#489 theoldmortuary ponders.

I have been having a bit of a fiddle superimposing photographs with watercolour washes. This is not the look I was aiming for, even in digital art happy accidents happen. I love the coppery tones that a splash of watercolour brings to this sunrise. Suddenly a real photograph becomes fantastical. More like a stormy sunset but facing in the wrong direction. This is absolute serendipity, I could never have planned this but accidents happen.

#404 theoldmortuary ponders

This was quite the morning for a bob. Not that the water was quite like this when we were in. Half an hour before this picture,while we were in the water, it was bumpy and grey, 13 degrees in the water and 9 out.

Rainbows were an added bonus. This is how all winter Mondays should start. Then lunch out and an afternoon spent with a carpet cleaning machine, I’m not sure that necessarily is the way the day should have gone but any artistic endeavours involve a man relieving himself in a back street. So the options are not great.Last Monday we were leaving Dublin and a week on I still haven’t nattered on about The Guinness Storehouse. One of Europes best tourist attractions. It was the only truly tourist haunt that we visited. Not exactly the worlds most hardened drinkers the building was definitely the most intriguing aspect of the visit. The whole point of the building is to turn lime green hops and water.

Into black and white porter, in this case Guinness.

The finer points of brewing passed me by but the magisterial building was wonderful.

People who know a whole lot more than me believe that Guinness tastes better in Dublin. At the end of our tour we got a pint each. That is a lot of something to base an opinion on and yet I remain quite unable to tell anyone if a Dublin Guinness is significantly different from one served anywhere else, but regardless it slipped down very well in a very beautiful building.

#149 theoldmortuary ponders

Starting the day with a sunset maybe a bit counterintuitive but last nights sunset was so crisp and clean it is a shame not to share it.

Sunsets were a bit of a thing yesterday in the studio too. Still sticking with the coursework of my ‘ Finding Your Colour Voice’ I painted a bobber, wearing a ‘Raspberry Beret’ in the style of meditative shape making and colour blending.

And there I leave you with a fine and delicious earworm for the day.

#130 theoldmortuary ponders

February weather was as colourful yesterday as my art life is all day, currently.

Juggling the needs of life, dogs, blogs and an on-line colour course.

UK-based visual artist

Immersion technique is vital in both sea swimming and working through the exercises set by Tansy on the course.

I am pretty much on target with life, but the colour course not so much. A daily lesson is uploaded and there are weekend projects.

Here we are on Tuesday already and the paint is only just drying on Fridays tasks. I’m using watercolour which dries in seconds so I am substantially behind.

So, for me, Tuesday is the new Saturday. Tomorrow is of course Wednesday, a day I have high hopes of catching up. I have one of those 8-8 time slots for a booked gas boiler service. 12 hours in which to wait for an engineer to arrive when in theory I can whip out my paint brushes and fill my time with colour.

In truth I have four months to get all the colour course tasks completed. This is not good news for a recidivist procrastinator.

The End

#120 theoldmortuary ponders

A different perspective. Two hours before I took this photograph I was doing the pre-swim dog walk in the area very close to the orange arrow in this photograph. The weather was the polar opposite of this bright blue scene. Literally, ice cold needles of rain were penetrating my warm clothing and the dogs were super grumpy, actually they needed a poo but were both not prepared to spin and then stand still in such disgusting weather. I was absolutely not feeling the love for the morning bob. The grumpy dogs did eventually complete their eliminations and I could return home to the ritual of pouring myself into a damp wet suit. Rumpling chubby bits into neoprene with some degree of speed never improves my state of mind. Achieving a relatively quick turn around I was shocked to discover that the area below the orange arrow had taken a better turn and the water that awaited me looked like this. The bob was absolutely wonderful, and the post bob snacks of afternoon tea cakes,bought by Kim Bobber, gave the morning a proper boost.

Swimming/ bobbing achieved we had another quick turn around and drove off to Mountbatten which is where the top photograph was taken along with the following ones.

Plymouth Barbican and Sutton Harbour from Mountbatten
The Citadel and the Hoe from Mountbatten

Fired up by the sugar hit from Kim’s cakes I decided to do a longish but quick walk around the Mountbatten peninsular. I found some very curiously marked bollards. I was late for a planned meeting time so I was unable to unearth their significance or reason for being. But for now I can use them as a Saturday warning to all.

Re arranged for effect, of course .

#118 theoldmortuary ponders

A daily blog is a funny old thing. Sometimes I have a little stash of thing to write about and other times , for no particular reason, there is a bit of an empty cupboard. Today the cupboard is not exactly empty but the ideas on the shelves are not thrilling me. However there is a serendipitous bit of wordplay to share. Very strange atmospheric conditions this morning meant that barely perceptible mist landed on everything making diamond- like droplets on things and humans. The safety bar near our swimming zone twinkled in the weak sunlight. Not quite so attractively an old WW2 building, close by has been unimaginatively embellished with Graffiti. The whole thing being brought together with a witty sentence.

Giving me the chance to natter on about two sorts of bar. Exactly the sort of thing to keep blogging alive on a misty morning.

#113 theoldmortuary ponders.

Not exactly another blog about bobbing but possibly a blog about plans, chance and expensive serendipity. Everything came together for this blog. The tide was perfect for bobbing at midday. The sun was scheduled to come out between 12 noon and 1pm and Spearmint the seal was hauled up a mile away . There is reason this picture is a little bit unusual, and the reason I have allowed myself to bore you all with another blog about bobbing. You might notice that there are gentle undulating waves for two of the bobbers to swim on. This is far from normal in our little bay. Friday was serendipitously not a normal day nautically. Out to sea, beyond our field of view there were many Nato warships taking part in an exercise. In the hour or so that we were bobbing or drying off, there were many tugs going in and out of the dockyard to help the larger ships navigate the complexities of Plymouth Sound. Almost certainly a very expensive way to provide us with gentle rolling waves for the duration of our bob. Serendipity at its serendipitous best.

#82 theoldmortuary ponders

Raindrops keep falling on my blog/dog/seal.

Betwixt and between, hovering, damply between Christmas and the New Year. Hovering also in some marshy uncertainty of the Pandemic and the worlds route forward.

Traditionally this is a time of walking and enjoying fresh air and inspiring views. As spectacle wearers there has to be some expectation of reasonable weather. Today is not that day.

Todays walk was a blurry meander with the sole purpose of doggy elimination. Not the sort that has clearly annoyed a neighbour. We are very responsible dog owners.

Lovely use of a festive gift label, top marks for recycling. The specificity of this message is gorgeous, were I to have a large brown bear would his defaecation really be as welcome as this sign implies?

The high and turning point of todays walk is when both dogs have done a poo, texture and quality are discussed before it is cleared away swiftly and hygienically. ( Should you be interested we have passed through the days of over indulgence of turkey to the normalcy of regular eating and bran flakes)

Even Miss Spearmint feels a little disappointed in the weather. What is the point of hauling out on a dark background if there are not many photographers about.

#34 theoldmortuary ponders

Goodness me, another late blog for the best of reasons!

November is my birthday month so I always get a boost of love and gifts in one of the darkest months.

November 2019 was pretty stormy and in November most normal human beings knew little of what the next 4 months would do to the whole of the worlds population. At a more granular level we certainly thought life would evolve and change at a fairly normal pace. In November 2019 we got our kicks on my birthday walking on stormy beaches Then a pandemic happened and strange and unsettling things changed our lives forever. Wind on two years and we get our kicks swimming in stormy seas in November and any other month. What started as an alternative to swimming in swimming pools during lockdown has become at least a twice a week habit. Winter swimming in particular is addictive and hugely rewarding, the buzz after a winter swim is hard to explain.

Todays swim was pretty rough and bouncy but enormously energising.

And then the bobbers had a surprise in store, and this is the reason for the late blog. After our 9:30 swim we had an 11:00 birthday party. The sugar and carb rush of party food on top of the post swimming high is an extraordinary feeling. We may never give this sea swimming malarkey up and with 14 of us in our group now there will always be the occasional party!

#16 theoldmortuary ponders

Waking up in the dark to start the day is becoming our autumn/ winter normal. My phone woke me up this morning with a blast of sunshine, with the photograph above. Bright sunshine on 25th October at Rock in Cornwall 5 years ago.

This morning there is very little gap between bed and a swim in the sea. I can already tell there will be no sunshine to stroll to the beach in. I suppose that is part of the charm of October. It is never entirely certain what shape any particular day will take, weather wise. Our evening walk last night revealed beaches overwhelmed with seaweed after the storms of last week which is also in stark contrast to that beautiful beach of five years ago. There is an upside to this, we plan to start making our own compost again and it would make sense to gather seaweed to mix with our teabags and coffee grounds. So today may be the day to make our first harvest. Moving house and garden is, as is always said, a big thing. We’ve moved from somewhere that every square inch of the property and garden was lovingly designed and planned by us to somewhere that was someone elses home for longer than I have been alive. In this regard planning a new compost bin is almost the first new plan we have put in place, as we promised ourselves we would give the house some time to reveal its quirks and charms to us before doing anything major. I realise a compost bin is not major! We also need to learn to live in this location before we make too many changes that we may come to regret.

Luckily for this blog one of the other 25th October pictures, that I was woken up with, suggests calm contemplation. Something that is needed along with Google to make seaweed into compost. A cup of tea on Wembury beach, 4 years ago, is a lovely way to suggest time spent researching the rotting properties of seaweed.

I wonder how today is going to shape up?

The final of the three wake up pictures is also beach related. Sai Kung in Hong Kong, 6 years ago. I think I can say with some certainty that today is not going to be a day for vivid crabs. But this is October, anything could happen.