Pandemic Pondering #242

Some days we commit to a dog walk regardless of the weather. Yesterday’s was a case in point. Our regular circular walk around Sutton Harbour in Plymouth was tied into the day by some chores that also needed to be achieved. Once the chores were done the weather had taken quite a turn for the worse, our walk from Commercial Street to the Barbican was definitely the sort of walk where you spend more time looking at your feet with your head lowered against the ice cold needles of rain. Pondering my feet as a distraction against rain gave me the topic of this particular walk. The Barbican area of Plymouth has more cobbles than any other area of Britain.

I am no expert on cobbles. I do know they can be lethal when wearing high heels or when out on work Christmas parties. Both things that the world has given up in 2020.

Cobbles fascinate me . I’ve even painted an abstract , still unsold unsurprisingly, that was inspired by the bright lights, happiness and occasional vomit on the streets of the Nightlife area of the Barbican. I called it Excressences. Even with a gorgeous title it didn’t sell.

Detail from Excressences ©theoldmortuary

In the time before Lockdown we would sometimes do Historic guided tours of Plymouth for pleasure. One of them taught us how to identify shrapnel damage to streets and buildings. I wonder if this is an example on the disused Railtrack on the cobbles of Tin Wharf.

As you can see, the weather did dry up and after a coffee we looked skyward only to discover Christmas had sneaked in early.

Maybe I should paint more unpopular abstracts!

Pandemic Pondering #77

You might think after all the orange of yesterday , Pandemic Pondering #76, that today was going to be all a bit pink. The picture above is definitely significant and the vibrancy of this plant is significant but this is not a pink blog.

Yesterday we parked up in Looe Street , Plymouth.

Even though Lockdown has been eased in England the historic streets of this part of Plymouth were pretty quiet. This is a part of town we know well as The Minerva Inn is a favourite pub to visit.

The Minerva has been here since the Age of Discovery.

It is entirely possible today to walk to the Barbican, harbour, of Plymouth using streets that would be familiar with sailors, merchants and townspeople of that period. Like huge areas of Plymouth , Hitler and town planners have left their mark but we only used cobbled streets to make our journey.

The quietness of the streets made it much easier to feel the history of the streets that we were walking on, until we were stopped in our tracks by this vivid beauty.

Growing in a nondescript flowerbed adjacent to a 20th Century block of flats. Stopping was the best thing we could have done. It sparked our own Age of Discovery!

On one external wall of a building we have walked past , but never stopped at, was a ceramic-tile history lesson about the location.

We had been seduced by a bright pink plant, forced to linger and in doing so learnt a thing or two.

I’m sure these historic streets have seen a lot of seduction and lingering in the past but our seduction and lingering was entirely chaste .

The somewhat dull block of flats was built on the site of The Old Mayoralty House.

There is only so much you can learn from ceramic tiles.

Wool Dyeing in what is now Vauxhall Street

Plymouth at the time of Henry VIII

Lovers and Assassin’s 1591, elderly husband killed by wife and her lover. It didn’t end well.

The moral of this blog is this, you might think you are doing something you’ve done many times before, but just one little thing might catch your eye and a whole different journey happens . Then Covid-19 sneaks in and spoils the trip.

My journey took me to The Plymouth History Association website.

But currently no further.