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.