#117 theoldmortuary ponders

Yesterday was a dull thing. So I’ve borrowed some images from last year to jazz up todays blog. Over the weekend I was talking to some friends who have had a protracted house move. Protracted because they inherited a partial share of a house many years ago and were unsure quite what to do with the property. Some years down the line they have bought it completely and are moving this week. Like us they have also lived the South London/ West Country life for many years, until Covid changed everyones way of living.

The topic of our conversation was too many bathroom products. Both cleaning and beautifying.

Our recent move followed several years of changing circumstances all of which seemed to increase our collection of half used bathroom products.

Our actual move and settling into the current house went well and we were tidy in record time. Except the cupboard of shame! A floor to ceiling cupboard that held products that had been inherited and duplicated many times in various changes of life circumstances.

Talking about it made me realise that it was never going to sort itself out.

There was nothing pretty or exciting about a day spent checking pots and bottles. Amalgamating window cleaners and liquid soap. Cleaning hair brushes and make up/ travel bags.

The task, though, has been achieved. Last night the talk was all about what to do with an empty cupboard!

Oh the glamour of a dull February day!

#99 theoldmortuary ponders

Earlier this week the dogs had a true post pandemic moment. Of course they probably have no concept of the pandemic but they must be aware that the past two years they have spent far more quality time with us. This week they went to the vets and a mummy was actually allowed to accompany them into the consulting room. Such is the skill of animal nurses and vets that they almost certainly have no thoughts on attending the vets without us. But for the humans @theoldmortuary visits to the vets have been additionally traumatic as we have had to wait in the car park as they have endured, and not always silently, their various treatments and procedures. Our veteran 24 year old cat took the single ticket, one way trip to the surgery last summer and Hugo has had a very intimate area probed. His howls of indignity filled the car park and set off supportive howls from all the dogs in the car park. Lola in particular took the howling to operatic levels of sound and drama. So as they snuggle on the rug I imagine they are looking at me with gratitude.

But in reality I think they would like me to move on and leave them in peace.

#96 theoldmortuary ponders

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.

Luxury Yacht just off Drakes Island.

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.

#88 theoldmortuary ponders

The first sunrise picture of 2022. The temperature has plummeted and even the coastal pigeon is feeling the chill.

Over Christmas I read a fabulous paragraph that has engaged my pondering head enormously.

A fact is information minus emotion. An opinion is information plus experience. Ignorance is an opinion lacking information, and stupidity is an opinion that ignores a fact.

The first pure ponder of 2022, it’s enough to make a pigeon stare.

Pandemic Pondering #545

New home for neon

The weather today was not glorious, it was perfectly fine but we decided to hit the to-do list. Hannah picked up a paint brush and the exterior paint pot and took on walls and the outside toilet. I rearranged the work room and found a new home for @theoldmortuary neon sign. The reason for this flurry of activity is that while we were renting this house we promised the previous owner that we would do nothing structural. So when we moved in many of our unpackings and placements were temporary and we had to store quite a bit of stuff in the work room. Now we have actually owned it for a week it’s time to crack the whip on our to- do list. The paintwork is just on a first coat so that will feature on another blog. Oh the anticipation of a freshly painted outside loo !

A tidy work room also benefits from some neon placement.

The yard is proper twinkly now the neon has been unpacked and turned on.

Which makes for some interesting shapes and shadows.

Pandemic Pondering #500

500 Pandemic Ponderings and the world is still in the grip of something that affects everyone. Currently our planet is still gripped and the Pandemic is far from over.Who knows how this part of our history will end.

@theoldmortuary, just like everyone, is in quite a different place at #500 to where we were at #1. No longer living at the actual Old Mortuary, that was never a plan!

Today though, beyond PP#500, is pretty average. We took a trip out to Tavistock in the rain. The rain gave me all the images for this blog. A rain swollen river + my silky water feature on the phone camera is as good an illustration for time passing as I could muster today.

We went to Tavistock to visit the Drawn to the Valley exhibition again and to visit the Saturday market.

We also had a Bubble Wrap popping and styling date with our grandchild in Hong Kong.

Not something we were planning to do in the street but that is where we were when the call came through. We had planned ahead and just whipped our Bubble Wrap out of a handbag and struck some poses and popped away. Passers by were certainly puzzled! A fine way to spend half an hour on a normal day with an auspicious number.

Pandemic Pondering #452

©Suzy Billing-Mountain

It would be true to say that for many of us the last 18 months have not gone to plan . @theoldmortuary this weekend has not quite gone to plan but where unplanned gaps in my schedule appeared I was lucky enough to fill some gaps with art. Drawn to the Valley are supporting an Art Trail that shows the work of both members and non-members.

©Sue Coleman

The trail has also had its own unplanned moments and was postponed because of Covid restrictions. Suffering the same fate as the Open Studios event that is was organised to replace for the same reasons. In consequence it has been some time in the planning. Sadly one contributing artist has died between the planning stages and the actual realisation of the trail.

©Glenis Blakiston

The widower of Glenis Blakiston had decided to open her studio just as she would have done.

Pandemic Pondering #413

My ‘ bonus track’ day. My parents both died at the same age that I am now. Yesterday I outlived them both by one day. So from now on every day will be something more than they were able to experience.

My mum had a long terminal illness and spent her last day on this earth ” Taking a turn for the worst” By contrast my dads terminal illness was brief and he spent his last day deliberately enjoying one of his favourite meals with family and friends before snuggling into bed never to wake up again. Obviously I always hoped to reach this milestone day and mark it in some way. I imagined a gathering of my nearest and dearest enjoying communal eating and celebrating my good fortune. As has been the habit of the last 16 months the pandemic has obliterated long term plans and made even short term plans unpredictable. Better perhaps to have no plans and live life as it is rather than as we hoped it might be. So no gathering today.

The eve of my new ‘bonus track era’ was spent charging up my life batteries with a swim in fabulous waves.

And finding new paths on the ancient byways of Cornwall.

My actual Bonus Track Day will be spent very much living life as it is, with domestic admin, dogs, lovely companions and an evening swim with the Bobbers.

Tranquility Bay was in quite a lively mood when we arrived. A quick dip for some and a longer challenging swim for others gave the day a sparkly, fizzing finale.

Pandemic Pondering #407

May the 4th be with you. Except, of course this is the 5th. May the 4th always brings rich pickings of Star Wars quotes.  I’m unsure if just loving the original 1977 film, correctly and simply known as Star Wars makes me a Star Wars luddite. The surrounding films and obsessive fandom makes me feel saddened that the one original film can’t be enjoyed as one unique moment of great creative, cinematic collaboration.

But without the hullabaloo, that irritates me so much, I would not have found a lovely quote from the actress Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. She was open and honest about her, nearly life- long, struggles with drink, drugs and bi-polar disorder. She was also a wise and clever woman.

Discussing her difficult life patches she wrote.

” Going through challenging things can teach you quite a lot, and they also make you appreciate the times that aren’t so challenging”

A simple sentence that works under normal circumstances and especially as we emerge from beneath the pressures and sadnesses of the Pandemic.

Pandemic Pondering #387

L’esprit de l’escalier is a French term used in English for thinking of the perfect reply too late. I think it is mostly considered to be a witty or clever retort that would finish of a conversational or indeed confrontational encounter more perfectly.

Where is the handy french term for when you/ I, have thought of the perfect retort and delivered it leaving the other person stunned and perhaps uncomfortable. A linguistic victory certainly but not always kind.

Kindness at the end of a conversation is another of those moments with no useful term. Hugely important during difficult conversations when serious, possibly hurtful and important points need to be conveyed. If there is love, care, affection or even just integririty that must be built into that conversation the parting words need to be perfectly judged if the conversation is to be effective rather than harmful. A lifetime of harm can be caused without the right conversational ending included. If only these things could be straightforward.

The whole business of ‘stair case wit’ which I have expanded to Staircase Wisdom is chronically complicated and acutely regrettable. I have a huge dusty box in my personal archive of conversations that were not perfect because I got the end wrong.

The trouble is, unlike this collection of staircases, conversation with another is never black and white, and it can be complicated and unpredictable. The conversations in my head always go much better to plan.

The link below takes you to a less personal consideration of L’esprit de l’escalier. I hope that is the perfect ending.

L’esprit de l’escalier

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27esprit_de_l%27escalier

Here is a less than perfect ending , the steps that I imagine take me to my store of archived badly finished conversations. I don’t imagine I’m ever going to be diplomatic or wise enough not to need to store badly finished conversations in an imagined room beyond these stairs any time soon. These steps will continue to be well worn, a little bit smelly and unloved until I can no longer engage in meaningful conversation.