#52 theoldmortuary ponders

New handrails to the sea. There have been some refurbished steps through the rocks into the sea for a couple of months. Yesterday the steps were fitted with new and much improved hand rails. Despite only being a small walk from our usual beach this access point can sometimes be safer if the sea is rough at high tide. The new handrails make it an even safer option. Yesterday Spearmint the seal also chose the safer option for her morning swim.

Flipping things even further a diver had to get out of the sea in order to take underwater photos of her.

For all of us winter swimming has properly started now. The cold water buzz is back.

#49 theoldmortuary ponders

Illumination in the countdown to Christmas.  Rain, Petrol and a rusty gulley. Whats not to love! Rain was the predominant weather today and would have featured somehow. The plan was to write a bobbing blog with accompanying rain seascapes. Nature thwarted me. We met at high tide, which coincided with dreadful rain. We procrastinated a good bit. The thought of a plunge into cold water while being drenched by cold rain was not enticing. The precipitation was persistent but eventually we shrugged off our warm dry clothes to a certain fate of getting damp while we swam, not a great help when trying to dress. Beyond getting out and dry I had also planned some gorgeously grey shots of Plymouth Sound. When my hands had warned up enough to take a post swim photo the weather decided to put on its party face.

Not what I had planned at all but useful as another Illumination shot on the countdown to Christmas.

And there’s more.

You just can’t trust the weather, I’m sure to get gloom sometime soon

#48 theoldmortuary ponders.

There are two static cranes preserved at the Royal William Yard a nod to the former industrial/naval history of this location. As we get nearer to Christmas the area is getting a little bit busier in the early evening as we go for our twilight walk. As part of my countdown to Christmas all I need to do is walk to the other side of the crane.

A burst of cerise lighting lights up the cab. To be fair the cab is lit up all year round but now the days are so short the illumination is a key location on my evening stroll. By complete contrast our morning outing was illuminated with some gorgeous sunshine.

And a visit from a local celebrity.

Short days, filled with variety.

#44 theoldmortuary ponders

I had known for a little while that this particular blog was going to be about illumination because I had tickets to attend an illumination festival in the Royal William Yard.What I hadn’t expected was that the sunset over our evening swim would be quite so spectacular. Just a tiny tweak on the saturation of this image brought out all these gorgeous colours.

After drying off and warming up we set off to visit the area around Ocean Studios which was the location of Illuminate.

Like lots of things this event has been postponed a few times.

Many of the illuminations were similar to previous years but a new one was a fabulous, luminescent squid called Bobby Dazzler by Kate Crawford and Beth Munro. Visitors were invited to add embelishment to Bobby with fingertips dabbed in luminescent paint.

Outside we could write on a graffiti wall. My rookie error was to seek out a clear piece of wall to advertise this blog without checking the appropriateness of the surrounding marks.

Also new to Illuminate were the thousands of bugs and moths fluttering in the breeze to remind us that we must protect biodiversity and species around the world. There was also the luxury of a cafe serving decent quality late night coffee, always a bonus!

The architecture of the Grade 1 listed buildings lends added texture to projected videos.

And although I failed to record a video the musical pipes and interactive lights were fascinating. Although not particularly musical in our hands.

Returning just for a final comment and illumination to our sunset swim. Here I am wearing my night swimming hat which was a birthday gift last week.

©Gilly Bobber

#43 theoldmortuary ponders

©Gilly Bobber

Sunbay morning walk. Meeting and natterings with morning swimmers whilst we were snug and warm in the many layers that are required for an early morning dog walk. Knowing full well that this bright and beautiful morning will progress to an equally bright and beautiful sunset which is when we will plunge into the chilly waters of Firestone Bay for our weekend swim.

I suspect there was a frost this morning, the autumn leaves on the pavements looked a bit ravaged and damp when we set off. They still held a myriad of messages for the dogs to sniff and respond to, which slowed us down a good bit. As did searching for an autumn coloured dog poo ( or two) in the pile of leaves that was chosen for the morning elimination.

There is a new character hanging around in our changing area, taking in the sun while straddling a nail and a limpet shell.

Just how every super hero should spend a Sunday.

#42 theoldmortuary ponders

Up early and boosted,plus a flu injection. A very good way to start my day. A slightly unusual location of a football club with the bonus of watching 15 or so very small footballers taking practice shots and fitness stretches ready for a big match. I had forgotten the earnestness that 10 year old boys dedicate to their favourite sport. A little blog with gratitude for research and the NHS.

#41 theoldmortuary ponders

A deliberately late blog today because we were off on a rug buying adventure and I knew that there would be some gorgeous colours to share. Rug shopping can also be a great experience for the nose if you shop in the right places. Really a rug department that only sells natural fibres is the absolute best. Liberty of London has the best smelling rug department that I know. There are smells gathered there that have travelled from all over the world. Closer to home, currently, is the rug department of Trago Mills. Possibly the most eccentric shopping experience Britain has to offer. Never the less their rug department is a close second to Liberty for fragrance and choice of rug.

We were seeking a rug the colour of a winter sea. It has been a quest for the last few months.

Not feeling particularly hopeful amongst all these gorgeous but unsealike colours we dug through a pile of rugs from India and found this gorgeous chap.

Sea-like in both colour and texture and made of jute and cotton and, as we discovered, a perfect place for excitable dogs.

#40 theoldmortuary ponders

Just a little blog today about the joys of an early morning start, and another unexpected morning joy.

Starting the day early with a cup of coffee, the sunrise and a natter with swimming friends at Tranquility Bay. Even though this was officially a dog walk and not a ‘ bobbing’ session.

They were not averse to some morning basking. It is going to be a beautiful day.

My day got a little more complex soon after this when I took the car, an automatic, to have some body work done and the courtesy car had one of these!

Both feet doing something while I drive is quite a novelty.A bit of driving round early morning, empty car parks soon put my driving skills back into the manual world. And the word novelty allows me to add a small serving of another fairly unique experience of the past weekend.

I suppose Covid has altered the way hotels can serve breakfast. My inner child was properly thrilled to have a one person serving of breakfast cereal. A treat that only occured very rarely when I was an actual child and pretty rarely when I had actual children.

#20 theoldmortuary ponders

A really late blog today. Floods and powercuts are the reason. Finally the exhibition in Tavistock is set up and the doors are open. After 18 months of being affected by plague it is somewhat irritating to be affected by a flood for this exhibition. Tavistock issued its first flood warnings for 11 years overnight.

© Sally O’Neil Scallywags

Fortunately we have some Scallywags as good omens for the rest of the exhibition.

Thankfully we are awash with colour and amazing creativity.

©Jayne Deane

And personally I am currently in a sun beam.