Pandemic Pondering #354

Its been a funny old week. Too much domestic admin has tied me to the house and the weather has been too contrary for us to plan any coastal swims.

As soon had we cancelled this afternoons ‘bob’ the sun came out in a blaze of glory.

What you cant see in this photo is a very chilly wind blowing up the river.

The local RNLI have been suggesting all week that sea swimming should be a wisely considered option considering weather and tides on a daily basis.

We also follow a local swimming group for advice on safety.

Link above is to a video taken at our swimming beach at the time we were planning to swim.

Im glad we made the call not to swim today.

The dogs benefitted from a very sunny walk . There is always tomorrow for a swim.

Pandemic Pondering #331

Pondering may just have taken a new turn towards dull. Miss Lola is in season for the first time in any lockdown. Not only are we restricted geographically by Covid restrictions but now I need to find walks with no other dogs. It always surprises me that men, and it is always men, moan at me for taking a bitch for a walk when she is in season when their own dogs are running off the lead with a pair of massive testicles swinging in the breeze. My unusual walks today have taken me to very familiar spots but in a part that I rarely visit.

Low tide at the Waterside exposes beach that is rarely seen . It’s not particularly picturesque. There is a hotchpotch of tatty old boats that definitely look nicer floating on a full tide. But there are some lovely things to see.

A terracotta pipe that spends most of the time submerged in the tidal waters of the Tamar river.

A gathering of old ropes.

Moist seaweed fronds hanging below a pier.

Some ever watching eyes.

And a lone trainer. I could ponder on about a missing trainer on a beach. The red laces are a gift to a photographer and the unusual design caught my eye. Who is the person who lost this shoe? The location below the Tamar Road Bridge is infamous because, sadly, successful suicide attempts end up in this stretch of the river. Of course this shoe is far more likely to have been lost during a leisure pursuit, but shoes lost in desolate places do have a poignant aura.

Anyway we managed to avoid any other dogs and went home for some domestica and then returned later for the evening walk. Elwell Woods is just above the river where we walked this morning. Somewhat cut off from the town this was a historically significant area with a freshwater spring that provided water to the town , first documented in 1284. For nearly 100 years there was a brewery here . More recently there was an electricity generator but ultimately the Tamar Bridge was built in 1961, the access road has isolated this area from the rest of the town. However a recent Celtic Cross has been erected in the area.

It is supposed to be a significant sculpture to mark travellers entry into Cornwall. It is beautiful but the scale makes it fairly insignificant. Angel of the North it is not!

Meanwhile Lola would rather just be snuggled up.

Pandemic Pondering #318

Thermal underwear can make you do crazy things. Yesterday was a day of sunshine with a side order of mud.

Everywhere here is pretty sodden with rain and winteriness. Some regular dog walks have been abandoned because they are just too muddy. The arrival of unexpected sunshine coupled with thermal underwear made walking without a warm coat entirely possible. My choice of walk has a semi-permeable surface that drains well, all should have been well but the dogs did not stick to the path. Beyond the confines of the path the parkland was a riot of quagmire and fascinating smells. Some of which the dogs felt obliged to roll in.

It was such a sunny day , two circuits of the park were completed. I was feeling toasty but the dogs were two muddy sponges, filled to capacity with moisture and mud. The ecstatic cuddles when we returned to the car were a mixed blessing.

The second walk of the day involved Tarmac and water contained in its proper place.

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.