#96 theoldmortuary ponders

Funny to start an early morning blog with a sunset but this one is a pointer to the next day, which is today.

Yesterday was a day of dreadful mists and traditional West Country Greige.Until this gloriously over the top sunset arrived, better late than never! The whole day had been an impenetratable colour and sensation of meh. My actual day was hardly any more enlightened with dull, domestic tasks and my relaxed moments filled with a book I had no wish to read. Over Christmas a small pile of lovely new books has appeared. I have yet to start any of them due to other reading commitments. In the greatest piece of bad luck, this months book group book is by a new- to- me author that I have a tiny bit of history with. I will name no names but the author is a well known T.V. presenter whose books, apparently, are both breathtaking and on many lists of bestsellers. Prior to Christmas,and probably against my better judgement I downloaded one of her literary mistresspieces. Having read one chapter I returned it, the prose being not quite to my taste. Flimsy would be my best description. Imagine my horror when the book club book for January was by the same author. I decided to adopt the cold water swimming approach and just get straight into it. I dedicated all of my reading time over two days plus some extra to get it done so that I could start on my Christmas pile.

Was my one chapter and out behaviour the correct approach? Mostly yes, but the plot of the book club,book choice, was really quite clever and deserved much better, deeper writing than the celebrity author had bothered with. Surprising really as she is not a foolish woman and has a wide breadth of life experiences. The editor also had an off day, some of the inaccuracies were absolute howlers that had me reading them several times to try and make some sense of them. There was no sense to them!

So, bad weather and bad book was yesterday and so far I have no idea what today will bring, but my, very cold, early morning walk shows promise.

The dawn sky was as good as last nights sunset. There is a millionaire parked up in the Sound.

Luxury Yacht just off Drakes Island.

I think I might have chosen somewhere a little warmer to park my $250 million super yacht in January. Presumably the owner of both the Dallas Cowboys and this boat has his reasons.

More heart warming than a Super Yacht was this bouquet of flowers on a bench. The bench is dedicated to someone, now deceased, who loved this area.

The dew that had formed at dawn created a poignant reminder of the tears we all have for the people and moments that we have lost forever.

And an even more powerful reminder to push on through the greige days because the sun always returns, eventually.

Pandemic Pondering #114

Wembury Part II- The beach is closed to dogs, as is normal for the summer. Summer is a time for the cliff paths and always, at this location,some contemplation for a soldier unknown to us.

We walked to his memorial bench, positioned at a bend on the cliff path.

It is a beautiful spot overlooking the Mewstone. It commemorates a young life lost at war. These two links tell the story of his passing. Yesterday was his birthday.
https://www.gov.uk/government/fatalities/lieutenant-colonel-rupert-thorneloe-and-trooper-joshua-hammond-killed-in-afghanistan

https://youtu.be/s6ODJw014YY

Pandemic Pondering #30

Book bags and Woodland walks, featuring dog bums

We don’t forward plan much these days. A firming up of rules on driving to exercise during Coronovirus Restrictions freed us up to venture just a little further afield. The journey also gave us the chance to drop bags of books on the doorsteps of ‘Shielding Bookworms’ , actually members of a local book club,who need to self isolate for 12 weeks. Describing them as I did I made them sound like a covert infestation requiring pesticide.

Cadsonbury Woods, a Riverside walk near Callington has been a favourite walk for 30 years. It has an additional uphill walk to an ancient Hill Fort. We rarely do that because we always have the dogs and the fields are often being grazed by sheep. Without the dogs we would normally sprint up hills of such challenging gradients like mountain goats. Not today.
https://www.tamarvalleyvibe.uk/?p=1639

There were a few cars in the car park but we mostly had the woods to ourselves. Most visitors must have been of the mountain goat variety.

The birdsong was beautiful and recent work, felling trees to protect the river bank from erosion, had really opened up the walk to bright daylight. We even found a Memorial Bench.

There’s a lot of dog bums in the following pictures, some faces, some nature in springtime but I completely forgot to take a picture of the most significant part of the outing.

A cup of tea from a flask and a shortbread biscuit, which we had to share, after a couple of hours of walking in the woods. Bliss in these unusual times.

Advent#3

December Sunset at Churchtown Farm. This works in two ways , it is a brilliant December image for Advent and the location fits nicely into the Memorial Bench category. This bench is not the one that inspired my memorial bench writings but it is the one that I see the most often as it’s on my regular dog walk. It often gets a mention on the Churchtown Farm Facebook page, because people get such peace and solace from perching here. It is placed overlooking a beautifully peaceful stretch of the River Lynher. Jupiter Point, part of HMS Raleigh is the silver twinkles at the far left of this image. Beyond the Navy the water here is pretty quiet, troubled only by sailing boats and the occasional gig from Caradon Pilot Gig Club based in Saltash.A17EB3BB-A74D-4FD2-8A4D-713A9B76BE6C

This bench is unusual because it is so solid and the commemoration is carved into the wood, it’s solidity increases the sense of its permanence in the landscape. The location is so beautiful and the seat so comfy it’s hard to walk past . Not necessarily efficient dog walking but perfect for pondering. It’s what3words location is react.sometime.breeze

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Terry Conway

My first bench story comes to me from a new friend. We met at a writing course organised by The Gentle Author at The Town House, Spitalfields. Liz heard me talking about wanting to write about memorial Benches and emailed me the next day.Terry Conway was a friend of hers, and goodness me does he have a lovely bench. It is situated just outside Allendale and overlooks a spectacular view. The location for Terry’s bench using what3words is beyond.envy.beauty. “These words are somehow very appropriate for Terry who wrote lyrical songs about the beauty of Northumberland”mused Liz. Luckily for this blog Terry was the subject of a Guardian Other Lives Obituary. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/aug/01 You can also hear Terry on this YouTube clip. https://youtu.be/fcCLmqUIM9w


For anyone not interested in following links. Terry was a council roadman for 30 years and a hugely respected singer and songwriter in the Folk tradition. His day job inspiring his songwriting. Fittingly the
commemoration of Terry’s bench was a folk music moment.

I am so lucky to have met Liz. What a rewarding way to start writing about memorial benches.