Pandemic Pondering #534

The King of Bling

Yesterday was vivid. The exuberant creativity of a passing cyclist embellished the day and boosted our happiness in a way that sweaty lycra never would.

Instagram @bondwimbledon added to a day that was full of texture and sensation. Starting with a purple cabbage.

In truth the day actually started with dusty, filthy feet when I got a little lost on Wimbledon Common, but nobody needs to see those bad boys on a Monday morning. The inevitability of Autumn gave more texture with fallen Oak leaves which have way more charm than my grubby toes.

Fuelled by lunch from Wimbledon Market, Turkish flat breads and salad.

We set off for the Sky Garden in the City for vertiginous views and some much needed, after the last 20 months, or so, family time out and about.

Even there,in a highly controlled environment, Autumn gave us some gorgeous form and texture.

Natures way of mimicking the King of Bling!

The Sky Garden is an extraordinary place to people watch although the style bar for the day had been set to unreachable high standards already. An accidental photographic moment , the red crane that forms a tick, sums up my relationship with London. Some of the best moments of my working life were had in hospitals that are part of the annonymity of this urban landscape. Some wonderful friendships were formed within the boundaries of this image.

A Sunday well spent!

Pandemic Pondering #533

Some more hot, September days, this weekend spent criss crossing Wimbledon Common. The early morning dog walk also took in a fair bit of the common, inadvertantly, when I took a track to avoid a nasty sounding dog altercation and failed even a tenderfoot forest navigation.

I found more Womble summer camps.

Discarded and empty now all good Wombles are back on the job of caring for the Common.

©womblesofficial.com

I managed to get some perspective on post industrial heritage.

And found a memorial rose to a long dead tennis player.

All before breakfast.

Pandemic Pondering #532

Saturday 11th September 2021. I woke up this morning with a surprise realisation. It is 20 years since 9/11. Obviously there have been documentaries and news articles swirling around this week. The simple difference between how the U.S and the U.K write dates down in short form gives the annual anniversary a lack of specificity. Here the anniversary of 9/11 occurs on 11/9. This simple difference spins my head around. I have mild disnumerancy and have to work hard with numbers. Because of this 9/11 represents not just a day but a whole season of memories. 20 years ago I had just started University as a mature student studying Fine Art, something I should have done long before I became mature. I was creating digital art for established musicians and I was a busy working mother. I had no personal involvement with the events of 9/11. The consequences of it changed my life.

Pandemic Pondering #531

Morning Shimmer

Shimmering and spiders.

Morning and evening dog walks have been very shimmery this week. There was a monumental midweek storm that has affected the light at either end of the day. The storm also blew the recently constructed cobwebs away. All week spiders have been moving into the house for winter. Yesterday an industrious one had built a web over the dog leads between walks. Any thoughts, that we may have had, of there being less spiders in a city house than a country one are being replaced by reality. The one job that remains post house move is to sort out art stuff into the studio. Much of it has been done but there are still some big Ikea bags full of essential odds and ends being stored in the garage. I had always planned to get it done in September but had not considered that by leaving the job until now I will inevitably shift spiders from their winter quarters in the garage into the house.

Fishy Shimmer ©theoldmortuary

I have no water colours of spiders, so a shimmery fish from the shimmery sea will have to do as a midblog illustration.

Neither of the humans in this house are arachnophobes and one furry person is indifferent, hso all this talk of spiders might be inconsequential. Lola, however, is not indifferent to spiders.

This small brown nose spends hours every autumn sniffing out spiders, not the most useful of tracking talents. Unlike most tracking dogs she doesn’t tell her humans that she has found something, she just gobbles them up if they dont wake up in time to move. Once they have properly hibernated she doesnt seem to be able to sniff them out, so by November our days and evenings will not be punctuated by Lola crossing the floors in an obsessive hunt for sleepy spiders, despite our best efforts the outcome is rarely positive.

Evening Shimmer

Pandemic Pondering #530

©Beth Munro Continuum

Our trip to the theatre earlier this week was a double treat. Plymouths Theatre Royal holds art exhibitions in the the bar areas in the building. Freshly installed was Journey, a transatlantic collaboration celebrating 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower. Featuring Printmakers from the Tamar Valley and Cape Cod. Originally planned to be part of the Covid disrupted Mayflower 400 celebrations, this exhibition is a rare survivor of the planned events.

Tamar Valley Printmakers are the British group participating in this exhibition. Several members of this group are also members of Drawn to the Valley, one of the art groups I belong to. I tried to get good photographs of the prints of people I knew, even if only a name recognised from a membership list. It wasn’t always possible as the lighting in the theatre can reflect quite distractingly on the exhibited works. Sometimes I could only capture part of the image without getting unwanted reflections. My apologies if I missed anyone.

© Ley Roberts Migrants

The Theatre Royal in Plymouth is currently not serving refreshments during intervals. The printmakers will have everyone’s undivided attention as they sip on their complimentary cup of water.

©Oonagh Glancy Looking Forward, Thinking Back.

The all too familiar face of Donald Trump beamed from one of the prints.

©Fi Smart, Donald’s Journey to Enlightenment through Printmaking

If only enlightenment was that easy. If it were, printmakers would be the most popular and sought after artists in the world.

Just to clean your mind of Mr Trump I’ve included one print not created by a Drawn to the Valley artist. Boricua by U.S Printmaker, Adrian Tió. Not representing the European migration story, his work brings Puerto Rican flamboyance to the exhibition and reminds us that Mayflower is just a tiny part of the story of the modern United States.

©Adrian Tió, Boricua

Pandemic Pondering #529

Yesterday was designated as a tech sorting out day. I haven’t hooked up my printer in the new studio. Just a case of finding a lead and signing in to the new wifi. In the process my camera battery was reunited with its charger. It has been a long time since they have been together Maybe 2 years since they were both in the same place at the same time. The Pandemic and the numerous lockdowns meant that I have not particularly needed a camera better than my phone in those two years. In the scrabble for leads I managed to not sort out the printer but to find the camera battery charger. The printer stubbornly resisted linking to the new wifi and needs a different lead to any in our large collection! The only tech victory of the day was the unplanned one of the camera The last picture on the camera was taken in Greece 23 months ago, the last time we travelled abroad. Yesterday the battery was charged in time to do the last dog walk of the day.

A proper camera did a good job of sorting out the clouds at dusk, and a very fine job of catching a dark sunset.

The conundrum of the printer remains. I suspect thick walls and the wrong type of lead are the problem. For now I will take the minor victory of a fully charged camera. Todays quest will be to find the camera instruction leaflet …

Pandemic Pondering #528

Our first night out in a Theatre for over two years. What a blast! The Rocky Horror Show, where the audience are as flamboyant as the cast. But with masks!

Not quite the great Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta that my original tickets were for but absolutely a show and an audience with all the right moves to make this a memorable first night

Vouchers for my 2019 birthday finally bought us a night out…

Pandemic Pondering #527

©Debs Bobber

Bobbing in 16 degrees water temp nicely finished off Sunday. A day that had started well with freshly baked bread, still warm from the bakery oven.

Bread that tasted as good as it looked. In between these two activities we threw in domestic chores and dog walks as well as a local produce market. All of these things done in sunshine and warmth. Having been proper grumpy on Saturday with traffic congestions the car had a day off and everything was achieved on foot. On one of the walks home I found a lost toy by the churchyard.

I hope his small owner finds him.

A Sunday well spent.

©Debs Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #527

The sun was out yesterday. I was out yesterday. All was well with the world. Have a wonderful Sunday.

I’m not actually planning to stop there. Yesterday was full of lovely people and great art which I will share as the acceptable face of Saturday. Because nobody needs to see pictures of, or read about, my ranting on the subject of traffic blockages and crazy redirections. Or framers who haven’t framed. The pursuit of Art is not always comfy but it always repays with gorgeousness. Thanks to the artists of Drawn to the Valley for soothing a grumpy driver. The amazing print below exactly represents my head after more than two hours of road congestion. Except my busy head was not filled with such beauty.

©Beth Munro at Ocean Studios

Looking and talking about art is very soothing, by the end of the day the traffic and complexities of the day were all forgotten, my life view was much calmer!

©Melody James, at Isambard House, Saltash Station.

Pandemic Pondering #526

We had a fabulous bob this morning. The sea was cool and bumpy and we had two invisiting bobbers from Oxford, both with the skills required, bobbing obviously and nattering. The more gregarious of the two guest bobbers got into conversation with a gentleman who had, he said, retired from the glamour industry. Women writhing to keep their bits covered up must have been quite a novelty for him.

Writhing occurs during the changing phase. Relatively easy during the dry change but post swim all sorts of curious movements occur, sea water and cold skin can be a sticky pairing. Even the simplest garment can become a tenaciously gripping piece of fabric, intent on clinging in the wrong place.

In other news a new cook book has arrived @theoldmortuary . Med by Claudia Rodin. The waves in the blog come from the cookbook not Plymouth Sound.

There is an update on Pandemic Pondering #524.

Only 24 hours after a few bobbers had watched the cremated remains of an unknown person belatedly drift into the bay, other bobbers visited for an evening swim. Two high and two low tides had occured and had returned the roses to the high tide point. Once again bobbers gently returned the floral tributes to the sea. Whilst we are in thoughtful mode I can share a poem about swimming in a cold sea that Angela Bobber shared on our Bobbing WhatsApp group

©Samantha Reynolds

https://instagram.com/bentlily?utm_medium=copy_link

The link above takes to you to Samantha Reynolds Instagram page.

Bobbers don’t particularly fill their swims with worries of rocks and sharks. We have smaller fears, eels and seals with caves full of plundered treasures and enchanted seaweed with the power to grab ankles. It’s all in the mind, of course, but we never allow fantasy or fact ruin good conversations or good bobbing.