Early Morning Sun

On her way to an early morning shopping trip Jackie dropped me at Silver Street near Ashley, and i walked back via Everton Road and Hordle Lane. It was a relief to turn right Early morning suninto the lane after walking directly into the glaring sun. The explosion of red, yellow, and green baubles picked up by the camera lens beset my own irises, gradually changing to purple and blue, blinding me to much else, especially oncoming prams and buggies.

This experience took me back to Harrow Road, N.W.10, in the early 1970s when my Social Services Area Office was housed at the Ladbroke Lane  end of that thoroughfare. This busy road runs East to West from Central London. On a morning such as this I witnessed the aftermath of an accident in which a driver, similarly dazzled, had, coming from the West, crashed into the back of a stationary bus. I reflected that, perhaps, like me today, he had not been wearing sunglasses.

BearOpposite the children’s nursery in Hordle Lane, a forlorn little bear sat on a wall. Perhaps an equally sad infant will return to retrieve it and her happiness.

Beyond the school and the church the lane is bounded by fields, and the pavement Shadows on fieldShadow of gatedisappears. Long shadows of trees and me were cast across the grass, and that of their Oak tree landscapegate crisscrossed the drive to Apple Court Nurseries. Oak trees were silhouetted against the landscape.

Horses that had worn protective masks against swarms of irritating flies in the height of the Horsessummer, now clad in colourful sleeveless overcoats, slaked their thirsts in pools of water lying on the surface of their paddock.

ViolasBack home, the winter flowering plants, such as these violas, soaked up the sunshine.

Such was the buoyant mood in which I returned from my walk, that even BT couldn’t shatter it. But they tried. Oh boy!  Did they try!

Anyone who has been following the fiasco that began at the end of October may have been surprised that I had stopped writing about it. That is because for a few days now we have enjoyed an uninterrupted Broadband service. At 10.51 a.m. I received an e-mail telling me that my new service would begin on 15th December. Further down, in a section headed ‘small print’, subsection ‘cancellation’, was a statement that the new service had already started. What the service was, other than simply ‘broadband’ was not indicated. Since the five working days after which we should have reverted to our old copper system is well passed, and the broadband is working satisfactorily I thought that was the end of it. I had been promised an e-mail telling me when it had been activated, but didn’t receive one.

I then had the first of two conversations with an adviser who was as confused as I was. She suggested I waited until 15th December to see what happened. Whilst I was speaking to her, at 10.55, another e-mail came in telling me that the new service was ready. This prompted a further call from me. After a lengthy time listening to music whilst the sensible adviser discussed the matter with the orders department, a comprehensible answer was forthcoming. We had reverted to the old system. The 15th December service was faster broadband, but not Infinity. The Hub 5 should still work. I had, of course been told that it wouldn’t function with the old service and I would have to change back to the old Hub 3. But it did, so I hadn’t.

While I was at it, I said I wanted to revert to paper billing. This was arranged, and my adviser asked if there was anything else she could do for me. Great hilarity was occasioned by my reply: ‘Yes. Sort your company out’.

at 11.45 I received this e-mail:

Thanks for contacting us.

We found an answer on our Help website that you’ll be interested in:

Our website at BT.com is changing all the time, so please visit for:

  • Help – find fixes and tips, download user guides and watch video demos at www.bt.com/help.
  • My BT – view your bill, make a payment, track orders and manage your services at www.bt.com/mybt.
  • BT Life – check www.bt.com/btlife regularly for the latest news, offers and much more.
  • BT Products & Services – see our range of products, services and tools at www.bt.com

Thanks,

BT Customer Service’

If this is all doing your head in, just imagine what six weeks of it has done to mine.

This evening all was again right with the world when we dined on flavoursome pork chops roasted with mustard, brown sugar, almonds, and mushrooms; crisp carrots, cabbage, runner beans; and swede and potato mash. Dessert was spicy bread and butter pudding. I had custard on mine. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I enjoyed Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2014.

 

 

A New Camera

Jackie and I spent the morning continuing the clearance of the back drive. I reached the fuchsia hedge on the North side, while she began redesigning the entrance at the Western end. She has finished pruning the conifers, weeded the bank that extends onto Downton Lane, and used the cuttings to lay on the soil as a weed suppressant and nesting areas for insects and other wild life. The next step was to line the edges with concrete transported from the former kitchen garden. That was my task.

When I came to photograph our work, disaster struck. My camera lens stuck and I couldn’t use it. A Call to Curry’s and an examination of the Canon website revealed that my trusty little S100 has been superseded by the S120. Knowing that any possible repair would require a return to Canon and some time without a camera, I decided to investigate the possibility of a new one.

After lunch, Jackie drove me to Curry’s where I conducted my investigation. The helpful assistant confirmed that I would have to send my now apparently obsolete device to Canon myself. I came away with an SX700 HS, which has the kind of 30X zoom I have been looking for in a compact camera.

Knowing how long it took me to find my way around the S100 by trial and error, this time I downloaded the manual from the internet. The starter guides that come with electronic devices now are really very basic indeed, but I have always been ‘more than somewhat’ (Damon Runyon) phobic about downloading something I probably wouldn’t understand. Well, this one was very useful. The first photograph I took was an accidental close-up of the surface of my desk. That in itself sent me to the page about deleting images. So I managed that.

We have a crab apple tree in the front garden. That seemed a likely subject for testing out the zoom. Crab applesEven pointed through a not too clean closed window, the resultant picture seemed reasonably satisfactory. I have not cropped the photo, so that the range of the camera can be displayed. Back drive entrance

I then trotted down the back drive and took the aborted photograph of our improvements. One problem I had with the S100 was not knowing how to take the frame without a wide angle being employed. This made for the occasional weird effect that often required some cropping. I don’t have this with the SX700.

There is a layer of gravel under the grass. But that is for another day.

This evening’s dinner began with vegetable samosas in tamarind sauce, followed by Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi (recipe) and pilau rice, and a flaky parata. Chocolate eclairs were for dessert. I drank Cobra, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden