Pandemic Pondering #413

My ‘ bonus track’ day. My parents both died at the same age that I am now. Yesterday I outlived them both by one day. So from now on every day will be something more than they were able to experience.

My mum had a long terminal illness and spent her last day on this earth ” Taking a turn for the worst” By contrast my dads terminal illness was brief and he spent his last day deliberately enjoying one of his favourite meals with family and friends before snuggling into bed never to wake up again. Obviously I always hoped to reach this milestone day and mark it in some way. I imagined a gathering of my nearest and dearest enjoying communal eating and celebrating my good fortune. As has been the habit of the last 16 months the pandemic has obliterated long term plans and made even short term plans unpredictable. Better perhaps to have no plans and live life as it is rather than as we hoped it might be. So no gathering today.

The eve of my new ‘bonus track era’ was spent charging up my life batteries with a swim in fabulous waves.

And finding new paths on the ancient byways of Cornwall.

My actual Bonus Track Day will be spent very much living life as it is, with domestic admin, dogs, lovely companions and an evening swim with the Bobbers.

Tranquility Bay was in quite a lively mood when we arrived. A quick dip for some and a longer challenging swim for others gave the day a sparkly, fizzing finale.

Pandemic Pondering #406

Our second Mayday weekend of the Pandemic has passed. In many ways that seems more something to reflect on than Easter weekend. Mayday is associated with joyous events in our corner of the world. @theoldmortuary there is no particular pattern or traditional behaviours. Locally we have a May Fair, a rare event in our locality to wander the main street and bump into people that we know. In comparison to other May Day events it is no great shakes so we are not always faithful to it. The picture above is of a local gentleman who is always there and always dresses up in a meticulous costume to bring a smile to peoples faces.

One Mayday we hired Mr Blue Sky as a belated birthday gift, we all have birthday s around Christmas so belated gifts are not unusual. Mr Blue Sky took us to the Gower Peninsular, for happy, but chilly, camping.

Last May Day the world was reeling from the realised impact of the Pandemic and @theoldmortuary we were reeling from various life changing events that were landing on us to add to the burden of Pandemic angst. Life felt a bit like this safety sign for the quiet lanes nearby, where horse riding and cars share the space.

The sadness and difficulty of this time last year have given us all a push in new and unexpected directions. We have to see the world through the lens of our communal and personal losses and experiences of the last year.

In my experience all things tend to follow Newtons 3rd Law of Physics.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

The things that made last May Day and the surrounding period of life quite shitty have altered the world and each persons perception and lived experience of this May Day, and all days.

A year ago @theoldmortuary would not have considered sea swimming to be a natural part of life and yet this year it couldn’t be more natural than to take a dip in the sea and feel utterly captivated and joyous about it.

We’ve bonded with some lovely people over the last 6 months in chill sea and the socially distanced warm up after.

Also last year or any previous year a trip to Ikea would not have been on our acceptable activities list. But yesterday we made a small list and joined a Disney length queue to get into our local, Exeter, store.

Because of Covid restrictions the store was not packed with people but it was packed with texture and colours and smells. The stand out smell was the carpet department, just delicious!

Sadly no meatball lunch as indoor eating is still not permitted. But looking through our altered lens the trip to Ikea on a Bank Holiday weekend was an absolute pleasure not a chore.

It unexpectedly lit up our life.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes you just have to look for it.

Pandemic Pondering #398

The bright sunlight of Sunday turned this blog into a riot of blue and green. Starting at 8 am with vivid seaweed.

From the exact same location I could turn around to show you the sillouettes of the trees that were trimmed last week.

Its not only the trees that got a trim this week. Hannah also got a haircut this week so we are 25% tidy @theoldmortuary as Hugo and Lola can look pretty shaggy after only 4 weeks away from their salon visits.

The post swim dash to breakfast took us past this Ceanothus and this gorgeous door.

After a morning spent on human pursuits the dogos waited patiently for their turn, with a bit of a blue background.

A dog walk on a slightly different part of the coast found one more blue and green image.

So here we are, its Monday again.

Lets start the week with a splash!

Pandemic Pondering #384

Sometimes you have to get up early for the twinkliest of moments. We got double twinkle yesterday. -1 degree and a frosty car as we set off very twinkly. Then a twinkly sea to swim in.

We only exchanged christmas gifts last week, during Easter. This weekend we got to use some of them. Swimming lessons and a silk shirt, neither particularly suited to the day but we are living in unusual times .

I got the easier option of wearing a new orange silk shirt while walking the dogs.

Hannah opted for orange accessories for her swimming lesson. Accidentally orange became the colour of the moment as an orange noodle was thrown to her during the early part of the lesson.

https://www.aceswimming.co.uk/

Me and the dogs watching on the beach.

Just a tiny tweak on the saturation of this photo shows up the orange of the tow floats as the lesson continues. It also gives the shine on the sea a pale purple hue which matched the weed I was leaning near to get these photos

Then as the lesson concluded I got a lovely splash of the complimentary colour to orange. Turquoise. This was not a cunning plan to introduce colour theory into the Monday blog!

Just luck, but serendipity does play a large part in these blogs. Because as luck/serendipity would have it we have a red flask for post swim warming up. Another portion of colour theory is that a small dash of red can improves the overall look of a picture. The same could be said for this blog.

For the story about a dot of red read this.

https://www.cassart.co.uk/blog/colour-speaks-volumes.htm

An accidental lesson in colour theory during a deliberate swimming lesson. Pandemic Pondering in a nutshell.

Pandemic Pondering #323

Storm Darcy brought windchill factors of -3 to -5 . Beyond that the weather was gorgeous and while doing two walks, that have been in many blogs, the bright winter sunshine gave Plymouth the look, if not the feel of Greece.

Leviathon

The Leviathon was looking pretty sparky this morning. While a doughnut from a 400 year old bakery fueled our 10,000 steps.

Just having my hands out for long enough to eat my share of the doughnut was enough to lose all feeling in my fingers but a huge positive was that the jam was so solid we didn’t end up wearing it.

The harbour looked Mediterranean.

And ultimately dogs and humans found a sheltered beach to bask and scamper.

Morning walk done, it was time to return home for a few hours of domestica before the next little dose of Mediterranean sunshine.

Hugo and Lola wait patiently for the return. No chance of a 10,000 step walk this evening after the ‘Bobbers’ have had a swim but warm snuggles in front of the fire is a great substitute in the middle of February.

They don’t have to wait too long for the ‘bobbers’ to return.

A day to lift the spirits!

Pandemic Pondering #310

Bagels, Basking, Bobbing.

Our introduction to Hutong Bagels was a couple of days late but serendipity delivered them on a day when we could bask in winter sun.

Dressed for the cold, we felt as  warm as toast. I’m wearing a tweed coat I picked up at a charity shop over the New Year. It was in the window and the subtle colours called out to me. What a find. A Saks 5th Avenue brand, every edge is bound with leather . A Transatlantic coat to keep me warm while I look out over the Atlantic. Not that I would have dreamed of scrabbling about on rocks in it if I had actually bought it in Saks. Truth be told the only time I could ever have shopped in Saks I needed an afternoon sleep. Rooftop bars and the New York tradition of free pouring spirits meant I was not a very effective tourist in the afternoons!

Coats are only temporary though. After an hour of basking it’s time to get our clothes off and swim with the ‘ Bobbers’

©Andy Cole

Cold sea swimming has become addictive. Not just us, the whole of Britain is dunking in the sea more than ever before.We go out twice a week. Today we shared the water with boats and a seal. The seal is called Sammy and lives in Firestone bay. There are no photographs of the seal but the boats were more co-operative. Clyde Fisher was the big chap. Powerful and Faithful are the tugs.

Tugs, we love tugs.
©Andy Cole

Pandemic Pondering #257

So long, November.

©Andy Cole

A November like no other slipped quietly into December. Last night five of our informal swimming group          ‘ Bobbers’ took to the sea at Firestone Bay to swim for the last time in November. For most of us it was the first time the end of November was marked in such a way. The positive aspects of Covid-19 can be difficult to appreciate but sea swimming and increased fitness is a definite @theoldmortuary.

The tail end of November was bright and beautiful, our exercise outings were either spent in the water or walking beside it. Fistral is a beach in North Cornwall where ‘ Bobbers’ would not get an effective swim.

Surfers though have a wonderful time.

Good morning December 2020 let’s see what surprises you have up your wintery sleeves.