Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas, New Canon camera and Greeting Grandson George

Well, that's another Christmas come and gone. A bit of an anti-climax I always think. All that build-up, money spent, food eaten, excessive television schedule and all that and it's gone in 24 hours. I think it's the fact that the shops are stuffed to the rafters with merchandise to tempt you to part with your hard-earned cash and then within another 24 hours they re-open and the self-same stuff is around 75% discounted. You can't win, either way, it's to make you feel guilty that you didn't spend your money in such-and-such a store or on-line.

I've had my eye on a brand new digital camera for quite some while and had looked at a new Canon D.S.L.R. model, a 100D, which is one of their E.O.S. cameras, which was within my budget of £350. I'd seen it on-line at various retailers, Amzon, Jessops, John Lewis and Argos and was able to get a fairly good idea of it's specifications. We've had a couple of Fuji 'bridge' cameras and, for the money, they've been good value. But we have wanted to expand into S.L.R. territory, with a much more sophisticated camera which would allow us to change lenses, use the range of exposures and other refinements which a digital S.L.R. camera would allow. I started off around 12 years ago with a very basic Sony 'point-and-shoot' camera (which I still have, incidentally.) when I wanted to try out what, at the time, was a relatively new type of photography. I wasn't sure that digital could possibly be as good as traditional, film, photography. Before long I was using the camera to do all my photography tasks and, when I bought a new Apple computer, was able to up-load my photographs on to that and edit them and publish them on such sites as Flickr and then the relatively new social media site (at the time), Facebook. Then I met Carol and I found that she was as interested in digital photography as me and that she had a Fuji 'bridge' camera which we took with us when we visited National Trust properties and also when we went on holiday to Yorkshire together. We then bought a second Fuji camera in a sale in Jessops's in Northampton. Both these cameras were in Fuji's Finepix range, and, for the money, were exceptional value and produced some good photographs.

So,  last Wednesday,after all the research, we went into the Jessop's branch in Milton Keynes Shopping Centre to buy the camera. It turned out that the one they had in the shop on display was the only one they had in stock, so that is what we bought. Having purchased it we spent some time wandering around the shopping centre before we drove over to Stony Stratford because Chloe and Steve were staying with Chloe's half sister Louisa and her husband Richard and we would at last get to meet my grandson George for the first time. I mentioned that he was born on the evening we had our rare evening out at a restaurant back in October. We had planned to visit them in Worcester, but we have both had bouts of illness which meant we couldn't drive all the way there and hence the meeting, in a pub, The Cock, in Stony Stratford.


Proud grandparents with new grandson George.

As we had the new camera with us, it was a chance to try it out, hence the picture I have posted above. Quite an emotional moment, to say the least. Considering the fact I had my heart attack nine years ago I am so fortunate to be well enough to enjoy 'the moment.' Things might be very different if I hadn't come out of it, and might not have been around to meet him. 



Chloe with my son-in-law Steve and baby George.

On Boxing Day (26th December, the day after Christmas Day in Great Britain, for those not in this country.) it was surprisingly mild and warm weather-wise. ( WweInfact, up until now, we've had an exceptionally mild winter.) We needed to get out of the house. Being stuck indoors for any length of time begins to pall. A large amount of television-watching does begin to make you googly-eyed.. We considered several places and ended up on Whipsnade. After all we can visit without paying with Carol's Fellowship membership. So we drove there, no more than a 30-minute drive down the A5 towards Dunstable and across The Downs. We were surprised how many people were out walking along the paths as we went past the visitor centre run by the National Trust. We were further surprised by the number of people at Whipsnade Zoo, no doubt visiting as we were, making the most of the weather. It was certainly strange visiting so close to Christmas. We managed to get some good photographs of the flamingoes, as we saw them a good deal closer than we are usually able to see them.

Flamingoes at Whipsnade Zoo

We had bought a picnic with us, and ate this sitting in the car, overlooking the view from the carpark, the valley below where the zoo is situated. Fortunately the weather behaved itself although it looked very over-cast. 
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