Pandemic Pondering #295

#351!!!! #351!!! 14 days or 2 weeks to go to #365 which if Iwas a true daily blogger might mark a year of blogging about a pandemic. The truth of course is giddier than that. #1 was written on the 17th March 2020, somehow I am adrift by 52 days.

If I get time, and with another lockdown ongoing I might, I will try and find where those extra blogs slipped in. I suspect early enthusiasm may have thrown extra blogs in when I thought this was a short term thing. Regular readers will know that daily blogging was never a long term plan. Covid restrictions and complications have extended the end point of daily blogging, I may never stop now, I rather hope the title can change soon.

On with todays blog, based on a very regular walk. We left home in thick fog to do some essential shopping for some friends who have been shielding since March 2020. Our destination was an artisinal bakers and beyond getting our 10,000 steps I had no expectations of the walk but very briefly the fog lifted before the days greige descended and I got two shots with a lovely still tide.

This picure works whichever way you look at it. Which is just as well as there are no pictures of the baked goods from the artisinal bakery. I dont know how that happened ! Instead of a trio of Eccles cakes I can offer a red fishing boat. You cant eat fishing boats!

P.s I’ve checked my numbering . Its going to take a day or so to sort out. I am onto it. It was my old foe dysnumeracy, coupled with my dislike of prompts. The numbering is now going to seem a little idiosyncratic as some blogs relate to their numbers but beyond the slog of changing the numbers no harm is done. These blogs are hardly likely to see the light of day for anyones research beyond my own.

Pandemic Pondering #294

Today turned out to be a red letter day. The letter in question was V for vaccine. Hannah @theoldmortuary was given the Corononvirus Vaccine today. She was texted yesterday afternoon and offered an appointment. By a great coincidence two other British VIPs got their jab today. The Queen and Prince Phillip. Headline stuff .

While Hannah was getting her jab I was doing the dog walk up the lane opppsite us. It has been the access point to a building site for the past 18 months. It can be tedious at times with noise, mess and massive trucks. On my return, to avoid lorries,I had to cut through the oldest part of the cemetery. There are many tiny graves marking the final resting place of children whose small lives were lost many many years ago. It is because of vaccines that there are less small graves in the more modern graveyards near by. I pondered a bit on this and realised that in a curious twist it is vaccines that have got the anti-vaxers to a point where they have the health, vitality, and maturity to become ardent anti- vaxers.

On a brighter note we went out in the campervan to take our hours exercise this afternoon.

Hugo and Lola love a camper van outing. The beach was grey and chilly.

But we found a sea-purse who was pleased to see us.

Pandemic Pondering #293

Some days a pondering is burning to get out but perhaps doesn’t quite have the legs to fulfill enough interest. Today is one of those days. A pondering that has been poddling about in my brain for days runs headlong into another pondering and boof!! They find they have something in common and off they run onto the blog taking some nice images with them to expose themselves on a Saturday. The 10 on the header image is the common link and it is superimposed on Seaton Beach where we harvested some more vitamin D.


This morning Google maps showed me all the locations I visited in 2020. Thank goodness there has been no major crimes on the M4/ M5 corridor last year. I do not have an alibi or a distant location to hide behind. The point of putting this in the blog is that I’ve worked out the last time I had such limited travel was the year I turned 10!

The age of 10 is also the last time I wrote down the word ‘ ornery’ until PP#347

As mentioned in previous blogs my life as an only child was filled with reading. I got ‘ornery’ from Mark Twain and Brer Rabbit. It, the word, lives mainly in my head as a fairly regular descriptive of certain people.

PP#347 was possibly the first time I have written it down since I was 10. I’m not sure if shame, indignation or fury has stopped me using it.

At age 10 I threw it into a composition during an English class at my primary school, soon after I was marched to the headmistresses office. In terms understandable to a child I was told that I must not copy other authors sentences into my essays. Apparently my sentence construction was too good to have come from my own skillset and imagination.

The Headmistress and my form teacher were unmoved by my referencing to the stories of Brer Rabbit and I was warned never to copy again. Ornery has remained a word for private usage until this week. I was seething. So seething that when I read a glowing obituary of that particular Headmistress in Other Lives in the Guardian Newspaper I could not contain my irritation as I remembered that and another misjudgement of my character.

©Claudia Winkleman

Lockdown reading has brought me to this book just this week. In the very first chapter Claudia uses the word ‘ornery’ and boasts that she knows how to use it correctly. No marching off to the headmistress for a published author!

Liberated! The minute I felt slightly dyspeptic, crotchety or even waspish about President Trumps’ shenanigans this week I whipped out ‘ornery’, if Claudia can use it in public without humiliation then so can I!

So there we have it. Pondering around the theme of 10. While taking in Vitamin D on Seaton Beach.

Pandemic Pondering #292

Some winter days start with promise and just keep giving. Today was a day for harvesting vitamin D.

Either end of the day were gloriously golden . The middle bit was filled with a happy Zoom meeting and some packing up and planning for our future fake Christmas. Date currently unknown. The freezer holds all sorts of festive foods and decorations are packed away, not for the usual year but for a shorter period.

As our days begin to stretch slightly at either end the sunshine is a great bonus.

Pandemic Pondering #291

My apologies for the slightly late publishing of the blog today. The truth is the situation in Washington and the continuing Pandemic had made me an ornery ponderer last night and I woke up in no better frame of mind. Then a set of circumstances dropped me at Firestone Bay in time for a golden dawn.

Its hard to be ornery when the sun warms my face despite the temperature being -1. A pod of dophins are playing in this image, cheekily following the paddle boarders.

More of these images tomorrow once I’ve done some editing.

Pandemic Pondering #290

Day 1, Lockdown III in England ( Cornwall)

I chose to take my one hour exercise on the Cotehele Estate in the late afternoon. I had slightly misjudged things and the sun had already left the valley. Everything was already in shadow and a little bit chilly. But once my walk was done driving out over the rim of the valley I caught the end of a beautiful sunset.

It seems really important to make my one outing of the day count.

In other news Ive started to knit a scarf on really small needles , I anticipate I might just finish it with this latest lockdown set to run and run. It will be a very dull scarf and will only feature in blogs when my mind is an empty echo chamber with dust in the corners and fragments of ponderings caught between thought and keyboard.

Pandemic Pondering #289

Yesterday started with a despondent dog walk. I was pondering the Pandemic and trying to consider if there had ever been a world event which has directly or indirectly affected every living human in the world before. I couldnt really come up with one. Despondency soon gave way to joy when we saw dolphins breaching in Firestone Bay. Today could also have been despondent because we are clearly heading into another lockdown. Despondent @theoldmortuary not because we are heading into the lockdown but because it has taken the UK so long to make that decision and take appropriate action.

Expecting a Prime Ministerial Address we busied ourselves about this morning getting some new tech to better keep up contact with our nearest and dearest. The reward for taking on a click and collect journey was a trip to the dogs favourite winter beach. Portwrinkle has everything a dog could possibly want all in close proximity.

There is a small problem though. Hugo likes to play alone in the rock pools. Lola is utterly shocked that every time she joins him at a rockpool he switches to a different one. He likes to rescue seaweed from the pools and create a pile on the sand. The task is taken very seriously and cannot be interrupted by Lola or any other passing dog.

He will relent and chase her across the sand to the point of exhaustion but seaweed and rockpools are a solitary pleasure for Mr Hugo.

Rockpools are also a fine thing to contemplate when the future is once again uncertain.

Pandemic Pondering #286

Rescued Gerbera see PP#343

Today started earlyish, a dog walk prior to another morning swim. These are ponderings in a pandemic there will be a certain repetitive nature to my ponders. Dog walks, coffee and some wittering- on are the skeleton on which a pondering is built. As luck would have it a new habit of ‘ Bobbing’ started during the first lockdown, something new to bore you with. Often any of these activities occurs within the beautiful landscape that we are lucky enough to live in. Usually any activity can create a photo opportunity but not today. Greige was the state of the weather this morning. My excuse for using a bright Gerbera picture as the header image.

©Andy Cole

By the time we got to the ‘ Bobbing’ part of the day the greige had lifted a little. On the way to our beach we spotted a pod of dolphins cavorting in Firestone Bay. If we had swum a little earlier they would have been playing in our swimming area. Sadly they were attracted away by stand up paddle boarders. SUP’s. One of them captured this amazing picture. Something we would never have managed during our cold, submerged activity.

©South West Sup

Time for this ponder to stop and just appreciate this beautiful creature.

Pandemic Pondering #285


Post New Years Day the festive season starts to get a bit tatty round the edges. @theoldmortuary there is a loose plan to take the Christmas Decorations down . This feeling is complicated by a slow dribble of delayed Christmas parcels arriving in the post and a general inertia to actually fire up 2021 and get it going.

This lovely chap arrived today and needs a moment or two to shine, or more accurately to be matte on the tree.

We still have a small food mountain to pack away either,in reality for ‘Fake Christmas’ date to be announced, or metaphorically for us to eat some time soon. Food Mountain or not we felt obliged to rescue a doughnut from our favourite bakery this morning ,on our regular week end dog walk.

What could possibly cause a doughnut to require rescuing, I hear you all thinking.

Loneliness is the answer. He was the only item left in the window. The queue was long and as each person entered the bakery different baked goods were gently tonged into brown paper bags. It would have been utterly heartless to leave him there with no friends to huddle up with. No Brownies to banter with or Eccles cakes to heckle.What he needed was a compassionate customer to order two flat whites and a solitary doughnut. The doughnut was not the only compassionate rescue of the day. A local supermarket had excess Gerberas at a very silly price so they too jumped into the shopping basket with the Doughnut rather than spend another lonely night in the reduced bucket.

The festive season may be fading fast but it is doing so beautifully.

Pandemic Pondering #284

©Melinda Waugh

2021 dawned spectacularly in Saltash this morning. @theoldmortuary was set for less pastoral pleasures though.

The ‘Bobbers’ were booked to swim at Firestone Bay first thing this morning.

© theoldmortuary

Bobbers braved-2 temperatures to swim or gaze , or both, into the New Year.

©Andy Cole
©Andy Cole
©Andy Cole

The morning was beautiful and the sea was 10 degrees . An amazing way to welcome in the New Year. Cold water immersion is good for all sorts of things, we all talk a good bit of jibberish straight after a dip though. Then the endorphins hit and we are ready to take on the world. Although, due to Coronovirus restrictions, the world is not available, I did manage a quick nip into the Co-op for some bread rolls before we strode off for a lovely wintry dog walk. Endorphins though, in a similar way to pride, come before fall. The afternoon was spent attempting to read books but achieving dozing on the sofa. The fall to come.

Our evening took in a local harbour and a few Christmas lights.


But then things took a turn towards the awkward. In my haste to get a perfect shot for this blog I tripped over a curb and the precious camera/phone skidded in slow motion towards the harbour edge. I’m a bit bruised and the camera teetered on the edge but ultimately stayed on land.

All is well but the parking machine which told us it was out of action struck another blow. When we put a card across its reader, it was actually rather over active and charged us twice. Perhaps we should have stopped the day at dozing on the sofa!


But we did find a naturally occurring (ish) heart.