Pandemic Pondering #254

Warping Sunset. Sunset at Rame Head , on Sunday, was beautiful. It needed nothing to enhance it. So PP#252 presented sunset just as nature intended but the picture below, taken by Hannah on our return to the van, exploits nature and the benefits of having a clean bottom.

Warped Sunset.

The clean bottom in question is our beloved VW Camper. It takes us to some amazing places.

Hugo and Lola love it because the chances of being in bed are greatly enhanced.

And they get to snuffle within spectacular scenery.

And when the day is done, exhausted by fresh air and long walks.

They can snuggle up together without the usual bickering.

Pandemic Pondering #252

What is the meaning of morsel?
A morsel is a small amount of something, a tid-bit, a sliver, a nugget usually of something of high-quality and much desired but not truly needed, like a morsel of dark chocolate or a morsel of gossip. Originally it referred specifically to food. It is something that gives a disproportionate amount of non- essential, exquisite pleasure.

My morsel for Pandemic Pondering #252 is an evening dog walk a couple of fields behind Rame Head. A snippet of the day. Morsel is a word we use, mostly at Christmas time, when the day has already given so much but self control is non- existent and you just desire that little but more of something. Today was unexpectedly gorgeous, fabulous sunshine and not too cold for an autumn day in Cornwall. Long walks on the coastal paths and outrageous laughter with friends as we rested on wooden benches overlooking the sea. Perfect conditions for fifteen minutes, or indeed, a morsel, of time, for a glorious sunset.

Setting out
Dog faces in the gloom
Peak Morsel
Back to the van for supper.

Pandemic Pondering #230

Don’t you just hate wisdom that gets shared on Instagram and Facebook. I’m not a complete quote/ inspiring text pooper but in truth many are pretty dire. And then completely by accident you write one of your own.

I was messaging a former work colleague, who works hard under difficult circumstances. Her only moan was that age was ‘ getting’ to her. Without thinking I replied ” Age is unavoidable, surf it with style”

I’m not normally that profound but I had just got out of the sea after a really long morning swim. Last night we wild camped near to Tregirls Beach so we could make the most of a high tide early in the morning.

The evening dog walk was dramatic, but we had missed sunset so walking on uneven ground was tricksy.

Long Carrow Cove

Hugo and Lola settled in with books and the newspaper while we got supper ready.

Breakfast with the view.

Tregirls beach was the location that inspired my profoundity. A good long swim with just the right amount of chill was exactly what was needed to clean the cobwebs from my mind, and indeed prepare the ground for a memorable quote. Depending on your standards of course.

And then, of course there was the footprints.

Pandemic Pondering#198

The Art Group prompt word takes @theoldmortuary to some interesting places. Who doesn’t love a landscape?

My thing for years has been abstract landscapes. For this blog I plunged into my ideas and inspiration file.

I am intrigued and galvanized by nature’s ability to always overwhelm the constructs that man creates or just change the way things look. In doing so there is often unexpected beauty.

The dunes suffocating a beach hut at Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk.

Here is an urban reclamation. Tarmac in Dulwich Park being broken up by tree roots and covered by autumn leaves and other natural detritus.

@theoldmortuary. The Smith Family Collection.

Nature is not exactly reclaiming this wall, but the Landscape Street Art is so famous as a site for Instagrammers that it is being worn away by sweaty hands and carefully posed leaning. This picture was taken some time after it was painted but before it became insanely popular as an Instagram background.

Alex Croft painted this as a commission for Goods of Desire. Countless Instagram photos feature this slowly fading wall.

©Instagram

Closer to home our century plus garden wall looked like a hedge as ivy took control.

It took quite a bit of effort to bring it back to wall status.

Next up 2 beaches slowly consuming man made structures.

And finally some box fresh images taken on Monday evenings combined swim and dog walk adventure.

A landscape shaped by the sea. Even if you visit this beach every day it will always be different.

Harlyn Bay, Cornwall

Pandemic Pondering #132

Another English Soft Fruit Drizzle Cake.

Today’s experiment Blackcurrant Drizzle Cake.

Once again using the trusty Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe.
https://www.amummytoo.co.uk/the-worlds-best-lemon-drizzle-cake-recipe/

I double the recipe and replace the lemon components with whichever fruit experiment I happen to be trying. Increase cooking time to an hour for the bigger version.


Todays cake is the most bodacious looking . Puce pink icing and deep blacky purple drizzle. It would be wonderful, but the small amount of blackcurrant juice added to the cake mixture has changed the colour of the cake just slightly bluey green. Useful for a sea monster but not so lovely for afternoon tea style cake.


I haven’t bored you with all the English Soft Fruit Drizzle experiments. The Jury is out on this one but the current favourite is Rhubarb Drizzle Cake. It was gorgeous, rather like a slice of jam doughnut which makes no sense. Next week might be Raspberry…

Pandemic Pondering #125

Launceston, the town of happy thoughts. My first happy thought linked to Launceston was unknown to me for many years.

Charles Causley is a poet that attracted me as soon as I met his poems.’ Timothy Winters comes to school with eyes as wide as a football-pool’My first experience and a memorable first line. The rest of the poem is beautifully descriptive in an ugly way.

Launceston was Causleys home town and in this portrait painting he is leaning on another favourite of mine, the highly textured walls of St Mary Magdelene.

Appropriately in a Pandemic Pondering the Charles Causley Trust has the most amazing office tucked above one of the ancient gates of Launceston.

In the current pandemic people are giving up offices in favour of working from home , but surely this one is way too cute to give up.

Happy thought number two happened soon after I moved to Cornwall from Brighton.My dad was a real ale drinker and long before the days of instant research on Google he discovered an off licence in Launceston that sold locally brewed ale by the gallon. Several Christmases running a Christmas Eve ritual for him was to drive to Launceston and collect several gallons for the Christmas festivities.It’s a bit shabby now but worth a picture for a happy thought.

Happy thought number 3 involves the Castle. There is nothing more exciting to a pair of six or seven year old boys than being given wooden swords and a whole genuine castle to defend.

Something my son and one of his friends were able to do if we were lucky enough to be the only visitors to the castle on the days we visited.Today the castle is chained up indefinitely protecting its volunteers from the onslaught of Covid 19.

The map of happy places.One final happy thought . A great extended night out of Bollywood Dancing in the Town Hall with RSVP Bhangra.Extended because the band set off the fire alarms and we all spent twenty minutes outside.
https://www.rsvpmusic.co.uk/

After the final happy thought, a final ponder on the beauty of driving to Launceston. Launceston is at the high point of the landscape, which is why it has a castle, the drive to it in any direction is through beautiful countryside, well worth an excursion.

Continue reading “Pandemic Pondering #125”

Pandemic Pondering #121

Pondering since March has strengthened our resolve to shop locally and support local businesses.

Today’s outing was planned with exactly that in mind.

Lavender fields have long been on our wish list of things to visit. Provence springs to mind but in reality when we lived in South London , Kent was closer, but we still never quite achieved it.

We booked an afternoon tea at Great Carnbargus Farm. Perranporth, Cornwall. Home of Cornish Lavender and a warm and fragrant welcome. Set on the slopes of the Perrancombe Valley , the lanes ease you into a rural world , very different from the hurly burly of Perranporth, the beach destination.
https://www.facebook.com/CornishLavender/photos/a.1586137621431019/2072360726142037/?type=3&source=44

What an absolute treat to have afternoon tea with Tina Bee and her lovely family, including three fecund pigs called Petal, Pepper and Twig.

This afternoon tea malarky was not even a thought two months ago. Tina had to plan a significant birthday for her Dad, with Social Distancing in mind she planned the party in her lavender field.

Lavender Dad being saluted with a Lavender shortbread.

The party went so well Tina thought she might open up her field as an Afternoon Tea destination.

We had our own small marquee with indoor seating and a table, bedecked with gingham bunting, and an outside lounging area with comfy chairs and a coffee table.

Afternoon tea with a Lavender theme was our order of today but there were many other things on offer.

The farm also offers a safe field for dogs to go mad in and a wooded walk with Fairy doors to find.

Just beyond the pigs there was an Airstream, another one of life’s ambitions. This one is awaiting Planning Permission before finding its moment of Lavender glory.

We had such a great time enjoying simple pleasures and it’s really exciting to see a business idea at such an early stage.

We do love a bit of retro, so we were also thrilled to see these old Crittall Windows at the farm.

We had eaten a good bit of the Afternoon Tea before I took photos, blogging error for sure but also a sign that relaxing in a lavender field can take your mind off everything.

Afternoon Teas are only available in July or, just as much in life, you will have to wait until 2021.

We booked by phone and Instagram

07909 222260

Or cornishlavender on Instagram

Trust us, you will…

It.

Pandemic Pondering #117

Making hay while the sun shines.

Rural chic is having a moment, probably inspired by any number of city dwellers who have managed to endure lockdown in the countryside.
https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/jul/03/david-beckham-leads-the-way-as-men-flock-to-cottagecore-look

The nature reserve near us has cut and laid the hay ready for collecting. As a backdrop for fashion photography this location would be perfect.

It is a fabulous image of rural charm, as is the Guardian article about the decorative Mr Beckham.

My recollection of Hay making in my youth is that it is a dirty, dusty job that has been romanticised way beyond its reality.

The term first appeared in a 1546 collection of proverbs by John Heywood. It is believed to have been in regular use in Britain since the proliferation of farming in Mediaeval times. Being included in a collection of proverbs suggests it quickly moved from sage farming advice to general life event guidance.

Literally or idiomatically, making hay while the sun shines was picturesque this morning.

To make the most of the idiomatic moment I can throw in two pictures of fluffy dogs making hay while the sun shines, one of them hay coloured.

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.
https://www.heligan.com/explore/gardens/jungle

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

Pandemic Pondering #99

Cornwall is a surfing county. The mythical seventh wave exists in the hearts and minds of many who visit here. The seventh wave is supposed to be the best and strongest wave of the sequence. The science behind the 7th wave is pretty conclusive that it doesn’t exist, even accepting that sometimes it does, because wave strength is affected by wind, tide and the profile of the underlying beach. Randomly that sometimes is the 7 th wave but not predictably so.

Cornwall has done pretty well during the Coronovirus , reporting far lower levels of patients and deaths than the rest of the country. However Science and virus spread modelling suggests that the region might be worse hit by the Second Wave.

But just like the science behind the non existence of a 7 th wave phenomena ,The science behind the existence of a 2nd Wave of Coronovirus is also ignored as people flock to beaches ignoring social distancing advice and the fact that Covid-19 is still out there.

With this in mind I too am abandoning science to explore with gay abandon the world of another wave word. Confident that I am not risking anything by doing so.

An earlier blog mentioned my favourite word in Greek.

Flisvos- the sound of lapping waves.

English has something almost as gorgeous.

Susurration- a whispering sound.

It is also an onomatopoeic word. It sounds as relaxing as the action it describes.

The gentle susurration of the tide.


https://youtu.be/6kTkL4n8wsU

I’m gifting you the above link of waves on pebbles , firstly as an apology for yesterday’s musical earworm and secondly to gently introduce you to the nautical theme of Pandemic Pondering #100.