The Dresser

Have just been to see The Dresser with Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith as Sir and Norman respectively,.  I saw an advert and hadn’t thought of either of them in these roles but could see how they would fit them and, more, how they might wreak some theatre magic together.  Goodness but I was right.  Ken Stott was excellent – always is.  One of those rare actors where you would go to see a production because he is in it, knowing that you will enjoy.  Reece Shearsmith was superb and seemed to inhabit Norman.  The sharp brittle wit, the fragility, the sense of ultimate betrayal and loss portrayed with a humanity and understanding.  The slow loss of control through drink and tears.  Brilliant.

Not intentional to have seen Lear a couple of weeks earlier butcertainly meant that the references to, and extracts from, the play were fresh and clear in the memory.  And Stott would be an excellent Lear – he can certainly portray the tyranny and capriciousness of power, and love of a father, the frailty and senesence of age, the madness and anger of grief.

King Leir

Learnt last night that Shakespeare had updated the spelling of King Leir to King Lear.  Sounds like he bought the equivalent of the Great British Bake Off and then subtly updated it so that he could claim intellectual property rights.  And didn’t he do well:  Antony Sher was powerful in the lead role, and ably supported by Gloucester (Troughton is excellent), Kent, poor Tom and the fool.  The female parts, oddly, felt more sketched – heightened shadows.

Highly enjoyable evening spent at the RSC in Stratford (and no Strictly)…though, as I type, that is the music that is playing in the background. How swift normality returns.

The Front Cover

So we both entered into the annual competition to select photographs for next years Hertford calendar.  Last year we were both successful; very pleasing and solved the question of what to get our relatives and friends for Christmas.

We both put in the maximum number of entries allowed.  Frances has a photo chosen for the front cover – very pleasing.  My celebration of my success has been unstinting.  It is clear that the quality of entries submitted was very high, very, very high, as none of mine were selected.  I think there may be some problem with my camera equipment, just not sure whether it is the lens, the shutter, or some sophisticated component part that arranges pixels across the sensor.  No problems with Frances’ phone, though, on which the winning picture was taken.  May be I just have a screw loose behind the viewfinder…

Seriously, really good news for Frances and for our relatives and friends who will enjoy another Christmas of the Hertford Calendar.




So what does this have to do?

So what does this have to do with the seven year blog?

It is all about transitioning from where I work (a little south of Cambridge) to where I live.  Hertford.

Have joined Hertford District Camera Club (as well as settin up my own web site).

Have become, almost by chance, a patron (with the missus) of Hertford Museum.

And, of course, am treasurer of the Hertford Oral History Group.

It all sounds grand, but really amounts to just trying to give something back to where I live and where others (e.g Peter Ruffles, Marilyn Taylor and a host of others have been active for years).




Now currently looking to see if we can increase HOHG funds:  we have a limited reserve, small outgoings and no income.  At some point in the foreseeable future the lines of expenditure cross the reserves:  we need to add to our income if we are to stay in business.

There are a lot of histories yet to obtain, and I came across two potentially good contacts this week.

We are curly thinking about applying to Waitrose under their community support programme. It looks good – and would certainly help us out short term as well as put our name in the front of shoppers.  Even more valuable than money would be getting more volunteers to help with transcribing the records we already have.

Business Cards have arrived

The business cards have arrived and I am dead chuffed – Essential Print Services (Derby) have been very, very helpful and produced something which is much better than I had originally envisaged.  They asked if I would review their services on Google or Facebook etc and – unusually for me – I have left a review.

Here is the front:-


And here is the back:-


And I have 500 and have, so far, given out one…

As a nice and unexpected bonus a little ‘thank you’ for using their services (not the review) turned up this week; a pen and little bag of beans (hastily consumed before any calories could be eaten…)

Good start to the week.



Business Cards and Foamex

Have spent a couple of happy days batting back and forth a design for a business card for Cropwellphotography.  Lindsey and Lee at Essential Print Services in Derby have been very helpful and have suggested a number of improvements.  I have just given the go-ahead for printing and am looking forward to seeing the final product:  it is difficult for me to scale the PDF proof to business card size.

And by the way, a business card (the missus says) means you are starting a business.  Not so – the website and related absurdities very much remain a vanity project.  I’m just aware that people will not find, especially with new domains like .photography, the website easily and the card will help.

Have also been investigating whether foamex board can be used as a relatively cheap way of providing prints that can be easily wall mounted and look better than simple paper prints.  There is space at work to display some of my photographs, but paper prints blue-tacked to the wall lack, well, a certain something.  Foamex may be better.

Messing around on computers

Spent most of the day messing around on computers setting up websites and twitter accounts (why can’t I get a decent size image from photoshop as a Twitter account header? Straight forward from another source. Hours of puzzled frustration lost). End of day, and realisation that the photographs I had intended to take has gone on setting up stuff to show off the photos I should have been taking. Ever decreasing circles. They ought to write a sit com about it.