#95 theoldmortuary ponders

Misty nights have so much more charm than misty mornings, currently. There is a cloak of greige over everything this morning. It started to creep in last night making our evening walk softer and more mysterious.

At the book club meeting yesterday a friend said she felt suffocated by the current weather. This morning it is easy to sympathise with that statement. January really is a hard month to love.

There was a break in the greige yesterday. I am ashamed to say I missed it, a fellow ‘bobber’ grabbed this photograph yesterday morning at Trematon.

©Angela Bobber

That really is a beautiful ‘break in the clouds’ I will keep my wyes open for something similar today, but I’m not holding my breath!

#34 theoldmortuary ponders

Goodness me, another late blog for the best of reasons!

November is my birthday month so I always get a boost of love and gifts in one of the darkest months.

November 2019 was pretty stormy and in November most normal human beings knew little of what the next 4 months would do to the whole of the worlds population. At a more granular level we certainly thought life would evolve and change at a fairly normal pace. In November 2019 we got our kicks on my birthday walking on stormy beaches Then a pandemic happened and strange and unsettling things changed our lives forever. Wind on two years and we get our kicks swimming in stormy seas in November and any other month. What started as an alternative to swimming in swimming pools during lockdown has become at least a twice a week habit. Winter swimming in particular is addictive and hugely rewarding, the buzz after a winter swim is hard to explain.

Todays swim was pretty rough and bouncy but enormously energising.

And then the bobbers had a surprise in store, and this is the reason for the late blog. After our 9:30 swim we had an 11:00 birthday party. The sugar and carb rush of party food on top of the post swimming high is an extraordinary feeling. We may never give this sea swimming malarkey up and with 14 of us in our group now there will always be the occasional party!

#31 theoldmortuaryponders

It has been complicated. In truth not much has gone on in the last 36 hours apart from wallpapering or thinking about wallpapering. Almost no time to ponder really, especially in daytime hours when natural light was essential to our pattern matching. The new-to-us house is built almost at the top of a hill and runs down the hill northwards and westwards. Such was the diligence of Georgian builders, that to gain the appearance of symmetry and regular shaped rooms some very odd wall angles and floor levels disguise the almost 30 degree slopes in two directions. This does not make wallpapering easy. Dog walking has, of course, continued and, thank goodness for this blog, the night walk is illuminated and interesting. The window above overlooks the green where the dogs like to snuffle, overlooked by model cows and fairy lights..

The cows are a reminder that the whole of the Royal William Yard was a factory for stocking up Royal Navy ships for long voyages at sea. The green, where we walk the dogs, was used by livestock that had recently been delivered, live by sea,and would soon pass through the slaughtehouse to be processed and packed onto ships. The view below is the one taken from the tunnel that leads onto the green.

The green is also well stocked with deck chairs. A reminder of pre-Covid times when we could come here to watch Open Air Cinema, Live Theatre or live streamed sports events.

On the other side of the yard we walk along the side of the River Tamar and Stonehouse Creek. A business and industrial area that is always lit up at night.

The path we take runs along the length of the Royal William Yard. As luck would have it I took a photo of this side of the yard last week from the Tuesday river cruise.

There are many different routes for us to take each evening, although winter walks stick to the areas that are well lit and dry underfoot, most evenings on the route home we see the same message. Which works just as well for the end of todays blog.

Pandemic Pondering #516

Hot on the heels of yesterdays morning blog is an evening blog of the same day, and two pictures from the exact same position with only a dog walk between them. Between yesterdays blog and this one lies the path of a day taken up by stuff, complicated by maintainance work on a local bridge. A normal 20 minute journey swelled to fill an hour and I missed an appointment. Rebooked for two hours later I filled my time with delivering brochures for an upcoming Open Studios event.

And took a trip to the supermarket. The appointment required me not to drive for two hours after so I was ‘forced’ to enjoy a late lunch in a friends garden and soak up the sun whilst my eyes returned to a normal, not blurry, way of life. Time then to head for home and get all the day jobs done. Before heading out for the evening dog walk which provided the two pictures that top and tail this blog. Since moving, our evening dog walk always takes in the area around the Royal William Yard, especially since the evenings have started to get darker. Royal William Yard is a collection of Military Buildings in Plymouth.

https://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/explore/areas-to-visit/royal-william-yard

Between the two photos we walked up to a meadow and the dogs chased each other inside the old, second world war gun emplacements of Devils Point.

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/history/world-war-two-defences-you-2750611

I’m sure the longer we live here the more the history will soak into our bones but right now every slab of concrete is a complete mystery to us.

Returning to our original position, night was properly upon us.Time to turn our twelve feet for home.

Pandemic Pondering #462

This is an image from our evening walk, coming out from the tunnel was the nighttime sound of a Jazz Saxophonist. Rather lovely.

The day preceeding the evening walk was rather less lovely. Several trips to the tip and the house moving favourite, cleaning the oven! We’ve been in the physical part of this house move for 5 days now, cardboard boxes are the most prominent feature of our current lives.

Since we have no usable sofas currently, walking is the best way to stretch our hard-working backs. We stopped a while to watch the sun disappear.

Until tomorrow…

Pandemic Pondering #321

Summer in February. The sun put in an appearance today and the Stonehouse beaches looked like socially distanced summer.

We enjoyed coffee in the sun and witnessed a charming rescue by Plymouths Plastic Patrol.

Pictured below before the current pandemic.

© Plastic Patrol/Planet Patrol

A toddler dropped a much loved Zebra in the water near the Royal William Yard. The tide was high and, sadly, Zebra had to be left to his watery fate. Some time later members of Plastic Patrol paddled past.

They swiftly recovered the Zebra and, as luck would have it, Archie and his parents were waiting for a take out-coffee.

Zebra and toddler reunited.

A good end to a brilliant morning.

Pandemic Pondering #74

Saturday at Elvira’s

Saturdays in Lockdown got a whole lot better once we could get our favourite coffee fix at The Lord High Admiral provided by the lovely Hutong Crew.
https://m.facebook.com/thelhaplymouth/
https://m.facebook.com/TheHutongCafe/

Either before or after good coffee we go for breakfast at Elvira’s.
https://m.facebook.com/ElvirasCafePlymouth/

We’ve developed an unusual socially distance friendship with people we met on the first day in the Hutong queue. We meet for coffee and breakfast.

Breakfast at Elvira’s is immense, normally I go for a bacon buttie. For some unknown reason after four weeks on a super healthy diet I opted for the Farmhouse Breakfast.

As an aside this cafe in normal times is the favoured haunt of Commandos based at Stonehouse Barracks.

The Farmhouse Breakfast is exactly what a commando would deserve after a hard nights soldiering on night exercises

This breakfast was a thing of beauty and despite only doing a Joe Wicks work out I was determined to enjoy every mouthful. It was wonderful .

Elvira’s is very close to the Plymouth side of the Cremyll ferry. A boat ferry has crossed the Hamoaze, a stretch of the River Tamar, here, since the 11th Century.
https://www.plymouthboattrips.co.uk/ferries/cremyll-ferry/

Whilst waiting for my take away breakfast I discovered a combination of two of my favourite things . Rust and a Ghost Sign.
http://www.ghostsigns.co.uk/

A ghost sign is a faded sign, often seen on the walls of city buildings.

This one was set into the ground where passenger alight from the Cremyll foot ferry.

There wasn’t an easy way to capture the words in the bright sunlight.

The text reads.

WELCOME to Plymouth, now wipe your feet.

It is a matter of great pride that salmon have come back to the Tamar . A gentlemen was fly fishing on the slipway near where the ferry comes in. He was not a picturesque fisherman but he was standing in a picturesque place. I was anxious that he leave so I could get a nice photograph. I was very happy when his breakfast was delivered and he moved out of shot.

After a couple of long dog walks and no Hutong coffee, I had declined earlier, I was pretty sleepy after all that breakfast. An afternoon of reading turned into something much more relaxing.

Zzzzzzzzzzz

Pandemic Ponderings #44

A pondering in which we queue for good coffee in Plymouth. Saturdays are made for good coffee. For the 6 weeks of lockdown we’ve not had a coffee made with love and care by a proficient barrista. Given the Coffeeshop in question you could say we’ve missed out for 6 months. Hutong which closed in October for a rebuild, ‘popped up’ today at The Lord High Admiral.

Queuing for coffee is not unknown to us as Monmouth Coffee at Borough Market is another favourite coffeeshop.

Hutong coffee is worthy of the queue. The new environment at The Lord High Admiral is pretty cute.

On reflection , it was lovely to see George…

and Emma who didn’t make it into the mirror.

Perfect Social Distancing throughout the process we took delivery of our coffee.

It was every bit as good as we knew it would be. Right to the bottom of the cup.

If you are in Plymouth next Saturday the Hutong will ‘pop-up’ again next Saturday 9th May from 8am. The other ‘pop-up’ at The Lord High Admiral, Knead Pizza had sold out all their Pizza slots today and I think all of next week’s are sold out too. We were too slow for Pizza for both weeks and actually missed out on Hutong bacon butties today.

Note to self, get up earlier!

What to do after a Hutong Coffee? Drive to Stonehouse and do the usual walk.

This could not have been a better decision.

Firstly we parked up near Elvira’s,

who were serving bacon butties. By a strange coincidence we queued up at Elvira’s with a couple who had also been at the earlier coffee queue. They were much braver than us and ordered take-out Eggs Benedict. I would have been wearing egg yolk all day if we had ordered that.

Obviously once you’ve queued twice with people, observing social distancing, you can talk for ages even though they are complete strangers. (Pandemic observation, talking to strangers is a lovely thing now we all have more time)

Our Stonehouse walk is one we do often but everything in Lockdown is changed , there seems to be more to see.

Even at Elvira’s we saw these two lovely unusual things.

Non-local people can have a chuckle at the name of this location.

Admiral’s Hard; another saucy Plymouth location is Pennycomequick.

I just threw that in, it’s nowhere near our walk.

Stonehouse did not disappoint, we met another complete stranger at the proper distance, for more lovely conversations and Devils Point itself thought it was on the Mediterranean.

Pretty houses on the way back to the car.

Saturdays and Sunshine

Hutong Coffee

Elvira’s Bacon Butty

Lockdown rules all applied