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Today I’d expected to be making my merry way across the country by rail, leaving leafy Surrey to cross the capital and watch the world go by on the East Coast Main Line before arriving back at the Yorkshire tea plantations on the slopes of the Calder valley. Only things didn’t quite go to plan….

Last night I was editing some pictures, including a few I’d taken yesterday afternoon at Box Hill when I noticed something odd on the Surrey pics. On each shot the right hand side of the image was out of focus for about 25% of the frame. Odd, very odd. I’d only taken the camera body with just the 80-400mm lens attached to it so I immediately checked out my kit. That’s when I discovered that – somehow – the long lens body had become skewed on the ring that attached it to the camera body. To say my language became colourful (even profane) would be an understatement! If God existed there’d have been a lightning strike in Tilford last night!

At the beginning of September I’ve two jobs lasting several days running back to back, so I really need that lens – or a replacement for it. This left me with one choice. Stay another night in Surrey and head into London tomorrow to the camera servicing centre I’ve been using for the past 20 years. My big concern was what to do with our old moggie, Jet, who’s at home and been looked after by neighbours, plus Dawn’s mum and dad. Fortunately, they’ve rallied round and John and Norah have taken Jet on another holiday to their house in Huddersfield. He’s such an old boy we don’t want to leave him on his own too long, so this was the best solution. Now I’m free to extend my Surrey sojourn and come back with Dawn on Wednesday rather then her having to drive all the way solo. I also get to have the lens looked at and do some photographic projects around London and Surrey – albeit without a long lens, but that’ll force me to look at things in a different way – which isn’t always a bad thing…

This means my final blog of August will be filled with fun and games in London as I’ll have more time to visit locations I’d got in mind.

Although this blog hasn’t been billed as a picture of the day I’ll still include one – just to add a splash of colour to my scribbling. Here’s another of my recent slide scans from my Indian archives. I took this picture in Arambol, Goa, India in December 1993.

Every evening before sunset, after most of the Westerners had adjourned to the beachside bars and restaurant in this little fishing village to enjoy a sunset beer they’d be replaced by local children who’d arrive to play games, splash in the waves or just lark about. Often young lads like this would find whatever they could to use as a bat and stumps to enjoy a game of cricket. Sometimes you’d get bemused European boys like this one wondering just what was this strange game they were playing. It was always fun to watch. It’s odd to think that these young boys will now be men and it could well be their sons playing these same games on the beach in Arambol.

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