Unrealistic Expectations

I should remember that if an expected (though not overdue) business email has not arrived by 11.30 on Sunday night, it’s unlikely to be here at 7.30 on Monday morning.

Sad to say, the computer and the camera are not at present on speaking terms. I took the precaution of restarting the computer before plugging in the camera in the hope of preventing a problem and it was when I tried to look at the photos that the computer crashed, so I’ve lost my photos. At least I’d shown my daughter the film I”d taken at the station, when we suddenly found out that Pugsley could say her name.

When a baby starts using words, it isn’t always that obvious what they are – that is, whether it’s really words or just sounds. My daughter reminded me when Squiffany was a baby and they went out of the back door of a cafĂ© and she looked at the grass and said “garden”. But she didn’t say the word again for months.

Dilly and the children drove me to the station and Dilly asked Squiffany if she knew where I was going – whom do they usually bring here? “El and Phil”, realised Squiffany. “Last syllable of El’s name” piped up Pugsley. Startled, we asked him to repeat it. He did, several times, until I got the camera out and then he needed some persuasion. But he did in the end.

I’m sorry, also, to have lost the picture of El and Phil stranded in the fountain – and the artistic one of the rainbow seen in the fountain. I rudely snapped (without his knowledge) a young man with the worst hairstyle I’ve ever seen. I was looking forward to showing you that. He had very red hair and he had decided to shave it off all around the sides and leave it sticking up like a bog brush on top. The contrast between pale bristly head and red topknot was ugly, not in an aggressive “you thinking of messing with me, mate?” way but a “yeah, I know it was a really dismal mistake but I really feel those summer evening draughts and I’m too cold to cut it all off” one.

We arrived at the restaurant at 6 o’clock, just as the market had finished for the day, so we watched all the barrowboys pack up. As they were stacking the boxes on top of the barrows, an elderly Indian lady in a sari, clutching a couple of shopping bags, came along, eyes darting. She put down her bags and dived towards a fallen onion. Then a slightly dented cabbage. There was a turnip, but she rejected the green pepper, which must have been too soft. I rather applauded her – I don’t like waste either, and she punctiliously waited until there was no question that the stallholder was going to pick them up himself.

A man came along, wearing a cheap suit and eating fish and chips. The bits of batter he didn’t want were chucked on the ground with the vegetable debris. “Nice,” said El. “I expect he feeds the rats in his own backyard, too.” Fortunately, there are always London pigeons on hand and they cleared most of it up before the council refuse collectors came along. We wondered if all the stallholders pay equal amounts for rubbish clearing – some of the stalls left little or no rubbish, whereas the greengrocers made a real mess.

We know a barrowboy in Portobello Road. He says that local people are too posh to do their greengrocery shopping with him any more – round there they all go to the supermarkets, or maybe they buy their organic vegetable boxes and have them driven in from the countryside. He sells fruit to people scurrying out at lunchtime, or simple veg and salads to those hurrying home at the end of the day who have run out of tomatoes or need a stick of celery. Chapel Market is still busy though. A tough life – only shut on Mondays, El tells me, but each other day they are there for long hours in all weathers.

15 comments on “Unrealistic Expectations

  1. Anonymous

    “Chap”, as we locals (!) call the market, is open on Sunday too – hard work indeed. Went there yesterday and bought lots of red peppers for a roasted pepper soup, cheap coriander (50p huge bunch), grapes, UK raspberries, sweetcorn (are these too early to be UK?). Last night we had a splendid stirfry, tonight the sweetcorn and all week the soup.

    Today the market rests!

  2. Z

    It could be English sweetcorn, though more likely to be from the Continent. Mine is such a disaster this year that I can’t judge.

    I shall issue a correction. I suppose the weekends are their busiest time, it would be giving business to the supermarkets to be closed on a Sunday.

    Chap, forsooth. Glad you are eating healthily! xxx

  3. The Boy

    We’re lucky our way, the farm shop in the village started as a green grocer, then expanded into other local produce. We use him a fair bit, but we also rely on the supermarkets as the local farmers market is but once a month mid week and we can never make it. Our local market town no longer has a green grocer either. Sad really.

  4. Blue Witch

    z – I don’t understand how you lost your photos when the computer crashed. When plugged into a PC a camera is just like a removable drive, and, unless you actually delete the photos from it, they shouldn’t vanish, surely?

    Even if they somehow have, there is software available that can retrieve them, unless you’ve retaken over them on the memory card. Try a Google search on the camera name plus retrieve lost photos or similar.

  5. Z

    If the camera is not ejected correctly from the computer, it has to be reformatted. If it crashes the moment I plug it into the computer, as long as I switch it off before taking it off then the photos are all right. If the computer crashes once it has recognised the camera but before I’ve been able to download the photos, they may still be on the camera but I can’t get at them. The only way to use the camera is to reformat, which deletes the photos.

    Or that’s been my experience, anyway. But I’ll have a look on google, though such things bore me dreadfully, I’m afraid, so I’ll probably take the computer to be checked instead.

  6. luckyzmom

    Recently bought a new camera. I really have to be focused to get much passed taking a picture in the instruction manuals (3 in English alone). I am not even close to opening the manual or CD about transfering those pictures to the computer. Now, reading about you losing all your London pictures, I am not as confident as when I decided I was going to figure it all out on my own!

  7. Z

    It’s easy to do – I started with straightforward things and learn something new when I need to. If I were you, I’d just take a few pictures and put them on the computer and then, if something were to go wrong (no need for it to at all, it’s only happened three times in 18 months to me, it’s just that two of them were very recently) then you wouldn’t have lost a whole lot of photos.

  8. Blue Witch

    If the computer crashes once it has recognised the camera but before I’ve been able to download the photos, they may still be on the camera but I can’t get at them.

    Eh? I’m pretty sure that you’re doing something a bit wrong here…

    Are you saying that the auto-download programme won’t autostart once the computer has crashed? If so, start it manually from My Programs by clicking on it.

    Alternatively, just use Windows Explorer to look at My Computer and whatever is on whichever drive is identified as the camera drive (D, E, F etc, depending how many drives are already plugged in) will be visible.

    Or are you one of these bods with a Mac? I’m sure that similar applies.

  9. Z

    Next time it happens, I’ll try not taking out the camera before restarting the computer. I don’t think it will work though, as it was the camera that caused it to crash and I doubt it will restart until I remove the camera.

  10. Z

    No, it’s all right, I wasn’t expecting to solve it, just explaining why the pictures have gone. The trouble is with the camera, because it will not let me use it if it’s been removed from the computer without being formally disengaged. I could read the manual, of course, and see if there’s a way round it, but that’s a bit drastic and will bore me to paralysis.


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