Thursday, 21 August 2008

fly by night

I finished off my butterfly pictures this morning, breathed a sigh of relief as I hit the upload button, and went for a ride on my bicycle.

They're for the Bristol Downs wildlife book. I've very nearly finished all the pics now. I can then devote myself more single-mindedly to What The Heck To Do Next.

In the meeja.... I got some money from Neon, a German magazine, today, for use of my photos in a feature they did which was more or less the same as the one in the Guardian. Except in German. So hurrah, and I think I may have to buy a new pair of shoes. You know how it is.

I found this copy of the article on monanotlisa's LJ. Thanks for putting it up, Mona! It was nice to see some more of Neil Drabble's photos, too.

So I mail Richard, and he mails me and tells me that he likes the butterfly pictures and that the cricket balls that I posted to him last week have still not arrived. (They are hard to get hold of in Strasbourg, apparently. Maybe the French are still a bit prickly after that business with Henry V and the Dauphin.)

And Richard also mentions the Olympics.

I was going to try and get through this whole Olympics business without ever mentioning it. Damn.

No, that was me saying that. What Richard said was this:

I notice in the Olympics the swimming stroke 'the butterfly' no longer exists. Has been shortened for idiot sports-people, so we now have the 50 Metre Fly etc.

...and that in turn reminded me of a horrible incident from the 1970s. I was at RAF St Athan, for an Air Cadet swimming competition. God knows why I was there, as I only ever do a very slow breast stroke, although I could do the doggy paddle or even floating on my back at a pinch. OK, I know why I was there. Coercion. You know how it is with insanely sporty adults in charge of things.

So I get entered into something called Freestyle. Somehow I get the idea that this means that I have to swim using the butterfly stroke, something which I have never before attempted.

Gosh, you can swallow quite a lot of water doing that.

And take a long time to get to the other end.

Much longer than anyone else.

Oh well, it was probably character building.

*****

I fulfilled a long-held ambition today, and managed to download the wailing call of the Great Northern Diver onto my mobile phone.

Next week I'll sort out world peace.