Pandemic Pondering #96

Pods , Bubbles and Raindrops and a metaphor.

Rain did not stop play this weekend, but it did rain in Cornwall, this weekend. Our schedule had enough flexibility built into it to avoid a drenching. Thank goodness. We formed a government approved Bubble with my daughter and then socially distanced with some other familial bubbles.

If I know anything significant about bubbles it is that they pop in the rain. I would have felt safer if the government had used the word ‘pod’

Podding with someone feels robust and resilient. There is a protective element to the word.

Bubbling with someone seems frivolous and fanciful, flimsy.

A sensible mother would protect her child in a pod, we were only offered a bubble. People go into space in a pod not a bubble.

Without becoming over political this reflects the whole sorry state of Pandemic Precautions in England. Run by a government that chooses the flimsy alternative to the more robust one, every time.

We had a good weekend skitting about in our bubble avoiding rainshowers. Raindrops posed boastfully on flowers everywhere, calling attention to themselves and providing a visual metaphor for the virus that could at any moment pop our ‘ bubble’ of a slowly easing Lockdown.

Other flowers though had shrugged off the rain and were ready to get on with life as normal. A happy state that we humans are not quite at.

Hugo , being a dog flitted wilfully between bubbles and at other times posed in flower beds. Having completely misunderstood which restrictions have been relaxed.

Pandemic Pondering #81

A pandemic 1st for @theoldmortuary. A Day Out.

Today we went to the Eden Project in Cornwall to have a socially distanced meet up with some of our family.

The Eden Project opened to the public recently for the first time since Lockdown.
https://www.edenproject.com

The Eden Project has got socially distanced tourism spot on. You have to book a slot, so it can’t be a spontaneous visit but beyond that the amount of control is so deftly handled, once you are in, it is easy to forget the restrictions of the pandemic, without ever flouting them.

On arrival there are ample public toilets, water stations and a take out coffee shop. The hosts who welcome you have the same welcoming charm as London 2012 Olympic Volunteers, and that was considered a Gold Standard of hosting. Hand sanitising gel is available as soon a you reach the welcome concourse and throughout the site.

Only the outside area is open during this pandemic opening. Visitors are guided to wander through areas that can be overlooked by anyone dazzled , quite rightly, by the magnificence of the Tropical and Mediterranean Biomes or the Science of The Core in more normal times. This is a fabulous chance to experience the outside with restricted visitor numbers. The peace is magical.

Instead of biomes we got intimate with bees.

And wandered down Cornish lanes.

Flower meadows and single specimens slowed us down. This was the most tranquil visit we have ever made to Eden

Fragrance is everywhere. Once we had meandered our way down to the Biomes more toilets were available and another take- away coffee stall, again social distancing was imposed with a gentle reminder.

A great time was had by all.

And for Miss VV, her first experience of being, very gently, escorted out of a venue as the last woman standing.

It’s not every day one of these drops into your hands.

I could have had a glove stretcher, a warming plate, a penny lick. What I actually got was the cheeky Coca de Mer.

Yesterday I was at an event hosted by The Box, the soon to be open contemporary cultural space in Plymouth.
https://www.theboxplymouth.com/

I was handed a mystery object to talk about.

The Coco De Mer , a giant seed pod from the Seychelles was not unknown to me, there is one growing a tree at the Eden Project and there is a shop of the same name just North of Covent Garden
https://www.edenproject.com/
https://www.coco-de-mer.com/

The seed is known for its erotic appearance, something that has hastened the trees demise in its native Seychelles.

It’s name means Coconut of the Sea, a name given erroneously because floating seeds were found in the seas of the Indian Ocean and were believed to come from underwater palm trees. In fact they had dropped into the sea and sunk because of their immense weight , only floating to the surface when the decay process made gasses and gave them bouyancy.

The Box specimen is blackened and has a glossy finish with a hole drilled into it. It was very tactile, not particularly heavy. It has obvious visual female charms but the surprise was how calming it was resting on my lap. The curves just nicely fill your hands and the smooth surface of the Plymouth specimen encourages fingers to make journeys around its form.

The tree is endangered because it’s seeds are the way they are and surrounded by erotic folklore. They are protected by law in the Seychelles, but can be sold in a more controlled way to tourists and institutions. Historically gathered examples are sold for massive prices.

©ebay

Since meeting the Plymouth Coco de Mer, yesterday, I’ve read a bit more about it on another blog site, a good read if you are interested.
https://seychild.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/coco-de-mer-symbol-of-seychelles-mystery-of-the-garden-of-eden-explained/amp/

Aqua Menthe, Lush Lava, Phantom Blue

© Shutterstock
It will be no surprise to regular readers or viewers of the blog that I love a deeply saturated colour almost as much as I love black and white.Any ‘colour of the year’ headline grabs my attention. Coupled with lovely descriptive words Shutterstock have analysed their way to a great trio of colours.
https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/trends/2020-color-trends
Synesthesia is always part of my life, I’ve had to learn to override it but these three colours make my heart and head thrill with their energy.
https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/syne.html My own collection of images is lacking Aqua Menthe and Phantom Blue but Lush Lava plays a big part. I’ve set myself a side project of finding more of those colours this year.A trawl through my collection earlier today has found these.Lush Lava
Flowers on a memorial bench. Devils Point Plymouth
An image I created to show a curving corridor entrance to a dark room.
Red Currants at Butler’s Cottage
Aqua Menthe
Detail from one of my paintings . From the collection of UltraCardiac
Boat at Port Wrinkle
Nightclub on the Barbican, featuring Jules and Lola
Phantom Blue
The Levellers at Minack Theatre.
Mediterranean Biome at Eden Project
A phone box at Royal William Yard during Illuminate Festival
All three colours in an abstract.The cover picture or frontispiece of this blog is a play on words. The shallow pool is at The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall. The strip of red simply had to be done. I’ve slightly re- edited it to also be the Endpiece.

Advent#9

The Myth of Dionysus sculpture at the Eden project. by Tim Shaw

http://www.timshawsculptor.com/

Illuminated during the Winter Festival the sculpture looks all the more like late career Dionysus. Less the God of vegetation and more party boy drinking the fermented juices of the fruits of the vine. Appropriate really for Christmas when work parties frequently turn into Bacchanalian feasts

The Dionysian myths explore the truth of human nature that beneath the veneer of everyday life there lies dark and powerful forces of unpredictable magnitude. Also not dissimilar to the Christmas ‘work do’ .

https://www.greek-gods.org/olympian-gods/dionysus.php

Many of the plants at Eden also have nightclub glamour during the Winter festival, leaning together like tipsy colleagues in the spotlight.

The Winter Festival runs until 30th December. It’s safer than the work Christmas party.
https://www.edenproject.com/