#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.

Pandemic Pondering #487

A series of firsts yesterday. A wedding! Beautiful weather despite warnings of a storm as we gathered in St Eustachius Church, Tavistock, for the wedding of a friend. A large number of family and friends , cleverly seated and spaced by a beautiful team of ‘ Best People’* witnessed not only a wedding but the first singing in that particular church for over 17 months. People have worshiped on that site since 1193 and in the current church since the 15th Century. I doubt if there has been such a long silence in that place of worship ever before.

I wonder if St Eustachius was as thrilled to finally give his Eustachian Tubes a good blow out as we were.

Goodness this was a well planned Wedding Service, the music and readings celebrating, most importantly a marriage but also shining a light on our human need to begin to mark the gradual return to a more normal life. Sacred spaces of all faiths carry some magic left by centuries of worshipping. It felt lovely to tap into some of that yesterday.

The first hymn to the tune of Morning Has Broken had us feeling a little tearful. Thankfully the serious business of the actual Marriage Service gave us something to focus on before hitting us with a hymn sung to the tune of ‘Thaxted’ by Gustav Holst. You can take a woman out of Essex but you cannot take Essex out of a woman. Particularly this one who has a fair bit of her gene pool resting in the graveyard of Thaxted Church!

The penultimate treat for our happy ears was the Widor Toccata. There is nothing better than an organist who can get his fingers competently around Widors Toccata. St Eustachius organist did exactly that, beautifully. Wedding service done we hopped off for a cheeky iced coffee.

And then returned to the churchyard for the glory that is Bell ringing. Something I can share with you with the link below.



As soon as pictures of people who were part of this wedding appear on Social Media I will include them in a blog but for now I just want this blog to reflect the flavour and sense of loveliness of just being able to be part of something like this once again.

Here is one of the readings, which was deliciously appropriate.

Hokusi says… by Roger Keyes

Thoroughly uplifted we travelled home.

To this face!

* Best People. The bridegroom did not have a Best Man but a delightful team of Best People. Surely the way forward. Have a fabulous Sunday.

Pandemic Pondering #478

The end of the week coffee. Coffeeer than any other coffee, not as desperate as some and maybe not as chilled as a Sunday morning coffee. But still a landmark coffee. Today happens to be Friday but in my previous NHS life the end of the week could be any day.

Always celebrated at Black Sheep. Coffee to power me through the last 12 hours at Barts Heart Centre. Obviously the doughnuts are not part of an approved Cardiac Health Diet.

©Black Sheep
©Black Sheep

Today’s coffee from Hutong, hopefully doesn’t have such a big task. Or does it?

Today is flat pack furniture day!