As grandstand views go we got the best table this morning for breakfast with Sail GP. Four women, three dogs and a lot of water action.
We especially got to see the start and finish of the races.
One of our bobber friends, Helen, has hair to encourage team GB to do their best.
The dogs were more interested in bacon butties and chocolate brioche than super elegant sailing boats, which missed the point a bit.
This wonderful viewpoint is a long term favourite spot of ours. It is a complex landscape of rocks and WW2 defensive concrete just below The Long Room, Plymouths civilian and military maritime Port Control.
We call it the area ‘Greek Beach’ because on a good day it feels like a million miles from Plymouth. Greek beach is moments away from our usual swimming beach . You can see how close everything is in the picture below. The yellow buoy is the one that we swim to when we bob.
Today we discovered our Greek Beach has new graffiti to embellish the whole experience.
This is our almost daily reality on the morning dog walk . Royal Marines out for a training run. Yesterday the bobbers experienced this, perfectly, in time run as they walked from the car park. In our street marines were practicing running with 60kg weights on stretchers. Other days they run in full combat gear and carry guns. Hugo and Lola are never reactive which is a good thing. The bobbers, though, were a little more vocal. Obviously in a good and positive way. Without exception we have all worked in public facing jobs. Doing jobs that are made a good deal more pleasant by the public being, at the very least, clean. Royal Marines on these training runs may be a little warm but there is always a, just washed, fragrance about them which we can appreciate.
Marine Green seems to be a bit of a theme for this blog. The saltwater pool that the marines were jogging past was also, like the marines, dressed in shades of green.
Fragrant , in a good way, and so perfectly in time that they can be turned into a kaleidoscopic image. Welcome to the Weekend.
Funny to start an early morning blog with a sunset but this one is a pointer to the next day, which is today.
Yesterday was a day of dreadful mists and traditional West Country Greige.Until this gloriously over the top sunset arrived, better late than never! The whole day had been an impenetratable colour and sensation of meh. My actual day was hardly any more enlightened with dull, domestic tasks and my relaxed moments filled with a book I had no wish to read. Over Christmas a small pile of lovely new books has appeared. I have yet to start any of them due to other reading commitments. In the greatest piece of bad luck, this months book group book is by a new- to- me author that I have a tiny bit of history with. I will name no names but the author is a well known T.V. presenter whose books, apparently, are both breathtaking and on many lists of bestsellers. Prior to Christmas,and probably against my better judgement I downloaded one of her literary mistresspieces. Having read one chapter I returned it, the prose being not quite to my taste. Flimsy would be my best description. Imagine my horror when the book club book for January was by the same author. I decided to adopt the cold water swimming approach and just get straight into it. I dedicated all of my reading time over two days plus some extra to get it done so that I could start on my Christmas pile.
Was my one chapter and out behaviour the correct approach? Mostly yes, but the plot of the book club,book choice, was really quite clever and deserved much better, deeper writing than the celebrity author had bothered with. Surprising really as she is not a foolish woman and has a wide breadth of life experiences. The editor also had an off day, some of the inaccuracies were absolute howlers that had me reading them several times to try and make some sense of them. There was no sense to them!
So, bad weather and bad book was yesterday and so far I have no idea what today will bring, but my, very cold, early morning walk shows promise.
The dawn sky was as good as last nights sunset. There is a millionaire parked up in the Sound.
I think I might have chosen somewhere a little warmer to park my $250 million super yacht in January. Presumably the owner of both the Dallas Cowboys and this boat has his reasons.
More heart warming than a Super Yacht was this bouquet of flowers on a bench. The bench is dedicated to someone, now deceased, who loved this area.
The dew that had formed at dawn created a poignant reminder of the tears we all have for the people and moments that we have lost forever.
And an even more powerful reminder to push on through the greige days because the sun always returns, eventually.
Back to the usual morning dog walk. In the hours we have been back from the weekend sojourn to Wimbledon, dog walks have been slow paced affairs. We have only lived in our current location for a couple of months. The dogs obviously dont feel that their cachet of news filled wee stops is quite extensive enough to keep in the canine loop while away for three days. Yesterdays home return walks were very sniffy, news gathering, affairs with many replies needing to be sprinkled en route. This morning there was canine disdain when their usual early morning routine was disrupted by a closed footpath. I managed some lovely photos but they are unmoved by such things .
The footpath will be closed for two weeks. This will upset the dogs but it is also the footpath that leads to our regular ‘ bobbing’ beach , our regular haunt for the whole of the pandemic!
While the dogs are sniffingly detained on information gathering I am sometimes left standing around a bit. This morning I noticed two lifting rings on an old manhole cover.
One of them had been quite crumpled. It is really hard to imagine what could possibly have caused such harm, but I am very glad not to have been standing in the same place when the damage occured.
Goodness it has been a busy couple of weeks. In reality what I’m probably saying, in the context of 16 months of living through a World Pandemic. Is that I’ve had a couple of almost normal weeks. It is not my body that has noticed, particularly, but my mind. I constantly worry that I have forgotten something but actually haven’t, so far.
Yesterday I introduced a Tamar Valley friend to Tranquility bay. Tranquility Bay is just to the east of the perilously swirling waters of Devils Point where the River Tamar enters Plymouth Sound. She lives with her family,near the river, in the Historically Industrial and Horticultural areas about 10 miles upstream. It is surprising how little known these beautiful and unspoilt beaches are, even to people who live fairly close by. Seeing somewhere familiar through new eyes is always enlightening . Also because I was not swimming the dogs got to walk there too so it was a double bonus visit.
Visits for bobbing at Tranquility Bay have been quite social events this week. Family members coming along to bask in the sun and see the location of our year round swimming ( bobbing) adventures. Today was a red letter day, visitors and a full turnout of the new hoodies.
Tranquility Bay and Devils Point did not allow us to be the only vibrant attractions.
Even a flower was out being vivid while clinging to the wall.
I’ve spent the day immersed in Tranquility Bay. Not actually, of course, but it has filled my mind a lot. The next exhibition I am taking part in is called Resurgam.
The work we offer for selection should reflect new beginnings after the last year of Pandemic restrictions and lockdowns. I am planning a series of paintings to reflect the sense of calm that sea swimming has created while the world has been a little crazy.
4 mini pictures are on the go at the moment.
They feature the rocks at Tranquility Bay at High Tide. They are resting overnight to be finished later in the week. The best way to clean painty fingers is to take a dip in the actual Tranquility Bay. The sunset was bright and I was feeling bold so I took the phone into the water to catch some waves.
A touch of increased saturation in the camera settings makes the photography quite painterly. Really cold fingers meant that this camera moment couldn’t last long .
The one above has an abstract sparkly heart. The paintings are also waiting for some sparkle, I’m waiting for some gold leaf to put in Drakes Island.
The weather today was better than expected. We walked a very long way today. All over the Stonehouse Peninsular. George the dog in the picture above with one of his many Nun friends is a regular dog about town in Stonehouse. He is a therapy dog based at Nazareth House, a residential care home for Adults. When not delivering therapy he can be seen on walks with one of the Sisters or occasionally just basking on the Cliffs.
Another swimming blog! Unapologetically , not just because I can use Friday mornings pictures . But because we decided as a group that the coldest of the winter is behind us. There is no science behind this and we could just be feeling skittish because Spring is about to be sprung. Woolly hats were discarded this morning. Less layers of Thermal underwear packed, for the socially distanced swimming after-party. We are imagining altered horizons! All this on an early morning diet of Horlicks, Hot Chocolate, tea and coffee with a side order of caterpillars.
Not a Crazy South American mind expanding hallucinogenic gathering. Just sensible body warming steps to avoid ‘ after drop’ ( Sudden coarse shivering , a reaction that isn’t pleasant and can occur after cold water immersion) . The Caterpillars were an added bonus not a regular habit.
But for now, post- caterpillars, this is the reality in March 2021.
The Nearly There Trees get a second outing this month simply because ‘Nearly There’ is my bonus point on my game of Boris Bingo . A game played by matching words used by the Prime Minister during a press conference.
As it happens ‘ Nearly There’ didnt come up! I don’t have a painting called ‘Some Way to go still’ Not as prepared as I thought I was!
By contrast our sea swim was a huge success . Blue, twinkly with plenty of sunshine.
We had a fabulous half hour in the water and the sunshine on our faces was a massive boost.
Our Vitamin D harvest took very little effort today. The water was still a bit grubby from the weekend storms but calm enough that we were joined by paddle boarders and Kayakers.
Not too bad for the middle of February.
P.S my failure at Boris Bingo can probably be explained by the Prime Minister taking on a new team of advisers. I had planned for the Cockwaffle Protocol. I was not prepared for the change!
Storm Christoph blew off today leaving us with this gloriously red sunset. Firestone Bay living up to its name, although it has this name for a different reason.
It is named for all the canon balls that were fired into the bay in canon ball times.
The day started pretty greige but the weather forecast showed us a rain free gap in the morning. A walk in the woods was prescribed during the gap between yet more unexpected and unplanned domestic admin. The woods did not disappoint, some lively vibrant colours, plenty of water, courtesy of Storm Christoph and the first signs of Spring.
Our hour of exercise was soon over and it was time to return to the domestic admin but not before we sought out some more vivid colours in the car wash.
Our domestic admin had some requirements beyond our home, the timng of which was random but had to be done before 5 which took us to Devils Point at the perfect time for a brief and unexpectedly lush sunset. This is a good thing because domestic admin can be dull!
Lets build up to this, we all know where this is going.