Alphabet Soup

So we have jumped to Oh my ‘cron! Or Omicron as the scientist johnnies would have it. Next we get Pi presumably. π was the bane of my life at school and I guess it will become so in my advanced years. What happens when we get to Omega? Do we all end there? Covid to ashes and dust. Or we take so many anti-mutant booster jabs the gauge turns to Full. Don’t get me wrong. I have had my 3 doses of BioNTech already and I’m happy to say I have had no side effects. I even had my antibodies checked and by golly the jabs work. I am stuffed to the gills with them. But where does this end? Does it in fact end? A year or so ago I read the definitive history of the Spanish flu epidemic and if the course of that is anything to go by I am pretty sure the current pandemic will end but it does not help that there seems to be little consensus on how to best accelerate the demise of Covid. The so-called prime minister of the Disunited Kingdom advocates a trip to Peppa Pig World. Austria casts a long shadow and has opted for mandatory vaccination. Other countries are more subtle and simply won’t let you do anything or go anywhere without a vaccination passport. So far today I have activated my track and trace three times: to go to the club to read the FT, to spend an hour or so with my dominatrix fitness trainer and finally to be allowed to eat a curry lunch, thus undoing all the good work I did in the gym.

Which leads me somewhat circuitously to the concept of photography as a fitness enhancer. Last week I walked 80km according to my watch, which monitors my every movement and, under duress, may even tell me the time. Most of those km were spent wandering the hills around us looking in vain for birds. Each time I go out I have my backpack containing a camera body, one or two decent sized lenses, a pair of binoculars and a flask or two of water. You won’t get much with them in your bag, you might point out and you would be right. When I get to the hiking trails out come the bins and the camera body + 100-500mm zoom lens. But the weight doesn’t change. It just shifts from my back to my neck. My fitness trainer – she who is cute but scary – constantly urges me to engage my core but I’m not sure she hikes with all the camera gear. I think she should appreciate the weight training this gives me but actually her reaction is usually “I can’t help you if you want to do silly things like that”. And of course she is right.

The additional benefit to me is that when I wander the streets looking for interesting subjects the rangefinder barely registers. Even with a lump of glass on the front it is a fraction of the birds and butterflies gear. So it was that on Sunday I went out to recover from a 21km hike on Saturday with my street camera. No backpack. No bins and no big zoom lens. I have a few regular routes but still find hidden alleys and paths occasionally, which I feel compelled to explore to make sure they are free of ø and π. And I do this a couple of times a week. Here is my favourite shot from last week’s street strolls:

Table For Four

When I posted this elsewhere I got some unexpected responses. The question is: how do you interpret what is happening (or not happening) here? The moment I saw it I had a very firm idea in my mind. I was surprised how differently others saw it. The perfect story picture where you make up the ending?

And that is the end. As long as I can get out and exercise they can choose any Greek letter they choose and I’ll try not to end up in the soup. I feel confident that after 3 jabs I have a right not to be ø +ve. But I will wear my mask.

14 thoughts on “Alphabet Soup

  1. What did I see when I took the picture? An interrogation room. Sinister. Threatening. Hostile. Perhaps that says more about our current political situation than anything else.

  2. Love the photo and I really have no meaningful thoughts of what the photo conveys. I like just like anything that is monochrome. At any rate my thinking is like yours- get the vaccines and respect the virus. I know, personally, some that died and some through friends who lost a loved one or a friend to covid. My county was a hot seat of covid for several months. Anyone with modicum of common sense should know that it should not be political to be very wary of covid and to get vaccinated. The more people that are vaccinated the faster covid can be near eradication or nearly so. I have gotten the Pfizer and had to put off getting my booster because of all things I had an attack of shingles because I failed to get the shingles vaccine. My doc said I got shingles because I have been so stressed about covid. I will soon get my booster. Anyhow, keep the photos coming.

    • Oh Yvonne I am so sorry you got shingles. Our GP said over 60 it is recommended. It comes in 2 shots so we have had one and will be due the 2nd in a month or so. In Britain they give it to you free over 70. Here we have to pay and it is expensive. HK$5000 each person – that’s about 640 of your dollars. I don’t know when life will be normal again but I can’t wait much longer for HK to open up. If it doesn’t I will leave.

  3. I love the shot but have no immediate story to tell about it. We wear our masks indoors even though most people in Arizona don’t. I find it a small thing to do as a precaution and will soon be getting my booster shot as well. My husband already has his. No family traveling for Christmas this year again but hopefully next year we’ll be back to normal celebrations. We’ll see. Stay safe and healthy.


    • You are very sensible Janet. It really isn’t that much of a burden. It protects us and others. We have vaccinations for polio, measles and all sorts of things. I’m about to have a shingles vaccine. I can think of far greater infringements on my life and liberties than being asked to wear a mask or get vaccinated. I had a close friend die of Covid. We need to get rid of it.

      • Sorry to read about your friend. We haven’t know anyone who’s died from Covid or even gotten badly sick, so that’s a blessing! Shingles is awful, so getting the vaccine is definitely worth it.

  4. I agree that it looks dystopian. I’ve been reading Mr. Campion books lately, and it reminded me chillingly of that. I’m eager to learn your thoughts.

    In college I learned that it is in a virus’ best interests to evolve to NOT killing its host, and that would suggest that eventually the mutations would bring us a Covid that was more like a cold. Miserable, but survivable. However I am quickly reminded of polio, etc. so what do I know? I admire your approach. Sometimes I get a bit nervous, which surprises me. My daughter, who does have anxiety issues, delighted me by saying we should lift our heads and sally forth to enjoy life. Words to live, and smile, by.

    • I think it depends on how responsible the general community is, Melissa, whether you should feel confident or not. People here are very aware of the dangers of Covid and treat it with respect. But we try to live our lives as normally as possible. The question here is what happens if you open the border? We have been closed 2 years and frustration is very high. Covid will pass but whether the restrictions will do so remains to be seen.

      • Yes, here in the US the question of restrictions is creating the perfect environment for power battles~who will ultimately be. in charge~we the people, or crazed autocrats?

  5. Let me put this as delicately as I can. My immediate response to your photo was, “This is the world various politicians, unelected bureaucrats, self-appointment medical experts, and paranoid social media posters want for us: utterly devoid of color and human presence.”
    It’s a terrifying vision.

    That said, I’m glad you’re getting out and about, and this photo is a reminder that I should do the same.

    • Well no offence at all. I will reveal what I thought in a day or so. It does look dystopian. Yes, getting out has been my salvation. I could never do 21 days quarantine as we need to here if we leave and return.

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