Pandemic Pondering #547

Saturday night

Yesterday and today have been days of nattering around the table. In the evolution story of @theoldmortuary , chattering around the table was the original source of the daily blogging three months before the pandemic gripped and nattering around a table with friends or family was banned as an unacceptable infection risk.The daily blogging became lone pondering and almost 18 months later we have only just returned to the habit of nattering with friends around the table over a cup of tea or coffee and baked goods.

We seem to have nattered all weekend with very little actual work occuring!

The top picture represents the main topic of conversation this September and actually most Septembers. The sudden realisation that evenings are getting darker. It happens every September and yet every September it is a surprise. Baked goods from a bakery fuelled this weekends natterings, this mornings trip for baking perfection took me past Smeatons Tower, I managed to grab this shot while the streets were still quiet.

Sunday morning

Pandemic Pondering #510

©Kim Bobber

The Bobbers were out and about around Plymouth Sound last night, watching rather than swimming.

The British National Fireworks Championships are held in Plymouth every August. After a Coronovirus hiatus last year there was some doubt if the event would happen this year after the recent murders in Plymouth. It was decided the competition would go ahead with the two evenings events dedicated to those whose lives were taken. A minutes silence with a torch vigil, ended by heart shaped fireworks took place 15 minutes before the main event.

There were hundreds of small boats out in the Sound twinkling while they waited for the fireworks. Paddle borders too were illuminated.

Then the fireworks started and boats on the water were transformed into silhouettes.

©Debs Bobber

We spent the evening at Tranquility Bay the normal location for Bobbers. Not quite such grandstand images but only five minutes walk from home.

Hearts and conversations are very much at the centre of everything in Plymouth right now. Snatches of the same conversations are heard wherever people gather, as the city tries to comprehend the events of last week. Catching a heart in the sky seemed quite fitting.

Pandemic Pondering #509

It is not often that a cup of coffee makes us sad, but yesterday our coffee was accompanied by a minutes silence to mark the five lives lost in Plymouth recently. The sunshine put in a brief appearance too which added to the mood.

A good long walk around the Stonehouse Peninsular before a morning of yardening kept us busy.

Moving many of the plants from the previous garden into pots and containers has for the most part been a huge success.

The notable exception being an Acer who currently poses as a Georgia O’Keefe painting in her Adobe period.

The one inherited plant from the previous owners is doing its best to show off to its new companions.

The moved plants are still huddling together near the back door. Settling into their new environment with plenty of rain ( Thanks Summer 2021)

6 weeks in and we are starting to plan the changes we need to put in place to make the yard more effective as a growing space. We need to spend some time on You Tube learning bricklaying skills!

Somewhere is needed to let this new person show off these milky white leaves to their best advantage.

This is a first backyard for both of us there seems so much to learn!

Pandemic Pondering #396

Friday night brought us closer to the weekend with a swim from our normal beach and a chance to check on the trees post lockdown hair cut. The trees had a haircut earlier this week,not us, we are still wild haired. I’m not sure we could see a huge difference with the trees. I hope a trip to the hairdressers will be more noticable!

This week has seen us step back a little bit into a more normal life. The high point was probably a trip to a charity shop where the staff were as pleased to see us and the dogs as we were to be there. We’ve also eaten out, out out, a couple of times and realised that in April eating Al Fresco carries with it the risk of stiff limbs and cold food but the pleasure of sitting with and talking to people is something we’ve missed a lot.

There was also a lovely episode of serendipity. When I took the dogs for their late evening walk, one evening, I was forced to cross the road to avoid a small hedgehog, who was going about his business snuffling in fallen leaves. The dogs believe all hedgehogs are their friends as the ones who live in our garden don’t object too much too their intrusive behaviour. On crossing the road, after a few steps,I saw a small dark object on the path. Someone had lost a wallet. There was a driving licence inside so I could find where the owner lived. No one was home when I drove over but on my return drive I found someone out walking with a torch. Owner and wallet were reunited.

There is a strange coincidence of kindness in that location.

The wallet was found very close to a house where @theoldmortuary saved someones life, almost exactly a year ago. Anybody would have done the same in those same circumstances. No one ever thanked us. Doing the right thing is never done for thanks but a well placed thank you really does put a smile on anyone’s face.

Finding a wallet and returning it, a small thing in comparison obviously made a whole family happy and they sent some really lovely thankyou messages the next morning. I may smile all weekend.

Pandemic Pondering #345

It may be somewhat late into our International pastime of Lockdowns to give you a new hobby for your daily exercise. But better late than never, I can give you a new micro  hobby of looking for Urine deflectors on buildings during your permitted exercise. Once you know the function of a urine deflector they are easy to spot out in the open . Positioned to discourage multiple men from urinating, repeatedly, in the same outdoor location they are designed to return the flow of amber fluid squarely back onto the urinating chaps own feet. I’m sure all cultures have them. Urine deflectors are built onto historic buildings and contemporary ones. Technology might just be removing the need for this almost annonymous feature. A specialist paint or coating has been developed that bounces wee off perpendicular surfaces. I know this not because I have an unnatural interest but because my flat in London was located on a small unlit lane very close to a railway station and  @theoldmortuary is opposite a pub ! In either location I have shouted, used a hose and chased the pisser off on those rare occasions when I have caught them in the act. They are rarely apologetic and mostly indignant. Paint would be the answer in both cases , an architectural feature not really possible.

This urine deflector is on the corner of an old pub called The Butchers Arms. Now known as The Hutong Cafe in Stonehouse Plymouth.

The one below is outside the Bank of England.

Link to article below.

https://londonist.com/london/secret/urine-deflectors

Old pubs and public buildings are great locations to find them. We have a big one in Saltash, positioned between an old pub wall and one of the supporting brick legs of I.K. Brunels Royal Albert Rail Bridge that spans the Tamar River.

Mighty Engineering
Practical Engineering.

Happy hunting!

As soon as there is good light there will be a PS ( how appropriate!) to this blog …

P.S. Last night I noticed these 3 additions to the bottom of our church tower. Are they Urine deflectors? These slopes are only added to one side of the church tower base. Historically this church had its own brewery and Public House. This side of the tower would have been on the way home to the town from the pub.

Pandemic Pondering #272

Twilight dog walk.

One week from the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere. These three photos were taken within the space of about ten minutes and all within the same geographical location at either end of the tunnel that leads to the sea from the Royal William Yard, in Plymouth.

It had been a very grey day but just at the last moment some colour grazed the sky. The photo above does have a filter applied and the other two are artificially lit but the vivid colours brightened up the end of the day.

These last few short days of December are my least favourite time of year. I completely understand why many cultures and religions choose to throw a festival into the schedule to perk things up a little. Two of the three daily walks get closer together as I try to catch the best of the day at either end of the available daylight.

Left to their own devices Hugo and Lola would not choose to interrupt quality sleeping time with scheduled walks at this time of year. They accompany me out of love not neccesity. To be honest I feel the same but we have never discussed it. Perhaps we should…

P.S This 10 year old post just popped up on Facebook, nothing changes!

Pandemic Pondering #171

Up early today for a sea swim off Plymouth Hoe.

Covid-19 has not, thankfully attacked us personally with its Spiky little viral sphere, but it has altered our lives significantly and forever. One of the more acceptable changes is a new found love of swimming in the sea; or wild swimming as it is now known.

Weekends used to be about getting a good cup of coffee to start the weekend. Now the Coffee has a higher purpose, to warm us up after a dip.

And for today’s brief blog it gave me a colour theme.

With an icon of 2020 and a motoring classic.

Happy weekend.