#4 theoldmortuary ponders.

Yesterday evening was the first time for a few weeks that I was able to walk along the coastal path nearest to the swimming beach that the ‘bobbers’ prefer to use. The beaches and the coastal path beyond the Artillery Tower have been closed for essential maintenance. Although the path is now open, the steps and slopes that allow us to get into the water at high tide are being refurbished.

We often joke that our ‘free’ hobby is anything but free as we buy various bits of equipment to make winter swimming easier and safer to achieve. But for our local council maintaining the concrete against twice daily tides and winter storms must be a huge budgetary responsibility.

Looking at the amount of work that has been done I’m pretty grateful that my only responsibility before winter is to get a wetsuit. But for now October is still being kind to us.

©Debs Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #542

©Debs Bobber

Devon threw out all the Greek vibes this Monday morning. Bobbers were a split pack today with two sessions, one at 10am and one at 7pm. This glorious blue tidal pool welcomed the morning bobbers. Meanwhile post the Burgh Island swim we were at Beesands. The lobster boats were also feeling a bit greek too

Hugo and Lola have no idea what Greek is but they struck a heroic pose regardless.

Meanwhile back with the early bobbers the summer clouds just kept drifting across the sky.

© Debs Bobber

The 7 pm bobbers didn’t quite get the Greek treatment from the weather. But a high tide and warm water is all we need and that is pretty much what we got.

Pandemic Pondering #516

Hot on the heels of yesterdays morning blog is an evening blog of the same day, and two pictures from the exact same position with only a dog walk between them. Between yesterdays blog and this one lies the path of a day taken up by stuff, complicated by maintainance work on a local bridge. A normal 20 minute journey swelled to fill an hour and I missed an appointment. Rebooked for two hours later I filled my time with delivering brochures for an upcoming Open Studios event.

And took a trip to the supermarket. The appointment required me not to drive for two hours after so I was ‘forced’ to enjoy a late lunch in a friends garden and soak up the sun whilst my eyes returned to a normal, not blurry, way of life. Time then to head for home and get all the day jobs done. Before heading out for the evening dog walk which provided the two pictures that top and tail this blog. Since moving, our evening dog walk always takes in the area around the Royal William Yard, especially since the evenings have started to get darker. Royal William Yard is a collection of Military Buildings in Plymouth.

https://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/explore/areas-to-visit/royal-william-yard

Between the two photos we walked up to a meadow and the dogs chased each other inside the old, second world war gun emplacements of Devils Point.

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/history/world-war-two-defences-you-2750611

I’m sure the longer we live here the more the history will soak into our bones but right now every slab of concrete is a complete mystery to us.

Returning to our original position, night was properly upon us.Time to turn our twelve feet for home.

Pandemic Pondering #490

In the night garden. Late yesterday evening was our first foray into a secret garden close to the new house. The weather was unsure of the exact plan and the evening light was strange. Familiar plants took on slightly surreal shapes as we walked around an unfamiliar place.

I’m unsure how regular our visits will be to this new destination. Sometimes the purpose of a place is not immediately obvious and takes time to reveal itself.

I slightly suspect it will become a place to quietly enjoy plants and books .

But a first visit in a dimpsy, twilight was a good introduction to the future possibilities.

Pandemic Pondering #489

What lies beneath? From personal experience all sorts of bobbing paraphernalia that we somehow manage to lose during a dip. Even if a bobber notices immediately we never seem to be able to recover the missing item. We joke that there is a cave where the seal keeps all the human trinkets that he finds in the sea that is either lost or caught in the rising tide. Yesterday something caught the eye of a bobber in about 80 cms of water. Someones precious Apple Watch. No one else on the beach and no clue to the owner. We took it home and placed a message on a local lost and found site and a swimmers page.

Nothing happened all day but in the evening a man knocked on our door. He had been tracking his watch and had tried many houses before he got to us. Watch and man were reunited, seemingly very happily.

Pandemic Pondering #486

Spring colours on a summers day.

©Debs Bobber

Yesterday was on the cusp, caught somewhere between a summer heatwave and the inevitable summer storm. In some ways a perfect day for capturing bright colours that are bleached out by harsh sunlight and that struggle to shine in a storm. These ice-cream coloured houses are on the way to our regular swimming bay. They exactly match a chrysanthemum that is currently living in our kitchen.

I want to become Lilliputian in size and stretch out in the centre of this gorgeous flower and then take a dip in this tiny emerald rockpool that also twinkled in the softer sun of yesterday.

©Debs Bobber

In reality, of course I am far from Lilliputian. The chrysanthemum may well contain an earwig who would gobble me up for a snack if I were so small.

Yesterdays changeling weather also brought new swimming companions to the bay. Not the sort that make us gasp with excitement, more a tingle of anticipation, and certainly not something Lilliputian me would like to meet in a rockpool.

©Elle White Devon Wild Swimming

The Compass Jellyfish was basking in the shallows yesterday. The stinging nettles of the sea. Our photograph was rather drear but this lovely green one from a local Wild Swimming site captures yesterdays colours perfectly. Have a lovely Saturday.

Pandemic Pondering #481

Sun setting on an extraordinary weekend. But also a reminder to always keep our eyes open. Today I walked passed an ex-colleague who I would dearly have loved to have a natter with. Our weekend has been filled with meteorological sunshine. It’s pretty cool to walk from home to overlook the finish line of an International Sailing competition and your tea still be too hot to drink on arrival.

And then to watch the competitors sail back in to their temporary accommodation.

The sunshine also lit up our back yard.

And at night the back yard lit itself up.

All that lovely sunshine stored up in Solar panels to make the evening brighter. This weekend has also had some darker moments but life just like the weather can’t be constant sunshine, we just need to keep some reserves in hand to make these things more tolerable.

In other news, a very old bear was unpacked today. There was a serious problem with his stuffing which required immediate attention. The patient is seen here enjoying a post anaesthetic cup of tea. He will soon be back on his feet.

©Gill Bobber/ Marianne Bobber

Passionfruit and Mango Sundaes to mark the end of Sunday.

©Hannah Bobber

Pandemic Pondering #472

Debs Bobber

Hard on the heels of the Friday blog is the Saturday blog. The waters between Drakes Island and the tidal pool is a very busy stretch of water. Some of the most regular users are the Dockyard Tugs. This one is Faithful and is a Twin Tractor Unit Tug, built in 1985.

All the Bobbers love it when a Tug chugs past on a swimming session, there is a delicious thrum that goes through the water and resonates in our bones.

The name Faithful also gives me the chance to share a rare Celebrity anecdote. Sharing is the rarity. Having worked in Harley Street and in proper London Hospitals we’ve many an amusing tale filed away but confidentiality is a hurdle to witty celebrity nattering.

We were at a festival a few years ago when we saw some kitten heeled feet sticking out of a bush, closer inspection found them to be attached to a woman, still holding a glass, we grabbed her arms and pulled her out and she carried on walking without comment. Coincidentally a similar thing had happened to us at a different event about a year before. The women’s surnames were Faithful and Pallenburg. It’s not everyday you find someone in an awkward situation but finding two Rolling Stones muses in separate bushes is quite a story. Of course both the women in question were substantial people in their own right, but it can be argued that their fame and friendship began when they were associated with the Rolling Stones which is why I’ve allowed myself to use the word ‘ muse’.

Pandemic Pondering #462

This is an image from our evening walk, coming out from the tunnel was the nighttime sound of a Jazz Saxophonist. Rather lovely.

The day preceeding the evening walk was rather less lovely. Several trips to the tip and the house moving favourite, cleaning the oven! We’ve been in the physical part of this house move for 5 days now, cardboard boxes are the most prominent feature of our current lives.

Since we have no usable sofas currently, walking is the best way to stretch our hard-working backs. We stopped a while to watch the sun disappear.

Until tomorrow…

Pandemic Pondering #458

Summer Saturdays are an early morning swim.

Although at low tide the first bit is a bit of a wade through seaweed beds and rough stones. The ferries to France have become more regular swimming neighbours.

Saturdays are also about loving a friends picture of Fanny the Gipsy Hill cat completely owning the Oyster/Card reader, no fare dodgers on Fanny’s shift.

©Keith Hide

Saturdays are about enjoying new poppies in a friends garden, grown from seed from our own poppies @theoldmortuary

©Kim Cole
@theoldmortuary

And currently Saturdays are about loads of domestic admin, represented here by Peonies and the dining table which looks calm in this picture but has been a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff in the last few hours.

All clear and ready to be filled with even more stuff in a few hours. Summer Saturdays are currently about being busy!