2.12.04

Bright and frosty morning


One of my favourite photographers paid me an enormous compliment yesterday by dedicating a picture to me, and saying wonderful things about my PaD. Even if what he said is only half-true, it is still high praise indeed. So Bruce, thank you, I am very, very flattered -- and how on earth did you know that the old-style VW Beetle was one of my favourite cars? Thanks again (and I haven't forgotten about the photos - I have decided to have them professionally printed, and I don't want to risk posting them over Christmas). Anyway, I have been extremely fed-up being stuck in the house, a slave to this machine, during the short few hours of daylight we have at this time of year. Linda asked me to scrape the ice off the car's windscreen... when she came out of the bathroom and saw me looking like an Arctic explorer with a camera, she shrugged. 'Going up Ben Nevis?' She can be quite sarcastic when she tries. It has been a beautiful winter morning here, with a clear sky and gorgeous sunlight. I wanted to take advantage of the optimal conditions to take a series of photos of the Sidlaw Hills, from which I wanted to make a panorama. One of the panoramas was to be my PaD, but then I thought that it wouldn't be fair on those who still have to make do with a dial-up connection (well, we don't all have broadband) - the panos are a fairly hefty 500Kb. I saw the perfect spot for this project - inside the waterworks' compound. The gate, which was wide open, had a sign instructing all visitors to report to reception. Off I went to the only building to tell them what I was up to. I rang the bell and a man who was coming out let me in. I stood in the hall, looking in vain for any signs of life. One door was marked 'Chemical Analysis', another 'Pump Valve 4'... but no sign of any reception... or life even. I decided just to go out and take the photos anyway. Several people ignored me as I stood there for about 15 minutes clicking away. It was only then that I thought... 'Wait a minute... this place supplies drinking water to about 100,000 people, and I have been wandering about unchallenged.' If it was the USA, I imagine that there would be armed marines with instructions to shoot on sight! Still, it is a little bit unnerving to think that someone could obtain such easy access to a pumping station.

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