Sunday 26 November 2023
Sunday 19 November 2023
Wednesday 15 November 2023
Being successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals.
For too many I think it's more about the trappings. They have a big house, an expensive car, lots of holidays. They are trapped into trying to maintain or improve these aspects. And comparing to others.
This is not for me.
How do I measure my achievements?
Looking at the above; I have a house, a car that fits my needs, holidays with my wife and on the bike. None of which I spend any time comparing to anyone.
I must have reached my goals; right?
I don't feel that I have. What am I missing?
I have other markers on my journey. Keep kit and healthy, look after my wife as best I can, be available to help family and friends, do well at work. I think and hope I'm on course for these.
So why is there a hole? Why do I feel unfulfilled? How many others feel this way?
I don't usually end a post with questions. But I don't have any answers.
Sunday 12 November 2023
Sunday 5 November 2023
|fresh from the fridge|
Tuesday 31 October 2023
How would I like to be remembered? My good friend; Stefan Isle of Wight host back in July. Posed this question. He went on to answer in his usual elegent way. I thought I'd give it a go.
As I have aged I care less about how most people view me. I place more importance on family, friends and my employer.
Hopefully most will retain that I was helpful and easygoing.
If we met again, it would be on good terms which is what I want.
The more permanent in my life get more attention.
I hope to have been empathetic to their lives and troubles.
Been there when I was needed. To help or listen.
Provided support for their endeavours, be that professional or personal.
Encouraged them to do and be their best.
Celebrated their successes and triumphs.
Offered an example to follow or learn from. This is probably the hardest to achieve. I'm not perfect and may not have always made the right decisions.
Often people say they want to leave a legacy, mine would be to have touched lives in a positive way. I know that won't always be possible. But it's something I attempt.
Saturday 30 September 2023
I've been without an SLR camera since I sold the Nikon D700. The Nikon 1 I had as a walk around camera failed. This is the second one. They don't seem very reliable so I didn't buy a third. Instead I returned to the Kodak when I went to Cornwall. I was happy with the results but still hankered after something a bit better. I could have bought another digital Nikon, but for what I payed it would have been very low spec. The F80 was well reviewed and it was good to compare it with the rangefinder FED 4 of my youth.
I wrote about the film cameras I have; two belonged to my dad, and the third I hadn't used since I was a teenager. Here is a link to the FED 4 photowalk. It does have a low spec lens, so that may have been why the results were less than impressive.
I can use it with my remaining four lenses: Nikkor 50mm F1.8, 35-70mm F2.8, 80-200mm F2.8 and Sigma 300mm F4. It's not much heavier than the Kodak, and lighter than D series cameras.
I didn't see the results until the film was developed.
I had what I think you'd call developer anxiety. Knowing that someone would see every picture I took before I did, and maybe judge it. Many people say using film slows you down and makes you consider each shot. It did; but not in the way they mean. Everytime I pressed the shutter button I thought; what if it was out of focus, badly exposed, or shaky. When I left the film to be processed and then collected it I made a point of saying I was testing an old camera. Why!? When film was the only option I never gave it a thought.
The first picture used the 35-70mm, the rest were shot through the 50mm.
I rode to a cafe with great views, and used the last few exposures. It wasn't comfortable carrying the camera; I once thought nothing of doing so. Having anything on my back now feels very odd, and sweaty.
The results were much better than from the FED. But I do wonder that if I could develop the film the results would be vastly different. Again, it's not something I would have considered before digital. I received the prints and remember being relieved there was no sticker on them saying they had been over or under exposed.
The next film is black and white. Two reasons for this: it was all the shop had, I've not used it before. It got me thinking about the possible subjects. I don't think it suits landscapes. Instead I'll look for grittyscapes. It's a different thought process than converting colour into monochrome. I'll try not to create clichés.
I have also got the two long lenses to try.
Wednesday 6 September 2023
For the first adventure of this year I rode many days of lower mileages and this was much better. Link. But solitude was still an issue. The second trip was much better. Arranged with Stefan, someone I hadn't prevously met, now definitely a friend. It is a template for the future. Link.
I'll either ride to a place or take the train, and stay for a few days. Local loops will allow me to experience the area. But how to combat the insular nature of such endeavours?
Contact local cycling clubs of course. I've extolled the advantages of membership. Why not enhance my trips by riding with these groups?
Most clubs run weekday rides, so it should be straightforward to organise. I'll base my accommodation and destination searches on the availability of this resource.
With all this in mind what are the likely plans for 2024?
I've always wanted to do the Dunwich Dynamo. It's a 120 mile overnight ride from London to the Suffolk coast. I then plan to ride a short distance to my accommodation for the week. Diss looks to be a contender. There is the Diss Cycling Club who have a Thursday ride. Link. It would be good to have a club ride with another group. A possibility is Godric Cycling Club. Link. They ride on a Wednesday, but start around 18 miles from Diss. So a good warm-up to get there.
Hopefully I'll have a second break. Considering the New Forest. I can take the train to the area to start the week without pressure.
Monday 4 September 2023
When I am faced with new tasks. The default response is; how I am going to do it?
Thinking about my day it seems that I fit a lot in, especially at the moment. Every use of my time has a priority
What does my day comprise?
Eating, sleeping, exercise, visiting Marcia in hospital, shopping, working and household chores/gardening. You could add; reading, watching television, writing on this blog, and listening to music.
The priorites I apply are:
Visiting Marcia in hospital.
Exercise. Riding my bike is the main one. It also gives me contact with friends.
Writing on this blog
Reading. I listen to music at the same time.
Watching television; or more likely youtube. I have built a list of vlogers whose style I like.
Household chores/gardening. The garden areas are becoming what I like to call a nature reserve.
The top three don't move, the next two are unlikely to change, and the others are shuffled as necessary.
If a new item is added to the list it's position is determined by importance.
Not doing the above can mean I begin to feel overwhelmed and out of control.
It's not always easy to keep everything as I want it. Sometimes I feel like dropping one of the important items; exercising being the most likely candidate. But there is a reason for the position it holds and I push myself to do it. Everything else is possible because of this activity. That might sound over dramatic; if you have read a few of my posts though; you'll know what I mean.
If I have missed a session I miss that boost. If the day has been particularly bad and I've worked out in the morning; by the evening I can still feel really down and dispondent. That's when I call my sister Michelle. We chat for a while, maybe have a bit of a cry and I start to feel better. I'm not afraid to write about tears. It's what happens and it helps. For too long men have been conditioned to contain and not admit to have feelings. And that's a toxic position to hold. I have many people I can talk to; I'm very lucky. But we all need that one person we can completely open up to, and that person is Michelle.
Saturday 2 September 2023
|three river crossing route|
|The Milk Churn|
|Daily Bread Rusthall|
|Brockham Reading Room|
|Lindfield Coffee Works|
|Ridings Lane cafe|
|broken spoke; no-one gets left behind|