Pandemic Pondering #333

Today did not go to plan. There is a fair old chunk of domestic admin to do currently, some of the admin filled nearly the whole morning and I had an afternoon Zoom scheduled. I planned a socially distanced take-out coffee and walk with a friend in the small gap between commitments. The walk had the same restrictions as yesterday, quiet and dog free. Low tide offered the chance to walk further along the riverbank than usual.

We basked in sunlight and enjoyed our drinks while the dogs snuffled around. We talked and talked and walked until we reached the most distant town slipway.

Slipways are areas of sloped concrete to launch or reclaim boats.

We discovered a whole new world of slipway. Unknown to us the dry looking green area was a slippery slope of doom. I was the first to go down. Six to eight feet of sliding down on my bottom took me beyond the dry looking area straight through the slippery looking stuff and into the seaweed coated riverbed. Meanwhile Steph had leaned forward to catch me and also lost grip joining me very swiftly on the riverbed.

This was our view, the dogs had also been dragged down the slope. They managed to stay on their paws. We checked that we were not too badly damaged and then laughed loudly for five minutes or so. The riverbed was impossible to stand up on. The only way out of our predicament was to scramble back up the slope on all fours. More mirth!

The view as we scrambled up!

We returned home to medicate and clean our wounds. Zooming came and went and it was time for another walk, the river was once again the destination but this time I kept myself out of it.

Just as well, as mud is the stand out feature of the afternoon walk.

My favourite patch of mud.

A blue sunset and as the sun goes down my bones are aching a bit. Tomorrow needs to be a bobbing day. The cold water is wonderful for sorting out aches and pains. I will avoid slipways!

Pandemic Pondering #259

©Elle Media Group for

The first Christmas card of the season arrived yesterday. Thanks to our lovely friends ‘ The Hobbits of Cheam’
It features a robin and the toe of a lovely red wellie.

Wellies are a bit of a topic @theoldmortuary just recently. The wellies that took us from muddy park walks to commuting to work in London, on occasions, had a simultaneous death pact during 2020. Three pairs have hit the recycling bin in the last month. Two with leaky seams that worked OK in summer mud and were serviceable until faced with proper winter Cornish rain. The last pair, an incognito wellie masquerading as a Chelsea boot, developed an awkward fault. One of the soles started to take in water and mud . The fault was unnoticeable in fields or other grassy areas but the minute I strayed onto tarmac or any hard surface it made squishy noises and loud farty sounds . My feet were never affected and remained dry but sometimes the curious sounds startled passers-by. The sounds were not a good enough reason to recycle them but as the weather has got colder and we’ve needed some heating they have started exuding a range of smells as they rest in the hallway. Some smells are not so bad in a house in winter, warm earth or even mild vegetation smell and sound almost like a deliberately chosen room fragrance. But you don’t always know what is in the mud you’ve walked through. and sometimes the smell was more rugged. Clinical even, like a sigmoidoscopy room after a busy day or Accident and Emergency on a Friday night when a fighting drunk loses control of their bowels and creates a toxic cocktail of smells. The Chelsea boots had to go!

This wouldn’t really be a story but 2020 twists everything. Once the decision was made to ‘ let the Chelsea Boots go’ a fairly quick replacement was necessary. You would think replacing wellies would be pretty simple, but apparently during the run up to the storm that is ‘ Black Friday’ everyone had needed short wellies in a size 6 ( I need short wellies because my calves are a well rounded and substantial pair of muscles)

The only pair I could find that would fit the bill were a pair of ‘rugged’ ones from Kurt Geiger! Rugged or Chunky boots are this season’s big fashion news and if you are buying boots from Kurt Geiger they are going to have a stylistic edge. They look like the love child of a polyamourous coupling between a tractor tyre, Chelsea boot and builders safety boot conceived during Pride Weekend.

They neither leak nor smell and that is wonderful.

My thanks to the lovely ‘Hobbits of Cheam’ who sent us the first Christmas card of the season. They also very kindly wrote that these blogs are ” Keeping them going in 2020″ That is awfully big boots to fill and really lovely feedback. Hobbits you inspired this blog, I also can’t wait to see you on the other side and I hid your names in one of the paragraphs x.

Pandemic Pondering #13

Blogging in general is much in mind as I approach the end of March. Blogging through a pandemic is just an added puzzlement.

@theoldmortuary in its current form exists because I attended a blogging course at Spitalfields Townhouse, run by The Gentle Author. It was a hugely supportive and encouraging course with the most delicious blend of course members. We were encouraged to find our blogging style in a way that we could manage and sustain regularly.

Ever the nerd, I decided to follow the example of The Gentle Author and blog daily. It must be irritating to regular readers that my grammar is, at times, patchy and the narrative can be rambling. I am never going to have the eloquence or fascinating topics created seemingly so effortlessly by The Gentle Author. I do have cute photos though, a saving grace on days when my content quality wavers.

The deal on the first course was that I would publish a blog every day regardless of how finished or polished it is. This is a bigger deal than I imagined . Serendipity hand in hand with planning is the Key.

Be flexible like Water is useful little mantra.

Having been taught so well by The Gentle Author, it is very apparent that ‘ effortless’ is not a descriptive that fits with the creation of his genuinely lovely blog that has thousands of regular readers. I am completely in awe.

Soon after the November course I registered for the advanced course, being run over a couple of weekends in February and March 2020. After the advanced course I planned to look afresh at the blog to define its future.

Coronovirus leaves me needing that final twinkle of blog polish. As yet the date for the next course is unknown so for the time being the blog will remain what it has become. A daily pondering on something that peaks my interest. My terms of reference on a daily basis are much more limited with Social Isolation and yet even that is not strictly true. Today I looked at a post box I drive past many times a week. I had never realised it was a new design.

Todays local long walk took us down the hill about half a mile to Forder Village. Past this post box.

The tide was out and the sun was up. Hugo and Lola needed to be kept on a lead, this much mud and sunshine would make them giddy with excitement and not responsible for their actions. They do not look or smell at all good after a romp through this stuff.

Who can possibly guess where Coronovirus will take this blog. Where it won’t go is to the Advanced Level, like most things that is on hold.


This stretch of mud is one of my favourite sights. It appears on the banks of the Tamar. Pill Creek feeds into the main River at Saltmill; at low tide its serpiginous track into the main body of water is clear to see. There are many others that can be seen from the road bridge but this one is easy to get close to on foot. I never plan my walks to deliberately to see it but serendipity is kind several times a year. Time stops still for a bit when I catch it at perfection. It recalibrates me until the next time.