Pandemic Pondering#324

I’m not even sure which day of Lockdown 3 we are in. The day is probably irrelevant and can, of course be fact checked later. A daily blog in a time when we are not supposed to do very much might seem something that could be a struggle. But as a writer or recorder of things my bar is set extraordinarily low. Todays ponder is officially about the boundary between Devon and Cornwall, very specifically either side of the Tamar Bridge. Which is why the pretty image of the bridge heads up this blog. Before that however I wanted to share a side ponder not truly worthy of a full ponder. One that really would scrape the boredom level if I were to illustrate it. Lockdown 1 was the lockdown of some personal and public anguish and a lot of getting things done.

Lockdown 2 . Anguish accepted as a way of life on a sliding scale of severity depending on the day. Beyond that it was full on-prep for the Christmas that never was.

Lockdown 3 . Eat all the food puchased for the Christmas that never was. Emerge from that lifestyle to one that is not normal and also doesn’t feature a lot of getting things done. Stuff still happens though, no day is a void.

Over the weekend we watched a Christopher Plummer film. Not the Sound of Music but Beginners. The implausibility of The Sound of Music would have gone unnoticed but watching Beginners felt implausible not because it was the story of a 75 year old man embarking on his true life as a gay man but because the film featured almost impromptu parties. It felt so unbelievably wrong in a way that a family saga involving the Third Reich and clothes made from curtains never feels.

A small point I agree but this side ponder is about small points.

Small point number 2, in the mornings I wake up and am excited that the first cup of tea with caffeine is about to happen. Since the insomnia of Lockdown I , I have become tediously fastidious about no caffeine after 1pm. Were I to have some after 1pm , I could get giddy and throw a party. No I wouldn’t , but you get the picture!

If there were to be a party, I would almost certainly wear new thermal underwear. Today was a red letter day. New thermal leggings arrived. Essential for getting my 10,000 steps during my permitted, outdoor exercise. Such excitement!

Back to the Bridge, I have used this bridge regularly for nearly half of my life. I only realised this weekend that travelling west I am welcomed into Cornwall.

Welcomed in this instance is a loaded and slightly disingenuous word. I was not born in Cornwall, I have been a second home owner, I do come from ‘ up the line’ and for a long period of time I was from ‘ down London way’. The likelihood of me truly being welcomed by everyone in Cornwall is extremely unlikely but entirely livable with. Devon in the easterly direction offers no such welcome, genuine or otherwise.

Halfway across the bridge drivers or walkers enter the City of Plymouth. No mention of Devon, no warm welcome. At no point on the A38 are travellers welcomed to Devon. Most skirt Plymouth on the Devon Expressway. Once they have left the environs of the Plymouth City Boundaries they are left uncherished until they cross the county boundaries of Dorset or Somerset when other counties offer them an unconditional welcome.

The far South West of England, one welcome, not as whole hearted as you might think and one completely absent one.

Pondering- it makes you think.

Pandemic Pondering #311

The greige is back! This picture is in full glorious colour but you would never know it, only a life jacket on the pontoon gives a tiny splash of colour. Headlines are a starker version of greige, the United Kingdom has recorded an excess of 100,000 deaths linked to Covid.

This picture is also in full glorious colour again there is a tiny splash of colour on a pontoon . On this occasion the splash of colour is an office building painted a curious shade of salmon pink. The thing neither of these pictures show is the unrelenting rain. What they do demonstrate is why safety equipment is painted red, or in unusual circumstances Salmon Pink. The salmon pink office is part of a Royal Navy Munitions Depot. Barges, called Lighters, make their way to the Jetty, on which it stands, from the Dockyard to collect armaments to transport down the river to load onto warships. I had often wondered why the building was pink. I presume now that is is because Salmon Pink also stands out in Greige. There would not be a jetty if the barges had trouble seeing it.

As ponderings go this one is biased towards the dismal end of the spectrum. Late January, dreadful pandemic statistics, jetties solely built to deliver weapons are not the ingredients for a joyful blog particularly set within a background of a third lockdown.

Thankfully Facebook timehop gave me an eight year old image, also with some obvious red to twink the mood a little.

Hugo loves a drink of tea. He is never too fussed about the design of the mug, but for the purposes of this blog I’m quite grateful he chose this one for his morning refreshment. A tiny uplift of encouragement in a world that is rather greige.

theoldmortuary- real life interior design.

IMG_1468Nate Berkus a US interior designer has many of the same philosophies that we are adopting at theoldmortuary. As we have mentioned before we are sadly depleted of relations the generation above us. We have a pretty large archive of ‘stuff’  from deceased relatives , it needs to be curated or we would be accused of being hoarders and that has never been a stylish look.

Tea sets are a tricksy one , reasonably unfashionable for day to day living .We must have had five sets that were nostalgic to the point of being impossible to send to the charity shop. We’ve found a compromise.

This one , a simple classic that suits our style lives on the Cornish Range in our Kitchen.IMG_1467Denby Manor Green Stoneware was produced from the 1940’s until the 70’s,our collection holds pieces from every decade and has been inherited or gifted from family and friends. I can’t say we use it often but it looks good on the range and is really comforting to use , especially in winter. The bowl shape of the cups is perfect to hold between chilly hands and the plates have a bit of a lip that is great for retaining the melted butter that oozes from hot crumpets.

We have a few bone China plates that we have kept from a variety of manufacturers and sources that spark interest when Cake is required , the quality of the pieces spans Woolworths to Crown Derby. We’ve also kept 4 bone China cups and saucers that we serve deserts in. Beyond that the bone china has gone to charity shops, it takes up too much storage space and flies of shelves if you brush past it. You don’t need an eight person setting to prompt a memory when a single plate will do.