#465 theoldmortuary ponders

I feel I have been a little harsh with January. I am not alone, an early morning conversation drifted over to me from above the dogs heads.

” When exactly does January finish, it does seem to have dragged on and on this year, bloody hell not until Wednesday”

Are we all all still affected by the lag of Covid years when January’s have been uncertain. This January has definitely felt more like a liminal space than an actual flesh and blood, lived in Calendar month.

Like all months January has its own distinctive personality. If it was a person I would not be drawn to it, we would not be going out for coffee or hooking up for a dog walk.

There are, though some lovely, unique positives about my most unloved month.

1. Left over Christmas Cake- ours left the building last Thursday. Small squares of it have accompanied our evenings of binge watching T. V.

2. The pile of Christmas books. Always a satisfyingly reassuring interior design feature. Enough reading matter should we ever get snowed in with power cuts. With enough candle power boredom can be banished.

3. Christmas toiletries. Morning ablutions become foamy fantasies of far away places with coconut and jojoba. Personally I avoid mintiness. It does not remind me of Alpine meadows. It could just be me, but mintiness on one’s soft parts is torture. Nothing Swiss about it. Pure Spanish inquisition of the red hot poker sort.

I think 3 January positives is enough. I need to discuss the header image. One of three pure white tulips that were in a Christmas bouquet. Strangely they were supplied still attached to their bulbs.

One month after their arrival they are languishing floppily in the kitchen. Their stems are weak but the flower is still willing. Willing for what, I have to ask. Their flower friends have long ago joined the compost gang. My hope is that the bulbs will dry out from nearly a months immersion in water. I just couldn’t bare to keep them in a vase any longer, being all droopy and gloomy. They were a plant reflection of my own pathetic seasonal ennui. Wednesday is a deadline for both bulbs and humans in this house

#459 theoldmortuary ponders

Stepping softly into another week. January is a funny month. Not one that I ever feel particularly warm towards, but a weekend of crisp bright days has made me feel quite perky. Our trip to St Ives was 100% sunshine so we walked and basked as much as possible, turning our winter faces to the sun, like Sunflowers in August. We were staying on a tiny lane called The Didgy but our kitchen overlooked Virgin Lane and this beautiful door.

Both evocative of a different age. The beauty of being in Cornish fishing towns in January is the closeness, that it is possible to feel, to the history of these places. There are not so many people about and the sounds and smells of the town are just as they would have been centuries ago, minus perhaps body odour and poor sanitation. The first building on Virgin Lane was a bakery, it swung into action at about 7am in the morning. Bread, pasties and baked goods delivered from an out of town industrial unit. The romantic smell of baking created by modern warming ovens pressed against its 16th Century walls. However the smells are created, the effect was the same. 21st century people, wearing fishermen’s sweaters flocked to the bakery drawn out of their cottages by the smell wafted into every home in the vicinity. After shopping many of them then took a turn to the harbour where eager Seagulls hover in the hope of stealing a beakful of baked goods.

Coffee in hand, bread under one arm. 21st Century people, in fishermen’s sweaters, look out at resting fishing boats. Sunshine and peace makes romantics of us all.

#403 theoldmortuary ponders

It is a misty murky weekend in the Tamar Valley. I’ve been overwhelmed with a virus and have had to watch on as my fellow bobbers took to the water on the one day that our swimming zone was not treacherous.

But out of the gloom came a red dot indicating that I had sold a piece of art at the exhibition where I caught the virus earlier in the week.

I am super pleased as it was one of my experimental pieces with alcohol inks. Alcohol is also involved in other art projects this week. My ongoing urge to draw a Dublin back street complete with inebriated man having a pee. He is not so much the focal point, more a piece of street furniture as nearly every historic back street had at least one man relieving himself in a pool of light. I will spare you the Google images that I will be drawing from but there are days when I am glad my artistic researches are no longer tracked by the NHS IT department. There is a funny old system of on- call where you are only paid for emergency work that you actually do. In theory it can be done from home but often it was just easier to stay on site and do self interest work/ study in between cases. Mostly I did work related study but sometimes when I was doing arts courses. I would knock out a Fine Art essay. Me and IT got particularly close when I was researching ‘ Finding the Erotic in Nature’ . The nature of work in the NHS means that almost nothing except actual porn gets stopped by their filters. But fleshy looking plants really set the IT logarithms on me. Thankfully I had a good relationship with IT mostly because some of my colleagues could not keep their fingers out of the Porn Sweetie Jar that is the Internet, even at work. So they alerted me when my colleagues had transgressed. The quiet ones are the worst!

This plant, which makes beautiful tea was a very awkward search.

#248 theoldmortuary ponders

Look at these vivid flowers, they just revealed themselves near a local roundabout. Another revelation yesterday was Kate Bush doing an interview on Radio 4. She was discussing her surprise elevation to the top of the music charts in Britain and America with the single Running up that Hill ( A deal with God).44 years after it was first released. The single is part of the soundtrack for Stranger Things. A TV drama featuring teenagers and supernatural events and curious government behaviour in a mundane Indiana location.

What struck me as unusual in the interview by Emma Barnett and the preview piece by Caitlin Moran was that at no point did anyone discuss Kate’s looks or her fabled allure to men. How refreshing to just talk about music, life and gardening.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0018gqv?partner=uk.co.bbc&origin=share-mobile

I realise that BBC sounds does not play everywhere so I have included a newspaper report of the interview.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/jun/22/the-whole-worlds-gone-mad-kate-bush-on-running-up-that-hills-success?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

The fact that this interview struck me as both unusual and refreshing is a symptom of how women are still judged differently to men. This may seem like an odd kind of theme for a blog but it struck a chord.

Earlier this week while I was swimming up and down the wide part of the Lido I had to regularly pass 5 young men playing with a ball, something I would probably not have done in my entire life for fear of the ribald or sexist comments. Confident that age has made me almost invisible I pressed on. But no, my crime as a woman, this time, was to be ‘ too old’ to be a threat to them.

#107 theoldmortuary ponders

A late ponder and a strange one too. I’m not yet done with St Ives but this ponder witnessed the great divide in our country yesterday. The door was on a street in St Ives and for the purposes of this ponder represents home, somewhere safe to live. Yesterday we witnessed a street cleaner very gently clearing the debris around a homeless woman, there was a lot of stuff and the whole time he was brushing and picking up litter he carried on an entirely upbeat conversation, as if they had just met. He exuded kindness and I felt awkward for just walking past, but in awe of the way he was handling a difficult situation. The interaction stuck with me. Just a couple of hours later we were walking near our home, there was a boat show in our local harbour.

These two moments are at either end of the financial scale of this countries wealth, its all a little mind blowing. The kindly street cleaner is the high point of the day, however pretty these boats look.

#92 theoldmortuary ponders

A photograph never lies. Digital photography is certainly a big liar and analogue photography was not so squeaky clean either. Check out dead child Victorian photography to see how photographers altered the truth.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36389581

Less macabre but also deceitfully the Cottingly Fairies were also a photographic hoax.

https://qz.com/911990/the-cottingley-fairy-hoax-of-1917-is-a-case-study-in-how-smart-people-lose-control-of-the-truth/

No deliberate deception is intended by my window picture but one quick glance might suggest now is a good time for the early morning elimination walk for the dogs. It is not a good time, the rain is blowing sideways and no amount of the ‘ right’ clothing is going to make any walk this morning a pleasure. Maybe the dogs are cleverer than I think, they got me up at 5 this morning for a quick comfort break in the back yard.

None of this is actually the point of this blog. This house is surrounded on three sides by the sea. The fish in our window are swimming in the only direction that would take them to dry land. Having only just realised this I feel compelled to turn them around. Having done that I now wonder if they were always fleeing predators.

#88 theoldmortuary ponders

The first sunrise picture of 2022. The temperature has plummeted and even the coastal pigeon is feeling the chill.

Over Christmas I read a fabulous paragraph that has engaged my pondering head enormously.

A fact is information minus emotion. An opinion is information plus experience. Ignorance is an opinion lacking information, and stupidity is an opinion that ignores a fact.

The first pure ponder of 2022, it’s enough to make a pigeon stare.

Pandemic Pondering #361

Friday!

There is a tranquility in this picture that I’m not quite feeling.

Yesterday I took the scissors to my hair. With a month to go until stylists are allowed to open up it may have been a rash move. Im not even sure why yesterday was the day I decided to do it. Too many Zoom meetings or calls I think. I spend most of my life not looking at myself . Meetings have become a liitle mad. Talking to a group of people, myself included, on Zoom shows me everything Ive ever wondered.

Did I Look Ok.

Do I look interested when others talk and I am listening.

Did I say what I needed too.

Can anyone tell Im also using my phone.

The last worry shouldn’t be a worry, additional devices are the current equivalent of arriving with a sheaf of papers. My actual papers , an old- school reporters notebook is just about full after a year of Zooming. It has a life of its own . There was a plan early on to use different colours for different Zooming. In the excitement, that has been lockdown life, Ive misplaced some of the colours. Without fail for at least the last three months I have forgotten to replace the notepad. In consequence my notes now fill borders and gaps between notes made months ago.

Yesterday I found 6 unused pages in the middle of the pad. The excitement in my room was palpable!

There is a quote in my head , I have no idea where I got it from.

” There is no point in an archive if there is not an efficient way of retrievals”

My Lockdown brain has got this covered!

Ask me for a certain date or point and I get too it really quickly. Somehow remembering the colours or patterns , doodles might be another word, where any particular meetings notes were jotted down. This could all have been done more efficiently with dedicated note books but I wasn’t planning on going on like this for a year. The notepad was temporary. I may never give it up.

If only I knew shorthand it would be a thing of true abstract beauty. A modern version of papyrus with stenograhic symbols merged with hieroglyphs.

The reality is messier. As was my hair.

The notebook is a keeper, the hair is gone.

Friday another week done .