Sea Lanes. We are not the sort of sea swimmers who get mentioned in the Plymouth Evening Herald or are reprimanded by Harbour Masters or Port Admirals. I don’t think we even trouble seagulls.

In between these two events at 4:30pm Boris Johnson had delivered a monumental clusterfuck. Or Prime Ministers Briefing as it is officially known.

Without going into details, these can be found on any, far more reliable, news source. Christmas in Britain has been Clusterfucked.

This certainly affected the mood and ambience of our evening at the aquarium. We had plenty to talk about just trying to reset the logistics of a Bubble Christmas to the Clusterfuck variety. This may be the time to say that the food was great and being in an aquarium at night was wonderfully calming. The Rays were particularly meditative. We had a great evening.

Understandably, under the current circumstances, the streets of Plymouth, on our way to the Aquarium, were unusually quiet for the last Saturday before Christmas, as were some tanks at the aquarium.

The Sea Horses, our favourite exhibit, were missing.

Only time will tell if the Sea Horses and the good residents of Plymouth were spending their Saturday night doing the same thing. Officially the Sea Horses were ‘ away breeding’
It was a massive disappointment in a day inadvertantly filled with disappointments. I’ve been forced to design my own Christmas card. Exclusively revealed here!

Pandemic Pondering #276

Naturally occuring hearts have been a little thin on the ground.

This one is not on the ground nor is it particularly naturally occuring. The bright blue heart is just an accident of light reflection.

Nothing in this picture shows how windy it was during this walk. Maybe the picture below gives a sense.

Dog walks in weather like this are for one reason only. Elimination. Picking up a dog poo in such winds is unusually difficult. It was hard to stand and open the plastic poo bag but once I had grasped the evenings offering the wind whipped one little nugget and blew it away before I could tie the bag up. I did not chase it!

Pandemic Pondering #272

Twilight dog walk.

One week from the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere. These three photos were taken within the space of about ten minutes and all within the same geographical location at either end of the tunnel that leads to the sea from the Royal William Yard, in Plymouth.

It had been a very grey day but just at the last moment some colour grazed the sky. The photo above does have a filter applied and the other two are artificially lit but the vivid colours brightened up the end of the day.

These last few short days of December are my least favourite time of year. I completely understand why many cultures and religions choose to throw a festival into the schedule to perk things up a little. Two of the three daily walks get closer together as I try to catch the best of the day at either end of the available daylight.

Left to their own devices Hugo and Lola would not choose to interrupt quality sleeping time with scheduled walks at this time of year. They accompany me out of love not neccesity. To be honest I feel the same but we have never discussed it. Perhaps we should…

P.S This 10 year old post just popped up on Facebook, nothing changes!

Pandemic Pondering #267

Yesterday I said that dog walking could be repetitive. But today blogging is repetitive. Yesterday I was out early to catch the dawn and today was the same, strengthened by the knowledge that yesterday, dawn was about the only time the sun showed it’s face.

Forder Creek, at dawn. A wonderful place to walk at low tide.

Penzance to Paddington.
Paddington to Penzance

True to form the sun rose and was briefly beautiful but soon the ghastly greige of a West Country winter set in. My morning was filled with delivering this month’s books to the Bookworms reading group. Lunchtime however brought a very bright surprise. I went for a dog walk with a friend in Victoria Park, Plymouth, followed by an impromptu visit to a wonderful interiors shop. But it was the exteriors that chased away the greige of the day.

http://www.annterior.co.uk
http://www.annterior.co.uk

It’s not only sunshine that chases away the greige.