December 28, 2003

Goodwill to All

So - I make the ultimate sacrifice and dispose of my 35mm equipment in order to buy a new digital camera and the first results are highjacked by my family and published on their websites. I suppose I have to accept that this is a form of flattery. My motto in such cases is "Don't applaud - just throw money". For the results of my Christmas day pictures you will have to go to Laura's site.

Yesterday we all went over to Melanie Blatt's house as her parents David & Hélène and sister Jasmine were over from France. David has come over to see his publisher, as he is bringing his first book out on 1 May 2004. Watch this space! Anyone who knows David will realise that it obviously has a lot to do with Manchester United.

Posted by jeff at 05:07 PM | Comments (1)

December 20, 2003

I WAS THERE

Max Boyce wrote a famous song entitled "I Was There" about the time that Llanelly RFC beat the All Blacks at Stradey Park. Any of you who are rugby fans will surely know this one. I love all sport but rugby is the one closest to my heart coupled with track athletics. The reason for this is that they were my two loves at school. I still relive the day when I ran a mile in 4’20”. Today, I wonder if I could achieve it in 4 hours 20 minutes! I did not attain any heights in my rugby career, but was considered to be a useful scrum half because of my slight build and speed. I can assure you that the avoirdupois arrived well after the end of my playing and running career.

Although I was not there on 22 November 2003 I was transfixed to my TV for the whole of that memorable final and although alone, strained my vocal chords to an extent that quite surprised me. Yes – we beat the Aussies!
20-17, it will be a long time before that score is erased from memory. I know that this is so, as I still vividly remember that day in August 1966 when England won the World Cup in that other code of football. I was there. My friend David and I had season tickets for all the matches at Wembley Stadium and could not believe our luck in that England had actually reached the final. We had promised our wives that, as they had been so tolerant of our regular disappearances to the wilds of British North West London, we would take them out to dinner after the final. Oh Dear! Extra time and then that terrible crush before reaching Wembley Park station. On arrival home some hours later than anticipated we were totally relieved when Nina opened the door with a broad smile on her face declaring, “Wasn’t it great 4-2. We beat the Germans”. I know that the memory of 1966 will always remain an aura of clarity and that the rugby triumph will not surpass it but will help to enhance and encapsulate over 37 years of being able to enjoy sport. So much nicer than waging war.

Even now as I stand at the bathroom basin, I find that unconsciously I am standing with my legs slightly bent and in the process of washing my hands, hold them in a praying gesture. Yes – I am half way to becoming Jonny Wilkinson. Perhaps it is not too difficult from this stage to add a kicking ability that I never had. Thank goodness Nina is out as I have just kicked the waste bin against the wall with a terrible clatter! Who knows; perhaps my chances of representing my country have not completely vanished, or are my advancing years conspiring against me?

Of course I know that this is only a dream but we must never give up dreaming; it brings out the child in us and keeps us ever young. Perhaps it is also this type of dreaming that prompts me to write all of these pointless articles

Posted by jeff at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2003

Happy Birthday Joëlle

joelle-birthday.jpg;

A very happy 14th birthday to our beautiful Granddaughter Joëlle. Grandma and I love you very much and hope you have a really fab day.

Posted by jeff at 02:48 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2003

SNAP (UN)HAPPY

Today I was dragged kicking and screaming into the digital era. I know that I am computer literate, but as far as photography is concerned I have been a dedicated 35mm man for over 40 years.

Digital photography is the thing for the 21st century and as much as I did not want to admit it, I have had a problem getting photographs quickly enough to embed into my website. So, grudgingly I admitted that I would have to get a digital camera. Deep discussions took place at the store with a very knowledgeable young man. This added to my general knowledge of the technical side of photography ended in a positive decision as to what to buy.

Then came the hardest decision of all. Should I accept the offer to buy my current camera and lenses in part-exchange. This beautiful Canon EOS10 and its 3 lenses had served me admirably for over 12 years. I had produced some wonderful enlargements from the hundreds I had taken during several adventurous holidays all over the world. This camera was an old friend, a bosom pal even though the weight of it and all the lenses in the bag made me list heavily to starboard. I knew its every whim. How could I possibly part with it? I promised the salesman that I would return later with my gear to see what sort of offer he would make for it. Nina had originally bought this for me, but said that I should not be sentimental over a camera. Oh, how hard she can be at times.

I walked back into the store carrying all the lenses and the camera and placed them on the counter for the assessment. I felt like a man taking his pet dog to the vet to have it put down. Tears welled in my eyes as I agreed the deal. I left the shop with an empty camera bag, and now knew that the pet analogy was perfect. The empty bag was just like an empty pet carrier, light and lifeless in my hand. BUT, I am a man and have to realise that I am taking the first steps in learning to live with my new pet. Gosh, it’s complicated – will I ever learn to drive it.

The Camera is dead; long live the Camera!

Posted by jeff at 02:15 AM | Comments (0)