Pandemic Ponderings #45

Sunday takes a similar shape to any other day in the pandemic lock-down but there are accessories to the day which make it different. Sunday permits laziness in the hours that would normally be spent with family and friends. The dogs get walked , books and newspapers get read. There is always cake. Cake in a Pandemic is a serious business, there is nothing flimsy about our pandemic cakes. They are always home- made and are described as having ‘heft’.Everything about our cake choices is hefty. The flavours are strong, Guinness, Cocoa, Strong Coffee and the textures are extreme. Super moist brownie, deep black dense texture or richly golden crumble.

We seem to be adopting bold colours and bold flavours during this lockdown. I wonder if it’s because the world seems brighter when we are allowed out so our indoor life has to get brighter and bolder too.

The tulips in the house are feeling pretty bold too. Or are they hefty?

Pandemic Ponderings #34

Pandemic Ponderings started on 17 th March sometime before the Government Lockdown restrictions and a little before my own self isolation due to a common virus. That’s about 36 days of life being significantly different from anything any of us have experienced before. Have we @theoldmortuary developed a new set routine? The answer would have to be no although we do seem to run out of food/ provisions on Tuesdays. Our world has shrunk and the weekly trip to two supermarkets, one each, is an event in life rather than something squeezed into life. Communication is everything and we’ve not quite got that right. Yesterday was National Tea Drinking Day, unconsciously we took the cue and bought 500 teabags, both bagging a bargain. Stockpiling at its most shameful, the T bags join the six tins of sweetcorn.Gardening has become a routine but we are fast running out of places to store lawn cuttings, bush trimmings and weeds. It is weather related rather than supply and demand which governs shopping. Storage of garden waste is soon going to be the factor that controls us. The weather flip opposite of the gardening routine is interior DIY. It’s amazing how much we can achieve just by using stuff we already have in our shed.Curiously Mondays have become our laundry and house cleaning day. This is exactly the routine my grandparents had and it’s one that has crept up on us. In non pandemic times we washed whenever there was a load but with no life beyond home we are producing less washing. House cleaning is not so bad when you are not exhausted from working elsewhere, I can only think of two pre-pandemic routines that we’ve not modified. One is the bedtime walk for the dogs, we never meet anyone even in normal times and that’s not changed, people don’t whizz past us in their cars anymore . No cars means no pollution and what is noticibly more lovely about our evening walks, this spring, is the intensity of fragrance from people’s gardens and the hedgerows.The other unchanged routine is having flowers in the house. The weeks of daffodils have passed and currently we have tulips.One slightly odd juxtaposition is our fireplace. An interiors psychologist suggested keeping Christmas lights up until Spring as it helps to make darker evenings less dire. Weve stuck with that because a Pamdemic needs light shining on it. Fear not, that is not a Trumpian solution , we just love a bit of twinkle, any excuse. Now we have tulips and Christmas lights,if this goes on it could be sunflowers. In this shot the pandemic gets a mention too. It does not improve with twinkle.

Not to be outdone the garden has some new solar lights to brighten up the evening of whoever walks past the house. Something we do at Christmas time but it seems important to do it now too.Lola reminds me that there is one other routine that must be adhered to, dog hugs. This is the face of someone who wants me to stop pondering.

In the Pink, the morning commute and other stories.

theoldmortuary team has spent the weekend fixing fences ravaged by Storms Ciara, Dennis and Eileen. As garden party guests go these three are banned. In consequence we are a little jaded and completely over February weather. As inspiring, luck would have it, the Artists of the Tamar Valley Instagram prompt for today was #mondaymotivation. It seems Pink is a thing for me on Monday mornings. A simple search for Monday’s in my picture library bought up this 12 year old painting.

Battersea Power station was always my motivation on my journey into central London to produce radiographic images. Neatly demonstrated in pink by this piece of lightbox art in Hong Kong.

©Ovolo Hotel Southside Hong Kong

Making x-ray images used to involve dark rooms. One Monday I produced this image to demonstrate dark room illumination. It was a freak image but very pink.

For a while I produced the social media for an exhibition at Tate Modern, this also appeared in the Monday file.

Not all art images are hugely positive, the next image is a piece of commissioned work that was personalised with the addition of Slovakian poetry. Niche,for certain but the commissioning person ultimately refused to buy it.

A fabulous, pink, Monday image is the wildflowers in early spring that cling to the walls of Trematon Castle. Also sometimes a commuting journey.

Flowers fill the Monday Photo File. These Tulips were captured last February, caught in a sharp ray of sunshine.

2020 take note. Sunshine is permitted in February.

Less in-your-face pink is this February roses. I’m not sure I want to think about the air miles.

Finally to shine a little more pink light into the February gloom. Lightbulbs.

Hoping these pinks have perked up a February Monday, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. Pink is so much better as a #mondaymotivation than black fences and quick drying cement.

Vivid

Vivid is my word of choice on a dull, wet January day. Vivid brightens the world. Vivid people enrich the world. Vivid is never dull. I searched my files for a picture or two to illustrate vivid. My vivid file is rather full and I’m unable to just pick one so join me on a vivid journey for January. The route will be erratic.

Vivid Hugo in January 7 years ago. An 8 week old puppy. As I write this he still loves a vivid backdrop. Today he is sleeping on a Chartreuse coloured pillow.

One last Hugo centric image comes from Brighton Pavillion Winter Ice skating rink possibly 6 years ago. I love the accidental or serendipitous heart shape of the illuminated portion of the image.

Taking my next link as architecture Brighton Pavillion we to Neal’s Yard just North of Covent Garden Tube Station.

I’m completely lost as to where these beach huts are. Pink and orange takes us to the seaside, either Suffolk or Sussex.

This wall is in Marrakech, dropping the orange we go pink. A pink wall in Majorelle Gardens famed for their blue. There is a tiny triangle of the eponymous blue if you look hard enough.

Pink Marrakech walls guide me gently towards the next new direction, which will be sartorial with a nod to a traditionally dressed market porter. What is intangible from this picture is the vivid smell eminating from the tannery area. A rare example of vivid not being a good thing.

Sartorially vivid takes us to South Korea. A chance photograph of a proper dapper chap.

Another chance photograph. Not so dapper but definately a chap taken at Whitstable Carnival.

Body habitas gives me the next cue for a change of direction. Statues by Mauro Perruchetti. Jelly Baby Family at Marble Arch.

Jelly baby sculptures neatly swerve me to foodstuffs. Next up Dolly Mixtures at a baptismal party.

The glitter and twinkly confetti party table takes us effortlessly to a live Christmas Karaoke party in Peckham.

Then on to yet more twinkle. This time for Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.

Peckham to Hong Kong, quite a journey but as we’ve arrived there is more Hong Kong to reveal.

Close up of a lantern , quickly followed by a photographic error but vivid and thus valuable to this blog.

As luck would have it I have a Chinese New Year textile link.

My packing for Chinese New Year.

That was a lucky turn as textiles are awkward to weave into a story. The craft tent at The Royal Cornwall Show tempted Psychedelic crochet out of the closet.

Port Eliot Festival, also in Cornwall ties up trees as gifts.

Which brings me gratefully to Vivid Nature.

February tulips in Saltash

Artichokes in June.

Which briefly return us to Hong Kong for spiky plants.

Rambutans at Tuen Mun market in the New Territories. Fruit directs me to some of my paintings. Starting with Fig, Blackberry and Cob but.

Then on to an invented abstract fruit.

Which bears a little resemblance to a real flower,

at the Chelsea Flower Show, which of course returns us to London.

This is a very expensive monitor in a hospital in Marylebone. This intriguing pattern was caused by an unexpectedly vigorous movement of an x-ray machine, known as a C-arm it orbits around the patient. Swinging us neatly to the actual Orbit at The Olympic Park. Sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

Red neon effect and East London track me back to The City.

A favourite bar and coffee shop opposite Smithfield Market and close to St Bartholomew’s Hospital . Ask For Janice is a refuge from the realities of work. It is also the location for celebrations and socializing with work friends. Often before more physical challenges , which bowls us along nicely.

Posh bowling in Bloomsbury with the boys.

Buoys on the Norfolk coast.

And finally some vivid music and more spheres.

Congratulations on completing a vivid journey. Have a chocolate.