Pandemic Pondering #380

On reflection, moments like this are very rare. A still tide and no river traffic causing movement or ripples in the water. I do this walk almost every day but rarely catch moments like this. The proper business of dog walking is the purpose of the visit, but yesterday I just took a moment to capture these two pictures. I could already hear the sound of outboard motors approaching to ruin the perfect reflection.

Moments after this picture was taken the tide direction switched and the river started to flow again and I was able to concentrate on walking the dogs.

The road bridge in the front of this picture was completed in 1960 and the rail bridge behind 100 years earlier. Together they carry passengers and goods in and out of Cornwall, a hundred feet or so above the heads of humans standing on the riverbank. I never give it much thought on my daily walks but for the people living on the banks of the river in 1859 the first trains crossing the rail bridge must have been an extraordinary moment. I’ve only recently discovered that, less than two weeks after the railway service into Cornwall started,a train fell off a bridge just a couple of miles from here. That cant have made living under the bridge feel very safe at all. A future ponder will emerge from this new information once I can freely visit the local museum and research the story. Rail and road safety being what it is I happily walk beneath these bridges never anticipating a train or motor vehicle landing on my head. I may give it more consideration now!

Pandemic Pondering #276

Naturally occuring hearts have been a little thin on the ground.

This one is not on the ground nor is it particularly naturally occuring. The bright blue heart is just an accident of light reflection.

Nothing in this picture shows how windy it was during this walk. Maybe the picture below gives a sense.

Dog walks in weather like this are for one reason only. Elimination. Picking up a dog poo in such winds is unusually difficult. It was hard to stand and open the plastic poo bag but once I had grasped the evenings offering the wind whipped one little nugget and blew it away before I could tie the bag up. I did not chase it!

Fogblog

These lacy images were created by a tree skeleton in the fog, Fog in the Tamar Valley is clean and bright, it turns the world monotone. The light has no bounce, my favourite muddy squiggle lacks its usual twinkle and inviting silkiness.

Driving higher just makes things worse, the world is a bright white blanket of denser fog. Later in the day the bridges of Saltash are taking people to an unseeable destination.

Beyond these bridges lies the rest of the world or “Up the line”or ” Up Country” as it is known locally.
One more skeleton tree image, for now. This strange environment is perfect for them. I’m uncertain what else it is perfect for.

Mandalaesque Skeleton Tree ©theoldmortuary

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 …

Advent#8

Some days ‘popping’ into town takes a bit longer than planned.
https://www.santasonabike.org.uk/

Hundreds of Santas rode into town at 1pm. Raising money for Little Harbour Children’s Hospice .
https://www.chsw.org.uk/our-care/our-hospices/little-harbour

The town, already closed to traffic for a winter fete, was soon bursting with bikers in red, astride throbbing engines with fake fur on their faces.

Saturdays are never normally this vivid in South East Cornwall.

Quickie- #2

I popped into this local visitor attraction this morning.

When I asked Brian, the Centre volunteer for today, why he joined this tiny new museum as a guide. His answer was simple.

” Because I’ve been in construction all my life.I just love seeing something that has been designed by engineers, fulfilling its purpose effectively” he explained

Enthusiasts are so great to talk to, alongside his extensive knowledge of both bridges I also learnt that Brian had started life in a drawing office. His technical drawing skills were way more advanced than my meagre ‘O’ level. He explained that final, finished-build,technical drawings were done on waxed linen and that the fabric was amazing quality, if there was any spare you could take it home and wash the wax off to reveal beautiful fabric to sew with.

It must be a fabulous experience to draw on waxed linen, I find it hard to imagine the process. The smells and textures would be so different from the usual paper. Perfect though if a tea spillage occurred..

Amazing fact, and the excuse for this picture. The workers on the bridge wore normal every day clothes and used no safety gear. There are photographs of men at work in flat caps and suits. Maybe not as visually pleasing as this shot ; which I chose because it could be a contemporary fashion shoot and yet it is more than 50 years old.

Saltash Regatta

Potential Energy

IMG_0192Saltash Regatta weekend.

A bustling brightly coloured celebration of river and community based pleasure. I always like to get to the waterfront at dusk on the Friday or dawn on the Saturday to catch the hardware of the event in preparation. The symmetry and stillness of the gigs and pilot boats belies the ferociousness of the events later in the day

IMG_0197These weighty oars have the delicacy of ballerinas feet as they rest peaceably together on the green. In a few hours they will be battling for prime position, one on one contact is not unheard of.

IMG_0196I love the laced-on leather handgrips, resting here, they have an erotic quality, suggesting laces on corsets passively waiting to be undone. In reality, the leather provides grip but the combination of endeavour, leather and salty water is punishing to the flesh. Soft palms and finger tips can be shredded to bloody remnants of their former selves.

IMG_0195Gigs, resting neatly in the water, delivered overnight from all over the West Country await their teams to give them energy and purpose.

IMG_0190Their skeletal insides waiting for race-ready muscles to give them power.

IMG_0193Blades, polished to cleave the water whilst the rowers cleave together, rhythm and energy effectively brought together.

IMG_0191Flashboats announcing every rowers hoped-for outcome. Just a few hours peace before the rowing begins.