Pandemic Pondering #302

Blue Monday is a strange concept in a World Pandemic where, to use the same colour qualities, the United Kingdom is currently in deepest Navy Blue.

Our hours exercise took us to a quiet beach where I got three pictures of an annonymous surfer. There was a bit of blue to carry on the colour theme . Hopefully, with the arrival of a vaccine, we can all ride a wave of recovery.

As well as he does.

This is not a perfect surfers beach however . The skill shown in these pictures is all the more impressive when some of the harder geographical features of the same beach are revealed.

A fine Blue Monday metaphor for the current situation.

Pandemic Pondering #297

Pondering numbers recalibrated and we are looking forward. But for this blog a little bit of retro. Every morning Facebook offers a look back at old posts. It is not something I look at often , but today the images were very varied , I’ve picked four to ponder over. The first is a heavy snow day in Dulwich Village in 2010. 11 years ago.

Memorable because the walk to and from work in Marylebone was a challenge, and a milk float overturned just outside this gate scattering milk bottles everywhere.The milkman was unhurt but he must still have the memory, as do I, of a thousand tinkling bell sounds as the bottles smashed on the icy road.

10 years ago January 13 th was very bright. These lovely sculptures by Mauro Perucchetti were located at the top of Park Lane near Marble Arch. For 3 months between October and January they were smiling observers of my journey to work.

8 years ago a new puppy called Hugo wakes up a friend with early morning snuggles. ( This is the day I had to hide a puppy poo up the sleeve of my jumper in order to give Hugo top good behaviour points, when his toilet training failed him when visiting someone)

2016 Brixton, 5 years ago, a street memorial to David Bowie who had recently died. Another travelling to work landmark.

My idiosyncratic use of a cameraphone might be a little bit, or a lot, irritating to my nearest and dearest but today this little retrospective imagery reminds me that January life is as varied and colourful as any other month and every day is filled with moments, even in a lockdown.

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.

Pandemic Pondering #274

Another day, another afternoon dog walk and another sunset. Portwrinkle was a very fine reward for a day’s work that failed to live up to expectations. It was nowhere near as dull or difficult as I had imagined.

Clearing a shed sometime this week was a plan that required reasonable weather and some sort of reward. As it turned out clearing the shed was not so bad. Two big bags of miscellaneous ‘stuff’ was whittled down to one small bag in a surprisingly interesting afternoon. Quite how the content of those two big bags had ended up together is a big mystery but ultimately the sort out was not so onerous that it required a beach trip afterwards. The dogs, however, insisted. Not that they helped in any way with the shed clearance.

We had the beach and harbour to ourselves which is always an extra pleasure. the dogs exhausted themselves on the black sand and I watched the sun set.

An afternoon well spent.

Aqua Menthe, Lush Lava, Phantom Blue

© Shutterstock
It will be no surprise to regular readers or viewers of the blog that I love a deeply saturated colour almost as much as I love black and white.Any ‘colour of the year’ headline grabs my attention. Coupled with lovely descriptive words Shutterstock have analysed their way to a great trio of colours.
https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/trends/2020-color-trends
Synesthesia is always part of my life, I’ve had to learn to override it but these three colours make my heart and head thrill with their energy.
https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/syne.html My own collection of images is lacking Aqua Menthe and Phantom Blue but Lush Lava plays a big part. I’ve set myself a side project of finding more of those colours this year.A trawl through my collection earlier today has found these.Lush Lava
Flowers on a memorial bench. Devils Point Plymouth
An image I created to show a curving corridor entrance to a dark room.
Red Currants at Butler’s Cottage
Aqua Menthe
Detail from one of my paintings . From the collection of UltraCardiac
Boat at Port Wrinkle
Nightclub on the Barbican, featuring Jules and Lola
Phantom Blue
The Levellers at Minack Theatre.
Mediterranean Biome at Eden Project
A phone box at Royal William Yard during Illuminate Festival
All three colours in an abstract.The cover picture or frontispiece of this blog is a play on words. The shallow pool is at The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall. The strip of red simply had to be done. I’ve slightly re- edited it to also be the Endpiece.

Beachcombing, bringing colour to the blog in January.

Winter time is beach time, storms bring odds and ends onto beaches. Even in Cuba, where we had hoped for sun, beach combing post storm became a holiday pleasure. Beachcombing brightens up a winter walk and takes your mind off the weather. Cornwall opens the majority of its beaches to dogs in the winter months, parking is often free so a lot of dog walks take us to the coast at this time of year.

Let’s start with the bright but bad stuff. Portwrinkle is one of the easiest beaches to get to from theoldmortuary but winter tides bring masses of plastics onto the beach. It is literally ” a drop in the Ocean” but every time we go there for a stroll we pick up a couple of carrier bags of plastic waste.

After yesterday’s monochrome blog I really wanted some colour. I knew I had these pictures in the archive. Bright but not beautiful, this is the result of just twenty minutes picking.

The next two pictures are genuine January photos.

Watergate bay in North Cornwall, where these pictures were taken, gets a different sort of man-made detritus. sea glass. I keep sea glass in jars. One for each coastline in the South West

Watergate Bay seems to get larger chunks of sea glass than other beaches I suspect it’s also not as old as some of the stuff that washes up nearer to Plymouth on the south coast.

January in Cuba, a couple of years ago, still landed us with stormy weather but thankfully the detritus was all natural. I used the sunset to provide lighting.

A colourful haul of flotsam and jetsam . Not exactly the correct definition but I’ve always loved those two words.

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/flotsam-jetsam.html

Jetsam describes debris that was deliberately thrown overboard by a crew of a ship in distress, most often to lighten the ship’s load. The word flotsam derives from the French word floter, to float. Jetsam is a shortened word for jettison.

Advent#31

December 31st 2019, the last day of a decade. The blog has grown into itself. Pondering has become the driving word for narrative and visual creations. All thanks to a writing course with The Gentle Author of Spitalfields life.

https://spitalfieldslife.com/

Pondering the past year, I grabbed one picture for each month from my smartphone. There was no theme. No images of dogs or family or friends. In reality I ponder my friends, family and dogs often in the moments of these images. Taking you all into the next decade is the best gift imaginable.

Time to gently close the door on 2019 and lift the latch on the one marked 2020.

@theoldmortuary , pondering 2019 one month at a time.

Portwrinkle, Cornwall. January 2019

Portwrinkle again. Shells on a rusty GPO box. February 2019

https://gailsbread.co.uk/bakeries/dulwich-village/

Cheese straws. Gail’s Bakery, Dulwich Village. March 2019

https://www.porteliot.co.uk/

Wild Garlic, Port Eliot, St Germans, Cornwall. April 2019

Spring Flowers, Trematon Castle, Saltash. May 2019.

Hong Kong. June 2019

https://www.vam.ac.uk/

Shadows at the Dior Exhibition. V and A, Kensington July 2019

Rusty watering can rose and geranium. @theoldmortuary.August2019

https://kelly-house.co.uk/

Quick sketch of a 90 year old theatrical crown. Kelly House, Kelly. September 2019

Spider web, Waterside, Saltash October 2019

Corrugated cardboard rolled. St Ives, Cornwall. November 2019

Scavenged Festive wreath @theoldmortuary December 31st 2019.

https://www.oceanstudios.org.uk/

See you there …