Pandemic Pondering #301

A little bit of Plymouth Street Art. I’m not sure what it means but curiosity aside,it is a lovely thing to look at. I was looking for something blue to illustrate this blog. Then this jaunty seagull took me on an unexpected journey.

Here we are in the second weekend of the third lockdown. Worse than that this is the weekend before Blue Monday . Said to be the worst day of the year. So called, because of dark evenings, poor weather, festive joy draining away,  and bills arriving by post.

I’m not sure any media source will be brave enough to joke about Blue Monday this year. January can be very flat even without a worldwide pandemic but glum is the word that springs to mind when thinking about January 2021.

Searching for something blue to illustrate “blue Monday’ brought me blogging luck.

The Street Art seagull brightens up the street and puzzles with his enigmatic message. He most certainly is not glum, almost the reverse. Then Google steps in.                      

‘None Here’ is the tag of Exeter based artist. Steve McCracken.

©Steve McCraken

https://www.stevemccrackenart.com/artist-statement/

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/solving-mystery-breathtaking-artwork-appearing-4213302?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

Follow the two links above to understand the artist and the enigmatic bird. The seagull does exactly what the artist desires. Perfect Street Art.

Pandemic Pondering #283

The sun shone for the last walk around Sutton Harbour and the Barbican of 2020. It also snowed a little.

Our evening went to plan . This is the photograph for our family and friends distance, thousands of miles and many time zones, social media party.

Television watching for two, oh the dizzy heights!

The plan had actually been to go to bed early and show 2020 the disdain it deserves and sleep through its passing but actually it feels only responsible to not only see the year leave but also to make sure it has actually gone and shut the door behind it. For such a responsible observation a far less frivolous drink is required.

A fine cup of decaffeinated Yorkshire Tea and a Cornish Shortbread. Far less giddy than that party pleasing Snowball. Also guarantees a good nights sleep, essential after a year like 2020!

I can confirm 2020 left the building and the door slammed shut behind it.

Advent#16

Christmas comestibles.

Today the long walk in the sunshine took us back to the location of Advent #1
https://theoldmortuary.design/2019/12/01/advent-1/

Our visit to Jacka today was enhanced by festive baking. We weren’t exactly early birds, but were lucky enough to get there in time to get the last available slice of Stolen and one of their lusciously deep mince pies. Coffee drinking at Jacka this morning was hugely sociable . The coffee hounds Hugo and Lola were treated to snippets of delicious bacon from a generous benefactor while everyone at the various tables were talking to one another.

As this is a second Advent visit to Jacka I thought I would share some of the bakeries history . Gleaned from a 1985 published article displayed on the café wall .

Dated currently back to 1597, Jacka is the oldest working Bakery in Britain. It is said that it supplied Ships Biscuits to the Mayflower in 1620. Ships biscuits from this bakery were still famous worldwide well into the twentieth century.

Todays festive bakes were tastier than any Ships biscuit. Time to roll out the the word ‘ moist’ . The festive season is known for its traditional foods. In Britain moistness is demanded of Christmas cakes and Turkey. Today we added a third moist festive eating experience.

Bakery made Stollen , as far removed from the supermarket stuff as it is possible to be. A generous core of deep yellow marzipan surrounded by jewel fruited,doughy loveliness , gently dusted with icing sugar. The mince pie, no less lovely, had a deep, golden pastry case filled with dried fruits, quenched to plumpness and topped with a pastry star.

The coffee, as is usual at Jacka was made with great beans by a skillful barrista.

This may not be our last Advent visit.

What a difference the sun makes.

I make an irregular, regular trip into Plymouth a couple of times a month. The irregularity is regulated by the Sourdough levels in my freezer. About a year ago I discovered the wonder that is Jacka Bakery , 38 Southside Street, Plymouth.IMG_9198I’ve been a sourdough hunter for years. Always on a quest for perfection. Easy enough when I lived in London where the population can support any number of Artisan bakers, not so easy elsewhere. Don’t even start me on supermarket sourdough or the debacle that was making my own. Imagine the pleasure I get from knowing this fabulous bakery is within easy reach ; the bread freezes and defrosts easily ,remaining in perfect condition.

Bread is not their only output , they make the best chocolate croissants and have a Cakes of the Day selection. There are also a few tables for coffee to accompany the cake. I’ve not tried the coffee .

The Coffee addict at theoldmortuary.design is away in Cheltenham, instagramming the coffee shops and bakeries of Gloucestershire.

Anyway I digress , my last visit to Jacka prompted a vibrant painting of bright daylight reflected in the Barbican Harbour. The painting was created using the imagery of several photographs of oil, paint and some litter floating on the surface in a corner of the harbour.IMG_9082.JPGIt was a jewel bright day but bitterly cold as I took a series of photos that became this painting.

This morning, a much more typical Plymouth day, the view could not be more different.IMG_9196

That is pretty yucky and hasn’t inspired me to crack open the paints. However as I returned from the bakery a man was fishing out all the debris and detritus to make the Barbican look pretty again. It’s Pirate Weekend , a historically inaccurate , festival of all things piratey and plundery. ( I say historically inaccurate simply because it is unimaginable that Plymothians, back in the day , concentrated on getting litter out of the harbour in preparation for imminent Pirate arrival)

I however would have made sure my bread supplies were up to scratch, you never know who might pop in for toast .

IMG_7953

So there you have it , goodness knows how many WordPress training  topics I’ve covered there . Thank you for your patience , I’m off to hashtag now and then I’m done.