In fact I've had quite a good day in the office; I actually made a list of Things I Wished to Accomplish and have achieved most of them, (save for turning out a credible sounding letter of professional introduction in French for Rosie's Darling Daughter to peruse and correct...). It's true that a number of them were rather frivolous. Such as taking out a year's sub to Jacquie Lawson's e-cards because I'd almost missed my Australian brother's birthday and wanted to send something other than a colourful e-mail, and I've been meaning to get onto them for a while. I'm not going to give a link, because if everyone does it, they'll lose their appeal, you can Google if you want.
Another thing was to go back through my external hard drive and find the high res. copy of this photo.
This is because a woman with the very non-Breton sounding name of Cindy at the Conseil Régional de Bretagne saw it on Flickr and wanted it for a study of the region they were doing. She was rather disorganised, kept asking me to sign a release for and send a full-sized copy of a photo without telling me which. I was a bit disappointed it was this one; she could have found a similar image in a number of places, it's nothing special or original, an image of an image from fairly well-known place. I had to go to the trouble of looking it out, printing, signing, scanning and returning the release with the larger copy... and if that's not acceptable presumably I have to provide the stamp. All to gratify my own vanity to have a photo in public that probably won't even have my name on it. Also it would have been churlish to say no, and she could have just nicked it and I'd never have known.
By coincidence, and really rather more gratifyingly, I picked up a comment on the post where that photo was first shown from someone who said they'd found the piece very helpful for a course they were teaching on church architecture, specifically about the dark ages. I love those kind of rare comments on old posts, like the woman who
The other thing I had to do was organise some photos I took yesterday of E.'s house. She is, after 7 years here, thinking of moving back to Holland, and wanted some shots for an estate agent's website. E. is the most willfully uninterested, I might say ignorant, person I know, worse by far than Tom or my brother, about anything remotely digital. She still has dial-up and was perfectly happy to give a home to our elderly Canon SLR film camera, which was quite nice really, as we didn't know what else to do with it. So I agreed to take the pictures, though I warned her that since we don't want her to move away one bit, I might do my best to take really horrible ones so that no one would want to buy the house. A., who had just arrived for our weekly yoga session, suggested a bit of judicious photoshopping to superimpose an image of a horrible pig-farm right next door, with perhaps some vile green poisonous seaweed lapping at the door.
Unfortunately, the morning sun came out and flooded the place, and I was unable to make it look very ugly at all. In order to avoid E.spending all day waiting for even greatly reduced versions of them to crawl through her dial-up connection, I edited, reduced, exported and organised them into a Picasa web album, gave her the link, and told her just to click on them to enlarge, which might be a bit slow but should be possible, then she could choose the ones she wanted to use...
A breezy e-mail finally arrived in her peculiar pidgin combo of Dutch, English and French done on an AZERTY keyboard with the bare minimum punctuation or upper-case, saying yes, very beautiful, thank you, but 'I don't manage to make them bigger next time I see you we might find out which ones are the best,ok?'
Impossible woman. I don't even bloody want her to sell her house. I'm hoping her total uselessness is in part affected because she doesn't really want to sell her house either.
Anyway, since this has been some of the only photography I've been doing lately, I quickly scrambled a collage together of some of the pictures. Not because I'm trying to act as an estate agent, but because at least here people take the trouble to look at my photos. And because her house is full of charm and colour and light and life. If by any chance any of you did want to come and be my neighbours and buy an old Breton three-storey mill house with an acre or so of woodland garden, potager, sunny terrace, views to Moncontour which is a short (steep) walk away, all for about the price of a one-bedroom flat in the south of England then let me know and I wouldn't be averse to a commision. However, you would have to guarantee to teach me yoga, keep wonderful dogs, play the piano and the accordion, make me laugh with your sometimes use of an unpredictable amalgam of several modern European languages, henna your hair and dress like a slightly demented retired ballerina.
I'm not quite sure if I'm going to invite her to read the above or not. She'd probably claim she couldn't get the link to work, anyway.
It's possibly worth enlarging the collage even a little more, since I didn't take the time to see that the best pictures were the biggest.
Well, considering this was only supposed to be a quick post, I seem to have rattled away at some length. And I haven't left time for my original purpose which was to ask if anyone knows why when I open an e-mail photo attachment with Picasa (my default viewer), it then opens up a whole load of very small 'temporary internet explorer content' files. It's creepy and weird and I don't like it; has anyone else experienced this and should I be worried?