Pandemic Pondering #531

Morning Shimmer

Shimmering and spiders.

Morning and evening dog walks have been very shimmery this week. There was a monumental midweek storm that has affected the light at either end of the day. The storm also blew the recently constructed cobwebs away. All week spiders have been moving into the house for winter. Yesterday an industrious one had built a web over the dog leads between walks. Any thoughts, that we may have had, of there being less spiders in a city house than a country one are being replaced by reality. The one job that remains post house move is to sort out art stuff into the studio. Much of it has been done but there are still some big Ikea bags full of essential odds and ends being stored in the garage. I had always planned to get it done in September but had not considered that by leaving the job until now I will inevitably shift spiders from their winter quarters in the garage into the house.

Fishy Shimmer ©theoldmortuary

I have no water colours of spiders, so a shimmery fish from the shimmery sea will have to do as a midblog illustration.

Neither of the humans in this house are arachnophobes and one furry person is indifferent, hso all this talk of spiders might be inconsequential. Lola, however, is not indifferent to spiders.

This small brown nose spends hours every autumn sniffing out spiders, not the most useful of tracking talents. Unlike most tracking dogs she doesn’t tell her humans that she has found something, she just gobbles them up if they dont wake up in time to move. Once they have properly hibernated she doesnt seem to be able to sniff them out, so by November our days and evenings will not be punctuated by Lola crossing the floors in an obsessive hunt for sleepy spiders, despite our best efforts the outcome is rarely positive.

Evening Shimmer

Pandemic Pondering #515

Summer seemed to get out of bed at a reasonable time of day this morning. August often disappoints, the good days outnumbered by those that do not quite hit the spot.

As Bilbo Baggins says to Gandalph in Lord of the Rings.

 “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Sun and warmth are the butter of summer and they have been so thinly spread, recently, that summer feels very similar to Mr Baggins bread. Nothing like as tasty and comforting as summers should. I fear arriving early on the morning of 24th of August is too late. A little autumn chill is hiding in the long shadows of this morning.

I was grateful that this location was a dog walk this morning and that I could keep my clothes on. Early morning swimmers braved the same waters that I dipped in last night. There is a biting edge when you submerge, the water temperature is dropping, almost a whole degree in a day yesterday. Hot drinks are required again after a swim, shocking behaviour, August is the time for iced latte not hot chocolate!

So August, one week to go, time to show us some of the warm stuff …

Pandemic Pondering #464

The sun setting on another day of unboxing and unbagging. When packing pre-move we tried to be as logical as possible, room by room, but the new house has very different aesthetic requirements and unpacking is not quite as simple as we had planned. A lovely bonus is that the new house lies on an East/West axis with the front of the house facing east. Hugo and Lola are taking huge pleasure in chasing pools of sunlight through the day.

Chasing is clearly not exactly the right word but languishing has no sense of action. They have brief periods of action and longer ones of languishing. I’m unsure exactly what the human project for today is but there will be no human languishing. More boxes, more bags for certain. Meanwhile there is always flowers!

Happy Friday

Pandemic Pondering #350

What do you do in a lockdown during the tail end of a British winter when the sun is out but the temperature is -2?

A sunrise Mediterranean breakfast on a deserted beach, obviously!!

Meanwhile the plants not in the sunshine reflected true life.

But the fantasy still beckons.

Spanokopita, Pain au Chocolate and Coffee were transported to the beach for authenticity.

Where we found relics , just as we would on beaches far away.

But the huge bonus of being on a beach much closer to home was sharing it with fluffs.

Lola
Hugo
Stanley

And for once we didn’t have to submerge ourselves in sea that is nothing like the Mediterranean.

Pandemic Pondering #319

Today we need to talk about Fox.

Our dogs spent their formative years living in South London. We quickly became aware of dogs ernest desire to always roll in Fox Poo. Urban foxes are everywhere and dog owners have a sixth sense about the moment their dogs bend one shoulder down towards the earth prior to a squirm of ecstacy as they rub fox excrement over their backs and onto their faces. Once we returned to Cornwall we lost that sixth sense. Rural foxes are far more discrete and many small town or country people have never seen a live fox.

In London Foxes were a part of our everyday lives. We often woke up with one.

They used our garage roof as a relaxation area and for a memorable and stinky period our garden became their larder. If foxes have a really rich harvesting and hunting period they will store excess food in a particular place to retrieve it later. Our garden, for a while became a dead rat larder. We could smell them as soon as we walked into the garden. We disposed of the stinky carcasses into an area of rough ground that was near the foxes den, only to have the exact same bodies returned to the garden a few hours later. Apparently no self respecting Fox wants such things close to its front door!

Pandemic Pondering #319 mentions the mud festival that was yesterdays walk. Hugo and Lola had made some small attempt to clean themselves up so they were spared a bath yesterday. Today though a trip to the Rugby Club for a run about revealed how much I have lost my London Fox awareness training. First Hugo and then Lola took the dive of shame into a copious pile of Fox poo. I could hope for a moment that it was just random high spirits but as they ran excitedly back to me the joy on their faces told me all I needed to know. I bent down for a sniff but it was unnecessary really.

An afternoon bath became essential, as you can see from these photos it was not universally popular.

The rewards for me are clean curls to cuddle and a slightly damp lap.

Pandemic Pondering #315

After a ‘ bob’ last night we pondered on the role of Hugo and Lola on our Lockdown exercise routine. 5 days out of 7 the dogs are central to the plans of the hour long exercise event. The other 2 days the exercise is our cold water swimming session.

I think we both agreed that without the dogs some days would pass without any outdoor exercise. Today was certainly a day when indoors would have won the vote if it were not for the @theoldmortuary fluffs. To be honest if they had been given a choice they would rather have stayed in their pyjamas and read books.

As it was we made it, in dreadful weather to the Scott Memorial. The weather was so shocking nobody was there before us!

On the way we found this old tunnel and door.Revealed recently by storms blowing down the protective metal screens. It seems like a fine metaphor for January 2021 . All a bit dark and never ending with the promise of something different beyond the door. But who can even guess what the ‘different’ will be.

Pandemic Pondering #311

The greige is back! This picture is in full glorious colour but you would never know it, only a life jacket on the pontoon gives a tiny splash of colour. Headlines are a starker version of greige, the United Kingdom has recorded an excess of 100,000 deaths linked to Covid.

This picture is also in full glorious colour again there is a tiny splash of colour on a pontoon . On this occasion the splash of colour is an office building painted a curious shade of salmon pink. The thing neither of these pictures show is the unrelenting rain. What they do demonstrate is why safety equipment is painted red, or in unusual circumstances Salmon Pink. The salmon pink office is part of a Royal Navy Munitions Depot. Barges, called Lighters, make their way to the Jetty, on which it stands, from the Dockyard to collect armaments to transport down the river to load onto warships. I had often wondered why the building was pink. I presume now that is is because Salmon Pink also stands out in Greige. There would not be a jetty if the barges had trouble seeing it.

As ponderings go this one is biased towards the dismal end of the spectrum. Late January, dreadful pandemic statistics, jetties solely built to deliver weapons are not the ingredients for a joyful blog particularly set within a background of a third lockdown.

Thankfully Facebook timehop gave me an eight year old image, also with some obvious red to twink the mood a little.

Hugo loves a drink of tea. He is never too fussed about the design of the mug, but for the purposes of this blog I’m quite grateful he chose this one for his morning refreshment. A tiny uplift of encouragement in a world that is rather greige.

Pandemic Pondering #305

Another greige old day. Hannahs birthday,and we had plans, weather permitting, to walk on beaches, enjoy coffee and have a great burger for supper. The weather was having none of this and an unplanned but essential session of domestic admin stole time and space to achieve the planned day.

Modified plans held the same ingredients but not quite the same pizazz as anticipated. Coffee was from a drive- through and picnic lunch was a side order whilst we read through mountains of paperwork. The dog walk was taken during a miraculous break in the weather, we were still blown about like shuttlecocks but without a side serving of torrential rain. Hands were firmly dug into pockets so no photographs of joyful dog bottoms enjoying a playful walk. Facebook came to the rescue on this particular subject. Offering me an image from 8 years ago. Hugo’s first day out in South London, about to create his first patch of yellow snow!

The only bit of our day to stay on plan was the burger. In some ways another South London throwback. Zephyr Burgers were a pop-up in our neighbourhood. https://www.zephyrburgers.co.uk/

What you don’t expect when you move back to the West Country is for a familiar London pop-up to pop-up close to home again. Currently parked at the back of Bullet Proof Brewery on Mutley Plain.

Our burger choice marked not only a birthday but also had a nod to the inauguration of a new Potus.

Either the carb load or a more reliable hand on the nuclear button made for a good nights sleep.

Pandemic Pondering #294

Today turned out to be a red letter day. The letter in question was V for vaccine. Hannah @theoldmortuary was given the Corononvirus Vaccine today. She was texted yesterday afternoon and offered an appointment. By a great coincidence two other British VIPs got their jab today. The Queen and Prince Phillip. Headline stuff .

While Hannah was getting her jab I was doing the dog walk up the lane opppsite us. It has been the access point to a building site for the past 18 months. It can be tedious at times with noise, mess and massive trucks. On my return, to avoid lorries,I had to cut through the oldest part of the cemetery. There are many tiny graves marking the final resting place of children whose small lives were lost many many years ago. It is because of vaccines that there are less small graves in the more modern graveyards near by. I pondered a bit on this and realised that in a curious twist it is vaccines that have got the anti-vaxers to a point where they have the health, vitality, and maturity to become ardent anti- vaxers.

On a brighter note we went out in the campervan to take our hours exercise this afternoon.

Hugo and Lola love a camper van outing. The beach was grey and chilly.

But we found a sea-purse who was pleased to see us.

Pandemic Pondering #289

Yesterday started with a despondent dog walk. I was pondering the Pandemic and trying to consider if there had ever been a world event which has directly or indirectly affected every living human in the world before. I couldnt really come up with one. Despondency soon gave way to joy when we saw dolphins breaching in Firestone Bay. Today could also have been despondent because we are clearly heading into another lockdown. Despondent @theoldmortuary not because we are heading into the lockdown but because it has taken the UK so long to make that decision and take appropriate action.

Expecting a Prime Ministerial Address we busied ourselves about this morning getting some new tech to better keep up contact with our nearest and dearest. The reward for taking on a click and collect journey was a trip to the dogs favourite winter beach. Portwrinkle has everything a dog could possibly want all in close proximity.

There is a small problem though. Hugo likes to play alone in the rock pools. Lola is utterly shocked that every time she joins him at a rockpool he switches to a different one. He likes to rescue seaweed from the pools and create a pile on the sand. The task is taken very seriously and cannot be interrupted by Lola or any other passing dog.

He will relent and chase her across the sand to the point of exhaustion but seaweed and rockpools are a solitary pleasure for Mr Hugo.

Rockpools are also a fine thing to contemplate when the future is once again uncertain.