Staining slides

It’s been a really long time since I’ve done any microbiology. I do miss it.
I had a weird, brief flashback to the lab today. And then, coincidentally, I chanced upon this photo:

Even now, I can tell you exactly what is going on here. You don’t stain TB for several (or more) years and just forget how to do it.

I’d be able to do so much more with this photo these days, though. This was 10½ years and four cameras (and a whole lot of experience) ago.

If anyone out there needs photos taken of some slides being stained (or any other biomedical technique), please just give me a shout. Nice guy, reasonable rates.

a-ha in Cape Town – some thoughts

Last night was really very special. Right up there with the Bergen concert.

A balmy evening, a really well-organised experience, some decent support acts, an appreciative crowd, and – of course – Morten, Magne and Pål doing their stuff up on stage. Really fantastic.

As a celebration of the 35th (weep!) anniversary of their first album, they played all ten tracks in full and in order before moving on to some of their more well-known songs. As a fan and a purist, this was so perfect: the opportunity to hear them play some stuff which I hadn’t heard live since (literally) 1986. Just a remarkable experience.

The Blue Sky was gorgeous, the demo version of I Dream Myself Alive was unique and such a rush for the true fans. Here I Stand And Face The Rain  was powerful, energetic and evocative.

And then done with the old stuff, and straight into the bassy, rocky Sycamore Leaves. Wow.

Shall we play something you all know, now?

asked Magne, and the crowd roared as they launched into I’ve Been Losing You. But I just wanted them to keep playing – whatever.

Foot Of The Mountain, Analogue and The Swing Of Things sounded better than I have ever heard them, Stay On These Roads was beautiful and so well-received and respected, and although we didn’t get Crying In The Rain or the new Digital River, that was just fine. It was almost as if they had tailor-made the setlist for me.

Thanks, boys.

The short, but sweet encore of Scoundrel Days (a personal favourite) with a scary echoey reverb, and a rousing The Living Daylights rounded the evening off perfectly.

Not that I couldn’t have done with another hour and a half.  A really wonderful experience, and one I was so chuffed to have shared with the kids.

Was this my last a-ha concert? Who knows? (After all, I have been to my last a-ha concert several times already…!) I hope not, obviously, because I just love their music and hearing it live is so special for me.

But… but, if it was, then this was a fitting send off. What a truly exceptional evening.

 

All my photos from the concert (15)

More publishing

This actually happened last year, but I only recently got a copy of the magazine.

My photos in Old Glory – Steam & Vintage Preservation magazine.

More than happy to share a few of my photographs of my favourite steam engine in all the world. I’ll admit that the competition in that category isn’t huge.

Although… hang on a second…

11 years ago. Wow.

Last day out

It’s Granddad’s last day with us today (in Cape Town, that is. He’s heading back to Sheffield tonight – we’re not shipping him off to Dignitas or anything). I asked what he’d like to do while the kids were at school and he said that a coffee somewhere by the sea would be great.

Kalk Bay seemed to fit the bill, in that it wasn’t as full of annoying surfers as Muizenberg would have been, nor as dull, dreary and geriatric as Fishhoek on a Monday morning.

It was high tide and the remains of the swells from the past few days were still coming ashore, making for some entertaining scenes over the breakwater, so we togged for a while then wandered along for calamari and chips at the Brass Bell, where the friendly waiter moved our table to avoid the worst of the sea spray coming into the restaurant.

Then it was back around via Chappies and a rather tame Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra), then back to just 6000 miles from civilisation… just in time to pick up the kids from school.

A morning (and part of the afternoon) very well spent, and hopefully some decent last minute memories for the long trip home.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: These photos are not to scale. The agama is small, but the breakwater is far away. (reference)

Mainly waves and no RBOSS

There’s a problem. Such was the weather yesterday (very sunny; very, very windy), that there was nothing to photograph except amazing waves, and just so much light and colour that it looks like I’ve RBOSSed everything.

Not the case, I promise.

If you’ve not been to Cape Town, I can completely understand that when you look at these images, you immediately think that I have gone mad with the sliders in Lightroom. I would never.

I remember being utterly astonished by the clarity of the light and the colour when I first came over here. Not every day, obviously – it’s grey and miserable today. I’m sure that there are other places in the world with equally amazing conditions, but I haven’t been there yet.

But I swear that yesterday, the turquoise really was that turquoise, the white honestly that white and the other colours genuinely were whatever colours they were. If only we could have enjoyed them without our eyeballs being ripped out by the wind and assaulted by the sand.

Still, great day out…

(Oh, and I know that I probably shouldn’t have monochromed that one photo, but I just have a nagging feeling that I’m going to need a dramatic B&W wave photo one day. As you do.)