Pandemic Pondering #286

Rescued Gerbera see PP#343

Today started earlyish, a dog walk prior to another morning swim. These are ponderings in a pandemic there will be a certain repetitive nature to my ponders. Dog walks, coffee and some wittering- on are the skeleton on which a pondering is built. As luck would have it a new habit of ‘ Bobbing’ started during the first lockdown, something new to bore you with. Often any of these activities occurs within the beautiful landscape that we are lucky enough to live in. Usually any activity can create a photo opportunity but not today. Greige was the state of the weather this morning. My excuse for using a bright Gerbera picture as the header image.

©Andy Cole

By the time we got to the ‘ Bobbing’ part of the day the greige had lifted a little. On the way to our beach we spotted a pod of dolphins cavorting in Firestone Bay. If we had swum a little earlier they would have been playing in our swimming area. Sadly they were attracted away by stand up paddle boarders. SUP’s. One of them captured this amazing picture. Something we would never have managed during our cold, submerged activity.

©South West Sup

Time for this ponder to stop and just appreciate this beautiful creature.

Pandemic Pondering #283

The sun shone for the last walk around Sutton Harbour and the Barbican of 2020. It also snowed a little.

Our evening went to plan . This is the photograph for our family and friends distance, thousands of miles and many time zones, social media party.

Television watching for two, oh the dizzy heights!

The plan had actually been to go to bed early and show 2020 the disdain it deserves and sleep through its passing but actually it feels only responsible to not only see the year leave but also to make sure it has actually gone and shut the door behind it. For such a responsible observation a far less frivolous drink is required.

A fine cup of decaffeinated Yorkshire Tea and a Cornish Shortbread. Far less giddy than that party pleasing Snowball. Also guarantees a good nights sleep, essential after a year like 2020!

I can confirm 2020 left the building and the door slammed shut behind it.

Pandemic Pondering #267

Yesterday I said that dog walking could be repetitive. But today blogging is repetitive. Yesterday I was out early to catch the dawn and today was the same, strengthened by the knowledge that yesterday, dawn was about the only time the sun showed it’s face.

Forder Creek, at dawn. A wonderful place to walk at low tide.

Penzance to Paddington.
Paddington to Penzance

True to form the sun rose and was briefly beautiful but soon the ghastly greige of a West Country winter set in. My morning was filled with delivering this month’s books to the Bookworms reading group. Lunchtime however brought a very bright surprise. I went for a dog walk with a friend in Victoria Park, Plymouth, followed by an impromptu visit to a wonderful interiors shop. But it was the exteriors that chased away the greige of the day.

http://www.annterior.co.uk
http://www.annterior.co.uk

It’s not only sunshine that chases away the greige.

Pandemic Pondering #229

This is the face of a dog who believes her humans are not performing due diligence to her needs.

In truth her humans were tied up with life admin and paperwork. It’s amazing that really well filed information only three years old is more difficult to find than 100 year old documents @theoldmortuary . 100 year old documents are enormous time wasters, as are old family photographs and any number of the things we found today. The job expanded to fill the time available.

In other news we are preparing for lockdown and rather than panic buying we are panic socialising . Touching base with a few people before we are banned.

Either activity is not as popular as a good long walk with either dog.

Hugo being dogged

Pandemic Pondering #220

There is a significance to the number of this blog. Come inside and I will explain.

In 100 blogs time I will have been pondering the pandemic for roughly a year. I say roughly because some days there was more than one blog and sometimes a subject took a few days to complete so the same number was used until I was done.

At the time of Pandemic Pondering #1, I had no idea of what was ahead of me, or indeed the rest of the world. #1 was ahead of the government imposed Lockdown in Britain because I was displaying symptoms of a virus and decided to self isolate. I had been unwell for much of March but believed it just to be a regular virus gifted by a toddler. As we have learned more about Covid 19 I do wonder if @theoldmortuary had actually grabbed ourselves an early version.

At the time I was practicing daily blogging, ready for a course with The Gentle Author.

https://spitalfieldslife.com/

Here I am just over 2/3 of the way through a year still waiting to attend the course and the Pandemic still giving me plenty to ponder about.

Some days write themselves and others need a little more effort to extrude. Dog walks are a great source of blogging material, beyond that the subjects or topics usually just reveal themselves during normal daily life, sometimes we seek things out because they might make a good blog. Meanwhile normal daily life goes on @theoldmortuary, 90% of it too humdrum for blogging.

I was always the sort of child that dreamed about keeping a daily diary. I never achieved it because I had always bored myself within a week. The same thing happened at various times in my life both with diaries and scrapbooks. I started blogging nearly three years ago because I wanted to regain my story telling skills; a career in the NHS prizes factual writing over whimsy. I also like to take photographs, sometimes they are quite random but most can be made useful in some way. In truth, blogging actually started when someone made a cutting and thoughtless remark to me about both writing and photography. Seething, I began blogging and the title could easily have been ‘ F**k You’

It has become a daily habit or ritual, blogging forces me to find something interesting in every day. Some days it has enabled me to concentrate on the positive when sadness and dismay were the actual truth of our lived experience. I am constantly learning and I should probably delete much of the last three years blogs on the grounds of badly written nonsense. Ponderings seem protected and will be excused any future cull because in my mind their mission statement to continue through the experience of this Pandemic makes them many pieces of a whole project.

I strongly suspect I will still be at this pondering malarkey in another 100 days, when @theoldmortuary hits 1 year of pondering. Thankyou for reading. Please close the doors on your way out.

Pandemic Pondering #216

The weather has been a little wetter this week than at any time during Ponderings. It means that daily dog walks require a little more planning, or in fact less, if the serendipity of a dry spell is to be utilised . Two dogs with a good proportion of poodle in them equates to eight little paws that act as sponges in wet and muddy conditions. Any walk is best finished with a bit of pavement walking to stamp off the worst of the weather before entering the house. Our walk yesterday produced these three lovely pictures of autumn leaves all within a few yards of each other.

I took these three pictures and then promptly forgot about looking for the beauty that was laying at my feet. I realised that I have already missed the glossy perfection that is conkers emerging from their velvety beds within spiky shells. Also cobnuts and hazelnuts have been and gone. Just a little research in the picture archive gave me this painting of cobnuts, figs and blackberries from two years ago.

I need to start paying a bit more attention to things before the colours of autumn are lost for another year.

Pandemic Pondering#85

South East Cornwall received a month’s worth of rain today. The day’s activities were not planned by a clock but by a weather forecasting App.Most of January, February and March of 2020 were the same and then with Lockdown for the pandemic the weather changed to something resembling the Mediterranean. Some days we’ve had to plan dog walks to avoid the heat. Today was a shock to the system. Puddles where previously we experienced dust bowls.The change in weather gave Lola a massive sense of her own destiny. Authoritarian signs were not going to stop her.She was straight out of the nature reserve and straight into the churchyard.Finding a brown dog in a churchyard is a tricksy thing, it took a while,but I forgave her when I found this grave. It forms the boundary of the graveyard and I walk past the back of it every day. So much information …This gentleman drowned in the Hamoaze on April 10th 1834. Aged63He wasn’t found until 6th May, unsurprisingly his remains were interred the very next day.So much information and completely plays to my nosey, or do I mean interested side. A quick glance to the grave next door added another possible layer to this already sad story.Another gentleman with the same name is also listed as drowned on December 29 th 1803. Aged 54.There has to be a story here, probably very sad and entirely suited to a grey day.I’ve noticed during my weather watching during the pandemic that I am extraordinarily thrilled to know whether my gibbous is waxing or waning.

Pandemic Pondering #30

Book bags and Woodland walks, featuring dog bums

We don’t forward plan much these days. A firming up of rules on driving to exercise during Coronovirus Restrictions freed us up to venture just a little further afield. The journey also gave us the chance to drop bags of books on the doorsteps of ‘Shielding Bookworms’ , actually members of a local book club,who need to self isolate for 12 weeks. Describing them as I did I made them sound like a covert infestation requiring pesticide.

Cadsonbury Woods, a Riverside walk near Callington has been a favourite walk for 30 years. It has an additional uphill walk to an ancient Hill Fort. We rarely do that because we always have the dogs and the fields are often being grazed by sheep. Without the dogs we would normally sprint up hills of such challenging gradients like mountain goats. Not today.
https://www.tamarvalleyvibe.uk/?p=1639

There were a few cars in the car park but we mostly had the woods to ourselves. Most visitors must have been of the mountain goat variety.

The birdsong was beautiful and recent work, felling trees to protect the river bank from erosion, had really opened up the walk to bright daylight. We even found a Memorial Bench.

There’s a lot of dog bums in the following pictures, some faces, some nature in springtime but I completely forgot to take a picture of the most significant part of the outing.

A cup of tea from a flask and a shortbread biscuit, which we had to share, after a couple of hours of walking in the woods. Bliss in these unusual times.

Pandemic Ponderings #2

This is not the blog I imagined I would be writing today. Yesterday I did some classes at the gym and as the day progressed I thought I had given my chest and neck muscles a good work out. But the pain settled around my ears and even my unpredictable exercise moves could not give me an ear workout.

So a virus has found its way in, maybe not The Virus, but a virus never the less. So it’s social isolation for me and I may as well measure time using this.

Like all viruses Coronovirus has a pleasing organic image.

As we all know this pretty thing originated in China. As luck would have it I have a Chinese chrysanthemum that nicely fits in with pretty round organic shapes.

Fortunately theoldmortuary is very close to a nature reserve so I did not feel too much of a fool walking the dogs dressed as the Lone Ranger. I didn’t meet a soul.

Everything looks better in the sunshine.

This morning’s dog walk was always going to be beautiful. Amazing bright sunshine after a rare, for this winter, frost.

Sunshine lifts the soul. What better than to do a great walk not once but twice, the second time extremely slowly.

I opted for the nature reserve walk this morning even though time was limited as I had some gym sessions booked.

On the way I took photos of mundane things looking glorious in the sun.

Lola and I had a moment in the sun, represented by long shadows.

Even the festive wreath was given its last moment of beauty before being cast into the compost heap.

This was moments before I discovered the house keys had exited my jeans pocket at some point during the walk.

The second walk was much slower, scanning the ground for the recalcitrant keys. Unhappy dogs kept on their leads for added concentration.

Luckily everything does look better in sunshine and keys twinkle.