Sunday, 26 September 2004

"Ugly, grey and depressing" - the town I was born (Luton, Bedfordshire) has just been voted Britains worst town. Pretty much the conclusion I came to as I was last passing through by bus on the way from Luton Airport. £78 million is to be spent on leisure and transport in an attempt to brighten the place up.

Saturday, 25 September 2004

Scott McGleish © NTFC
Northampton played Bristol Rovers at Sixfields today and scored twice in the first fifteen minutes (both from Scott McGleish, his second from an overhead kick). Unfortunately they then went to sleep for the rest of the game (the second half was dire) otherwise it could have been a much bigger margin.

Northampton Town's official website

Friday, 24 September 2004

Canon PIXMA iP4000R
Canon have launched a new range of inkjet printers called PIXMA, including this stunning model that offers Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, printing on CD/DVD and duplex - all for under 190 UKP. Availability is a bit limited in the UK at the moment - should start to reach dealers properly in October.

Canon Europe - PIXMA iP4000R

Tuesday, 21 September 2004

LG Internet Refrigerator
Just what we all need - a fridge connected to the Internet.

LG : Internet Products

Just discovered an interesting article regarding photographic coverage of the dramatic 'Todd Bertuzzi incident' that happened towards the end of the NHL's last season (and you can take that two ways!). Note the control the NHL has over its coverage in the media - the EIHL hasn't quite reached that stage - at least not yet...

Suppressed Hockey Photos, And Why You Should Stay Till The Bitter End

Thursday, 16 September 2004

Nikon F6
I see the new just-announced Nikon top-of-the-range film SLR the F6 uses DuPont™ KEVLAR® in its construction - are they perhaps considering press photographers based in Iraq...?

Nikon Imaging | Global Site | News

Tuesday, 14 September 2004

Returned from Italy (via Nice again) on EasyJet this morning. Complete turn around for the weather which was raining all along the coast. Very windy in Luton, making the landing, er, entertaining. I hate flying. The EasyJet experience was somewhat ruined by having to wait half an hour to collect my single item of checked luggage. That and the bus journey from Luton to home must have taken longer than the flight.

Did some work on the photo gallery in the evening, but its not live yet as they're mostly uncaptioned - I need Lorenzo's local knowledge for the place names.

Monday, 13 September 2004

Headed into the mountains near the French/Italian border today to try out the easiest of the walks Lorenzo has chosen for his guided adventures. On the way back we visited a couple of the region's most famous landmarks.

In the evening we visited the 'agriturismo' (a sort of bed and breakfast-type accomodation) in Poggi itself which Lorenzo will be using for his guests. These are an excellent and low-cost place to say and are ideal as a base for exploring the area.

Unexpected rain overnight, plus fairly close thunder in the morning, had a noticeable effect on the temperature and cleared the air. Host Lorenzo went for a cycle ride as part of his training for an upcoming marathon (rather him than me). Went to see the family's land where they grow grapes, tomatos, etc for their own consumption (growing your own food is very common in this area).

Took some more shots around Poggi in the afternoon and then headed up into the hills again for an evening meal at an excellent local family pizza restaurant. I chose swordfish and rocket - just try getting that in Pizza Hut.

Saturday, 11 September 2004

Managed to grab some shots of the boats in sail this morning. One leg of their course took them close to shore and a 70-200 zoom was just enough for the larger boats to fill the frame.

Recollection of the evening is somewhat clouded due to the consumption of a quantity of alcohol but it involved a substantial meal (of which we were only served part - just three starters, one of the main courses and a dessert) at a rather remote but nonetheless impressive restaurant up in the hills, together with my host's brother Luigi. Glad I wasn't driving. Temperature had dropped to 16deg.C on my return - quite how I was able to read the small writing on the thermometer, I don't know.

The Hijack by Duncan Falconer
Slept in late and decided to take today as a rest day having overheated in the sun yesterday. Glad to have taken three novels with me, including 'The Hijack' by Duncan Falconer.

Had a tour around my guest's little village Poggi up in the hills above Imperia. Temperature's dropped to a more acceptable 26 but still hot in the sun. Glad I brought sunblock given I burn so easily.

Dinner in a nice, harbour-side restaurant in Imperia - one of the boat crews took the table behind us and we laughed quietly to ourselves at their interpretation of the all-Italian menu. Took some night shots of the boats all tied up in the harbour.

Friday, 10 September 2004

Waking from a very poor first night's sleep in Poggi (despite sleeping pill). I wasn't used to hearing two church clocks chiming on the hour. Breakfast delayed until 12:30. Went down into Imperia having seen the sail boats were already out to sea. Got some shots from high up, but the heat is making it too hazy. Very hot (at least for me) - a somewhat unseasonable 30deg.C. Toured the harbour and went aboard Palinuro, a big three-master that's used as a training ship by the Italian Navy.

Late lunch/early dinner was a tasty toasty pannini and ice cream - they certainly make decent ice cream here. Must admit the heat is getting to me - hope it cools down later.

Thursday, 9 September 2004

Set off yesterday by Easyjet to Nice for the start of a short holiday in the Liguria region of Italy. Good flight (I'm not at all fond of flying) but a bouncy night landing. EasyJet service is pretty good - certainly cheap! In-flight scoff is extra, which is one of they ways they cut costs. Had a job finding my friend Lorenzo at Nice as they have been adding to the airport a lot recently, and it had changed a lot since his last visit there.

Amazed that my old, steam-powered (first generation digital) mobile phone worked - although it did take its time connecting to a local network. We then used the motorway to head towards Imperia, stopping off for a very late night pizza near Sanremo on the way. Finally got to bed in the little town of Poggi at 01:00 - even at that late hour, the outside temperature was 20deg.C. So it wasn't a good idea to rely on weather forcasts for Nice to see what its was going to be like!