‘Communication Is The Key’


‘Every cloud’, we are told, ‘has a silver lining’. Sometimes this is difficult to see. This good outcome from my Broadband problems, however, became clear this morning when the very personable Mike Smith came to install a new phone line.

Firstly, the BT Openreach engineer climbed a ladder at the front of the house to work on the fixture on the eaves.

Health and Safety regulations meant that he was not permitted to climb the pole out in the street without someone in attendance to ensure that he did not come to grief. This was to be a colleague who needed to come from Fawley via Beaulieu where the road was closed.

This may have meant a certain amount of boring hanging about waiting for Andy, the other man to arrive. Not so. A treat was in store.

Mike had noticed that ‘someone was a photographer’. So was he. He has a Flickr account which he opened on my computer so that he could show me some of his superb work. He specialises in street photography, of which the site flickr.com/photos/zarfimages contains splendid examples. My shots above don’t do justice to these pictures. I recommend his site.

Naturally we had much to talk about. But eventually his support arrived and he had to get back to what I called “some real work”. Having climbed the ladder propped against our holly tree, helmetted, and hoisted, Mike did what he needed to do. Unfortunately there is a problem underground that requires the attention of a specialist team. Following our friend’s request this should be attended to in a couple of days.

Today’s title was Mike’s suggestion.

When visiting Bransgore yesterday, Jackie had noticed a splendid maple at the corner of St George’s Drive that she thought I would like to photograph. She drove me there this afternoon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious sausage casserole followed by her spicy pumpkin pie. The casserole was served with creamy mashed potatoes, crunchy carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts; the pie with whipped cream. I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2010.


  1. Next time you see Mike, tell him he title was quite apropos! And Jackie hit the nail on the head with that red maple – it couldn’t possibly get any brighter!! Beautiful sight!

  2. That maple is astonishing! Fabulous colour. You’ve reminded me that I need to get our own phone line fixed, horrible noise on the line much of the time.
    I took a look at your engineer’s photos – interested. By the way, you need to add a ‘c’ to the web address, as it is spelled flickr not flikr. This will work better: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zarfimages
    I had a Flickr account for about seven years. Good site.

  3. I was thinking today that I should photograph some of the maples on the part of the Mall that I can walk to during lunch. Gorgeous, like yours. And as for clouds, tonight, I was walking to the Metro full of mean, angry thoughts, looked up and saw a cloud like a swimming turtle. Instant silver lining! Just like Mike.

  4. What a pleasant looking man!
    Would you please refrain with mentioning that p—–n pie, especially when it is combined with w—–d c—m??

  5. Wow Derrick, loved how your cloud had a silver lining my friend.. And wonderful you shared a common passion for photography.. 🙂 Great photo’s of him at work.. 🙂

  6. Hope your Broadband problem will be solved.
    Many years ago I moved to the house where was no internet connection, so I requested one, and a young chap came over to set it up for me. He saw my photographs on computer screen, and said that his mother was a member of the local Camera Club, and he gave me her number 🙂 We are still friends.

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