Sunday, 8 January 2012

A new camera! (And a walk!)

I recently replaced my compact camera - it had been playing up for some time, and I came to the conclusion a few months ago that the sensor was failing. In fairness to the little Samsung it was over 4 years old, was only cheap when I bought it, and has been well used - I've had my money's worth! A bit of shopping around lead me to the Panasonic Lumix S3 - capable of 14mp, 4x zoom (but with theoption of reducing pixels and increasing zoom) and with a Leica lens - I decided I really couldn't go wrong. What's more, the one Cameraworld had in stock was red...hmmmm, peculiar colour for a camera, red, but I'll try anything once! 10 second review.....feels lovely to handle, buttons where you expect them - VERY sharp pictures, close-up capability seems good, and it's "intelligent auto" mode even seems to work ok.

A strong desire to test this new toy properly, along with a plan (NOT New Year's resolution - we don't do those) to do more walking and getting out and about and generally exploring, lead us to decide to head off for a walk this afternoon. We've had a book of walks in our local area kicking about here for years. There are 50 walks in the book, and when we got it, we agreed we would try to work our way through them. A quick look in the book last night confirmed we still have....ummm....49 to do, so what better time to start! *grin*. Handily one of them starts from just the end of the road, so there was really no excuse, and off we went!

Lots of berries still on the bushes round here - I guess it's not been cold enough yet for our local birds to start really attacking them. These were particularly eye-catching -

- not a clue what they are... Anyway, a wander on and some incongruously tall trees. Most of our trees local are Native Deciduous - Epping forest in particular has masses of Oaks. These gave every impression of being some kind of pine - VERY tall indeed, with perfectly straight trunks, and lots of cones on the ground beneath....

The walk took in the old part of our town, plus one of the villages which borders on to it. It's strange though - how much more you take in of your surroundings when, rather than just walking, as we would do normally, you're following directions. It's almost as though when the responsibility of where you're going is taken away from your brain it says "Oh, OK then - best start looking at stuff instead!". We've found before as well, it's always worth lifting your eyes to above the normal level - it's amazing what odds and ends you find higher up on buildings...

A worthwhile sentiment in that first one, I think! So, with no further ado, we the pub! (You can't beat a walk with a pub at the end of it, unless of course it's a walk with tea & cake.....)


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