Pandemic Pondering #304

Storm Christoph shaped our 10,000 step exercise hour today. We walked from Victoria Park to Mutton Cove via the 18th Century Richmond Walk. Ordinarily this walk is a heady mix of beautiful seascapes and a mix of marine and industrial landsapes. Today the greige of a wet and foggy pre-storm made scenic pictures a pointless exercise so we concentrated on Street Art and man-made embelishments to our route. Contrariwise the first picture is of King Billy our halfway point turnaround.

The reason for the slightly odd order of pictures is the unbelievably grim, greige weather. On the return walk it was easier to see and stand still with the weather at our backs. The next three picures show a man made structure being taken over by the sea and nature and then being recontrolled but not reclaimed by humans once again.

Next a lovely palimpsest of heavy iron doors, paint, rust and graffiti caught our attention next.

Followed by a lone tag on an old wooden gate.

Then a colourful flourish to the end of our walk in the tunnel beneath the Stonehouse Bridge.

Not a greige image in sight. A modern miracle on a day like today.

Pandemic Pondering #204

These were harvested from a friend’s garden yesterday. The vibrancy of my harvestings is a reflection of the wonderful weather we’ve had in Cornwall throughout the Pandemic, that, and the green fingers of my friends Ed and Mel who are currently in Turkey, Lotus eating.

Lotus Eating fascinated me as a child, there was a TV programme, broadcast in 1972 , the story evolved around expats living on Crete. I was too young to take in the nuances of the plot, but watching the programme from a small Essex market town, I was enchanted and the glamour of Crete wormed its way into my head and has never left me.

The link above takes you to the Wikipedia page of the TV Series.

Lotus Eating has been a life long escape for me. For a long while the bookish Essex Girl that I was and am only did it with imagination. Then foreign travel became easier, and my diligent reading of books gave me a career that could facilitate actual Lotus eating. Just as my childish imagination had shaped it permanently in my head. Lotus Eating in this Essex woman’s head requires travel to anywhere in Greece or Turkey, hopefully not too touristy . Sunshine and swimming are the two essentials that the location needs to provide, I will bring a mountain of books and painting materials.

The reality of becoming my own version of a Lotus Eater has shaped me. I spend way more time imagining myself as a Lotus Eater, particularly in the brutally wet Cornish winters than I ever do actually basking in Mediterranean sunshine.

Our interior design and storage is influenced.

The whole extended family yearns to be owners of goats.

My love of rust and palimpsest probably started with that TV programme. Both are more vivid in sunshine and better preserved in a Mediterranean climate.

Lotus Eating is not, of course, expats living a hedonistic lifestyle or me reading in the sun. In fact it was only ever a myth. See link below to a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

But the fantasy and holidays in the sun make it real, often enough, for it to be as tangible as reality, and for everything else there is memories.

Pandemic Pondering #197

As September slips gently into October it seems the pandemic has erased Halloween from many of the places it would normally be a quite obvious marketing season. ( Quite honestly I couldn’t be happier I have always hated it’s trashy threatening undertones) Mexican Day of the Dead is a whole different matter, a positive festival around the same topic.

The lack of Halloween has liberated me from disliking the colour orange at this time of year. 2020 the year of loving orange in October. Today started well with a spot of bright rust.

Followed by a gorgeous autumnal crema on my morning coffee

October is the time of the gourd and this year, so far, they are not being pushed out of the limelight by obese bloated pumkins.

Thank goodness there were some yellow squashes in this picture . It gives me the chance to lead into this zingy yellow Citroen.

With the absence of Halloween, Christmas has come a little early, so I managed to grab a little autumn colour enhanced by fairy lights, what’s not to love.

Without being overly contrived let’s hope that October goes swimmingly.

Pandemic Pondering#144

Tension Posts.

Today the prompt for the Art Group was ‘moor’.

I cheekily created this image, which on many days exactly sums up how Dartmoor, in particular, feels. I’m sure today it was glorious but I had my back to it.

As you all know I struggle a little with prompts and today was just not my day for posting about the Moor.

In fact,serendipitously,I was hugely engaged by a rusty tension post and hawser caught in the early morning sunshine.

So there is a little tension in this post as I actually turn my back to the moor, and consider a Tension Post.

In this image Dartmoor is on the horizon.

My love of rust and humble history is summed up in this lovely early morning shot

This is humble history, the bigger picture is certainly the rings of Palmerston Forts and Batteries built after 1850 and into the 1870’s to protect Plymouth from invasion by the French, led by Napolean.Fencing is the humble part of this protection, designed to replace normal field hedges that would have given visual protection to invaders coming from inland Old hedges were ripped out and replaced by fencing created with metal posts and hawsers. Every now and then there was a more complex post where the tension of the metal hawser could be tightened by hand.

It was one of these that attracted me this morning. When confronted with something like this I can never stop wondering about the person who last tightened this bolt , who would have never imagined that his turns of the bolt would still be holding the hawser in position nearly 200 years later.

I’m sure he would have stopped his labours to take in the view.

This morning was not all about Tension Posts . There were indeed other tensions.

How cold would the water be for a swim ?

The answer is- very.

Would we all still be smiling afterwards?


Would we get a table at the café for a restorative breakfast.

Yes again.

Just a little tension on the return when a herd of cows and a bull approached us , but that ended without incident.

A good day was had.

Pandemic Pondering #124

When I woke up this morning I had an idea that I knew which way the blog would go today. We were planning to travel north roughly in line with the course of the River Tamar. It has been a wonderful day both weather wise and experience wise , and that will inform later blogs but today was actually completely hijacked by a geological sentence.

Breccicated Beds derived from Downslope slumping.

We took the dogs for a walk on Widemouth Beach near Bude in North Cornwall. In summer, dogs are only allowed on the southern end of the beach, known as BlackRock Beach. The foreshore is marked by black rocks that run into the sea which obviously give the beach its name.

It was the cliffs at the back of the beach that stole the show today. That, and a truly delicious first sea swim for the season.

I’m a bit lost for words with the beauty of these cliffs

I hope these photographs show why the blog had been dominated by rock formations and that delightful sentence from the geological description.

I love these rocks because they look like food, a toasted muffin or folds of meringue for a celebratory pavlova. They also have a feeling of Modernist sculpture. Parts of them also look like rust, one of my favourite textures..

I also found some actual rust. An aged nail standing firm on a sea and sun bleached timber.

Downslope slumping, beautiful stuff.

Pandemic Pondering #93

Travelling into Middle Earth,or less romantically but no less beautifully, Mid- Cornwall.The Coffee hounds were out today. Sniffing out good coffee and a walk at Siblyback Lake.On the way this old truck just had to be photographed.And then past the resting place of a Cornish King.King Doniert is mentioned at more length in Advent#21 destination was Olive and Co. A coffee shop at Siblyback Lake. a favourite in Liskeard , this was a trip to their other branch.What a great location and a cute interior.We grabbed hot drinks and set off on the 3.5 mile circular walk around the lake.The walk is a flat easy walk and even on a grey day there were some beautiful sights.

For Coffee Hounds this is the perfect location. Good coffee, probably great food , as this is their advert.Plus a circular walk with great views.


This week the Festival of Light has been supplied by the sun in the early morning. Rust is one of my favourite textures, coupled with winter sun the effect is dramatic.

These photographs were taken at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth. They are all bits of fishing gear that were being stored on the harbourside.

The manhole covers were also getting in on the act.