Members 40. Returned from El Camino

I am returned from the camino. This will be the last post on it, until we get to camino V, next year. I promise.
I write the last post before I went. How did reality match up to my expectation?

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Working Tools 22. – New Camera

There is a new camera in the bag. Actually, it’s not in the bag, it’s in the pocket. That’s the point.

“The best camera is the one with you” or versions thereof, is often attributed to photographer Chase Jarvis, and he may have been the first to say it, I don’t know. I can’t doubt the veracity of it.

Existing Kit

I have a good iPhone, and it takes excellent snaps. I have no doubt that with sufficient effort, I could learn to harness its power. But, it’s not a camera. It’s a computer. My whole office lives in there. Social media and the internet too. Sure, I’m likely to have it with me at all times, but I’d like to leave it in my pocket.

I have been taking more photographs with my DSLR, a Nikon D3300, and working through the basics of the craft. Learning. It’s a great camera with more capability than the person carrying it. Pocketable; it isn’t. I can wear it around my neck, or carry a bag. Those are my choices.


I really don’t like carrying a bag if I don’t have to. Nor, am I a fan of having an ostentatious DSLR around my neck. So began my quest for a camera that is portable, powerful, and not a phone. After lots of research, and advice from some smart people, I plumped for a Ricoh GR III.

New Camera


There is a steep learning curve, upon which I have just embarked. I know, beyond any doubt, how to take unfocused photographs. Fortunately, I am getting the knack of taking focused ones too.

I intend to make “Rick” my constant companion, so that it becomes “the one with me”. I’ll learn by doing, and when I can’t work something out, I’ll dig out the manual and search for the answer. For reasons unknown, Amazon sent me a French-market camera, and though my French is OK, I might struggle with some of the more technical words, so I downloaded an English version. Just in case.

First Thoughts

Observations on the new camera thus far:
1. No view finder. Takes some getting used to – I’m considering the accessory, but will persevere. It may just need some time.
2. Light. There’s no inbuilt flash, so taking photos in low light takes a little more thought and creativity.
3. Wow. It’s clever.

Photography ticks multiple boxes for me. It gets the gears turning in my head, captures memories, and provides shots for the notebook business, and this blog.

I’m not very good at it, but I’ll get better.

My writing is supported by people like you. Membership costs £12 per year. For this princely sum, you will get access to subscriber only posts, direct access to a members chatroom , and a digital copy of any and all work that I publish in the year. Become a member.

Living the Dream. 22- Mind your language

Language Class. I sat on a chair designed for somebody a fifth of my age and weight. My knees let me know that they were not enjoying this unaccustomed position.

We were waiting for Stavros, who was to be our tutor. Margaret and I had come with our neighbour Nicky, who, to our ears at least, already spoke Greek. Nevertheless, she was adamant that the beginner class was right for her.

Scanning the room, I guessed that Brits were the majority, but there were East Asians, Middle Eastern people, Russians and Eastern Europeans too. Some had come alone, some with partners of friends.

“Beginner’s Greek?” Asked a woman at the door.

“I hope so,” I replied.

The woman nodded, came in followed a young man. They walked to the front of the class.

Adults in a children's classroom
Tiny chairs and furrowed brows

Greek Level 1

“Hello. My name is Angela and I will be your tutor.”

There followed some approximate introductions and a confusion of administration. Satisfied that Angela was in charge, the young man left. Turns out he was Stavros and he had passed us off to Angela for reasons unknown.

I was reminded of the 1970s UK TV comedy “Mind Your Language”, as the class interacted. I daresay we will be a more politically correct crowd, but the potential for humour is obvious as we all struggle to bend our minds to a new tongue.

Once it was agreed that bureaucracy and registration would be sorted remotely next week, we moved onto the serious, and surprisingly taxing, task of the alphabet.


There are some letters in Greek that look and sound identical to their English counterparts. A, Alpha. “Got it,” I thought.

However, the plot thickened. Some letters look like their English counterparts, but have a completely different pronunciation. “Oh good.” I muttered sourly.

“And finally, we have letters that bear no resemblance to English, in appearance or sound.” Angela beamed.

I have a feeling that I might be a little long in the tooth for a new language.

It’s all Greek to me.