Exit Caesar

One of the many pleasures of visiting my friends in Quimper, i.e. Goddaughter 2 and her family, is their cat, who is called Caesar. Is? Alas: was. When I said goodbye to Caesar before coming back home last January, I feared that I’d not be seeing him again, and so it has proved, all too quickly. A few days ago his faltering liver finally gave out completely, and to spare him more grief and pain he was put to sleep.

I took no photos of Caesar when I visited for the New Year, but took several last August, when I last visited. Here is one of those pictures:

I took that at the same time I took the two photos of Caesar in this earlier posting. If you try, you can imagine from that picture that Caesar has only two legs and is standing upright. Not that you’d want to.

He is and will continue to be much missed.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Two geese

Ever since I first got a digital camera, I have taken occasional “wildlife” photos, of the not-actually-very-wild-at-all animals of London, mostly ducks and geese, and cats and dogs (especially cats), and occasionally squirrels. Very occasionally, I get something worth showing, here (that cat being a French cat) or somewhere. Mostly I prefer inanimate objects to the other sort, because inanimate objects keep more still. And in the case of those living creatures called digital photographers, they also are good at standing very still.

The last time I photoed a pair of birds, they were intensely aware of my presence and very angry about it. But the other day, just after I had been photoing that Christmas tree, I came across a pair of birds who were utterly oblivious to my presence. They were very well turned out. And they were doing all manner of photographically interesting things. They were standing asleep on one leg, waking up and stretching their wings, doing coordinated dancing, shagging, more coordinated dancing, and then they hopped down off their perch and and onto the grass to have breakfast, or whatever it was. (All this happened at about eleven in the morning, so if it was breakfast it was a late breakfast.) I took over a hundred and fifty snaps of them. Below is a ruthlessly edited selection:

The point of showing all these snaps is not just to enable you to click and enjoy at will. It is also to make the point about how totally indifferent to my very close – not to say downright voyeuristic – presence these two handsome birds were.

I was still calling these these two birds ducks when I uploaded all those pictures. They looked all scrunched up and small when doing that asleep-on-one-leg thing. But actually, I think they’re geese. Whatever. They are Londoners.

The only reason I was out and about that morning was because I was walking with Goddaughter 2, who was on her way to France, to Pimlico tube. As it turned out, I contributed nothing to this first leg of her journey, not even helping her lug her luggage down the steps into the station. But I am still very glad I took this walk.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Back from France (plus cat photos)

Yes, I’ve been in France, and now I’m back. Have been for several days actually, but I spent my recent blogging time doing this, which is a photo-decorated ramble on various things I saw in France, or thought I did, for Samizdata.

I really want to get back into the swim of things over there, after a recent dry spell, and was accordingly determined to finish that ramble before I resumed rambling here.

Since this is Friday, here are some French cats.

Cat number one stands outside Vannes town hall:

Cat number two is impressively perched on an impressively high ledge, somewhere or other. Cat number three, the cat of the friends I was staying with, is shown here, not being very impressed with cat number two:

This photo was taken by Tony, to whom thanks, and to whom thanks also for emailing it to me.

Here, on the other hand are two further photos that I did take of cat number three:

No, I don’t know why his right ear is green on the inside. I only noticed this when I got home.

His name is Caesar (sp?), and he actually does answer to that name. It’s not tone of voice, it’s the name, because when I said this to him for the first time, he immediately looked up to see what I had in mind.

There is another cat, Basil, who drops by at the home of Tony et famille from time to time, but he is more shy. He was otherwise engaged, on my last day there which was when I finally decided I wanted to photo the two cats. Caesar showed up, but not Basil. Another time, maybe.

Caesar is now very old, and I may never meet with him again. We got on well.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Photographing the other photographers with my new camera

I just bought a new camera, the Panasonic Lumix FZ150, and it is great. Here are some snaps I took with it, on Monday, of a few of my fellow digital photographers:

The light was fading quite fast while I was taking these, and trust me, these are much better snaps than I could have taken with my previous donkey-driven camera.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Quimper cat on Harley-Davidson

I don’t always do cats here on Fridays, but I often do. For me they signify the fundamental point of this blog, which is to entertain, and in particular to entertain me, rather than just to be serious and political about everything. There is more to life than the fact, if fact it be, that the politicians are making a mess of everything. So it was that, when on my recent trip to France, I kept half an eye open for cats.

Another thing I found myself snapping was motorbikes. The French really seem to love their motorbikes, perhaps because their roads are longer and emptier than they are in Britain.

So imagine my delight when, wandering around the centre of Quimper of an evening, I came across this:

And I wasn’t the only one who felt that this was suitable material for digitalised immortality:

My favourite snap of a fellow digital photographer in Cat-on-Harley action being this one:

Was the cat in any way disconcerted by all this attention? On the contrary:

The cat loved it.

Here, I hope you will agree, is the appropriate song, sung by one of the all time great French sex kittens. (I actually have this on CD.)

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog