Pandemic Pondering #484

A classic ponder involving two subjects that are largely unrelated.

This morning I am wearing a playsuit. Really a preposterously named garment for anyone over 10. This one is left over from my brief days as a hands-on grandparent. Obviously when fulfilling the role of grandparent I felt the need to dress like a tropical forest. This may be the exact reason her parents decided to whisk her half way across the world. Who could possibly need a grandparent dressed as tropical forest when Asia can provide the real thing, the forest that is. The photos above are the tenuous link to this mornings blog. In case you haven’t spotted it, the mug swaggeringly hanging on my playsuit belt depicts a harbour. Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Our recent move has taken us to live among harbours, although not a Asian ones swanky enough to have thermal mugs depicting the skyline!

I love a harbour, all the glamour and thrills of travel with none of the faff. Today turned out to be a cornucopia of glamour. A cruise ship with 5 masts.

Shyly peeping into Plymouth Sound. Before hiding behind Drakes Island.

If only I could briefly roll back time to when hundreds of ships like this were jostling to dock in Plymouth. On an olfactory note the area where I took this last photo was very reminiscent of times past. I stood on an area of concrete frequented by solitary fishermen and others in the twilight hours, they really do like to build up a historic fragrance, which was still resonating at 7 am this morning. Beer, tobacco, fish, piss and marijuana. Not perhaps the historic experience passengers on this luxury cruise liner are searching for!

Golden Horizon

Pandemic Pondering #483

When does Bobbing become swimming? Probably when we stop chattering. At its least active bobbing is just about being submerged in the sea and chattering. Any bobbing session contains a variety of distances and topics covered by Bobbers. Last night 4 Bobbers bobbed away from our usual bay, just to the left of the iconic Tinside Lido, pictured above. It wasn’t a traditional Bob because the target activity was actually getting a fish and chip supper, but when we are this close to the water it would be rude not to, and there is nothing tastier than fish and chips after exercise.

The sea swimming portion alongside the Lido is in the process of being refurbished so it wasn’t most scenic location to bob but it was a lovely place to get an easy bob without the tricksy currents that are a feature of our usual location. The Fish and Chip Bob was in fact the second of the day.

Earlier,in our usual location, the nearby tidal pool was getting a wash and brush up. Making our swimming water a little murky further down the coast.

The empty pool was an almost exact colour match for the sails of a sailing school.

©Melinda Waugh

Very little wind and the tricksy currents mentioned earlier led to these novice seafarers being rescued moments later by their instructor in a motorised rib. Vivid green was also a feature of this lovely window on our walk away from the beach.

©Debs Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #481

Sun setting on an extraordinary weekend. But also a reminder to always keep our eyes open. Today I walked passed an ex-colleague who I would dearly have loved to have a natter with. Our weekend has been filled with meteorological sunshine. It’s pretty cool to walk from home to overlook the finish line of an International Sailing competition and your tea still be too hot to drink on arrival.

And then to watch the competitors sail back in to their temporary accommodation.

The sunshine also lit up our back yard.

And at night the back yard lit itself up.

All that lovely sunshine stored up in Solar panels to make the evening brighter. This weekend has also had some darker moments but life just like the weather can’t be constant sunshine, we just need to keep some reserves in hand to make these things more tolerable.

In other news, a very old bear was unpacked today. There was a serious problem with his stuffing which required immediate attention. The patient is seen here enjoying a post anaesthetic cup of tea. He will soon be back on his feet.

©Gill Bobber/ Marianne Bobber

Passionfruit and Mango Sundaes to mark the end of Sunday.

©Hannah Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #479

Early morning dog walk and time to confess that the flat packs are still flat packs and sit in our hallway like megaliths. They are too heavy for mortals to carry upstairs and Covid restrictions require Atlas-like deliverymen to drop them as close to the front door as possible. This adds a whole new level of flat pack angst to the process as they will have to be unpacked downstairs and then constructed upstairs.

Coincidentally other big things are causing problems in the bay. A Humpback whale has decided to have some fun times on the course for the Sailing Grand Prix so practicing was at a standstill.

The course was moved to accommodate the needs of the Humpback and close encounters occurred not in the race zone.


Mega Saturday feels.

Pandemic Pondering #478

The end of the week coffee. Coffeeer than any other coffee, not as desperate as some and maybe not as chilled as a Sunday morning coffee. But still a landmark coffee. Today happens to be Friday but in my previous NHS life the end of the week could be any day.

Always celebrated at Black Sheep. Coffee to power me through the last 12 hours at Barts Heart Centre. Obviously the doughnuts are not part of an approved Cardiac Health Diet.

©Black Sheep
©Black Sheep

Today’s coffee from Hutong, hopefully doesn’t have such a big task. Or does it?

Today is flat pack furniture day!

Pandemic Pondering #471

The superlate blog, not the superlative blog!

Lamp post heart.

This late blog writing will not become a regular habit. The two things I thought I might write about are so far apart I can’t begin to sew them together but I will try. Coupled with no WiFi and no broadband and patchy signal there is an awful lot of hanging around waiting for deliveries that all the wonderful tracking apps are meant to stop. But currently tracking is not for me and neither, reliably, is a quick call from the driver to say he is close. So we hang around all day waiting for things to arrive. The bonus to this is that there is ample time for unpacking and reorganising, to this end we have sorted out the two large fireplaces that are monumental features in the new house. Not sorted out in a way that will ever see the use of fossil fuels but sorted out in an aesthetic and houseplant kind of way.

The pale gold sofa in the top picture was pulled out of a skip nearly 30 years ago. It lived for years in a conservatory and was the slightly uncomfortable chair of choice for teenagers desperate to think big thoughts away from their parents. Hardly the kindest treatment for a sofa, clearly designed for the finer things in life. A bit of reupholstery brought it back to life and it used to live in the upstairs part of @theoldmortuary. Even that, an undertakers home and workplace was possibly a bit beneath the dignity of such an elegant piece of furniture. Maybe this recent move has brought it more into the surroundings it was designed for.

The houseplants in the bottom picture are gathered together in an old fender found at the house. They need something to control them, it seems not a week goes past without a new one joining our commune. In between titivating and embellishing fireplaces while waiting for deliveries the dogs still need walking and that is how the heart on a lamppost almost inexplicably joins in with this blog.

I spend a lot of time looking at lampposts while Hugo and Lola sniff out the messages left by other dogs and then leave coded notes of their own. Most lamposts are dull for humans but this one kept me occupied for as long as it took my dogs to read the urine news further down. What is going on here? The texture in the heart is keeping me thinking long after our ten legs carried us back to home to more unpacking. Hope your Friday was worthy of the expectation.

P. S I did some digital tweaking on the heart for the header image of this blog. I suspect the heart covers a message that someone no longer wants to be legible…

Pandemic Pondering #470

We are broadband less, WiFi less and with a poor signal for 5 more days. 5 more days of constrained blogging. Gardening however is unaffected. The pot grown garden plants have perhaps done the best out of our recent move, they communicate in ancient ways, unaffected by the whimsy of telecom companies. A North and East facing corner plot swapped for South and West Facing yard suits them very well so far.

The move has not been without its casualties. One Acer struggled a bit with being potted then rallied but was beaten by bad weather and a trip in a van. The numbers of plants has not diminished as some new ones have arrived in the arms of precious friends.

Who needs broadband when you have views like this on the evening dog walk.

The sad truth is that in this techno age it is very difficult to navigate many things without a computer or smart phone or a decent signal. The challenge of going through the preliminary stages of a call centre 5 times or dropping out of an on-line ‘ chat’ is one that I am learning to accept with every day that passes. 5 more days will not be so bad.

In other news one of the Bobbers has escaped to London to visit the Hampton Court Flower Show. Seals and dolphins forgotten she is in Green Park with the Elephants.

©Gilly Bobber
©Gilly Bobber

Elephants like plants communicate perfectly well without Wifi. Note to self, be more Elephant.

Pandemic Pondering #469

©Debs Bobber

Screaming man rock. Not on our usual beach this evening. The tide was high and the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, so we moved to the more popular beach near the tidal pool for a safer swim.

©Debs Bobber

We were a split pack this evening with some Bobbers swimming an hour after the larger group set off. Lucky that they did because they caught sight of the seal swimming just behind the earlier group. Not realising such a special swim was occuring would have made the evening a whole lot more dull. Although, as usual, time spent with the Bobbers is far from dull even in the worst conditions.

©Debs Bobber
©Debs Bobber

Dogs were also enjoying a swim. Not ours of course because they get left at home during swimming.

The popular beach even has facilities.

Very useful for hanging Bobbers jumpers.

After a warming shower we returned for the evening dog walk just to keep them happy. Which it did, until the rain returned.

Pandemic Pondering #467

Hard on the heels of yesterday’s blog. Facebook memories gave me four images that I can use for the Monday Blog.

This first one is from the birthday some years ago of the friend who we always, apart from the last two years spend together. The rainbow cake rather nicely leads into a watercolour I did about three years ago. I was taking some watercolour classes. The subject of the week was human figures. I chose to paint a cruising site near Crystal Palace in London. It is called Beaulieu Heights and men go there day or night for casual sexual encounters. I suppose this is about a missed encounter. A man on his phone is oblivious to another man watching him from a park bench.

The word bench leads me rather fortuitously to a stool at Coffee Acadmics in Hong Kong.

Life is often a beautiful journey searching for something but this last picture is me just setting out on life’s journey.

This picture was almost certainly taken at the height of summer on the East Anglican coast. A brisk wind or sea mist often makes a cardigan essential beach wear even in July and August. Not such a problem on the Atlantic Coast which is my current location, although I could do without all the rain.

I have my fingers crossed for the successful instalation of a broadband service later today, that will make blogging and everything else a lot easier.

Pandemic Pondering #465

Bobbing with bubbles is not a regular piece of behaviour at all but this had not been a normal bobbing week. Even more unusually we managed to use a Winston Churchill quote in the after swim nattering session. Friday bobbing is the most regular session and happens at about 10:30 each Friday morning.

This was our first Friday swim since moving house. Apparently we need to hurry up because the water is lovely once you get in!

Our first Wednesday day swim after moving featured a pod of Dolphins. Friday featured Pol Roger Champagne!

Bobbers getting giddy before noon is definitely not normal. New house owners getting giddy before more unpacking is surprisingly effective. Although not in all corners of a room.

A tidy sofa is essential for a little post-bob, post Pol Roger siesta. It is almost certain that Winston Churchill would not have needed a siesta after drinking Pol Roger in the morning. It was his favourite champagne and he drank it with a traditional Full-English breakfast often. Thankfully we don’t have his responsibilities or the budget for such a lifestyle. But just once with the lovely Bobbers after a sparkling swim was just perfect. Our bobbing friend Helen provided the Champagne. She also gave us the chance to hear her sharing her voice in a graffiti- decorated disused grain store not far from our Bobbing Zone.

Follow the link below to hear her voice paired with great acoustics and gorgeous Street Art.

Jenny of Oldstones performed by Helen Bobber.

A remarkable day in the Tamar Valley.