Angry Old Trout

The Boss (ha!) has been in Coventry for 6 hours now.  Only a penitent phonecall a few minutes ago got him out the dog-house.

Today was yet another gorgeously sunny day, so we decided to pack yet another picnic, and hit yet another beach.  Roseisle beach, this time, and walk as far west as Midi’s little legs would take her, towards the direction I last saw dolphins.  We had loads of sausages at their Use By date and The Boss had found an old disposable barbeque in the garage, from back in pre-kids days when we spent every single weekend out camping, climbing, walking and biking.  We’d buy them el-cheapo in their 10s from France on climbing trips.  Anyway, our last family picnic till next weekend promised to be a good ‘un.

Everyone bar Maxi Minx was tired from pants sleep – Midi woke me at 6.30am climbing into my bed.  I’m glad I caught her because she’d wet herself.  We just got up rather than slept on.  Mistake!

The picnic was lovely, with all of us scoffing sausage sandwiches in a pretty secluded part of the beach, away from the crowds (my God, there must have been about 50 people on the entire beach on a sunny bank holiday – it was rammed!) and their rubbish and dog poo.  Mini Minx dunked her breadsticks in the sand and sucked it off thoughtfully.  She’s cutting those 2 enormous top teeth, so I guess rubbing it into those inflamed gums helped ease the pain.  Either that, or she’s bonkers.

Maxi Minx, ever the artist, quickly gave up making sand angels and started making a collage of a mermaid.  It was over 6ft long, and she drew the outline with her hands, then ‘coloured in’ the tail with hundreds of pebbles and seaweed, with a discarded bit of rope to form the fish tail end; seashells made up a kind of bikini; a string of barnacles and baby shellfish strung out in a crusty kind of rope formed the necklace; she found 2 matching mussel shells with attached barnacles for earrings, and some plain mussel shells made up the pendant parts of the necklace; different types of seaweed made up the hair, but it was carefully arranged symmetrically and draped purposefully.  I describe it in so much detail because (a) I was agog and amazed at my little 5 year old’s precision, ever-present drive to create art, and sheer prettiness of it, and (b) the beautiful photos and the video I took of it with Maxi explaining all the different bits are gone forever.

The Boss dropped the camera in the sea and lost it.

I was nearly sick when I found out.  Losing the video cut me most, followed by the photos of the mermaid.  Then I remembered all the lovely portrait shots we’d taken of the kids all day.  And yesterday, I caught the most amazing lenticular clouds, in a beautiful 4 hooped wave.  And all the shots from the Theme Day.  Baby Mini changes so much so quickly that I worry being without a camera for a few days means that I’ll lose special memories (well, photos serve as my memory these days).  And she’s about to take her first steps…

I know he didn’t actually set out to drop the camera in the sea.  But he tried to blame the camera loss on me, till I reminded him that I’d passed the camera back so he could take some ‘wet’ shots of an arty piece of stone arranging he’d done at the water’s edge.  We both searched the edge of the water for around an hour, trying to calculate where the receding tide might have dragged it, in vain.

I glowered for hours.  I’m the kind of person who’d rescue photographs and diaries from a burning building, but abandon purses, wallets and phones. (Do I really need to say I’d rescue the kids first?  No.  Thought not.  Kind of obvious, eh?).  I really grieved for the lost pictures.  I know it’s silly, but I did.

Tonight he went off for a cycle ride after the kids went to bed.  I wasn’t all that surprised to find that he’d gone back to Roseisle beach, and had actually *found* the camera!  It was out at almost the low-tide bit.  He phoned to tell me the good news and apologise.  (‘Good’ in that I could stop tormenting myself with the possibility that it was lying on sand, ready to pick up and use but still lost.  Now at least I know that it did fall in the sea and get trashed and we’ll need to buy a replacement bloody pronto).  I stopped sulking and accepted that accidents happen.  I suspect that the camera will never be resurrected, but I have a ridiculously optimistic dream that rinsing the photo card in clean water and leaving it to dry for a few days might, just might, let me read off some photos?  We’ll see.

So.  Now to replace it.  If I could just buy the same one, I would, but I can’t find anywhere that still sells the 6 year old FinePix F10.  Many friends are recommending the Panasonic TZ range.  I’ve started comparing and am getting a bit lost.  I don’t want something all-singing and dancing.  I just want to be able to do great, sharp extreme close-ups of knitting, flowers and children, clear photos of clouds and children action-shots, and be able to take the odd video (not necessarily in HD).  But I’m being seduced by the possibility of better and better images as you up the price range… Argh!  Och, I have a realistic short-list of 3.  I think I’ll make The Boss feel useful and task him with deciding on a replacement tonight.  If he picks one on my short-list, we’ll just get that.  If he doesn’t… well, I’m sure I’ll make him see sense.

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