#252 theoldmortuary ponders

This lovely shaded orange was a pocket shot after our evening bob/swim. It really was a rough one and nobody stayed in long. The strange thing is that waves can be lovely to swim in, but near to high tide it can all be a little bit too much of a good thing. Yesterday morning the perfect wave machine made its way close to our swimming zone. A very expensive wave machine to be sure, and very unusual.

The waves created were beautiful. Just big regular ripples really, I was sad to be on dry land, as this powerful submarine slipped by, it might have been rather interesting to feel all that power reverberating through the water. Our poppies are also presenting as rather powerful beasts this week. Just like the submarine, all the action is happening under the surface.

These two have not yet opened but someone else did overnight.

Is it just me or does the centre of this poppy look just like the most delicious cake?

Nuclear submarines to Fondant Fancies all in the space of about 500 yards and fewer words. Happy Monday.

#245 theoldmortuary ponders

This was a day with an unexpected ending. Today was a yardening day. Almost a year since we exchanged an exposed but fertile country garden for a coastal, white painted, stone yard.  Yardening has been a huge surprise. Today the plan was to weed and tame the jungle that the yard has become, unexpectedly fertile too.

All went to plan, but with the temperature at 23 degrees it was quite the labour of love. A sea swim was suggested but the tide was not our friend. Then we planned a swim in a local outdoor pool. The website was decidedly wonky and ultimately we couldn’t book a session.  The alternative, an ice cream and some sunbathing was a good enough plan. Until we got too hot. Retreat into the house was timely in two ways. We really were too hot, but the curious twist was an email from the cranky website that said we had managed to book a swimming session.

We were very certain we hadn’t , but a cooling swim was exactly what we needed. Arrival at the pool confirmed the crankiness of the website. Apparently everyone who visited the webpage had been given swim sessions without payment. The pool was far from full so we did that old fashioned thing of buying two tickets and prepared for a dip.

Tinside Lido

This pool is probably very familiar to anyone in Britain who watches the BBC. This image is one of the regular infills between TV programmes. As you can see it was not very busy at all and we had a wonderful swim in the historic pool.

There was another lovely bonus, bright sunshine and recently cleaned 1930’s glass bricks in the shower area gave the most wonderful distorted, abstracted views of the pool.

A fine end to a busy day.

#243 theoldmortuary ponders

The search for squares of abstract colour and shape in my local neighborhood has become all consuming. My current group of images are all early morning shots in bright sunlight. This shot is of my own front door. Evening walks bring different crazy combinations of colours and shapes and I make a mental note to return to a particular area in the morning to see if it is as interesting in morning light.

My evening walk took me past the location of this combination.

It is not so mouth wateringly sharp, at dusk, especially on a damp grey evening. But in the evening other senses take over as the lime green is the exterior wall colour of a local restaurant. Still mouth watering though, for entirely different reasons.

We are having an out and about kind of weekend. Trying to get somewhere with 50% of local knowledge, some vague and bad instructions and those two elements over riding the practicality of using a SatNav. Thank goodness for going on a wrong road, we found an old Wharfside area, the road runs along the backside of very old waterside buildings, scarred and patched up as their uses have changed. The perfect location to find more abstract areas to photograph.

Nature, as is often the case, adding another layer of interest once I got up close.

Sunburst Lichen for a Sunday morning. Have a good Sunday, pondering .

#241 theoldmortuary ponders

I am still trying to capture squares of colour in Stonehouse as first mentioned in blog #239. The early morning light gives me completely different colour combinations to sunset and I’ve decided to limit myself to early morning squares of colour for this first painting.

The dogs are complicit in these morning sojourns to gather watercolour inspiration. Yesterday I rewarded myself with a coffee and croissant down by one of the harbours. The dogs need for croissant was apparently just as important as mine. Their faces trap more crumbs than mine which is saying something, croissant crumbs have the tenacity of Super Glue sometimes.

On our little colour square hunt we found the door to the Edes Vinegar/Pickled Onion workshop open and got a fabulous stolen interior shot of the vinegar barrels.

I think local people would, quite likely, want to bop me on the nose if I tried to do a series of images of just inside their front doors. But this one is a gem.

Normal life got in the way of too much painting yesterday. So just the one square completed.

We do have quite an abstract little square going on at our own front door.

Hugo and Lola were not the only dogs, yesterday, to participate in proper human activities. The bobbers were out in force to support Helen Bobber, who was knocking peoples socks off at the Who’d Have Thought It , Open Mic session. Here are Stan and Ralph, Bobberdogs, eager to get to the pub and listen to soulful sounds.

Hugo and Lola stayed at home, four dogs at an Open Mic is at least two too many to be comfortable. Especially as Helen is now fully recovered from Covid and after some months can easily hit her high notes.

She is also an abstract square all of her own making.

#239 theoldmortuary ponders

Bright sunshine set me off on a project yesterday. Stonehouse Peninsular is known for its architecture, history, sea views and brightly coloured buildings. I took off early in the morning to capture some of the colour combinations on camera before the sun got too high.

The plan is to create an abstract watercolour that features some of the beautiful and whacky colour combinations that occur when neighbouring buildings get a paint job. There are also beautiful abstracts that just occur naturally when colours follow the contours of the buildings.

Elvira’s

Others are just subtly beautiful just because of age.

The one below I particularly love because a grubby downpipe becomes the star of the watercolor.

This is a project that is going to keep me very busy this summer!

#231 theoldmortuary ponders

©Gilly Bobber

The sun sets on an unusual 4 day weekend when the Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee.

The bobbers got together in their usual place, Firestone Bay, to have a dry bob. A bob that does not require immersion in the sea but that does involve food and nattering. We gathered for a picnic at Stonehouse Lawn Tennis Club for a picnic overlooking our usual swimming spot.

The topics were, as usual, wide ranging but the Queen was touched upon and South West Film Archive provided vital evidence of one bobber presenting the Queen with a bouquet of flowers, she also, thoughtfully, gave Prince Philip a button hole, carefully wrapped in tin foil to protect his uniform. Posterity did not record that moment but we do have a still from the bouquet presentation.

©SW Film Archive. Shelley Bobber meets the Queen.

Today was a significant moment in history. None of us will ever see a Royal Jubilee again, so full on picnic time it was, with Sandwiches, Sausage Rolls, A cheese, pineapple and silver skin onion hedgehog, Fritatas, Scones, Strawberries and cream, Savoury Pin Wheels, Cherries, Crisps and Prosecco.

Games were played.

Trees were planted, cheers were cheered, and the National Anthem attempted. A good day was had.

#215 theoldmortuary ponders

Yesterday my early morning dog walk sent me down a Google rabbit hole. The picture above is from one of the emergency on -call rooms at St Bartholomews Hospital in London. St Pauls Cathedral and St Bartholomews Hospital have always been a big part of my life. I realised, yesterday, that there is another St Pauls in my life now.

This St Pauls is the early morning sniffing zone of Hugo and Lola. At the very least they must sniff across the forecourt once or twice a day. Yesterday the trail around the church was very enticing for them, and having nothing better to do I allowed them to make the most of the good sniffs. It occured to me that I have no idea how Churches or any other religious institutions get their names. St Pauls is remarkably common.

Not all St Pauls are created equal.

So while the dogs sniffed round rusty pipes, I googled. It seems that as this is a subject of faith rather than science the whole naming thing can be quite arbitrary. Arbitrary suits me very well in fact.

Gladioli and Sunburst Lichen in St Pauls Church Yard

Am I drawn to know more about St Paul, no not particularly, I’m sure he was a worthy and wonderful chap since so many places, both great and small are named after him, but my nature is always to search out the less populist things in life . The saints in the shadows perhaps, the ones at the bottom of the class or on the reserve list. To return briefly to the City of London there are two churches, St Bartholomew The Great and St Bartholomew the less. Surely the lesser Bart, as he would have been known to his chums, would have been the more interesting.

Pondering such things can bite you on the bum though. While I was pondering the lives of the saints and the places named after them, the dogs found their own interesting topic. Urban fox poo. Jerked out of my unusual ponderings I was alert enough to save myself from a morning of dog bathing. I wondered, briefly, which Saint I should thank for that.

Reflecting on St Paul and other Saints. Link below for an interesting lift ride.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02CYqszb3JFEBawnvtaxqBxuawG8MhqLPM6jBVnUQbHfYK8Ko29qnyUbEGWoWfMDiZl&id=526761673

#213 theoldmortuary ponders.

Blue, blue, electric blue. The words that stick in my head from David Bowie singing Sound and Vision.

After nearly a year of living very close to the sea, I have a huge colour palate in my head that is the colour of the sea, I also have a lot of sounds and visions. I’m in the early stages of a commission that will reflect how the sea changes. I am taking a mixed media approach to the early work.

The Atlantic in my little patch of Devon can be many different colours, not always blue and sometimes quite grotty.

The sounds also change depending on the tides and the weather and the shapes in my bigger abstract try to show the sounds by shape and the interfaces between two different colours.

This is a big old piece of paper for a water colour. I have no idea quite how this project is going to play out, but for now, just charting blue/ greens is very relaxing.

#211 theoldmortuary ponders

Early morning blogging, with birdsong. The sun is blindingly up and after a hard working weekend I have somewhere cute to sit and drink the first cup of tea of the morning.

Thanks to Google and the advice on how to neutralise the smell of dog wee,the concrete no longer smells like the leather making area of Marrakesh and more like nothing. Just the sweet smell of nothing!

This yard grows things extraordinarily well that our previously rural garden did not. Irises and Alliums are a big surprise this spring.

I might even move into this space to do a bit of painting, but todays task is more challenging. I am going to restring two old washing lines. That is going to be interesting…

The support team have their doubts.

#210 theoldmortuary ponders

Blogging reality rests on blogging fantasy

#209 theoldmortuary ponders promised the revelation of the weekends grand plan. Two long paragraphs were lost by inatentive fingers and no amount of searching in the nooks and crannies of my WordPress history or archive files revealed the missing links. I couldn’t quickly rewrite them and the grand plan itself required attention. The illustration above hints at the reliability of hard copy versus electronic.

The plan for the weekend was only decided on a whim on Friday. I’m not even sure I even thought about it before pronouncing. “I think I am going to remove all the fake grass this weekend” The job had been started 6 weeks ago when the first strip of fake grass was removed to give us a two metre flower bed. Then last week another four metre ‘L’ shaped flower bed was revealed. My pronouncement actually only involved a raised patio area but unlike the others we had covered it in container grown plants. What I had suggested was a monumental task with added unsavoury undertones.

The previous owners two pug dogs had used the fake grass as their toilet. The fake grass over flower beds had drained into soil, the patio area was a big old slab of concrete. When we moved in we were only renting the house so had to leave things as they were. We cleaned as well as we could and vowed to remove it as soon as we had bought the house. The house sale rambled on, delayed by the death of the descendent of Robert the Bastard who was given our tiny portion of land in 1066! Winter arrived and we did not have the appetite for a yucky job in the cold.

We are no strangers to yucky jobs. When we were rebuilding and repurposing the building that was the old mortuary next to our Cornish cottage we chose to clear out the undertakers workshop and Chapel of Repose ourselves, before the builders moved in to turn it into part of our home. 50 years of that sort of business, long before health and safety regulations and 50 years of neglect after it was closed because of health and safety, was a heady mix of bodily excrescences and vermin excretions. So we have some unusual expertise.

Obviously our dogs had taken to using the informal, low effort toileting area too. Saturday was spent moving full and heavy plant containers down to the far end of the yard, this meant that our energy levels were pretty depleted by the time we had to roll up and bag up the fake grass. It was every bit as grim as you might imagine and the urine soaked concrete slab was a pretty stinky thing. It has been scrubbed and hosed many times now. The plan was to allow it to dry off and paint it, but as it has dried off a curious thing has happened. The urine has discoloured the concrete and brought out the colours of the sands that were used in its manufacture. We may well be left with a slab of concrete that resembles a warm pinkish/orange marble or rock.

So yucky job done, there was a ridiculous number of plants to be either repotted or planted in the soil of the revealed flower beds. The job was just about completed by the time of the Sunday evening swim. Since then we have had heavy showers of rain. There has been no chance of taking a series of work complete photographs. This yucky job may well stretch to another blog!

To finish up, a picture of our neighbours chicken checking out the sweet new leaves of a Silver Birch that has moved closer to her strutting zone.