Pandemic Pondering #445

A funny thing has happened as we ease out of lockdown. The sight of ferries in and out of Plymouth is a normal every day event, but of course nothing has been normal for a while.

So when a ferry emerged out of the mist all the bobbers went a little bit silly and took loads of photos of the ferry . Which I thought I would share this morning. Even Coach took time out to capture the entirely normal event of a ferry docking.

I suppose it is a sign of some normality returning, and something else to share our water with.

While it might seem odd to swim near such big boats,the warmer seas have bought us another more colourful neighbour.

The Purple Stinger. © The Wildlife Trust

The ferry is the better option. Happy Sunday.

Pandemic Pondering #441

Domestic admin was the unplanned event of yesterday. There are times when unplanned events can make a days outlook not dissimilar to this beautiful sheep. Thankfully the whole day was not so complex. The day was not particularly photogenic so the illustrations to the text come from the Cornwall County show held on this day a few years ago. The big event in Cornwall this week is the G7 conference. Our garden bookclub meeting, where we discussed a novel that was somewhat sympathetic to fascists was slightly disturbed by some very heavy duty helicopters flying overhead. The cows in the surrounding fields did not bat an eyelid.

There is something incongruous about nattering in an English country garden while the hardware of defence passes overhead. But it is good to be in the company of people who are happy to talk, a lot, about a book with a difficult subject at its heart.

Our evening was also spent deep in conversation as our friends Sophie and Stephanie came over for supper. We haven’t seen Sophie for a long while.

Not such heavy topics as the afternoon . Among other things we discussed the drinking habits of the first Professor Dumbledore and Darth Vaders codpiece, and of course with G7 in mind the navigational aids used by miliary helicopters. Do they still follow the railway line into Cornwall or are there more sophisticated options available?

Steph and I have been friends forever and our families are intertwined. I think that is why we can talk nonsense for a whole evening.

Pandemic Pondering #439

Yesterdays ‘bob’ was a little different. A nearly 10 mile walk, enlivened by lemon cake and tea in the clifftop village of Mortehoe before we descended to Barricane beach for a dip.

Fresh Foxgloves and lots of mud was the reward of walking after a day of heavy rain.

After serious refreshment in the village of Mortehoe, made prosperous by farming, smuggling/wrecking and tourism we descended down to the coast. Farming and smuggling created beautiful architecture, tourism less so. But what humans can make ugly nature can improve, and the views on the way down were spectacular.

Nature and cultivation pulled out the stops too.

Barricane Beach, a small rocky cove was hugely enhanced by sunshine and the fragrance of curry being prepared. Sri Lankan Curries are the evening speciality of this amazing location, prepared by the Barricane Beach Cafe. Please go to their website below for photographs of the actual beach . I managed not to take a single picture!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Beach/Barricane-Beach-Woolacombe-163881457003060/

An hour or so of resting in the sun, was followed by some wonderful swimming/ bobbing as the tide came in and a first time ever experience of freshly served curry to warm us up as soon as we emerged from the waves.

Not a bad day at all!

Pandemic Pondering #436

Mornings here are very bright this week.

In some exciting news, a sign of loosening of Pandemic Restrictions I’ve just booked a Cheap Day Return ticket to go to a party in the City of London with old work colleagues. Home again by 5:15 in the morning , exactly like old times. The relevance of this to Pandemic Pondering is that the last time I saw any of this group of people was Pandemic Pondering # -24 . A blog that didnt exist but possibly should have. We had a wonderful weekend seeing friends and family. @theoldmortuary had what was assumed to be a very nasty cold and was a bit under the weather. There are very few photographs of the weekend.

This typewriter is the only interesting picture. I love old typewriters.

The rest of my pictures are really interesting to me but hardly represent the usual pictures of London.

Fanny, one of the famous London ‘ Station Cats’

Then another Gipsy Hill Blue Plaque.

Annie Besant swapped Gipsy Hill for India and California. I walked Hugo and Lola past her house every day before work. Gipsy Hill not California, sadly.

Annie Besant was a British socialist, theosophist, women’s rights activist, writer, orator, educationist, and philanthropist. Regarded as a champion of human freedom, she was an ardent supporter of both Irish and Indian self-rule. She was a prolific author with over three hundred books and pamphlets to her credit. © Wikipedia

Annie Besant https://g.co/kgs/FN1G5h

She founded what is now known as The Besant Hill School of Happy Valley. Kaffe Fassett was educated there, his autobiography lives in my colour theory book pile.

One last underwhelming image of London is this street sign.

Time for another googling moment dear readers. Orinoco is not only a river but a Womble who cares for Wimbledon common.

The Wombles https://g.co/kgs/ojkBNK

Orinoco Womble © eBay

A pre pandemic pondering ponder on the strange links of life. Inspired by a train ticket.

Pandemic Pondering#435

I’m a little obsessed with the sad fate of Octopus mothers. They mate only once and after caring for their babies they die and are consumed. I always felt quite octopus-like as a mother, certainly wishing that I had more than one pair of hands. But very glad that the whole experience was not so all consuming that I succumbed to maternal death in order to provide my beloved children with a snack.

I’ve been doing a little Octopus research before I start a series of Octopus watercolours, and discovered a fascinating fact about Octopus anatomy that would explain a lot about some humans if only they shared the same anatomy.

We’ve all met some shockers of human beings. Often at work, certainly in general and public life and unluckily for some , within families.

Just look at this simple anatomy of an octopus.

Right by the Octopus heart there is a poison gland.

Everyone knows a human with one of those!

I’m not too sure where this blog is going. Watercolour research to fantasy anatomy.

But I think in the future when I meet a bad human I may try to imagine them being overwhelmed by their own poison gland. I hope it is unpleasant.

Bonkers Pondering.

Pandemic Pondering#434

The lost blog in The Lost Gardens of Heligan. This mornings blog was lost in the herds of tourists that have arrived in Cornwall for their holidays now no-one can travel abroad. Then it was further lost in an uncharged phone.

A trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan is a regular treat for us and one that normally we dont plan too formally. But in these busy times we had to book and the only time slot available was really early. Not too tricksy I thought I can blog before I go. Unfortunately due to fashion and stupidity I needed to quickly collect some blister plasters before we even set off. I plugged my phone in to charge on the drive down and was surprised to arrive with only 10% battery. Three pictures later that was it.

One dead battery and many photo opportunities missed.

So apologies for the late arrival of this blog some days the moments in life just dont quite stack up for 600 words before 8 am.

Pandemic Pondering#433

Plenty of sunshine and a lovely bit of misogyny.

A sunny Bank Holiday weekend has brought many moments of mirth and pleasure. I took this comment from our towns community page on Facebook. I too think the mowing of the wildflowers is a dreadful shame. In the portion of the graveyard that we overlook, the graves  are so old that they are extremely rarely visited. The wild flowers make the area calm and contemplative. Pollenators love it. Never could the author of the comment have imagined she would get such a delicious example of misogyny as a response. Alan R is quite the man for going off at a tangent, in unexpected ways. In other churchyard news the poppies are  really showing off.

Planted to mark 100 years since the end of World War 1, this their third year is their most glorious.

Despite spending over a year walking every inch of our local area we discovered a new viewpoint yesterday. High up, ovelooking Plymouth Sound. There is a tarmac viewpoint just behind the old Marine Biology building on the Hoe.

The views are splendid.

On such a beautiful day it would have been impossible not to swim, or bob, in the sea. An evening bob with bobbers, friends and families was the perfect end to a gorgeous Monday.

Unexpectedly early, some of the bobbers took delivery of their new summer, post-bob, cover ups, this weekend.

All excitedly modelled on the Whatsapp group.

In other news my fabulous school friend Dai Pullen, an occasional contributor to Pandemic Ponderings has entered a short story competition. If you have the time please visit the facebook link below, read his entry and vote if his wordplay floats your boat.

Pandemic Pondering #432

Along time ago @theoldmortuary used to row pilot gig boats competitively and have even rowed in World Championship competitions, but a busy working life in London stopped all that .

The clip below shows an on board perspective of the sport.

https://youtu.be/9PBHCm4l60o

Yesterday tentative steps were taken to return to the sport. Which has given me the chance to use some old photographs of an arty farty sort.


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Surprisingly good rowing was achieved , not perhaps worthy of a video and no wildlife joined in ( see video) but it was a happy and sunny return.

The weather remains wonderful for a Bank Holiday weekend.

Pandemic Pondering #431

Cornwall pulled out all the stops yesterday weatherwise. The traffic situation was less blissful as any road or motorway turned from a place of movement to a congested collection of vehicles going somewhere slowly.

As Sunday starts with gorgeous weather and the promise of more, people can begin to forget the misery of their journey and start to enjoy their holidays. Willingly delivering doubloons, other forms of money also acceptable, into the hands of a land that previously took it by force.

The article linked below is a lovely read for a Sunday.

The Darker Side of Cornwall’s Smuggling Past

Joking apart the photos used in this blog were taken yesterday in a small Cornish village whose architecture speaks very eloquently of a less than squeaky clean past.