#286 theoldmortuary ponders.

Facebook reminds me that it is five years since I was in North America. That is a timely reminder as yesterday we had planned a North American experience.

Lets be honest a coffee in an independent Coffee Shop, Hot Black Coffee, in Toronto is a very different experience from a Tim Horton coffee, but needs must and we are in Plymouth not Canada. Tim Horton opened in Plymouth yesterday.

Now that was the plan. But domestic life got in the way and inadvertantly solved a year old problem.

When we moved house a year ago we had made a grab bag of important documents and items that must not be lost. The plan was that one of us would grab the, highly visible, leopard print clutch bag, and move it safely from one house to the other. That didn’t happen and neither of us know how. The bag has been missing for over a year. The contents were so important that every room in the new house has been turned upside down and inside out several times. The loss of some of these items has been crucial and the 6 month wait for new passports is probably the most painful result of our loss.

We were up early yesterday to visit Tim Horton’s for breakfast. In the quiet of the morning there was the sound of a drip in our utility room.

Our utility room is know as the ‘Futility Room’ as it is too small for its true purpose and yet somehow is a perfect store room, and loo!

We had to move a lot of stuff to get at the drip. Having located and fixed the fault we decided to reconfigure some of the shelving installed by our diligent removal men. Unbelievably behind the shelving the Leopard print clutch bag was resting, safely holding all of our important things. One of the removal men must have picked it up, tucked it under his arm and moved it with the shelving and then just put it to one side at the new house. That is the end of a year of puzzlement. It was also the end of breakfast at Tim Horton’s. We did drive over at 2pm having mentally swapped breakfast for doughnuts but the rest of Plymouth had got there before us. Huge queues for drive-thru and eat in. Maybe we will go back, maybe not. In less than a month we are Toronto bound, the queues will be shorter there and we can also go independent. After 5 years we may well do both.

#256 theoldmortuary ponders

Saturday mornings have a bit of a pattern in Stonehouse. Wordle/Exercise/Coffee. This morning things will be the same but different. A man we often meet at the coffee shop put an urgent message on Facebook last night

Shocking to read and shocking for everyone involved. Jack is an eloquent chap and went on to post a video.


The normal pattern of Saturday will continue for us, but not for Jack’s elderly neighbour. Who knows what additional health problems she accrued during her four hours of pain and lack of appropriate professional care. Thank goodness she had good neighbours who clearly did their absolute best for her. How in 2022 is this acceptable?

#208 theoldmortuary ponders

Some mornings the only cure for a busy, overwhelmed head is a cup of black coffee and some fresh air. Yesterday was such a day. I didn’t get out of the wrong side of the bed exactly, two very entitled dogs make that an impossibility, but my head was unproductively busy. Later in the day a friend described such thoughts as ” Like a murmuration of Starlings or a shoal of fish turning in the sea.”

As I had predicted the coffee, some conversations with neighbours and a small pastry set me right.

Greek Yogurt lemon Pastry

An in- person meeting with a colleague provided more mind nurturing in the form of freshly picked mint tea and a take away bunch of mint to grow my own.

And actually who wouldn’t be smoothed out by such a gorgeous napkin!

Things were all falling into place quite nicely. Hugo had even taken on the role of P A for a while to keep me on schedule.

Although there were times when he was definitely blocking productivity.

With or, probably without, Hugo’s assistance all the jobs got done and some order returned to my mind. But I am left with the lovely images of thoughts being like murmurations of Starlings.

Or shoals of fish.

Two lovely videos to start a chilled out Saturday with.

#143 theoldmortuary ponders

Today we are saying goodbye to a new, old, friend. New friends who die in the early stages of friendship are a huge potential loss. Who knows what fabulous shared times are to be missed. With only a tiny repository of past shared memories there is not much for us to trawl through. Bolstered by coffee and pastries we are celebrating what our dear friend Ken did best, we are caring for his granddaughter whilst his older family members and friends celebrate his life at a service to mark his passing. We have big boots to fill, a grandpa is a very special person. Ken was a very special grandpa and he was also a very twinkly new friend. Off now to twinkle somewhere else.

#121 theoldmortuary ponders

This is not the way to start a Sunday! I ‘Wordle’ any time after midnight, but this morning I did it with the best cup of tea of the week. Sunday morning tea has a special quality of relaxation. Ten wrong letters in two rows ruined any element of relaxedness! There is also a storm blowing in which is sure to affect the relaxedness of my imminent dog walk with professional coffee and croissant. I am not a huge fan of drinking anything through a lid. My lip anatomy or maybe my technique is faulty but drinking take away drinks through the lid always leads to a bit of dribble on my chin or my clothes.

Normally I just pop the lid off and enjoy my drink just like any normal human. The last time I did that, in a storm, the wind whipped into my cup. Swirled the silky froth of my flat white around a bit and then flung it all over my face, up my nose and into my eyes. It was hard to style out a look that suggested that I had come out with a face pack on. After a rocky start maybe I should listen to my omens and only drink coffee indoors!

#100 theoldmortuary ponders

#100 a late blog, not for complicated reasons. More weather related, we woke up to sunshine this morning and just felt the need to walk in sunshine and harvest Vitamin D while it was still an option.

The bright sunlight did provide some lovely complicated images though.

Fennel seed heads, shadows and repaired, cracked masonry.

Our walk just took in really familar territory at a ponderous speed and lots of basking in pools of daylight.

Cast iron railings, shadows and masonry

Nearly four hours of walking required two stops for coffee, and of course a wee.

Complicated shadows and textures outside a loo.

We were not the only ones having a bask. Miss Spearmint was also making the most of the sunshine.

As were the Cormorants.

And then just like that nature turned the lights off …

Rusty downpipe and masonry.

#74 theoldmortuary ponders

There is nothing like a bit of casual shop lifting to start the day. Yesterday we were on a mission to collect a prescious cargo from Southampton. I popped to our local coffee shop and bakery to buy some coffee, before our drive. On the way out I was seduced by a fruit loaf on the counter. I had already paid for my coffee and happily nattered about life in general as I packed the loaf into my bag, making no effort to pay for it. Fortunately the coffee shop team know a common thief when they see one and asked me very politely to pay for it.

Can you imagine if I had done that 200 years ago. With only a quick trial I would have been packed off to Australia on the next boat and Plymouth being a primary deportation port that would likely have been the next day.

Next stop Botany Bay. End of Story

#57 theoldmortuary ponders

It is not all about dog walks in lovely places and comfortable places to sleep. Sometimes Hugo and Lola believe that they are doing actual work. Here they are on car duty while we have a wee and grab a coffee.

Yesterday was pretty full on for them. Early morning house guarding duty while we went, with other bobbers, for what turned out to be the most disappointing ‘ bob’ of recent times. It was a really low tide so there was a good bit of rock scrambling before we even hit the water and then it was all a bit sea weedy for a while until we hit water deep enough to swim in. The dogs, of course, had to offer counselling and support when we returned.

After the car journey there were more dog responsibilities. Urban Squirrel watching.

And minor hangover care after a Christmas party.

#46 theoldmortuary ponders

A timely reminder that to chose working in the arts is not without its crtitics. But once the scientists have done their bit and pulled or pushed us to the other side of our recent pandemic it is artists and creatives who will give us the good things that add sparkle and embelishment to life.

My Wednesday Ponder, brief and to the point. Enjoy it with your coffee.