Pandemic Ponderings # 67

Sunday musings on a sun lounger. Not everything goes to plan. This is true in real life, just as it is in pandemic life. I’ve always been accepting of the wonderful John Lennon lyric.

‘ Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans’

I’m surprised by the accepting way the whole world has taken to changing its plans, very little protest and a lot of understanding.

Things happen @theoldmortuary, under normal circumstances,that I had never even considered needed plans. A trip to the supermarket, coffee with friends, weekends with our family. These things happened, sometimes spontaneously with very little thought. Now doing anything takes great thought and the mundane has become something to dress up for and revel in, when three months ago it would have been a chore.

This weekend would not have been mundane.We should be exhausted and bursting with ideas and inspiration. This would have been a weekend in London soaking up the buzz and vibrancy of our favourite city.

Friday would have seen us at The Chelsea Flower Show, but like everything it has been cancelled.

The rest of the weekend would have been spent with friends and family in various parts of the city. Our hair would be cut, our minds would be restocked with happiness and great ideas, some shopping might have occured and, by now, we would be on the A303 chattering about everything and, in particular, how much our garden would be tweaked. Chelsea and Hampton Court are the two flower shows that inspire us.

I’m not actually dwelling on the might- have-been because there is a future out there for most of us , we just have to wait a bit to experience it. Today I should have been spending four hours on the road but actually I’ve spent four hours in the garden enjoying some of the stuff we’ve learnt in the past, at Chelsea, and the washing is dry.

So a Sunday, not as planned, but a Sunday full to the brim of unplanned loveliness.

Pandemic Pondering #63

The world for now has become a little smaller and our garden a little more stony. The two are linked. The area in front of the garden studio is a muddy lawn during the winter months and for some time we’ve wanted to turn it into a Dungeness, Derek Jarman style garden.


https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/mar/15/writers-join-campaign-to-save-derek-jarmans-cottage

It was my love of the poetry of Derek Jarman that first took me to his home on Dungeness and it is Dungeness that has stolen a big bit of my coast loving heart.

His poetry book, A finger in the Fishes Mouth, found its way into my life a long while ago. It took me to Dungeness.

I love the serendipity of following a poet to his special place and then finding one of my own. The flat blank mounds of pebbles inspire me to paint, and photograph


and now obviously to garden.

Who knows when we can next travel to Kent to recharge our batteries but Lockdown has given us the chance to start our stone garden .

Much laying of membrane and humping of pebbles, quaintly described as Raspberry Ripple, has turned the grotty lawn into a miniature space of pebbles , I can read a Sunday paper on it.

Today we are resting our aching muscles on it whilst basking in the sun.

Dreaming of endless pebbles.

Pandemic Ponderings #34

Pandemic Ponderings started on 17 th March sometime before the Government Lockdown restrictions and a little before my own self isolation due to a common virus. That’s about 36 days of life being significantly different from anything any of us have experienced before. Have we @theoldmortuary developed a new set routine? The answer would have to be no although we do seem to run out of food/ provisions on Tuesdays. Our world has shrunk and the weekly trip to two supermarkets, one each, is an event in life rather than something squeezed into life. Communication is everything and we’ve not quite got that right. Yesterday was National Tea Drinking Day, unconsciously we took the cue and bought 500 teabags, both bagging a bargain. Stockpiling at its most shameful, the T bags join the six tins of sweetcorn.Gardening has become a routine but we are fast running out of places to store lawn cuttings, bush trimmings and weeds. It is weather related rather than supply and demand which governs shopping. Storage of garden waste is soon going to be the factor that controls us. The weather flip opposite of the gardening routine is interior DIY. It’s amazing how much we can achieve just by using stuff we already have in our shed.Curiously Mondays have become our laundry and house cleaning day. This is exactly the routine my grandparents had and it’s one that has crept up on us. In non pandemic times we washed whenever there was a load but with no life beyond home we are producing less washing. House cleaning is not so bad when you are not exhausted from working elsewhere, I can only think of two pre-pandemic routines that we’ve not modified. One is the bedtime walk for the dogs, we never meet anyone even in normal times and that’s not changed, people don’t whizz past us in their cars anymore . No cars means no pollution and what is noticibly more lovely about our evening walks, this spring, is the intensity of fragrance from people’s gardens and the hedgerows.The other unchanged routine is having flowers in the house. The weeks of daffodils have passed and currently we have tulips.One slightly odd juxtaposition is our fireplace. An interiors psychologist suggested keeping Christmas lights up until Spring as it helps to make darker evenings less dire. Weve stuck with that because a Pamdemic needs light shining on it. Fear not, that is not a Trumpian solution , we just love a bit of twinkle, any excuse. Now we have tulips and Christmas lights,if this goes on it could be sunflowers. In this shot the pandemic gets a mention too. It does not improve with twinkle.

Not to be outdone the garden has some new solar lights to brighten up the evening of whoever walks past the house. Something we do at Christmas time but it seems important to do it now too.Lola reminds me that there is one other routine that must be adhered to, dog hugs. This is the face of someone who wants me to stop pondering.

Pandemic Ponderings #24

Its all a bit domestic here today but there is a note of High Fashion. Vogue magazine has stated that a full compliment of female pubic hair is the new look . Funny that given that no-one can take their lady gardens to a beautician for waxing and stripping. Normally @theoldmortuary we follow most of the advice from Vogue slavishly, but today we just had to trim our bushes.In other news the cutlery drawer is tidy.The dog walk/ permitted exercise took on a whole new shape today. We took a picnic and the delay gave us the chance to see nature just highlighted by a setting sun.Finally some lovely texture randomly created by a pile of stuff actually in the old mortuary.

Artworks/Portfolio

I’ve been adding some recent images to my Artworks/Portfolio page, I’ve got a pile of work that needs just little bits of attention to get them ready to sell. There is also a commission that needs a good stretch of time to get it ready for delivery . The better weather this week would have been perfect for art but it was also time to attack the Cornish hedge that runs in front of the studio windows. 10 years of routine maintenance had kept the lane passable but optimum hedge health had not been on our agenda. Many woman hours later it is trimmed and bramble-less , looking pretty sparse with one or two holes that need to be filled with some climbers . Boston Vine , Evergreen Clematis and Japanese Wisteria will add some natural colour alongside any incidental splatterings that embellish the garden and hedge during a summer of painting . Time to get back on the paintbrush…


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