Pandemic Pondering #567

Yesterday was a strange one, Autumn has certainly arrived. The sea temperature and air temperature were equal, both at 14 degrees. The evening bob felt completely fine but we may have stayed in the water too long as we felt the effects of afterdrop for the first time in about 5 months. Afterdrop is the effect of body temperature continuing to drop after leaving the water. Hot drinks, brisk changing and lots of layers help to minimise the effects but we’ve got used to leisurely chats after swimming and not being too fussed about layers or bringing hot drinks. Time to take sensible precautions again. The word Christmas was mentioned!

A Christmas day morning bob is looking likely for this year.

On our walk to the beach we passed this glorious Virginia Creeper and Hop combination on a wall. A sure sign Autumn has arrived and is settling in for a few months.

Another crochet painting emerged from my new painting space in the garage. The paintings are stacking up in the studio ready to have their fine details and finishing done in the warmth of the indoor studio. Such luxury!

Pandemic Pondering#503

Yesterday was all about doing essential tasks but taking the odd moment off to take in the signs of summer. Rolls of straw disappearing into infinity were a good reminder that the summer, which has barely got started weather wise is already on the home run towards autumn. I spent a good part of yesterday harvesting wisdom. Sometimes when I spend too long cogitating on things alone it can be like drinking champagne to share those thoughts with a friend. A moment of someone elses perspective or experience brings light and clarity to a situation that I was making murky by over-thinking. I visited a friend with a new Shepherds Hut yesterday, and in its tiny space and in a few minutes of nattering she quickly gave me a precious nugget of wisdom that solved a situation I had been mulling over for some time.

Even the Shepherds Hut made me think of autumn. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but so far in the summer of 2021 my stand out piece of summer clothing is a lightweight but very effective raincoat. We may have been over excited in buying a big garden parasol for our new back yard, an essential item for safe outdoor socialising in these Covid times. We’ve only needed it twice in a little over 6 weeks of prime-time summer. Earlier in the week we managed a whole morning of yardening untroubled by over zealous sun or blistering heat. Our yard is essentially a bright white box of enclosing stone walls facing west. A perfect sun trap if there was any of it about! The yardening was an exercise in potting and repotting container plants that we had moved from the old house. Just to show off the sun and a little heat made a late appearance yesterday in the yard and warmed the newly potted plants.Which makes all my moaning about a lack of summer sun seem like nonsense.

But stuck in England as I am I would like to have some consistency of sunshine and some sweltering heat so that when autumn does arrive I can fully appreciate the cooler days with occasional showers. Which perversely, of course, is exactly what the whole summer of 2021 has been like here!

Pandemic Pondering #216

The weather has been a little wetter this week than at any time during Ponderings. It means that daily dog walks require a little more planning, or in fact less, if the serendipity of a dry spell is to be utilised . Two dogs with a good proportion of poodle in them equates to eight little paws that act as sponges in wet and muddy conditions. Any walk is best finished with a bit of pavement walking to stamp off the worst of the weather before entering the house. Our walk yesterday produced these three lovely pictures of autumn leaves all within a few yards of each other.

I took these three pictures and then promptly forgot about looking for the beauty that was laying at my feet. I realised that I have already missed the glossy perfection that is conkers emerging from their velvety beds within spiky shells. Also cobnuts and hazelnuts have been and gone. Just a little research in the picture archive gave me this painting of cobnuts, figs and blackberries from two years ago.

I need to start paying a bit more attention to things before the colours of autumn are lost for another year.

Pandemic Pondering #210

https://www.thegardenhouse.org.uk/

Goodness me, pondering is never predictable. Today was about a bit of outdoor sketching and some social nattering with other artists. The location was always going to be spectacular at The Garden House perched, as it is, on the edge of Dartmoor. The weather was very kind , a brilliant sort of day, bright with sunshine and dark with marvelous shadows.

10 acres of arboreal beauty makes it very easy to lose your fellow artists, not that that was the plan. I was lucky enough to find the heart of the garden.

There were so many pictures to capture and many stories to tell in future blogs but this lovely heart image deserves a blog of its own. It was really comforting to be able to gently natter to people I haven’t seen in reality for 8 months but it was also comforting to be alone but amongst friends in a beautiful place. Our conversations were blissfully honest, when they happened, so many shared stories of Coronovirus hardships and disappointments, but also the sharing of creativity and optimism in a beautiful place.

Pandemic Pondering #194

Yesterday was a day for basking in afternoon sunshine. Autumn may have arrived but the sunshine had forgotten and we sat, like lizards on hot rocks, taking in the late September sun. The wind however was very much in Autumn mode and swirled and nipped at us whenever we turned a corner between buildings. In truth the basking was accidental , we were only on one of our regular dog walks but we had stopped for a coffee and some people watching. Neither were exciting enough to be pondered about but the sunshine was lovely. For reasons which I don’t fully understand the water which accompanied our coffee arrived iced and with a straw. Leave two women with a straw in strong sunshine and this is what you get!