Friday, 25 November 2016

Late shift

CRIED AT ADELE in Kite Flat. Had to leave the room a couple of times. "When We Were Young." Couldn't hear the words - it was just the subject, the thought, and the times we are going through with Sam. The obsession that excludes the retirement life I was so excited about, and the life that Jo doesn't have. And Sam; what does he understand of his life, and how does he try to influence the different people around him?
Manuel from Dominican Republic was on Charles - a really nice guy with a Spanish accent unlike any I've heard before. He has a five year old son who is on the spectrum. He was delighted with fish fingers, chips and peas prepared by Colin.
Colin was with me on Matt, who produced 5 wets and two soils. What happened to the days when he used to go to the toilet? He was laughing again at shift end.
Heavy spray-paint-rain gave way to a brilliant moon lighting up fractured white clouds against a black sky as I drove home. 21st Nov 2015

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Scanning in some old negatives I took of David Bowie 20 years ago reminded me what an enormously nice guy he was - but also how many hours we used to spend removing the dust spots from negatives in those days!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Just messing about in Newbury with my pocket camera - that's a coat pocket not a trouser pocket by the way - when I realised it was set on ISO 3200.  No problem!  It is Canon's G1X and the quality of the jpeg is amazing.  If it wasn't for the eccentricity of the two control rings around the lens, which do different things on different settings, and one of which sometimes goes on strike for a few moments, I would use it on assignment. The shutter response is so quick for a compact camera, comparable with an SLR, that I find myself over anticipating the shot and pressing the button too early because I instinctively assume that it is going to behave like all my previous compact cameras. My fault not Canon's.
It also survived being doused in salt water on the Sail Training Ship Tenacious in a force nine in the Bay of Biscay, and never missed a beat.  A year on it's working fine.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Autistic School

The complete innocence with which M. helps himself to my lukewarm tea, then offers me the empty cup to dispose off. He gives up waiting for me to take it, and tidies it himself.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Canon GX1

Great excitement a few days ago tracking my new Canon GX1 from Hong Kong, watching this single small package make its way swiftly around the world.  I unpacked it in my break that evening from helping the young autistic chaps, set it on manual focus and 12800 iso and rested it on the car park fence. With the illumination from the windows of just three cottages behind me I had to guess where the lime tree in the field in front was.  I could not see it in the dark. 1 second at f2 produced this jpeg. The quality is not fantastic; the fact that you can see the tree at all is fantastic. This was black night.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tall Ship Tenacious

Quietly. D will probably never get a cure for the Parkinsons disease that spills tea down his front on watch. he is not eligible for electrodes in the brain because he is not middle class and pushy. The massive stroke did not help either. 
He's here because his wife is divorcing him and he needed a break from the stress. He laughs along with his monologues about immigrants  or the advent of superglues as if he is used to being ignored, but talks through people anyway who are trying to respond to him, and gradually people politely excuse themselves. 
He woke at 4am this morning confused about his watch which was at six and dressed and undressed and emerged onto the deck in the rain at 5am. I fastened the zip on his coat because his trembling hands could not manage it.
When his wife takes the house where will he go? To a home? How many residents will listen to his tales of seafaring exploits on Tenacious? 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Tall Ship.

Last Saturday took the young chap for a day-sail on Tenacious.  The air was so still that the sails were pressed back against the masts, but the sun was out, the food and the company were good, and the sails still had to be set and furled, even if the engines were doing all the work.
Coming back into Southampton, the skipper and the pilot decided to slide gingerly out of the main channel for a few minutes to let this monster pass, and Tenacious passed over Bramble Bank, home to an annual cricket match at low water spring tide when the sandbank briefly emerges from the sea.   Only the crazy English................!