Category Archives: PC

Modems, Mobiles & Tablets – Who needs an excuse for a photo session? Well, it would be rude not to……wouldn’t it?

Wednesday 13th March – 03:15 The recent weeks have been pretty poor when it comes to the weather, well so I thought. Having spoken with my Mum and Dad yesterday it seemed that the little pocket of Cumbria called Haverigg had missed out on all this inclement weather and somehow the rest of us have ended up with quite a raw deal. Before they went to New Zealand for Christmas I informed my lovely mum that she was paying way over the odds for her telephone and broadband package and a better deal was to be had elsewhere. Changing before they went to the far-flung corner of the globe wasn’t really an option so it was decided to leave it until they came back. Anyway, yesterday was changeover day; well it was originally Tuesday but twenty-four hours wasn’t going to make any difference was it? By the way, had that situation been in reverse and I had needed assistance being told I had to do without my broadband for a night would have driven me mad.

Watching the weather is something that seems to have descended through the male ranks in our family. My grandfather used to watch the weather and I can go with that, like me he was a photographer and it made all the difference to have a sunny day for your images. It just makes them sparkle and stand out by comparison. My dad is just the same as his father, ruled by the weather, an outdoor person who finds been stuck indoors akin to life in a prison cell. With views from home of the Lake District mountains the Duddon Estuary and the Walney Peninsulas it has to be said that it doesn’t look quite the same in miserable weather. I find it hard to admit this, but I think I have caught the very same disease but maybe just a lighter strain of it. I will quite happily take photographs in poor weather, after all you are reflecting a moment in time and if the weather was like that on the day…then c’est la vie that’s the way it rolls. So after checking with the Met Office website and finding out that Wednesday was going to be more than suitable, it was time to set my stall out.

Sunrise was 07:12 at Windermere. I knew in my head what I was looking for but a little bit of research was in order as you cannot pause the rising sun while you move locations. Using modern computer applications can save you a lot of time and effort. Google Earth as a reconnaissance tool is fine but it doesn’t give you much idea when it comes to location and the position of the sun. What there is to offer on the wonderful www is Suncalc . This is a fantastic little tool for working out where the sun comes up and sets in relation to your current location. A screen shot of yesterdays is shown.

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As you can see, this is ideal for planning sunset and sunrise shots. My original intentions had me down for Waterhead; this is about two miles north of where I ended up at Wray Castle. I wanted some shots looking across the lake with some reflections and a nice morning sky. After using suncalc I decided that this location would have been no use whatsoever as the sun would be emerging too far to the east of there to get any decent water reflection shots. Bouncing out of bed and grabbing a quick coffe I left home at just before 4:00am and joined the A65 heading north-west towards the Lake District. I only saw a handful of vehicles in the quiet two and a half hour journey and actually managed it without stopping. I actuallt felt like I was in a race. A race against the rising sun, Jeremy Clarkson east your heart out. As I approached Ambleside the sky was already paling, I got my bearings and decided that suncalc had it spot on so proceeded to head over to the edge of Lake Windermere near Wray Castle. I followed my nose, my instinct and the Sat-Nav and found a small car park well off the beaten track near the shoreline at High Wray. The trees were very close to the edge of the water but it was perfect for the sunrise. Whilst waiting for the sun to show its face I looked around from my spot by the lake for the possibility of other photo opportunities.  As I looked towards the North-East I noticed the pink glow tinging the side of Fairfield this was a tell-tale sign that the sun was on its way. With the low light prior to dawn I opted for a tripod and got myself in position for my first shot. I knew exactly what I was looking for and panoramas were the order of the day. Below is my first attempt of the “Morning”….
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The shot above is a composite image, it has been stitched together from 6 single images hence the unusual cropping. Even without the sun in the shot it just seemed right. I had a good look around and tried different angles and in particular kept taking several images that overlapped in order to stitch them when I got back home. The whole set on Flickr seems to lean towards the photo-stitches but I quite liked the panorama effect over the lake and after all that’s what I had planned to do. As the sun rose higher the colours started to kick in. It wasn’t as intense as I had hoped but it still left a golden glow to the whole scene. As I said earlier the road where my car was parked was very close to the water’s edge, this left very little option for stepping back and obtaining some distant shots which was quite frustrating. A pair of swans made an appearance and drifted across my view… it was like they were summoned to be there just for me. I just kept tapping away and making minor adjustments to the settings to make life easier for when I got the images in to the computer. It wasn’t long before the beautiful colour started to dissipate, once the glow had gone and the sun rose above the low-lying southern fells of Cumbria an early spring like atmosphere set its stall out for the day. I can’t post all the images on here but I have included a small slide show below. Failing that head over to my Flickr page here to look at them in more detail.

I jumped back in my car, not literally, and attempted to get back to a more appropriate road. Preferably one that was wider than six feet, surrounded by thicket and one that I was confident would lead me south-west. I sat in the car pondering my options; do I head back towards Ambleside for some more images or find my way towards the peninsulas, my parents home and breakfast. I opted for a quick peek over the hedge at Ambleside and headed back where I had come from along the B5286. Parking is quite difficult at the best of times in Ambleside and this was 07:45 on a Wednesday morning and there was no where to park. So, I made a quick pit stop for a bladder drainage and observed the view from a small car park near Waterhead whilst parked in a drop off zone. The angle I had chosen for the sunrise images from Wray Castle had me intentionally facing in to the sun, now the sun had risen a little I was presented with a problem from this end of the lake. It was far too bright and way too “contrasty” for any decent images so I made the decision to call it a day for Windermere and turn around yet again.

It was time to head south-west and off towards the small village of Haverigg. I usually don’t have a problem getting from A to B and I have been to Haverigg more times than I brushed my teeth last year, but what I have never done before is visit this place arriving from central Lake District. I had it in my mind which way to go so I assumed that the Sat-Nav would follow suit. Err, no…it had different ideas. So off I went, exploring ! My parents were aware of my impending visit and as a result they informed me that they would be up and ready earlier than usual. I wasnt entirely sure what “usual” was for them but I reckoned on 08:45-09:00 as an estimate and a good time for breakfast too.  I made my way across the county following the Sat-Nav to the letter. I kept looking at the stunning views and couldn’t help noticing the snow adorning the summits of the higher central peaks. There were so many photo opportunities that I missed and it became frustrating as stopping was impossible. The narrow road and a lack of lay-bys, passing places and farm gates prevented me from taking up those opportunities. It really cheesed me off and round every corner a glance over my right shoulder only confirmed what I was missing. I was like a child been dragged away from Santa’s Grotto without actually meeting the big guy himself and getting a present. Still I managed a couple from the comfort of my driving seat whilst waiting for a tractor to pass me.

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After 45 minutes on the road I finally pulled in to the small seaside village of Haverigg. I have said this in previous posts but I will say it again, as sleepy as this village may be it always excites me. I think I am looking at that from a photographers perspective as the subject matter in this location is endless. I always think that I need to spend at least a week here providing the skies were cloudless and it was warm and dry throughout. As I came off the main coast road and turned on to  the seafront along Sea View I stopped in awe at the view.  I have seen this view a thousand times but this morning it was stunning. I grabbed my mobile phone and took an image that had my name and style stamped all over it. I shot straight in to the sun creating a very contre-jour style look. The image is below and is straight from the phone with no edit involved.

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After getting my shot I looked back over my shoulder and considered whether  should stop again and open my camera bag. All I could think was “ive got this shot so many times it would be totally pointless.” I was right to consider this as I do have this image in many variations, different seasons, alternative weather and alternative angles. I moved on and parked up outside my parents house.

It has become apparent that in this day and age that companies no longer seem interested in keeping your business. I came across this just last week and covered it well in my blog post entitled “I dont always listen to what they say…do I” I also mentioned that my parents had changed their phone and broadband contract from BT to Sky. In my opinion this was a wise move, cheaper and effortless too. My job (after a small breakfast) was to remove all the BT equipment and install the Sky modem and eventually get my mums’ lovely computer back online. In addition to this I had a number of smaller jobs that involved connecting a tablet to wireless, connecting a laptop to the same network and demonstrating how to use a Samsung Smartphone. Oh, and connecting that to the wireless network too. All in a days work for me and a piece of cake.

As far as setting up the equipment goes, this was like taking candy from a baby and I had it done in less than fifteen minutes. I even had the PC online and wireless up and running within another five minutes. The fun and games started when setting up the email address. Instructions were fine for setting the primary user but were not so clear when you wanted to change the email address generated by Sky’s computer to something a little more user-friendly. Rumplestiltskinsunderpants1245@sky.com doesnt exactly make things that easy when you are stood outside Tesco chatting to a friend you havent seen since school and he or she asks for your email address. By the time they have typed that in to their phone you could have emailed it yourself, packed up the car with the shopping and gone home. So my first job after getting online was to create a new one. I did it, but it took a phone call to an operative to complete the task. Instructions were not that obvious and the help facility online ranked much closer to “unhelpful”. By the time all this was done I needed to stretch my legs and get some fresh air so I persuaded my dad to drive me a couple of miles down to Devonshire Road. This location provides some excellent views looking inland and eastwards towards the Lake District fells. The location (Borwick Rails) used to be a harbour as around Millom there was a local coasting trade in coal, iron and slate. The discovery of large quantities of iron ore led to a huge increase in shipments out of the area from the Hodbarrow Mining Company’s pier at Crab Marsh Point (Borwick Rails), with almost 600 vessels using  it in 1864.The ironworks of the Cumberland Mining & Smelting Company Limited began production in 1867, and in the following year started to build their own pier at Borwick Rails, only a stone’s throw from the mining company’s pier. Millom Pier grew to be nearly half a mile long, and included the original harbour. On one day in January 1892, eight steam vessels shipped 4400 tons of ore from the mines. The last shipment took place in 1940, and the pier was derelict by 1951.

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This was a place that I had been to a few times before, as a child and in recent years too. I always seemed to leave my camera behind or bad weather would hamper any opportunity for a photograph. Today, I was half way there. The sun was out on the distant fells but a large mass of cloud blowing from the north-east put my chances of getting a sunlit foreground as slim. We waited for about thirty minutes and then gave up. The cloud was swirling and moving very slowly, it was very difficult to work out exactly where the sun would emerge which made it very difficult to predict its appearance at all. I decided to make the best of a bad situation and grab some images anyway. The shot above is a composite image of twelve individuals and as you can see the foreground is very dark. I wanted to create this “HDR” look despite it not actually been an HDR image. I was reasonably pleased with the outcome.

The loitering, lingering and very dark cloud that spoiled my images from Borwick Rails continued to hang around for much of the afternoon. I had hoped it wouldn’t. For years my journeys to Haverigg usually involve a routing from Leeds to  Kirkby Lonsdale and then the A595 along the southern tip of Cumbria. This is a beautiful part of the world and the view from one particular point in this journey is absolutely spectacular. The panoramic view from the hill above Grizebeck near the Burlington Slate Quarry is somewhat stunning. A very old friend, Richard Sugden captured an image from this location that caught my eye and all I could imagine was how this scene would look like at sunset? I feel a challenge coming on !

I checked the sunset times and gauged my departure time from Haverigg to co-ordinate an arrival at the quarry for the setting sun. I got it spot on too, I kept looking in the rear view mirror whilst en-route and could see the sun from only a couple of spots on the main road. The mountains and fells in this location are high enough to block the sun from the valley roads especially in Winter. As I drove up the hill out of Grizebeck I could see the sun about to dip behind fells and the sky was turning in to a gradient from blue to orange. The clouds were illuminated by the golden light and looked like lampshades lit by an orange bulb. The scene was perfect. I turned in to the entrance of the Quarry at the top of the hill, this was uncharted territory for me. I kept driving, there were no barriers or security gates. No bollards or warning signs. I kept going, over the cattle grid and climbing even higher. I reached the summit and pulled over on the right. There is only one word that describes the view from up here…. WOW ! I will let you judge for yourself when you see the image below, but I am confident you will agree with me. From the north I could see a snow storm blowing across the mountains. This would be spectacular if the storm would blow across the setting sun. Would it move fast enough, it was a race between the sun and the cloud, would it be quick enough for me to capture the setting sun and the storm in one shot. It was leaving a haze on the sky that almost looked like fine smoke from a grass fire … oh if this was to move fast enough and cross the path of the setting sun I would be in for a treat. I wasnt so lucky, I did however manage to capture the blowing snow in the right hand side of the images.

There were a combination of elements that in my opinion would make this image look special. In the valley the Duddon Estuary was calm, still and reflecting the glow of the sky against the black of the shadows. To the North was the impending snow storm, and to the south was a bank of cloud with a rim of iridescent reds and oranges contrasting against the blacks. This was perfect, a perfect end to a perfect day. I will say no more, other than I arrived home 18 hours and 225 miles after leaving with 300 images that were well worth the effort. Oh and mums’ broadband is working too. I hope you enjoy the images, I did. Remember to look on Flickr as they are many more.

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Where did the weekend go? … in Gigabytes

The last few days have been manic. That’s a statement by the way. Photographically I’ve not had a lot to do until I was invited along by my very close friends at Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale  to take some shots at their latest event “The BIG BREW”. These guys are just the best and I have no hesitation in saying that they are the salt of the earth. Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale is a local independent charity established in 1988. They are unique and provide face-to-face support services and are the only charity of their kind in West Yorkshire. logo I don’t want to name individuals, but you know who you are…I find it an absolute honour to help these guys out in every which way I can. The Big Brew event runs from Friday, 1 until Sunday, 31 March. The initiative is a chance for people and groups to host their own coffee mornings, afternoon teas, cake sales and workplace events to raise money for the charity. The Lady Mayoress, Mrs Margaret Smith, launched the event at Bradford Town Hall on Saturday. A handful of the Bradford Bulls players were also in attendance for the opening and I sat down with the guys for a chat.tn_076CSBA_MW_220213 I had a nice chat with the Lady Mayoress despite forgetting how to address her correctly when ordering her around for photographs. I don’t think she minded been called ma’am and I am confident she didn’t find it an insult in any way. If I never get invited back that could be one of the reasons.

Drifting off topic slightly and leaning back towards photography….I tried something a little different whilst at the event. As you will know from my Flickr photographs I love doing photo-stitches and I have a whole set dedicated to them here  … These stitches are quite easy to do when you have a landscape or a sunset…I am sure you know what I mean, when you have a static subject. The job of obtaining one of these takes on a whole new meaning when you have a moving target, let alone two dozen of them. Anyway, I tried it by handholding the camera and moving around in a rotating motion. One of two of them contain people moving slightly but I am sure you will agree the one I am showing you looks perfectly acceptable. By the way, if you fancy a go at doing stitches there is a post I wrote here tn_034CSBA_MW_220213

The Bradford Bulls players were a good laugh, I chatted with them during shoot and also sat with them for a cuppa and laugh or two. Overall, during the time I spent at The Big Brew the whole event was going down a treat and I am sure all the staff at Cancer Support Bradford & Airedale will announce it a success.

A very kind old school mate dropped me a line a couple of weeks ago via that loathed social network site Facebook.  She very kindly asked if I could make use of a couple of external computer hard drives. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth I snapped up that offer as I am forever running out of storage space. Saturday afternoon I met up with her and collected the said hard drives. Well to say the least, they were a life saver. The average RAW file from either of my cameras is about twenty megabytes and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that 30,000 images a year over 5 years is quite taxing on a single PC hard drive. So began the mass exodus of camera files from my PC to the new externals…..and they were filled in a matter of hours.

I assume every photographer has a system when it comes to backing up and keeping things “just-in-case”. You know, the typical scenario when you have edited your raw images from a weekend away; you delete the originals by mistake or they become corrupted and all you are left with is a 1200 x 800 72ppi jpeg file that is only any use as an internet based image. And what happens next… you receive an email from a top London Agency asking for a full size, high-resolution version and they are willing to pay a high price for it. Before you think any further let me tell you something; This happened to me ! With a small file like the (1200×800 @72ppi) you have no chance of doing anything with it in print and its only use is on the internet and that’s about your limit. So the lesson learned here is to back up and archive which is exactly where I am now. Ready to back up 2012.

At the start of 2009 I was just about to start backing up my 2008 images when the external hard drive that stored all the RAW files suddenly decided to stop. Just like that! I went round the back of the PC and removed the USB lead and unplugged the power lead and transformer from the mains. I tried the drive in my laptop and no joy. What I did next was a mistake of mammoth proportions. What I should have done was open the hard drive case  and remove the actual hard drive inside-of-drive-2which actually is a very easy task. Had I done this, I could have inserted the drive in to my PC either by opening up the case and screwing it to a hard disk bay then connecting it up or by temporarily connecting it internally and then transferring all my files. Instead, I looked at the power supply transformer and what sprung to mind was “Ah..Ive got one of those in my OED” … (O..E.D by the way is my “odds and ends drawer” ) and lo and behold I did. So I connected it up, inserted the USB lead in to the PC, switched on the hard drive at the mains and POWWWWW !!! Thousands of raw files gone in 2 seconds. I then opened the case and was greeted with an insulting puff of smoke that dissipated before my eye. It looked like a scene from Harry Potter. I seem to recall a plaintiff giggle coming from somewhere in the house but this cannot be verified for fear of the repercussions. I estimated that the total loss was about 16,000 images and this was quite upsetting to say the least. The proof is in the pudding as they say, you only need to look at my Flickr pages for 2008 at you will note that only 72 images exist for that year.

So was the lesson learned. Absolutely, of course it was. Anything you love….. BACK IT UP !!!
And on that note, I will leave you as I am off to back up my Wife & Kids….as I love them to bit.

Do what the man says….

Yaaay …. I’m back ! Well, the PC is back. Its alive, its working and all is good in the hood. A massive thank you to Andy, its been a long time since we saw each other but this guy went out of his way to help. In the end, it wasnt as serious as first thought and a small purchase from my favourite PC retailer solved it. RAM or random access memory if you are not in the know. What does it look like..well let me show you.

So there you go. That was the problem. I was trying to squeeze a double-decker bus under a low bridge in record time doing 70 miles per hour and it just didn’t like it or fit in the buses case. I can understand why now. I don’t know about you but opening a box containing circuits and hard drives, fans and wires, lots of wires actually, coloured ones as well scares the living daylights out of me really. I can identify what all the bits do, I was brought in to computers in 1982 by a very nice teacher at school called Mr Gaffney. If I recall we were the first school year to have this type of education back then. It was fantastic learning about flow charts and binary, it made sense at the time but it was very difficult to associate it with anything outside the classroom. Logic…now that’s a word isn’t it? That’s what it’s all about. Anyway, without drifting off track; I absolutely loved Computer Studies, it taught me how to program and how to understand computers. And in the end I came out with a GCSE and an A grade. I find it really funny now, since my first computer which was a Sinclar ZX81  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX81 ) people not in the know have always seemed to turn towards me for help. I wonder if computing over the years has always been and still is one of those “you either know it or you don’t” scenarios. Over the years its done me well, don’t get me wrong here I don’t know it all, in fact thats quite rash because I know sweet Felicity Arkwright compared to most after all you only need to read what happened over the last few days to work out that I needed help and I will be the first to admit it. Many times I have been offered a couple of quid or a freebie of some variety for popping round and performing the simplest of tasks on the hosts PC, walking away feeling very happy with what had been a simple task for me and my pockets lined with english pounds.

To give you an example of my incompetence, before Christmas I installed Windows 8 and I loved it, I then went on to have a new hard drive installed and that’s when it went wrong. My initial thought was to blame myself for something I had done, this is despite the fact I hadn’t done anything. It seemed an easy way out. Elaine has seen me like this before, she know what it does to me when the PC is not playing ball. I become quiet and seem to retract inside myself if that makes sense and as much as I will deny that anything is bothering me she knows, it’s a wifes intuition I am sure of it. The very sad fact is, I know what I am like, I don’t think I am happy until it’s the way I want it, and the repercussions of this involve me messing and tinkering until it does what I want. The internet is a massive resource for finding things out but it’s not always the best. In past instances its proved to be my downfall; believing what I read and standing by it until it all goes tits up and then there is no one else to blame but yours truly. This is all by the by now as my machine is alive and kicking. No screen flickers, no sudden shut downs and an up turn in performance.

January was a terrible month for photography. In past years I have managed over 2000 images, blue skies and sunshine been the reason. When you have taken images of places in all weathers it’s very hard to muster up ideas for something different especially when you seem confined to barracks wrestling with a poorly PC. This has an added effect of ” What will I do with the images if I take them as I have no PC”. It’s a non starter really, so I didn’t bother. For almost one whole month I have had my photography brain switched off and used what very little I have had in ideas on writing this blog. But, and that’s a big but…Here I am ready to start editing. And, in the future I am going to try listening for once and doing as the man says……… I think!

I broke my promise

I decided back in 2012, sounds long ago doesn’t it; that I would start to attend to and maintain my blog at least weekly. Well, what I hadn’t done was consider the possible obstacles that could or would present themselves during my twenty twelve blog-fest. Holidays I can go along with, after all, it wouldn’t be a holiday if you had to blog everyday would it.  So, what happened? Well, I think I just took so many images, edited so many images and talked to groups of people about everything. I just didn’t have time. Moving on…

The new year started off well, and I decided to purchase a new hard drive to accommodate all last years RAW files. RAW files, for those out of the know… are Camera generated images that can only be read by particular software or computer program. They are very large files and provide great quality when printing and/or showing images. When you have taken just short of 25,000 in a year and they each weigh in at an incredible 18 to 26 megabytes each it only takes a Casio to work it out that the resulting amount is far more than the average hard drive can digest in a good meal. So I came across a great bargain from my friends at CCL Computers in Bradford ( www.cclonline.com ); a half price 2TB internal Hard Drive for just shy of £70. Bargain !!

After our lovely weekend away I spoke to a good friend of mine who agreed to install it for me. At first. I wasn’t afraid of doing it myself, until I looked inside the PC Tower and realised that the hard disk wouldn’t fit in the compartment correctly. Well it did fit, but it was quite loose and the future of the data to be stored upon it may have been compromised had I continued. So I popped over with all the bits and my mate Jason did the business.  Now, I should have known better than to ignore something. Just before Christmas my PC had decided to just turn off the monitors half way through doing something…A bit unfair isn’t it? It’s a bit like going to the theatre and suddenly half way through they turn off the stage lights and say to the audience “you will have to wait till the end of the performance before you can move, but you will have to guess when that is because you wont be able to see it”. But that’s exactly what happened….the monitors went off quite unexpectedly and the PC kept on doing what it was quite merrily. This is all well and good if you weren’t doing anything important but half way through editing a photograph and you were “FUBAR’d”. (if you have never heard that expression it means F**CKED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION).

A quick “Google” brought up many possible solutions to my problem along with numerous advertisements for new computer components. There were many suggestions from overheating to dust but the one that pointed a finger at the problem was the graphics card. The graphics card or display adapter is what transfers the information from the PC to the actual screen, hence why the PC actually stayed on whilst all this was kicking off. With all those solutions I read between the lines and decided to go one stage further than cleaning up my annual images on to a new drive. I reformatted the whole machine ! BOOM. This was done in the belief that reformatting and reinstalling might actually get rid of the problem. Well, everyone has to have a dream; mine was just doomed from the start.

I took precautions before hand…everything was backed up; well, almost everything. I managed to lose my Internet Favourites but they reside on my IPAD so I’m not too concerned about them. I even remembered to deactivate my Photoshop CS5 and send the serial activation back up to Adobe’s server. That’s another story for another day…remind me. With the machine reformatted and running hyper-fast, that fast it would have obtained a gold in last years summer Olympics and even given Mr Bolt a run for his money. I was a happy bunny-wabbit, until…halfway through editing a photograph for my blog it decided to rear its ugly head and shut the monitors off again. Oh ball hooks I thought…problem not solved.

I spoke to a very good friend of mine on Friday. This was now 7 days since the first incident and he said quite calmly “I’ve got a spare one you can have”. Never look a gift horse in the mouth my knowledge of old sayings tells me…so I didn’t. Richard stated he would give it to a family member who works near where I live and I arranged to collect it from him today. You can imagine my horror when I looked out of the window and saw the snow this morning. My immediate concern was not that of anyone’s safety or wellbeing, but a quite selfish thought of ” Oh no, not another day without my PC.” There is some irony in that thought actually. It’s not as if I have loads to do, I have either tinned or lost most of the remainder of last years images, and not yet managed to take one this year using my DSLR, so it’s not like I was in any rush to need it. I suppose it’s just my personal feelings and the annoyance that something isn’t working. I’m like that, I will admit it…even to you. If something isn’t working, it will bother me, nag my head every minute until it’s sorted out, overnight, even when I’m sleeping. Ask Elaine, she will tell you with that knowing face.. you know, like nodding and shaking her head at the same time.

At 4am I woke. Looking towards the bedroom window I could sense that “glow”. A light pollution glow. The street lights were polluting the night sky with the help of snow. The white snow was amplifying the ambience and creating an almost “night sun” effect. It was strange, last time I saw an effect like this was when I was a police officer and had some assistance from the force helicopter to light up some waste land whilst pursuing a suspected car thief. My graphics card was going to be ready for collection after 9am and I just hoped that was going to be the solution. What stood in my way now was a snow fall. A snowfall that wouldn’t stop me getting to the location I had agreed; but might prevent Roy from getting over this way considering the distance involved.

In the clear light of day, the snowfall was minimal and was even starting to melt by the time I exited the back door. It was never a problem, and Roy handed over the card for which I was really grateful. After a morning rushing round involving the current Mrs W getting her eyes tested, my lovely mother-in-law dispatched on a shopping expedition and a few odd jobs I have finally found time to sit down and install it in my machine.

All up and working, and PC and owner’s happiness mutually restored. Maybe I will sleep better tonight, I know the PC will.

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