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What a nightmare. Having been caught up in the hype of New Year ‘sales’ it seemed - finally - that this was perhaps the opportunity to bid farewell to the trusty 35mm S.L.R. camera, and ‘upgrade’ to the digital age. So, admittedly with reservations, it was off to invest a significant amount of my hard earned pennies in something that had lots of ‘mega pixels’ (seemingly a ‘must have’) and - oh, my trembling being - a 5X optical zoom. What, I thought, could possibly go wrong? Umm, silly me. Well firstly the manufacturers, no doubt thinking themselves very trendy, had dispensed with an instruction book, and instead put all the salient information on a ‘CD.’ Now this loaded O.K., but couldn’t be accessed. And so the next stage was to ‘download’ a suitable program, which, on crashing half way through, came up with the cheery message that ‘restarting’ would probably disable the anti virus protection. Yea, right; as if I’m going to put up with that. So out came the CD, followed shortly by the revelation that half the folders on the laptop’s display had disappeared; to whence to this very day I know what where. And so it was time for Plan B. Having observed the junior members of the family, it seems that where electronic gizmos are concerned for the younger generation instruction books are superfluous, and instead the ‘chimp and reward’ system is employed, whereby - as in animal behavioural labs - the specimen merely presses random buttons in a random sequence until, with a look of complete dispassion, something akin to the desired result is achieved - usually, in the case of monkeys, a paw full of peanuts. So abandoning any patterns of logic this approach was duly applied, but, much as expected, without any success, since pressing ‘menu’ brought up a ‘sub menu,’ which - I just don’t believe it - then brought up a ‘sub sub menu,’ littered with terms intelligible to only those fluent in ‘geek speak.’ Ye Gods, all I want to do is take photos, not learn how to fly a Space Shuttle. Needless to say, the very next day the digital doughnut swiftly rejoined its brothers and sisters on the shelf in the camera shop, and there, one hopes for all eternity, it can quite happily stay. And so with an enhanced reverence the 35mm was lovingly retrieved from the back of the cupboard, and it was off - before the tangible results of global warming began to melt - to photograph some local scenes of icy beauty. And so it is with no regrets whatsoever that these photos for the Citizen have returned to the fold of film. And as for the modern day camera manufacturers, as far as I’m concerned you can stick your digital cameras - right where your digitally enhanced hazy sun exposure setting don’t shine.