Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Funeral Day

Well I can't sleep. So it's a cup of tea and a blog session, just for something to do for an hour, then I'll go back to bed and try to drift off. At least nearly everything is done or arranged, apart from little things like cleaning the black leather shoes that I've hardly worn since retiring in May 2005. They last had an outing in November 2006 at another funeral. Shoes for sad occasions. Tearwear.

Dad's OK. He was content to know that there's nothing he has to do except sit in the limousine, then in a pew at the chapel, then in the limousine again, and so back to his armchair at home, although he can't then just turn on the telly or doze off: there will be people coming back too and he will have to be very sociable for a couple of hours. That's where I can be of slight use, keeping an eye on him, and generally sustaining the flow and level of chat and happy remembrances. I'm quite good at chatting away about nothing at all (exuberantly, as Richard Curtis my London gender doctor described me to my GP), especially if there are some nice things to nibble, and I've personally ensured that will indeed the case. No booze; this isn't a wake. Dad likes his whisky and I like a glass of wine or a gin and tonic, but this isn't the occasion, especially as nearly everyone apart from one set of neighbours has a longish way to travel later that afternoon. Nobody's stopping over. That's probably the best thing. There'll be a moment, say at five-thirty, when Dad can be alone. If he's still all right I'll leave him be, and come away.

But I'll see him next day and make sure he's going to survive. I've been setting up things for him to look forward to, or fill up his time in a challenging way. For instance, a cruise. He used to cruise annually with Mum until she felt too ill to make the effort. I knew that he had four years of cancelled or unbooked cruising stored up in his mind. I can't be Mum, but I can be a companion, a sort of attentive daughter perhaps. You see them on Saga holidays, fifty-something daughters with their eighty-something dads, obviously very close, making sure that their father doesn't fall and doesn't have a sad moment. That'll be me. Except that I'll have to do it in male garb, despite the long hair and nails and the female hormone treatment kicking in. Mind you, I've made up my mind to frequent the onboard gym in more flattering garments.

I've never been on a cruise before. I'm assuming that there'll be plenty to shoot with my Nikon - onboard life as well as ports of call. And that I can indulge my penchant for shooting food. The full-frame Nikon D700 is a big heavy beast, and it sports Nikon's f2.8 24-70 zoom, also no featherweight. Not ideal for the restaurant table, but needs must. I bought both together last August. The camera seems to be the first in some kind of series, the number on the body being 2016000. (I wish I knew what significance that has) Anyway, having taken camera and lens out of their boxes and immediately locked them together, they have remained like that, perhaps Till Death Do Us Part. I have to say that the performance of that lens is impeccable, brilliantly suiting the D700's amazing low-light capabilities. Yes of course a longer telephoto would be nice, but then I have here a combo that will do nicely for most of the shots I like to take, and so long as I don't change lenses, and let air in, I will stay dust-free. Put it another way, I'd rather buy another body and fix another lens on that. I also have a little Ricoh GX100, but it's no good in poor light.

Sorry for the photo talk. It's just babble. I'm going back to bed now.

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