#5 theoldmortuary ponders.

©Emily Bobber

This is all that is left of the West Pier in Brighton. I used to pass it every day on my way to work in Brighton. The pier closed in 1975 and has been ravaged by storms ever since. For me it has always been a ghost pier. Something to focus on when looking out to sea thinking deep or not so deep thoughts. It is some years since I have visited Brighton. It was definitely a destination booked in for this summers great staycation but a complication arose with the dates and we weren’t able to go. Getting a “fix’ of Brighton every few years is an essential piece of ‘touching base’. Fondly known as London-by-the-sea it is a larger than life sea side resort.

One of our ‘Bobbers’ group ran a half marathon there this weekend and captured this lovely image.

Hunting in my phones image file I’ve only found one other blogworthy picture. Hugo, posing very regally at the Prince Regents Pleasure Dome, The Royal Pavillion.

Any future visits to Brighton will almost certainly involve swimming in the sea, no matter what time of year we schedule a trip and definitely more photography!

Pandemic Pondering #531

Morning Shimmer

Shimmering and spiders.

Morning and evening dog walks have been very shimmery this week. There was a monumental midweek storm that has affected the light at either end of the day. The storm also blew the recently constructed cobwebs away. All week spiders have been moving into the house for winter. Yesterday an industrious one had built a web over the dog leads between walks. Any thoughts, that we may have had, of there being less spiders in a city house than a country one are being replaced by reality. The one job that remains post house move is to sort out art stuff into the studio. Much of it has been done but there are still some big Ikea bags full of essential odds and ends being stored in the garage. I had always planned to get it done in September but had not considered that by leaving the job until now I will inevitably shift spiders from their winter quarters in the garage into the house.

Fishy Shimmer ©theoldmortuary

I have no water colours of spiders, so a shimmery fish from the shimmery sea will have to do as a midblog illustration.

Neither of the humans in this house are arachnophobes and one furry person is indifferent, hso all this talk of spiders might be inconsequential. Lola, however, is not indifferent to spiders.

This small brown nose spends hours every autumn sniffing out spiders, not the most useful of tracking talents. Unlike most tracking dogs she doesn’t tell her humans that she has found something, she just gobbles them up if they dont wake up in time to move. Once they have properly hibernated she doesnt seem to be able to sniff them out, so by November our days and evenings will not be punctuated by Lola crossing the floors in an obsessive hunt for sleepy spiders, despite our best efforts the outcome is rarely positive.

Evening Shimmer

Pandemic Pondering #521

Vanlife day 2 at Bantham. Up bright and early for a dog walk.

We learnt so much last night, having lived so long in Cornwall we are well used to the marked nativism that is the signature disrespect held for all that were not born in the Duchy. Devon takes a gentler approach. Visitors are generally known as DFL ( Down from London) London being a general term for visitors from elsewhere.

For many years like so many Cornish, Devon and West Country people we became economic and professional migrants and lived and worked in London. On our regular returns to the West Country we were certainly described as DFL when in actual fact we were FH R ( From Here Really) Last night we mingled with many who were DFL and with whom we had much in common but when discussing that we were FHR needed more clarification. JUFP did the job! Just up from Plymouth.

So much easier to be a dog, they just needed to pee and sniff each others nether regions to realise that they and the DFL dogs had in fact met many times in the glorious parks of South London.

Not for them the curious Social dancing of humans just a simple. sniff and all the social niceties are observed in an instant. Not that that didnt exhaust them. Barely able to keep their eyes open last night. Today is very much a van day after the early morning walk and a breakfast until noon.

Taking it in turns to be alert.

More Bantham blogging tomorrow, you can never have too much of a good thing.

Pandemic Pondering #482

A shameless dogblog. Low tide this morning and an empty beach gave the dogs a rare chance to scamper on the beach. Lola is perfectly camouflaged on her new local beach.

Hugo, of course, would only be camouflaged at pure white tropical beaches, which are not local to us.

It’s not only our swimming hobby that stops them visiting the beach often. They have very low respect for other people’s activities. The peaceful activities of strangers are their main interest, book reading or yoga are activities to step away from the hurly burly of regular life. Neither experience is enhanced by a furry nose and whiskers snuffling extremities, however unthreatening the intention.

They also snuffle limpets who do not react.

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 #397

Normal blogging service will resume later this morning. Its a swim lesson day and I haven’t even made the sandwiches!

So a late start for the blog but with the added bonus of some dog pictures. The stand out feature of this weekend has been the wind. A very brisk Easterly blowing into Plymouth Sound affecting everything weve done. Al Fresco Dining, Bobbing, and dog walking. Nothing I’ve produced photographically has shown the severity of the wind. Anecdotally Miss Lola was blown off her legs yesterday. A situation only remedied by a very tight cuddle. The swimming lesson outing required the van to keep Miss Lola on board and in a good mood.

Hugo was also not averse to a bit of van comfort while swimming lessons were affecting the quality of his Sunday morning.

Some outdoor activity was permitted in the morning schedule. Lola agreed to a pose that demonstrated the wind direction.

Hugo also attempted a similar pose but just ended up looking messy.

The most important part of the day was guarding the beach awaiting the return of the swimmers.

Pandemic Pondering #319

Today we need to talk about Fox.

Our dogs spent their formative years living in South London. We quickly became aware of dogs ernest desire to always roll in Fox Poo. Urban foxes are everywhere and dog owners have a sixth sense about the moment their dogs bend one shoulder down towards the earth prior to a squirm of ecstacy as they rub fox excrement over their backs and onto their faces. Once we returned to Cornwall we lost that sixth sense. Rural foxes are far more discrete and many small town or country people have never seen a live fox.

In London Foxes were a part of our everyday lives. We often woke up with one.

They used our garage roof as a relaxation area and for a memorable and stinky period our garden became their larder. If foxes have a really rich harvesting and hunting period they will store excess food in a particular place to retrieve it later. Our garden, for a while became a dead rat larder. We could smell them as soon as we walked into the garden. We disposed of the stinky carcasses into an area of rough ground that was near the foxes den, only to have the exact same bodies returned to the garden a few hours later. Apparently no self respecting Fox wants such things close to its front door!

Pandemic Pondering #319 mentions the mud festival that was yesterdays walk. Hugo and Lola had made some small attempt to clean themselves up so they were spared a bath yesterday. Today though a trip to the Rugby Club for a run about revealed how much I have lost my London Fox awareness training. First Hugo and then Lola took the dive of shame into a copious pile of Fox poo. I could hope for a moment that it was just random high spirits but as they ran excitedly back to me the joy on their faces told me all I needed to know. I bent down for a sniff but it was unnecessary really.

An afternoon bath became essential, as you can see from these photos it was not universally popular.

The rewards for me are clean curls to cuddle and a slightly damp lap.

Pandemic Pondering #318

Thermal underwear can make you do crazy things. Yesterday was a day of sunshine with a side order of mud.

Everywhere here is pretty sodden with rain and winteriness. Some regular dog walks have been abandoned because they are just too muddy. The arrival of unexpected sunshine coupled with thermal underwear made walking without a warm coat entirely possible. My choice of walk has a semi-permeable surface that drains well, all should have been well but the dogs did not stick to the path. Beyond the confines of the path the parkland was a riot of quagmire and fascinating smells. Some of which the dogs felt obliged to roll in.

It was such a sunny day , two circuits of the park were completed. I was feeling toasty but the dogs were two muddy sponges, filled to capacity with moisture and mud. The ecstatic cuddles when we returned to the car were a mixed blessing.

The second walk of the day involved Tarmac and water contained in its proper place.

Pandemic Pondering #209

Warping Sunset. Sunset at Rame Head , on Sunday, was beautiful. It needed nothing to enhance it. So PP#252 presented sunset just as nature intended but the picture below, taken by Hannah on our return to the van, exploits nature and the benefits of having a clean bottom.

Warped Sunset.

The clean bottom in question is our beloved VW Camper. It takes us to some amazing places.

Hugo and Lola love it because the chances of being in bed are greatly enhanced.

And they get to snuffle within spectacular scenery.

And when the day is done, exhausted by fresh air and long walks.

They can snuggle up together without the usual bickering.

Pandemic Pondering #120

Dogs and dahlias take an early nap.

The first Dahlia of the summer @theoldmortuary decided to pop open this morning. It’s a risky life in this garden as the slugs here are super tenacious nibblers and the 22 year old cat thinks sprouting dahlias are the perfect place to do her ablutions. Thankfully both slugs and the cat choose the dull dahlias as their victims and ignore the glamorous ones. By midday this one was trying really hard to be gorgeous.

But it’s tough being the first dahlia in a summer garden and it was soon heading off for an early sleep.

Sleep in daytime was a bit of a theme. An art group committee meeting was scheduled for the afternoon. Hugo was fully ready for some Zoom action this afternoon.

But just like the dahlia he chose early sleep over the excitement of Logo design and postponed exhibitions.