5am call, quick cup of coffee and back in the big FWD for "leopard tracking". This was a dawn game drive with a tracker for the radio collars fitted to the park’s other leopards. On the way we stopped to photograph more diverse ungulates (including wildebeest this time), baboons and some colourful birds.
We eventually tracked the other female down to a thicket about 100m in each direction, but she seemed to be moving. We drove back to the main track and I suddenly spotted a shadow moving at the thicket’s edge. We positioned ourselves in time for her to cross the track just ahead of us. Another gorgeous animal, and this time we were definitely not the prey.
It’s a six hour drive, including lunch, to Spitzkoppe. At least this allows me to variously catch up on sleep, writing this blog, and Angry Birds. Namibia’s roads are well surfaced, empty, straight and very boring.
Packed lunch from the game reserve included an oryx wrap. There’s a pattern emerging here…
Spitzkoppe is where a bunch of dramatic granite monoliths rise out of the otherwise flat desert, not unlike an African Monument Valley. We enjoyed the long drive in, promising ourselves some great late afternoon shooting, but by the time we got to the lodge and checked in the sun had disappeared behind clouds and the light was rather disappointing. Still, we can look forward to Dawn tomorrow.
Night 4 – Addendum
Ready for a good night’s sleep?
Sensible bed-time? Check. Sensible start time tomorrow negotiated, as worst case I can just photograph the sunrise from bed? Check. Right amount of food and alcohol, not too much, not too little? Check. Room temperature wrangled from "furnace" to "comfortable"? Check. Pillow adjusted to right height with towel? Check.
Ready for a good night’s sleep.
This is when I discover the major structural flaw in the design of the Spitzkoppe chalets. The base and sides are solid, but the roof is a weird double canvas affair. If it’s meant to manage temperature it doesn’t work. What it does do in any breath of wind over Beaufort Scale level 1 is whip, creak, groan, snap and pop vigorously. Something a bit stronger and it sounds like it’s about to come off. At midnight I decide the latter would be a good thing as then I could finish the night under a clear and silent Namibian sky. Sadly it doesn’t happen. At least that explains the earplugs in the soap dish.
The sleep deprivation experience continues.
It’s looking like we will spend a lot of time on the road. Once our transport arrived on day 3 we drove back out to the airport to collect the final member of the group, then back past our hotel Continue reading
Sunday, November 18, 2018 in Namibia Travel Blog
I’m off on my photographic travels again, this time to Namibia. I’m travelling with Lee Frost of Photo Adventures, as I did to Cuba and Morocco, and it promises to be an interesting mix of landscape, wildlife and general travel Continue reading
Banks constantly tell us to do more to protect our financial details against online fraud, but we live in a world where there is often no alternative to exposing important financial information to potential misuse. The frustration is that there Continue reading
Thursday, August 30, 2018 in Thoughts on the World
Is the theatre its own worst enemy? Is it the engine of its own destruction? Let me explain what I mean. We love the cinema. We go most weeks, and most weeks we come away feeling well entertained, even inspired. Continue reading
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 in Thoughts on the World
There is an old plot device, which goes back to at least Homer, although the version which popped into my head this evening was Genesis of the Daleks, a 1970s Dr Who story. A group of warriors fight a short Continue reading
Thursday, July 26, 2018 in Android
, Thoughts on the World
In October last year I wrote an article celebrating the hybrid analogue/digital watch and offering some architecture and design observations from my collection of them. I ended up slightly sad about the style’s fall from fashion, but confidently predicting that Continue reading
This article was also published as a guest article on "The Online Photographer". My Panasonic GX8 arrived pretty much on the day of official availability and has been my primary camera for almost three years, including two major photographic trips, Continue reading
Having established that there’s a real, valuable use case for Google’s phone-call-making AI (making outgoing calls which have to be routed via complex menus, lengthy queues, or security gatekeepers) I got thinking. When I was in my early 20s and Continue reading
Thursday, May 24, 2018 in Thoughts on the World
Since Google’s demo of an AI bot making a phone call a few weeks ago, the reaction I have read seems to be completely polarised. About half the reviewers are blown away, believing it to be unleashing AI wonders/horrors which Continue reading
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in Thoughts on the World
I really should have known better. In last week’s piece on random music player algorithms, I made the rather blasé statement "I can live with it for a while and I can probably resolve the issue by downloading another music Continue reading
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 in Thoughts on the World
“You’re Inferring that I’m stupid.” “No, I’m implying that you’re stupid. You’re inferring it.” – Wilt, by Tom Sharpe My latest contract means spending some time on a bus at each end of the day. The movement of the bus Continue reading
As I have observed before, IT as a field is highly driven by both fashion and received wisdom, and it can be difficult to challenge the commonly accepted position. In the current world it is barely more politically acceptable to Continue reading
Very early on in any course in marketing or economics you will encounter the concept of the "Unique Selling Proposition", the USP, that factor which differentiates a given product or service from its competitors. It’s "what you have that competitors Continue reading
Friday, February 2, 2018 in Agile & Architecture
Should I buy the Blu-Ray? So you have a collection of several hundred DVDs, you’ve finally managed to remove almost every VHS tape from the house, and you’ve bought a shiny new TV and disk player. Which, if any, of Continue reading
Thursday, January 11, 2018 in Thoughts on the World
Let’s start with a common use case… "I have a television / hi-fi / home cinema system which has several components from different manufacturers. I would like to control all of them with a single remote control. I would like Continue reading
Sunday, January 7, 2018 in Android
, Thoughts on the World
My old mum has recently moved from her house to a smaller retirement flat, and is still in the process of sorting out some of the accumulated lifetime’s possessions. On this visit, I was presented with a large carrier bag Continue reading
The Challenge I often hear a statement which worries me, especially but not exclusively in agile projects, along the lines of “we’ll make sure it works when we test it later”. Now you may think this is an odd view Continue reading
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 in Agile & Architecture
A former colleague, Neil Schiller, recently wrote an excellent article, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agile-data-programmes-neil-schiller/, on the challenge of using agile approaches in data-centric programmes. In it, he referenced and reviewed a classic cartoon by Henrik Kniberg which is often used to promote the Continue reading
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 in Agile & Architecture
The Crane Hotel, Barbados has a hut whose purpose is to take in used beach towels, and dispense fresh ones. It has no other purpose. It is staffed during daylight hours by a helpful young chap, but on our recent Continue reading
I recently started a watch collection. To be different, to control costs and to honour a style which I have long liked, all my watches are hybrid analogue/digital models. Within that constraint, they vary widely in age, cost, manufacturer and Continue reading
I was travelling recently with Virgin Atlantic. I went to check in online, typed in my booking code and selected both our names, clicked "Next", and got an odd error saying that I couldn’t check in. I wondered momentarily if Continue reading
We went to see The Hollies at G Live in Guildford last night. While the words and melodies were those we loved, and the instrumental performances were good, the trademark harmonies sounded, frankly, a bit flat, and I wondered if Continue reading
Sunday, October 8, 2017 in Thoughts on the World
I have decided to start another collection. Actually the real truth is that I’ve got a bit obsessive about something, and now I’m trying to put a bit of shape and control on it. I don’t generally have an addictive Continue reading
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 in Thoughts on the World
I’ve opined before about how Microsoft have made significant retrograde steps with recent versions of Office. However this morning they topped themselves when Office 2016 started complaining about not being activated, and the recommended, automated solution was to do a Continue reading
Monday, August 7, 2017 in Thoughts on the World
Here’s a business model: I’m a drug dealer. I sell you a crack cocaine pipe complete with a packet of wraps for £220. It’s a good pipe (assuming that such things exist) – burns clean and always hits the spot Continue reading
Thursday, July 13, 2017 in Thoughts on the World
This is a bit of an experiment, but I think it works. I started with an infrared image in its standard form: yellow skies and blue foliage. I then performed a series of fairly simple colour replacement operations in Photoshop Continue reading
Thursday, July 6, 2017 in Photography
"I’m shooting infrared. My main output is RAW files, and any JPGs are just aides memoire. Between my raw processor and Photoshop I’m going to do some fancy channel mixing to either add false colour, or take it away entirely Continue reading
There’s an interesting NY Times article on our dependency on "Tech’s Frightful Five", which includes a little interactive assessment of whether you could liberate yourself, and if so in which order. I thought it would be interesting to document my Continue reading
Friday, May 12, 2017 in Thoughts on the World
How do you remember the waypoints and landmarks on a journey? What are the key features by which you can replay in your mind, or to someone else, where you went and what you did? Like any good Englishman, I Continue reading