Friday, May 30, 2008

Vivitar day - Pat arrives - Fish and Chips

My steam-driven Vivitar 200mm from e-bay arrived this morning by Royal Mail at 10am. The vendor only dispatched it yesterday, 2nd class, and only £2+ for post & packaging.

(to remove confusion. There aren't 2 of them. The picture is two photos merged together - p.s. to Reg - Following your advice I can now do it)

I'm delighted with the lens. Completely manual and, being of metal manufacture, it weighs a satisfactory cwt or two. Unscratched and beautiful. When you focus it, it stays focused, none of this 'hunting' and refusal to click. And, as you can see, being a prime, it has a depth-of-field scale which gives you complete control of background blur. I won't ramble on. I just love it !

The light has been awful all day but I thought I ought to publish a picture taken with it. So, although not up to Paul Exton standard this pigeon is a test piece, about 30 feet away. I used to own a little Leica range-finding device but never thought I'd need it again so it went. Hoarder Bungus has the right idea I think.

Visitor Pat arrived around 4pm and I've just cooked Fish, Chips and Peas, followed by a fancy pudding. And Derek and Betty are coming round about 8pm for nibbles and a glass of wine, or Scotch in Derek's case, bless him !

Comments.....Bungus .... no rush for the Cuba trip, but I would love to go.

You Cuba Haiku is inverted. They should be 5, 7, 5 - not 7, 5, 5, that doesn't work at all in my humble opinion.

I hadn't heard the Ché story. But I'm pleased that I now have. An excellent way of selecting ministers - can't be doing with this democratic silliness. Fletch always says the best way to get effective colleagues is good old-fashioned patronage. Much better than holding interviews etc.

Quotation time......

"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good"

Sleep tight.....Catch you tomorrow.....



bungus said...

Is me woe?
My memory gets worse. I cannot remember names and have to resort to description (that dangly bluey mauve climbing flower at the top of the garden).
I fear I am becoming, or have become, someone like that dead actress who advertised stair lifts – a real Cream Cracker Under the Settee (written by that late moon-faced fellow in glasses who used to be in Beyond the Fringe).
This morning, when I awoke at 10.30, it took me an hour to remember the names of six of the Magnificent Seven actors. And I could only name five of the Derby County cup winning team of 1945, and just two of the Charlton players.
Two days ago a pair of cord trousers appeared out of nowhere onto the bedroom chair. I had never seen them before in my life although Sandra says she had, and that she hadn’t put them there (did you ever see the film Gaslight?). They fit perfectly.
Yesterday I was in a panic because I had to collect fish from Worksop at 12.00 and when I got up Sandra had gone, leaving a note on the Calendar, Nottm 8.00. I could not find my mobile to text. Eventually, after 11.00, I rang the workshop and Alan told me that Sandra had gone with Stephanie and our car should be on the drive.
It was.
On the way back from Worksop I recalled that I had been informed of the arrangement two days ago.
Memory loss is not a given possible side effect of chemotherapy, so perhaps I really am heading for Alzheimers. If so, I shall once more regret not having died on the operating table! On the other hand I could just be turning into a goldfish.

Haiku: (see later comment)
What was it? What was
what? I don’t know. Me neither;
forget it. I have.
Hoarder Bungus does have the right idea. I have a range finder and if I can locate it you are welcome to it. From memory, it is perhaps 3” long by 1” x ½”.

Get ready Cuba.

I didn't know there are rules about line length in Haiku.

Poverty stricken, 5
communist heaven Cuba; 7
With old Yankee cars. 5

Thanks; I’ll watch it in future...

Re chancellor Che; Sandra has found at the workshop it is (generally) better to appoint people one knows.

Great quotation

anonymousrob said...

Here I am again, with my dongle dangling near the skylight in the caravan. Britain's Got Talent (and Piers Morgan)is on t'telly and, thank God, I'm not at work.

Today my colleague and I were almost forcibly evicted from the office we have been in for the past 13-14 months so we could sit in the general office. One of the reasons given for this move was to help improve communication in the organisation. The first we knew of it was when the Deputy Chief Executive came into our (now old) office, armed with a screwdriver so he could take the feet of a desk and get it out of the room. It was like being in a pub at closing time when the staff are clearing everything away whilst you finish your pint. No advance warning, no would you mind moving, no communication whatsoever. No wonder the communication in the organisation is so poor!

Work whinge over now, let's move on to more interesting subject matter.

Cuba and Gilberto. One day Elaine and I were sitting in the central park in Havana looking at pictures on her digital camera. it was about noon-ish and this man about our age (50s) walked past, stopped and asked us if we had got any good photos. Because of previous warnings of dire consequences we were a bit reticent about engaging in conversation but he was not going to be put off. He started telling us about himself (he was a music teacher) and how he learnt English from listening to Beatles records. He told us about how Cubans were migrating to Havana from the rest of the country, how we met in case a police officer asked (we were at his gig the night before), how 10 years ago he would have spent 3 or 4 nights in the cells for talking to us but now the worst would be 3 hours sitting in a police station. At one point a police officer did walk by; Gilberto went quiet, the police office ignored us.

After about 40 minutes he invited us back to his apartment; he said he lived in a former Spanish castle. We were more than reticent but, after 5 seconds thought, said OK. On the way back we walked through a residential area where people hung about outside buildings (not uncommon in Havana it seems, life tends to be lived on the streets) and signs proclaimed Viva Fidel, Viva Che and Viva la revolucion. There were also signs for CDR - Committee for the Defence of the Revolution. Eventually we came to the Spanish castle; it was beautiful and must have been a grand sight in its heyday.

We followed Gilberto up a rickety, unlit wooden staircase (tripping on the way) and he unlocked an iron grill, let us in and locked it behind us. Ooh, er.....

His apartment had a kitchen, a living room, a 'bathroom' and two bedorooms. Each downstairs room measured about 8' x 6' with the 'bathroom' and toilet situated next to the living room and probably about 4' square. There was a false ceiling made of wooden planks and supported by 4" x 4" timber which created an upstairs. No fridge in the kitchen and a sink outside shared with other apartments. I'll dig out some photos if you are interested.

Whilst there, Gilberto told us about life in Cuba, the ration system and how people made enough money to live on. More tomorrow or the next day.

He also invited us to a talent competition taking place that night; that's also another story.

He was a lovely, lovely, man and not at all jealous or resentful of our material possessions. He gave no indication of wanting to change the system, and he told us a lot that, maybe, he shouldn't have.

We fell in love with him.

This week I have seen some sunshine; hopefully more tomorrow?

Bungus, many thanks for the info about Malcolm Yeovil Pense. Was he, like Brooklyn Beckham, named after the place he was conceived? I have an idea he might have been. I would also like to know what part the Hon. I Soit played in Mal's life. I think he was a key person.

I can't imagine why you would want to name the Magnificent Seven, the Derby County 1945 cup winning team, the Charlton team or why anyone would admit to wearing cord trousers. I think you're getting better.

As Frank Gallagher said, "Alzheimers, a world of your own and revenge on your kids. Bring it on."


Jill said...

We've got woodpigeons like that one - fat, eyeing the nuts, eating anything I put out. Jolly good picture!

Most interested in all the Cuba stories, more please. We nearly went on a holiday which sounded similar to yours, about 5 days in Havana and a week at a seaside resort, but we don't really do beaches nowadays. There was another one, an 11 day tour of Cuba, but we have had enough of this moving on to a different hotel every night, we are far too old and would be leaving a trail of possessions behind through the breadth and length of Cuba. And of course the cruise ships don't call there, not even the British ones. Had Gilberto always been a musician? Daughter has stories of people like university lecturers working as waiters etc to get foreign currency, it was worth more.

It was like that in Buenos Aires a few years ago, our guide was a uni.professor, and we were taken in small groups to eat traditional food in people's houses, they were all professional people/civil servants who had not been paid for several months, and were making ends meet like this.

I watched a repeat of 'Wild China; tonight and eatured was a herd of ?Chiroo' that featured on this blog a while back.....

And Bungus, re memory or the lack of it, I quite lost the plot of 'Casualty' tonight trying to remember who a certain actor was. I remembered right at the end - he was Joe Mangel in 'Neighbours' years back.

anonymousrob said...

Jill, I think Gilberto had been a musician for many years. He not only taught music but had his own band which played in the many places around Havana where music can be heard. We bought a CD from him which cost us about £7. I wonder if it's possible to copy a track for blog publication?

The local talent competition was a great evening. We met up again with Gilberto and met a few of his friends. We paid for all the drinks - 2 bottles of rum, several cans of cola and lemonade - and a pizza which fed 6 of us. It cost us £9.20. We were the only non-Cubans there, we believe. Boy, do they know how to enjoy themselves. After the competition there was a lot of dancing - Cuba's Got Talent.

Some friends of Gilberto were taking part in the competition. They could all speak English although one of them , a history teacher, wasn't very confident in doing so. At one point he was having a conversation with Elaine. He was speaking Spanish whilst someone else simultaneously translated what he was saying. The translator was a retired engineer who had worked all over the world. He was now a taxi driver driving one of the old American cars to supplement his pension.

It was an amazing experience.