Pandemic Pondering #253

It was another blue sky day today. So blue in fact that any photograph would just have been an expanse of blue. November in Britain is a great time for staring at the sky at night too.

Fireworks light up November skies for many reasons in multi cultural Britain. Divali, Guy Fawkes Night, Lord Mayors Show and Thanksgiving are all a fine excuse to gather together to eat, drink and stare skyward to be amazed.

These pictures are fireworks I captured at The Lord Mayors Show in London a few years ago. I’m not sure why I succeeded to capture something worth looking at that year, I’ve tried and failed since. It is almost never worth the effort.

This November, of course, is marked by an absence of big firework displays.

As I write this, my home city of Plymouth should be excitedly planning an evening of lights and Fireworks to mark Mayflower 400.

400 years since the signing of the Mayflower Compact. Thanksgiving Day.

50 years ago, The United American Indians of New England declared the 4th Thursday of November The National Day of Mourning, as a reminder of the slaughter of millions of Indigenous people and the theft of their lands by outsiders.

It has taken a Pandemic to allow that day to pass quietly as perhaps it should. Below is a link to a ceremony held in Plymouth last night.

I will just leave that thought, and walk away.

©MarkCurnow

Pandemic Pondering #212

Today’s planned blog was knocked off the agenda by a day of glorious weather. I’m a big fan of autumn sunshine, my dad called periods of good weather in autumn “Indian Summers” I never really questioned this title , I’ve just googled and this is the answer and it’s not what I thought at all.

” Although the exact origins of the term are uncertain, it was perhaps so-called because it was first noted in regions inhabited by American Indians, or because the Indians first described it to Europeans, or it had been based on the warm and hazy conditions in autumn when American Indians hunted.”

Plymouth Hoe, was gorgeous today which is an interesting coincidence given the links between Plymouth and the First Nations people of North America. Our walk did visit a significant Mayflower 400 site. More of that later.

Lola basking in sunshine and hiding a lighthouse

We stopped for a while near the official but not genuine Mayflower Steps. There was a momentary rainbow on the water.

Our next stop was a genuine Mayflower heritage location. Jacka Bakery, Britain’s oldest working bakery, supplied the Mayflower with baked goods. Today we pondered on how history could have been changed.

Would anyone have set off for the New World, 66 days of a tricksy voyage to an uncertain future if the alternative was staying in Plymouth and enjoying such plumpscious doughnuts. Ships biscuits v Jam Doughnuts, no contest. No New Worlds

Pandemic Pondering #174

No New Worlds is a new art installation in Plymouth it has a profound message which deserves its own blog. Contrarily @theoldmortuary has discovered new worlds while the installation was being constructed. We first encountered it when we went on the Dockyards and Warships boat trip. A New World, or an old world rediscovered for us. The installation was being constructed on the Mountbatten Break Water, we saw it as we sailed out of Plymouth Sound, at the time we didn’t know it was a significant commissioned Art Work.

Another New World for us is open water or Wild Swimming. We can see the sign from many of our new found bathing spots.

As an aside I had a very strange swim today which was also a bit of a new world. Maybe a little Queen World.

While swimming at Devils Point I was suddenly surprised by HMS Albion steaming towards me, towed by two powerful tugs. It is not every day that I am saluted by an entire ships company as I bob along in the sea. Obviously they were doing the salutations just for me. I so enjoyed the moment I couldn’t take a photo until the ship had passed by. A ship’s backside is an interesting change from the usual dog bottom in this blog.

Apparently this ship is the Swiss Army Knife of the Royal Navy. That’s quite a claim, I wonder where the corkscrew is?

I can say that not only did I experience a moment of Queenliness with the delightfully polite young persons saluting me. I also experienced a bit of Dolphinliness, the ship created quite a vibration in the water and some waves.

Another New World for @theoldmortuary was visiting the Mount Batten Breakwater, a place we had never visited before. We went to be up close to the Artwork to research and photograph for the proper blog tomorrow.

The installation is called Speedwell.

Pandemic Pondering #57

All dressed up and nowhere to go.

Smeatons Tower on Plymouth Hoe has shrugged off its ungainly scaffolding and has emerged into the bright sunlight with a beautiful paint job ready for the Mayflower 400 Celebrations. COVID – 19 will have disrupted the events that this bright new livery was created for. Just like humans, Smeatons Tower is not going to be at the centre of of a party any time soon. Luckily a few more people can visit the Hoe now, to enjoy the view and the lighthouse with its crisply painted stripes.

Smeatons Tower even made the clouds smile today.