#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.

#52 theoldmortuary ponders

New handrails to the sea. There have been some refurbished steps through the rocks into the sea for a couple of months. Yesterday the steps were fitted with new and much improved hand rails. Despite only being a small walk from our usual beach this access point can sometimes be safer if the sea is rough at high tide. The new handrails make it an even safer option. Yesterday Spearmint the seal also chose the safer option for her morning swim.

Flipping things even further a diver had to get out of the sea in order to take underwater photos of her.

For all of us winter swimming has properly started now. The cold water buzz is back.

#50 theoldmortuary ponders

Sunday morning Firestone Bay

Illumination in the countdown to Christmas.

“Perhaps Juliet could illuminate us” was a phrase my English teacher would sometimes use when one of my essays had gone somewhere unexpected.

Lighting him up with a torch would almost certainly not gone down particularly well. In choosing, for myself, the loose working title ‘Illumination in the countdown to Christmas’ for the month before Christmas 2021, I fully expected to use both meanings of the word at various points. Yesterday, Storm Arwen, gave me illuminating photographs that did not at all illuminate what was going on around me.

Nothing in this picture articulates how much effort it took two women and two dogs to get to this point. Even a closer look at the sea gives no hint of the power of the wind.

A stop at our regular coffee shop was a battle against the invisible elements, and a moments foolishness of removing my coffee cup lid gave me a face full of the “flat’ that gives a Flat White its name. Yesterday was the start of another birthday surprise, a trip to Bude. Hugo and Lola were off to visit some friends for some overnight care.

There is absolute peace in this picture, but five minutes before we were unable to get to our friends house. We either had to leave our car at the top of the hill and walk the dogs down to them or tackle the tree which had blown down and blocked our path. The tree had a fragile beauty while laying, languidly broken, across the drive. No match, I thought, for one woman, so despite wearing some lovely clothes I jumped out of the car to move her gently to the side. Appearances can be deceptive and despite being slender and elegant she was going nowhere with one woman power. Two women in lovely clothes and two dogs in the managerial role, of hovering about but doing nothing very effectual,struggled to move the stricken tree. Ultimately we dragged her to one side, not particularly elegantly but effectively enough for us to deliver the dogs for their overnight stay.

The reason for our trip to Bude was an evening ‘Take Over’ by Chef Dan Murray at Temple Cafe.

https://linktr.ee/TempleCornwall

I don’t really have the words or expertise to adequately describe the beauty and depth of what we ate but the picture below in some ways illuminates the whole evenings experience.

Fried Artichoke Chips

Just wonderful!

Illuminated Artichoke Chips illuminating the two meanings of the word.

#45 theoldmortuary ponders

Todays blog was knocked off the front page by another story of bobbing. This is how tranquil the area was when we went for a dip last night. But what lies underneath?

A playful seal! Spearmint the seal joined the two distance swimmers at the furthest buoy and swam back with them to one of the other swimmers. They calmly warned her that they were not alone. Not trusting them at all she disbelieved them. Calm, was not, in truth, how any of them were feeling . An onlooker who was alerted by their excited chatter said she had never seen anyone swim back to the shore so fast. On arrival back in Tranquility bay Spearmint played around with two other bobbers before noticing that the others were getting out, she joined them in a rush for the beach and the video that follows was her being calm with a background soundtrack of excited chatter.

©Teresa

Teresa, the quick thinking onlooker who filmed this also had a video of Spearmint having her supper.

©Teresa
©Teresa

I think it is safe to say that the whole encounter was a lot more exciting for the humans, Miss Spearmint just takes the whole thing very much in her stride.

©Teresa

Soon after she returned to the sea the water if not the ‘ bobbers’ was entirely tranquil.

#43 theoldmortuary ponders

©Gilly Bobber

Sunbay morning walk. Meeting and natterings with morning swimmers whilst we were snug and warm in the many layers that are required for an early morning dog walk. Knowing full well that this bright and beautiful morning will progress to an equally bright and beautiful sunset which is when we will plunge into the chilly waters of Firestone Bay for our weekend swim.

I suspect there was a frost this morning, the autumn leaves on the pavements looked a bit ravaged and damp when we set off. They still held a myriad of messages for the dogs to sniff and respond to, which slowed us down a good bit. As did searching for an autumn coloured dog poo ( or two) in the pile of leaves that was chosen for the morning elimination.

There is a new character hanging around in our changing area, taking in the sun while straddling a nail and a limpet shell.

Just how every super hero should spend a Sunday.

#34 theoldmortuary ponders

Goodness me, another late blog for the best of reasons!

November is my birthday month so I always get a boost of love and gifts in one of the darkest months.

November 2019 was pretty stormy and in November most normal human beings knew little of what the next 4 months would do to the whole of the worlds population. At a more granular level we certainly thought life would evolve and change at a fairly normal pace. In November 2019 we got our kicks on my birthday walking on stormy beaches Then a pandemic happened and strange and unsettling things changed our lives forever. Wind on two years and we get our kicks swimming in stormy seas in November and any other month. What started as an alternative to swimming in swimming pools during lockdown has become at least a twice a week habit. Winter swimming in particular is addictive and hugely rewarding, the buzz after a winter swim is hard to explain.

Todays swim was pretty rough and bouncy but enormously energising.

And then the bobbers had a surprise in store, and this is the reason for the late blog. After our 9:30 swim we had an 11:00 birthday party. The sugar and carb rush of party food on top of the post swimming high is an extraordinary feeling. We may never give this sea swimming malarkey up and with 14 of us in our group now there will always be the occasional party!

#31 theoldmortuaryponders

It has been complicated. In truth not much has gone on in the last 36 hours apart from wallpapering or thinking about wallpapering. Almost no time to ponder really, especially in daytime hours when natural light was essential to our pattern matching. The new-to-us house is built almost at the top of a hill and runs down the hill northwards and westwards. Such was the diligence of Georgian builders, that to gain the appearance of symmetry and regular shaped rooms some very odd wall angles and floor levels disguise the almost 30 degree slopes in two directions. This does not make wallpapering easy. Dog walking has, of course, continued and, thank goodness for this blog, the night walk is illuminated and interesting. The window above overlooks the green where the dogs like to snuffle, overlooked by model cows and fairy lights..

The cows are a reminder that the whole of the Royal William Yard was a factory for stocking up Royal Navy ships for long voyages at sea. The green, where we walk the dogs, was used by livestock that had recently been delivered, live by sea,and would soon pass through the slaughtehouse to be processed and packed onto ships. The view below is the one taken from the tunnel that leads onto the green.

The green is also well stocked with deck chairs. A reminder of pre-Covid times when we could come here to watch Open Air Cinema, Live Theatre or live streamed sports events.

On the other side of the yard we walk along the side of the River Tamar and Stonehouse Creek. A business and industrial area that is always lit up at night.

The path we take runs along the length of the Royal William Yard. As luck would have it I took a photo of this side of the yard last week from the Tuesday river cruise.

There are many different routes for us to take each evening, although winter walks stick to the areas that are well lit and dry underfoot, most evenings on the route home we see the same message. Which works just as well for the end of todays blog.

#11 theoldmortuary ponders

My apologies in advance, this blog will use some of the same images as yesterdays. I’ve always thought the term Sea changes referred to the the fact that the sea can change its moods and behaviour really quickly.

The picture above was taken about 18 hours and 500 yards from the one below.

A substantial change in my opinion.

But it turns out Sea change is nothing to do with the actual sea and is something far more grizzly!

Who could have guessed! I actually prefer my theory, large waves compared to calm waters is infinitely easier on the mind than the changes that occur to a drowned body. Thanks Shakespeare

Pandemic Pondering #502

©Debs Bobber

Sometimes we bob at Firestone Bay in very strange weather. Three days ago this was the view over the bay just after we had finished. The swim itself was fairly unremarkable. Yesterday the skies looked entirely benign, the sea, though, was like a boiling cauldron.

Once we swam out beyond the rougher waters the water was more manageable but there could never be the pretence, as there often is that we were swimming in the med. The swim made us all have slightly dodgy balance once we got out, which makes for an interesting walk home. Aesthetically it was the perfect night for over-saturated, silky water settings on the camera.

At home we have finally remedied the significant wifi and broadband problems. A news bulletin has been watched, unbuffered, for the first time in more than 6 weeks. Not a habit that we need to return to necessarily. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Radio news has been kinder on the eyes.

Pandemic Pondering #429

Regular readers of this blog may recognise these images filmed at our local ‘ bobbing’ location.

©BBC News

This morning National TV is covering a remarkable ‘bob’ . A military veteran with only one arm and a huge personality is swimming 1000 metres to raise money for REORG . A charity that introduces Brazillian Jiu Jitsu to Veterans, Military personal and Emergency Services staff, to support their physical and mental health.

Link – https://reorgcharity.com/

A local man, Mark Ormrod, has attracted the National press to our bobbing zone.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-ormrod6?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=mark-ormrod6&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=5c17269f674a4837b764c49c30415

©BBC News

Which enables me to share some different views of the bay. Bobbers dont have the budget of the BBC to hire drones to follow our bobbing sessions!

©BBC News
©BBC News

This may be the freshest blog ever. Mark has only been out of the water for twenty minutes as I push the button. Normal bobbing will occur this afternoon. No Drones. Please follow the links for proper journalism. Happy Friday.

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/legendary-mark-ormrods-mammoth-swim-5448841

©BBC News