“Help Me, Please, Becky”

This morning we collected my new Epson printer from Wessex Photographic in Lymington.  Luke was extremely helpful in helping me understand how to load the paper profiles for my preferred Ilford Galerie papers into the printer.

Knowing that whenever I take delivery of anything involving new technology I am likely to leave it in its box for a matter of days, if not weeks, before I can pluck up the courage to open it, Jackie kindly freed the equipment from its cardboard and polystyrene outer layers

leaving me with no choice but either to get on with the job or admit to being terrified. She laid the main appliance on the hall chair and other bits on other available surfaces.


So I began to attempt to study the project.

The first obstacle was the CD containing the software. What, you may well ask, is the problem with that? Well, you see, there is no slot for a CD in an iMac.

Ah, situation resolved, I thought, I have a CD player thingy that I can plug in with the aid of a USB lead. Simples, as a Meerkat would say.

Not so simple – I couldn’t get it to do anything.

I thought I had better read the basic paperwork. That is when I discovered that you don’t have to use a CD with a Mac. Apparently you have to ‘visit the [epson] website to install software and configure network settings’. But you must ‘not connect the USB cable until instructed to do so’. In case anyone is wondering, that dark stain on my jacket is Jackie’s shadow – I have not wet myself.

Next step, I thought, should be to disconnect my Canon printer and tidy up a bit to make room for

the new machine. I was required to remove all the internal protective packaging including the transport lock which took a bit of identifying from the

pictorial directions which were a marginal, minimal, improvement on the average flat pack instructions.

I managed to plug it in and turn it on. This required Jackie at one point to realise that ’tilt’ meant ‘raise’.

I decided to leave it there today, as the next step is loading the inks which look similar to the Canon process; and the one after that involves going onto the website for stuff to happen.

Now, I know you are having an anniversary celebration break, but on your return I may need to ask you to “help me, please, Becky”. On the other hand, I might work a miracle.

This evening we joined Elizabeth and friends Nicki and Andrew for an excellent carvery  meal in pleasant company at the Wallhampton Arms. The meats were turkey and pork with all the trimmings. Malbec, Beer, Shandy, and Amstel were imbibed.


They Have To Grow Into Their Legs.

This morning, in preparation for an early morning tutorial telephone conversation with a WordPress Happiness Engineer, I drafted a post on the further subject of our August 2000 Isle of Wight holiday. I will publish it after it has been polished up.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Wessex Photographic in Lymington where I was helped to choose a new printer by a very attentive staff member. One will be ordered for me when the manager returns to the shop.

Later, we drove into the forest. I photographed a few ponies at Bashley. It is Jackie who has noticed that the reason that young foals need to splay their legs to graze is that their legs are so long at birth that they have to grow into them.

Highwood Lane is a narrow winding cul-de-sac. Where possible I left the car and photographed the woodland with its furrowed tracks, its still green bracken, turning leaves, and dappled sunlight.

Nugget, staking out his territory with sweet song – that John Knifton describes as an invitation to a punch-up to another robin – from ever widening vantage points, kept us fleeting company while we enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks in the Rose Garden.

“Where’s Nugget?” (27).

This evening we dined on our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s tasty, well cooked, fare with which Jackie finished the Pinot Grigio and I drank more of the Saint-Chinian.

“That’s What I Call Home Delivery”

Early this morning Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a Pre-Admission Assessment. The assessment was fine, but I was urged to chase up the urology photographic examination, otherwise it is extremely unlikely that the surgery date of 9th January will be met.

In the Wiltshire village of Braemore the Brakes of a container lorry had failed. It had clearly crossed the central reservation and

knocked on the door of the wonderful thatched house, Japonica.


As I was drafting this I received a phone call in which I learned the name of the above mentioned examination. It is called a flexible cystoscopy. I am having one at 8.30 in the morning.

I left a message for my knee surgeon’s secretary informing her of this.

Now, where was I?

Ah, yes.

The lorry had demolished a bus shelter on the way to the house.

Shrubbery had been crushed.

A young man was clearing up the rubble.

Jackie’s observation on this incident was “that’s what I call home delivery”. After I photographed the scene we took a diversion through the forest where,

at Godshill, a velvety burnished chestnut pony tore at the holly beside a high-banked verge,

while a drowsy foal basked in the bracken.

As so often, ponies stood on the tarmac of Roger Penny Way, one stubby little individual stubbornly refusing to budge.

I stood for a while on Deadman Hill, admiring the sunlit landscape, with its distant ponies, nestling buildings, and ubiquitous trees.

Yesterday, my Canon 300 mm lens became stuck, making it impossible to adjust the focal length. We therefore took it into Wessex Photographic at Ringwood for them to send it away for repair. There will be a delay of a couple of months for an estimate, which gave me an excuse to buy a Sigma 600 mm lens as recommended by fellow blogger, Sherry Felix.

We then brunched in Café Aroma. This meant we didn’t need much more this evening. We all had sandwiches; the ladies enjoyed Jackie’s leek and potato soup. Elizabeth and I drank Como Sur Bicicleta Reserva Pinot Noir 2017. I confined myself to corned beef and Branston pickle sandwiches.

P.S. For all those who expressed concern about the occupants of the house, this is a copy of a Facebook comment from a London friend: ‘Maureen Allen This is my friends house thank god they were not hurt but still a big shock xx’


A First Class Service

MothFirst thing this morning I photographed a moth conveniently spread out on the kitchen work surface.  When I showed the picture to Jackie she said ‘you know it’s dead, don’t you?’  She had picked it up from the floor and laid it to rest so that I would be able to photograph it.  Possibly she has me sussed.

For at least a week now the car has been throwing a spanner in the dashboard.  At intervals it has elaborated on this warning sign with the message Change Oil Service Required.  The vehicle was booked in today.  Despite really struggling with Shingles Jackie was determined to take it in.  So off we went to Ringwood.  Wells garage is just outside the town. Whenever we go there we wander to the shops and await a call from Tony to say the car is ready. Bistro Aroma Today, before shopping, we had brunch in the Aroma Bistro where the excellent food and friendly service is as good as it was when discovered in December last year.

Shopping included more photographic material from Wessex Photographic, among which were the Red and the Green Canon Series 8 inks.  So accustomed am I to no-one, especially Jessops, where I bought the printer, ever having these in stock, that I told the assistant I expected to have to order them.  She went straight to them and pulled them off the rack.  Most of the other six different inks required to make the printer work can be obtained somewhere or other, with the notable exception of the original supplier.  They are exhausted very quickly.  The red and green varieties can last a year, which is maybe why they are not usually on the shelves.

Walk of Art graffiti (3)It really took quite a long time for us to walk back to Wells garage.  The way is along very pleasant lanes and footpaths, except for the underpass that takes us to the requisite side of the A31.  Some civic authority decided to brighten up this route with art works.  Quite reasonable representations of well known paintings adorn the well-lit tunnel.  Walk of Art graffitiGiven that these are usually pretty dispiriting thoroughfares I thought this an excellent idea. Walk of Art graffiti (2) One would have hoped it could have deterred the graffiti wits.  Unfortunately not.  It even seems to have encouraged them. A Walk of Art The tunnel is named ‘A Walk Of Art’.  There is someone after my own ‘eart in an influential position in the town.

We had not received the usual phone call, but Jackie really needed to sit down, so we decided to return and wait at Wells’s, taking several rests en route.  Tony warned us that we would still have to wait for an hour and a half.  We settled down to wait, during which time we got talking to Hazel, the Managing Director of this long-established family firm.  I had been amused by her telling the others that she had been correct about an unnecessary bank query.  NatWest had corrected her addition of cheques paid in by machine.  She knew she was right and was able to prove it.  The amount in question was 20p.  Well, it was the principle that mattered.

Service at Wessex Photographic had been startling.  Service at the Bistro had been friendly and welcoming.  The car had been booked in for a short service, but what follows was extensive service.  As we spoke with Hazel, Tony appeared clutching a piece of broken front suspension spring.  Things were going to take a bit longer.  Not even knowing of Jackie’s illness, Hazel arranged for Peter to drive us home in one of the firm’s cars.  This friendly local man did so willingly. Having known the deceased owner for more than fifty years, Peter has a three morning a week job in retirement, doing any driving around that needs to be done.

Frozen brambles - Version 2

Back home, it was down to work in the ‘factory’. Frozen brambles - Version 3 After a lie-down Jackie was raring to go and getting me to produce cropped versions of pictures we had already used in toto. The frozen brambles is one example.  The benefit for her is that she doesn’t have to chop them up, just breathe down my neck whilst I play on the screen.

Today’s tally was 29 cards, bringing the total to 182.  After this Jackie was still able to produce our evening meal of keema, certainly not korma, curry; tandoori chicken and special fried rice.  My drink was Roc des Cevaliers Bordeaux superieur 2011; hers was Hoegaarden.