Something has been troubling me recently – apart from my back, that is, which has really been giving me gyp since I foolishly dragged Barry onto the dance floor on New Year’s Eve. I am now walking more normally and less like a constipated crab (do crabs suffer from constipation?) I have actually been out for a walk twice this month (second time today, in the sunshine) though it’s more of a wallow, as though I’ve just come ashore after a goodly time aboard ship, six months without shore leave, say. Having Barry to hang on to helps if we’re walking a pavement anywhere (who said ‘street walker’?) but he uses Pacerpoles(they look rather like ski sticks) when he’s walking the dogs so I’ve resorted to them in the forest too.
There are honest people in the world, you know. He lost his first set of Pacerpoles – probably put them on the roof of the car while he marshalled the dogs into it after a trek. He bought a replacement pair – better than the originals, in fact, because they’re made from carbon fibre and are therefore lighter - and was talking about them to someone he met in the forest. He mentioned his lost poles and she said she’d found them and a couple of days later her husband brought them round to the house. Wasn’t that nice?
Anyway, having decided that I really must walk straight again rather than the dot and carry method that has become my recent habit, I started to use a walking stick for occasions other than walking the dogs. I have also blessed the day we decided to build an Endless Pool because I have been able to use it to do some valuable exercise and get myself moving more or less conventionally again.
So, apart from my back, the thing that has been troubling me recently is the use of photographs, or rather the word ‘photographs’. Can I really call digital images photographs? Because they’re not – photographs, that is, at least not in the snapshot sense, at least not to me.
The word "photograph" was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel* and is based on the Greek φῶς (phos) "light" andγραφή (graphê) "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", together meaning "drawing with light"
*Herschel was the only good thing to come out of Slough, in Berkshire. Sir John Betjeman wrote a poem which began,
‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now.’
If only I’d looked at Wikipedia in the first place I could have saved myself hours of pondering for it seems that digital images can be referred to as photographs. Of course, they are stored in a different way but can still be printed - on photographic paper for a really fine finish but otherwise on any printer paper.
What shall I worry about next? Supper, I suppose, though Barry is wrestling with a computer at the moment, so we shall not eat early. Two points there – you can’t really wrestle with a computer. For a start it’s impossible to get an arm lock on a machine and computers break if slammed to the floor. Secondly, have you ever eaten early? What does it taste like?