Be prepared

Before I went out for my walk yesterday I checked my camera battery. It was lowish at 40%, the spare was charged and in the bag but I thought I’d charge the one in the camera while I had my morning peruse of the headlines and check Twitter for the most current US policy announcements. It was looking to be a fine day and my camera gets through its power pretty quickly so I wouldn’t want to run out of juice. After lunch I got Gwynnik into her crate in the car, gathered up my coat and camera bag and set off on the few miles drive for a walk at Widemouth beach.

There is a free car park at the north end of the relatively undeveloped and unspoilt seafront there, I always like a free car park even if the walk is a bit longer from it. A footpath then wends back south towards the beach, along the clifftop and through the necessarily tough vegetation surviving in the lashings of salty air it gets.

The tide was coming in towards being at its highest and, although not a strong breeze, the rolling tops of the waves were generating a cloud of moisture which appeared as if a mist, hanging in the air against the dark shapes of the cliffs behind. The sunlight was coming from the same direction but would occasionally disappear behind broken cloud.

I noticed that there was a group of people looking out over the sea from a viewpoint ahead and thought that this would be a great opportunity for pictures, people always give a landscape some scale and a focus. So I reached for my freshly charged camera which was ready to go.

I took a few pictures at slightly different apertures and then pressed the playback button to see what was working best. It was then that the cold feeling ran through me as I read the words on the display screen. ‘Unable to save pictures. No memory card.’

I might have let out a little swear word. If you were in the vicinity of a bloke in an Army surplus camo jacket struggling to take a picture at the top of Widemouth while a small whimpering white puppy was struggling to try to escape the lead that the bloke was stood on and heard a naughty word, please accept my apologies, but know that the word –  or two –  were directed at himself and his total idiocy.

Sherlock Holmes has a mind palace apparently, he goes into a trance and does a few strange file slide and opening motions with his hands while his eyes are closed to remember things long otherwise forgotten. I didn’t bother with that, I knew where the memory card was before the final curse had left my lips. In the memory card slot. In my laptop. At home.

Even more stupid? I had done this before.

But the story is called ‘Be prepared’ and you’ll notice there are pictures here at the bottom. That is because, knowing that I am advancing in years and one of the least proponents of ‘planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance‘ types of people you’ll ever meet – in fact when I used to hold down a proper job I was well known for ‘winging it’ with some fleet-footed dumb luck and alacrity – I actually remembered that I had cockwomble-proofed myself – against myself – by slipping a spare memory card into my wallet

So, luckily I had remembered to bring my wallet (I don’t actually consciously remember thinking ‘I must take my wallet with me’, it was just there in my pocket) and, newly equipped with the means and hoping that these people would be hanging around while I fumbled with getting the card in the camera, I managed to take some pictures.

In the end I was prepared. But only for how unprepared I would probably be one day. Again.



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