#81 theoldmortuary ponders

We took ourselves off for a coffee date this morning with friends and then took a walk around the old Elizabethan Port of Plymouth. An area that still roughly conforms to the pink area on this map of 1620. We walk it so often we quite take it for granted and I took very few photographs today.

Just as the Pandemic took hold of the world, Plymouth was gearing up to celebrate its part in the founding of the New World with the Mayflower 400 celebrations. Plymouth was being primped for many visitors and events. All that preparation and anticipation came to nothing as the world shut down. One of our favourite, tiny corners of Plymouth has been shut ever since. To our surprise the Elizabethan gardens were open today on our walk and we popped in.

December is not a great time to admire a garden but it was really nice just to be back in a favourite space.

I think I was so surprised to be in there at all I only took a couple of pictures, but all around there were signs of the refurbishment of historic buildings which would have been so central to the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to what we now know as the United States of America.

I am disappointed in myself photographically but sometimes ot is just good to lose yourself in the moment which is exactly what I did. A perfect reason to go back, very soon when Spring starts to make an appearance.

In other news, we had a sporting day yesterday with golf and Ten Pin Bowling.

Both venues were totally artificial but we had a great time being competitive indoors away from the somewhat murky weather .

We have been lucky in our new home, and totally grateful,that none of our Christmas visitors have involved grumpy old farts like this chap on the golf course.

My commiserations to any of you who have suffered a friend or family member who has cast shade on your festivities, there is nothing worse. If this Pandemic has taught me anything it is that life is too short to share extended moments with people whose habitual attitude to life tends towards the negative.

We have been extraordinarily lucky this festive season. Smiles and happiness overload.

#78 theoldmortuary ponders

Christmas morning sunrise. The breakfast of Bobbers.

©Andy Cole

Christmas morning found us all at sea. Miss Spearmint also hauled up on the beach after a heavy Christmas Eve in Plymouth Sound. She will be sleeping off her over- eating until the next high tide.

Happy Holidays Blog readers, you rock.

#63 theoldmortuary ponders


We don’t have any advent calendars in the house. We mark our way through Advent with jobs achieved. Nobody needs to see dull, domestic tasks so I thought I would share some of the doors that I’ve collected over the years to illustrate this blog. The doors are a nod towards the excitement of opening a door or window on an advent calendar every day of advent. If not exactly excitement there is satisfaction as Christmas slowly comes together in a new house and in a new location. We are avid watchers of property porn, it is a wisdom gleaned from such programmes that you really like a house when you imagine where you would put your christmas tree in a property that you are viewing. I dont think it ever crossed out minds where Christmas trees might go when we looked at this house. This lack of decisive property planning bit me on the bum today.

Hoi An

Our old house had some unusual proportions and we have a curiously slim but tall artificial tree that suited the old dining room, the actual mortuary workshop, perfectly. The new house is Georgian with a later Victorian extension. It took me many relocations of the tree to find it a new home in this house. Snuggling up next to the fridge freezer was the only place its skinny frame looked comfortable. Who could have possibly guessed that several hours are needed to find a Christmas tree its happy place.


In other advent news the international parcels have set off on their journeys, and in quiet moments I can track their journeys across the globe on an app on my phone. They are boldly travelling to countries that would not currently welcome me in person.


Today is the day for buying and positioning a bigger tree and writing christmas cards.  Beyond that I’m not entirely sure what else will be behind the Friday door!


But for now there is a skinny tree in a happy place.

#47 theoldmortuary ponders

Late blog alert. I’m not sure what happened to the early morning. I am in the grip of making Christmas presents that cannot be purchased this year for a variety of reasons. Brexit, Coronovirus, Supply Chain. Like an idiot I thought I would blog about my endeavours and realised mid-morning that that was a pretty mad idea if I am also aiming for an element of surprise. The picture above is a cheeky hint that I have been burning the candle at both ends to source recycled materials to create these gifts.

Giving nothing away I have to comment that my sewing machine needle appears to have shrunk its eye. So tricky was rethreading the needle I wondered if I was sewing by candlelight.

An illuminated magnifying glass, not recycled had to be purchased. The only glitch, so far in my drive to be more sustainable with this project.

Still giving nothing away, some of the recycled or repurposed materials last saw the light of day in 1974 when sewing by candlelight was actually a thing in the 3 day weeks. Electricity use was restricted to conserve energy as Industrial Action by rail and coal workers was limiting the ability to generate enough power for normal activity.

All will be revealed in exactly one month. Counting down to Christmas Now!