#182 theoldmortuary ponders

A mobile phone and notebook made me unusually productive yesterday. Not exactly as busy as a bee but close. Apart from the times when I was walking the dogs I was hanging onto a phone line for the passport office. The notebook had significant dates in, that I knew I would need to quote and the phone was on loudspeaker so everyone in hearing distance was subjected to the truly terrible ‘on-hold’ music and the constant message about busy operators and suggestions that I use the on line system.

I will spare you my rage in full, a synopsis is the kinder option.

I have spent almost ten hours in the last two weeks on the phone to the passport office. Most of it listening to their dreadful music, not dreadful because the composer had a bad day but dreadful because the recording is reproduced so badly. The music is constantly interrupted by an announcer who speaks so gently and patronisingly that I wished harm on her.

Nearly two and a half hours on hold, in total, yesterday got most of the days dull jobs done.

Plenty of yardening which is where the illustrations come from.

All the washing done, no need for you to be bored by that. I even managed a small water colour doodle for my art course.

The thing I didn’t achieve was a resolution to the Passport situation. I still dont have one and it seems not even to be on the horizon. The Passport Office, in line with our Conservative Government Guidelines, lie. It seems that after surviving the aural hell that is their phone line queueing system, their overworked operators will tell you any old, plausible guff to get you off the line so they can lie to next person and achieve their lie goals for the day.

I have now entered the complaint system, lets see where that takes me.

Not abroad, that much is certain.

Pandemic Pondering #511

Another day finished off with fireworks at Firestone Bay. The late night dog walk was a little more glamorous than usual. Not so many boats out in the Sound tonight but the sea was still twinkling and bustling as people dropped anchor to enjoy the show.

There was a gorgeous illuminated Jellyfish hanging over Tranquility Bay at one point.

The dogs were transfixed by the spectacle of bright lights in the sky. It is hard to imagine what their canine brains made of it all. They had already had a great morning of running in one of their favourite gardens and then an afternoon of padding about in the yard as I strung lights in the plants.

It was another day of chores, errands and yardening , enlivened by a cherry and almond slice and a good natter with a friend while Hugo and Lola chased imaginary squirrels around her garden. After today I’m pretty much through all of the house moving chores now, so the return of proper summer would be greatly appreciated. One last firework and this little blog is over. If this dull summer continues I’m going to start baking cakes again, my weight has only just recovered from the 2020 Cake season!

Pandemic Pondering #509

It is not often that a cup of coffee makes us sad, but yesterday our coffee was accompanied by a minutes silence to mark the five lives lost in Plymouth recently. The sunshine put in a brief appearance too which added to the mood.

A good long walk around the Stonehouse Peninsular before a morning of yardening kept us busy.

Moving many of the plants from the previous garden into pots and containers has for the most part been a huge success.

The notable exception being an Acer who currently poses as a Georgia O’Keefe painting in her Adobe period.

The one inherited plant from the previous owners is doing its best to show off to its new companions.

The moved plants are still huddling together near the back door. Settling into their new environment with plenty of rain ( Thanks Summer 2021)

6 weeks in and we are starting to plan the changes we need to put in place to make the yard more effective as a growing space. We need to spend some time on You Tube learning bricklaying skills!

Somewhere is needed to let this new person show off these milky white leaves to their best advantage.

This is a first backyard for both of us there seems so much to learn!

Pandemic Pondering#503

Yesterday was all about doing essential tasks but taking the odd moment off to take in the signs of summer. Rolls of straw disappearing into infinity were a good reminder that the summer, which has barely got started weather wise is already on the home run towards autumn. I spent a good part of yesterday harvesting wisdom. Sometimes when I spend too long cogitating on things alone it can be like drinking champagne to share those thoughts with a friend. A moment of someone elses perspective or experience brings light and clarity to a situation that I was making murky by over-thinking. I visited a friend with a new Shepherds Hut yesterday, and in its tiny space and in a few minutes of nattering she quickly gave me a precious nugget of wisdom that solved a situation I had been mulling over for some time.

Even the Shepherds Hut made me think of autumn. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but so far in the summer of 2021 my stand out piece of summer clothing is a lightweight but very effective raincoat. We may have been over excited in buying a big garden parasol for our new back yard, an essential item for safe outdoor socialising in these Covid times. We’ve only needed it twice in a little over 6 weeks of prime-time summer. Earlier in the week we managed a whole morning of yardening untroubled by over zealous sun or blistering heat. Our yard is essentially a bright white box of enclosing stone walls facing west. A perfect sun trap if there was any of it about! The yardening was an exercise in potting and repotting container plants that we had moved from the old house. Just to show off the sun and a little heat made a late appearance yesterday in the yard and warmed the newly potted plants.Which makes all my moaning about a lack of summer sun seem like nonsense.

But stuck in England as I am I would like to have some consistency of sunshine and some sweltering heat so that when autumn does arrive I can fully appreciate the cooler days with occasional showers. Which perversely, of course, is exactly what the whole summer of 2021 has been like here!