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My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Thursday, 31 August 2017

A "testing" walk

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Thursday 31st August 2017 - Thursday walk with Pete

Since aborting my backpacking a week ago last Sunday I have not been for what one would call a walk except for strolling limping round Lowther Castle and spending this last weekend helping Gimmer lay screed at his house project.

The leg is stiff and weak feeling, but not giving much pain in the day, but in bed at night it is very painful and I have had little sleep. The leg/knee is not functioning naturally and I just know it's not going to get better this time.

I have an appointment with my GP next Friday 8th September which I know will result in a formal referral to the hospital, and as my surgeon told me two years ago the knee x-ray showed surgery was advisable then, so everything I have done for the last two years has been a bonus, so I suppose I can't complain. But, the prospect of the best part of a year getting this sorted including waiting for appointments, surgery, and the long exercise programme required afterwards is not a pleasant prospect.

Recently I have written here about my lack of satisfaction with the Panasonic TZ60 camera. That is probably partly due to my lack of expertise not using it to its full potential but from research I can see it does have its limitations. I have no deep knowledge of photography, but if I am to be partly immobilised I would like to take more time and patience out and about to try and get some better results and to that end I will likely be upgrading to a better camera shortly. I have been reading reviews, looking at websites, dithering, changing my mind, seeking advice and generally going through a sort of guilty process familiar to me when deciding to spend a fair amount of money on something that is not really essential.

Just to satisfy myself completely I went for the routine Thursday walk with Pete today - we walked about three miles on quiet roads around Gressingham, and except for the company there was no pleasure in the walking for me, and I now have no doubts about the need to submit.

I took a few macro photos, and I reckon the TZ60 must have overheard my deliberations and smartened itself up to produce one or two quite good results - these have not been doctored in Photoshop Elements. One difficulty with flora is that it blows about in the wind.



  1. This is obviously very disappointing for you Conrad although I still think you were right to delay surgery. You've had some great adventures during those two years with more to come once your knee is fixed, I'm sure.

    These photographs are excellent so maybe on reflection you won't have to spend money on a new camera. Mind you, once I've gone through the guilt process you describe, there's little chance of turning back.

  2. Rather like you, I was advised to delay surgery on my L knee. That was some years ago - I'm now approaching the time when I need to go under the knife. I'm still delaying it, I just don't fancy the months of recuperating. Ho hum.

    On the subject of your TZ60: you're probably aware that I bought a TZ70 earlier this year. I quite like it's versatility and the results have generally been fairly good, but really only since I spent some time reading up on the subject and experimenting....and experimenting. I don't think the auto-focus is the fastest and it does take a bit of messing to obtain sharp images.

    I rarely use the 'iA' setting now, much preferring to use 'P'.

  3. Hi Conrad,

    My son has a TZ60, which he uses on days when he doesn't want to carry much weight; to be fair, he's taken some decent shots with it but he often comments on the difficulty of shooting and then reacquiring moving objects - aircraft, birds in flight, as examples.

    Recently he's bought himself a Sony Alpha 6000 with a couple of lenses (the short zoom, which is often fitted as the standard lens, and a 55-210 longer zoom). It was a big outlay (well, by my standards, it was!) but some of the results have been outstanding, and he's still finding his way around it at the moment. I haven't used it much myself, but with the short zoom fitted it feels very light and easy to manage.

    Becoming a better photographer is one of those things I've always intended to do and somehow never quite got round to.

  4. And, apologies, should have included this with the above - hope your injury can be sorted and not sideline you for too long.

  5. Afoot - you obviously understand the symptoms of agonising purchases. They are the opposite of the "blur moment" -e.g. some years ago going into the Paramo shop in Braemar and coming out twenty minutes later with a new jacket with no knowledge of how it happened and your debit card groaning again.

    John J - all I can say is do as much as you can while you can, and when you can't you will know. All the best. Thanks for the tips on the TZ.


    Dave - Thanks for that. I really would like to keep the bulk and weight down. I'm going to have a look at the TZ100 - it's more than I want to pay, but...

  6. Well. The knee sounds like a right pain. Get it sorted, Conrad, as fast as you can.
    There are far better folk already commenting about cameras, but I would say that I really like your picture of the bee.
    A good hobby for the months of immobilisation Sir.

  7. Alan S- I have now quenched my agonising and bought a new camera - more in a forthcoming post I hope.

  8. Perhaps a project to re-direct your mind through these testing times. Reading Proust was a project, so was the Oxford History of England. But reading alone ends up being passive; remaining in one position for long periods is not good for your knee. Why not a finite musical project? All the Beethoven quartets in chronological sequence, for instance? - more than once. You can do other things while listening. Schubert's "big" song cycles, say. Why not look for a moderately-sized piece of high quality wood and have a go at carving; there's an added delight here in that you will need a specialist vice and a range of chisels. You know how much you enjoy pursuit followed by acquisition. Making cakes? I'm sure you'll be watching Channel 4 these days. Keeping a month-long log of all the different birds you see through your living-room window. Selling off your superseded outdoor kit on ebay. Having a stab at watching the fifty greatest films ever made (provided the list has been compiled by someone no longer a teenager).