Monday, July 16, 2012

Tips for young players

I'm writing this at 30-odd thousand feet, somewhere over the Pacific. I left London at 9:30pm last night, after taking the train back from IMC Leeds the day before. I spent my last day-and-half staying in Kew and madly photographing documents in the National Archives. Lesson learned #1: If you're going to be spending 24+ hours on a plane with nothing to do but read or peer at a tiny TV screen, you may want to spend the day leading up to the flight doing something other than sitting in an archive, peering at old documents. By a few hours into the first 12-hour flight leg (stop off in Hong Kong for refuelling) I felt like I had sand under my eyelids. I found some more good stuff though, and took loads of photos to assist with future deciphering - some of these docs are in pretty bad shape and will need some digital manipulation to make them readable.

To my severe annoyance (and momentary panic, until I came up with plan B), the battery in my camera died after the first hour, despite it saying it had almost a full charge when I checked it this morning. I should have known it was about to expire because I had been taking video of squirrels, of all pointless things (you Brits probably think this is like filming the rats getting into your rubbish, but to us they are cute little bushy-tailed comics that have the lure of the exotic - no squirrels in NZ). Lesson learned #2: No matter what the stupid camera display says, always give that sucker a full charge before setting off for a day in the archive. Luckily, I had my iPad with me, so plan B was to take my photos with that. They're not as crisp as the ones taken with my camera (the iPad doesn't autofocus the way my camera does and it's hard to hold it steady), but they're good enough to work with. Phew!

Ah, I hear the happy rattle of the drinks trolley approaching down the aisle. I'm completely turned around at this point, and have no idea what day/ time it is. We had breakfast at dawn just before landing in Hong Kong and now, after a two-hour layover, they're serving us dinner and drinks. Oh well, any time is a good time for a glass of bubbly...


Anonymous said...

Plan C - for your future reference - they sell batteries in the bookshop downstairs. (Not that I'd have done anything like forget to bring spares...)

Bavardess said...

Thanks for the tip! That would have worked in my old camera, but unfortunately this one has one of those proprietary rechargeable numbers. Great for long-terrm costs, but a pain when you get caught out.