#247 theoldmortuary ponders

A blue letter day, with bells on. Blue was the colour of the day. After 6 months my passport arrived! 6 months of waiting. 6 months of sitting on phone lines listening to shocking music and on the rare occasions I made contact with a human call centre person several months of listening to a variety of lies about the location of my missing passport. Just one month of getting my local MP involved and the passport is snuggly in my possession. How I wish my passport was still a cheery red European one but after 6 months the blue British one will have to do. This unacceptable delay was apparently caused by the loss of my original documents, something that would have been of concern to me had all the documents not been posted back to me four months ago. Quite how a passport could be sanctioned last week with no documents is a mystery that I can’t quite get my head around. Maybe I just sounded really British to the nice young man who phoned me last week from Westminster …

In other blue related events, the scaffolding came down from the front of our house and we can see the new colour scheme. We are very happy with our choices.

The ‘bells on’ comment comes from the evening dog walk. Morris Men and clog dancers were performing at a local pub.

The local streets were alive with the sounds of leg bells. While the dancers  twirled and stamped and entertained, the dogs were curious and happy to watch, but jangling legs close up were too much for them in the confines of the pub and we left, no doubt,missing a jolly evening of music making.

#107 theoldmortuary ponders

A late ponder and a strange one too. I’m not yet done with St Ives but this ponder witnessed the great divide in our country yesterday. The door was on a street in St Ives and for the purposes of this ponder represents home, somewhere safe to live. Yesterday we witnessed a street cleaner very gently clearing the debris around a homeless woman, there was a lot of stuff and the whole time he was brushing and picking up litter he carried on an entirely upbeat conversation, as if they had just met. He exuded kindness and I felt awkward for just walking past, but in awe of the way he was handling a difficult situation. The interaction stuck with me. Just a couple of hours later we were walking near our home, there was a boat show in our local harbour.

These two moments are at either end of the financial scale of this countries wealth, its all a little mind blowing. The kindly street cleaner is the high point of the day, however pretty these boats look.

Pandemic Pondering #484

A classic ponder involving two subjects that are largely unrelated.

This morning I am wearing a playsuit. Really a preposterously named garment for anyone over 10. This one is left over from my brief days as a hands-on grandparent. Obviously when fulfilling the role of grandparent I felt the need to dress like a tropical forest. This may be the exact reason her parents decided to whisk her half way across the world. Who could possibly need a grandparent dressed as tropical forest when Asia can provide the real thing, the forest that is. The photos above are the tenuous link to this mornings blog. In case you haven’t spotted it, the mug swaggeringly hanging on my playsuit belt depicts a harbour. Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. Our recent move has taken us to live among harbours, although not a Asian ones swanky enough to have thermal mugs depicting the skyline!

I love a harbour, all the glamour and thrills of travel with none of the faff. Today turned out to be a cornucopia of glamour. A cruise ship with 5 masts.

Shyly peeping into Plymouth Sound. Before hiding behind Drakes Island.


If only I could briefly roll back time to when hundreds of ships like this were jostling to dock in Plymouth. On an olfactory note the area where I took this last photo was very reminiscent of times past. I stood on an area of concrete frequented by solitary fishermen and others in the twilight hours, they really do like to build up a historic fragrance, which was still resonating at 7 am this morning. Beer, tobacco, fish, piss and marijuana. Not perhaps the historic experience passengers on this luxury cruise liner are searching for!

Golden Horizon

Pandemic Pondering #457

A balmy day with an awful lot of domestic admin is not the greatest inspiration for a blog but our evening dog walk was as refreshing as a glass of ice cold lemonade.

Another positive of the day was confirmation of my place on the Advanced Blog writing course and bloggers reunion in Spitalfields in October. A good chance to huddle with other writers.

Street/Public Art Spitalfields

Spitalfields was in my heart long before it became trendy, my student days were spent visiting friends in squats or squalid shared houses there. The bones of which are still standing but now they are million pound homes and offices.

The area retains a quirky irreverent attitude even with an influx of money and cleanliness.

Here is a younger Hugo finding his own version of a squat a few years ago.

Enough of Spitalfields and October. A Cornwall evening in June was the true topic of this blog.

At 9 am the dogs and I were in this exact spot but we were chased away by the assiduous attention of Horse Flies. By 9pm we could actually stand still and enjoy the view. We had a good old trudge around the nature reserve with doggy and human friends. A bug posed on Cow Parsley.

And I felt the need to turn a beautiful but non spectacular sundowner into a poster.

Have a great weekend when it arrives.

Pandemic Pondering #360

Yesterday was a strange day topped off by a sunset swim. The water was calm but chilly, it was possible to bask in the setting sun when swimming towards the west.

Nothing was quite as it should be yesterday. @theoldmortuary is close to three graveyards, an older church one that has expanded into fields behind it and more recently, on the opposite side of the lane leading to a nature reserve,a new graveyard in more fields for more recent burials. We are well used to funerals of all sorts and their associated traffic. A neighbour but unknown to us, died recently and was being taken elsewhere for her service and committal yesterday morning. Being at the beginning of a final journey rather than the end felt dystopian with the undertaker performing a slow walk ahead of the hearse as they drove away from the family home.

After a year of behavioural changes it is a little unnerving to always witness the sadness of strangers without the balance of being voyeurs to the joyful church events of Baptism and Weddings. Brightly coloured family dramas played out just steps away from our front door.

These things are the rituals that link us to the past. This is probably the only year in more than 400 where the church and the pub, sentinels either side of a lane have not shared in the celebrations and condolences of church based family events.

The two buildings are linked in these moments. People crossing, sometimes wobbly legged and weepy, between the two in the time before and after the main events. Weeping is not reserved for funerals!

Just having the church and bereavement gatherings seems unbalanced. Life will be better when happy and sad people can seek refuge in the pub, before or after church and turn their legs wobbly if that is what the situation requires.

Pandemic Pondering #359

The middle of March is a curiously yellow kind of time. After a year of restrictions this March seems even yellower than usual. I checked back through my image file of the last few years and found some lovely yellows. Not just the obvious daffodils but all sorts of yelliw things to make me smile. I think it must be the quality of the light in March that makes yellow so vibrant. This commuting image is my first offering.

Tower Bridge from London Bridge
6 AM

Even yellow underfoot seems brighter in March.

Yellow daffodils were the thing that seemed particularly vibrant yesterday. It must be a wrinkle or crinkle in my thinking though that makes this year seem especially bright because I have loads of lovely yellows from past years. I think previously I have not been quite so desperate to shake off winter and celebrate the coming of Spring. This is quite a statement as beyond Christmas I see no real value or purpose in Winter ever. So I’m always desperate to find signs of Spring. I just hadn’t realised until yesterday quite how pathetically desperate I was to leave winter behind me in 2021.

Sadly a yellow all-in-one covering a snuggly person is no longer on my signs of spring agenda.

But gorgeous yellow, empty beaches have a very positive effect on seeing the bright side.

Closer to home there is always a naughty dog to bring some yellow to the party. Even if there is no party!

Pandemic Pondering #350

What do you do in a lockdown during the tail end of a British winter when the sun is out but the temperature is -2?

A sunrise Mediterranean breakfast on a deserted beach, obviously!!

Meanwhile the plants not in the sunshine reflected true life.

But the fantasy still beckons.

Spanokopita, Pain au Chocolate and Coffee were transported to the beach for authenticity.

Where we found relics , just as we would on beaches far away.

But the huge bonus of being on a beach much closer to home was sharing it with fluffs.


And for once we didn’t have to submerge ourselves in sea that is nothing like the Mediterranean.

Pandemic Pondering #102

A rope bridge, currently closed, so no irritating people on it to ruin the image.

Saturdays newspaper devoted the magazine to many sports personalities and other types of celebrities talking about their ‘Lost Summer’.

Mr Bronze Turkey, grateful to see a few visitors after 3 months with no-one looking at him.

I realise I have not been prepping myself towards something momentous, that Covid -19 has taken away from me, and of course I’m not in any way famous but I don’t see mine or anyone elses missed moments as Lost

Quiet contemplation for a small person with a pathway to herself.

Life has just taken it’s own path as it always does, regardless of Pandemics. The next three months in the Northern hemisphere are Summer 2020 and obviously Winter 2020 in the Southern hemisphere. Not what anyone anticipated but valuable just the same.

Dicksonia Antarctica , more than 120 summers, many of them ‘different” to expectation.

The pictures illustrating this blog are definitely a gain. Covid-19 and its restrictions have given us many reasons to ‘ Seize the Day’ not too far from home. Summer Gains 2020. All pictures taken at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, during its Social Distancing phase. Calmer, quieter, a little wilder and still lovely.

Restricted opening to comply with social distancing but gorgeous in its own way.