Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 05/11/2011


Mandarin Ducks, originally uploaded by

One of my favourite songs, don’t cha know! C’mon, surely you don’t need me to translate the above text – well if google won’t help, then I will – it’s a Smith song (so that’s 99% if my audience alienated already (such a Marmite band, but then I do seem to like those types)) – off their 1987 “Strangeways, where we come” album. Okay, I’ll tell you “Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before” – I thought it was quite apt for my blogging these days, especially as today’s image of a Mandarin (hence the traditional chinese title!) duck is from a batch you’ve seen repeatedly recently. See, there is method in my madness… well…. there’s madness* anyway.

No photography today, though I did think about it, instead I’ve been on an 9 hour telephone call… some of the call centre queues are dreadful aren’t they! The weather hasn’t been great, and so I thought I would replenish the bird feeder in the garden, at the same time setting up my camera with the wireless screen remote. It was then that I remembered the cloth I had used to clear the mist from the front element of the 600mm when in the rain forest section of London Zoo had had some sort of grease or oil on it, which smeared across the lens and so needed cleaning. Cleaning lenses, for me, is comparable to watching an assassin clean his favourite gun on some John Le Carre tv adaptation. The gunman takes his time, ensuring the his weapon of choice is meticulously cleaned, with almost love and devotion – well, it’s the same for my 600mm – except it’s probably heavier and costs more than the gunmans’ focus of his affections. So, the lens and camera remained in it’s camera bag**

I won’t reiterate facts about the Mandarin Duck that I’ve already spouted – you can always refer back to old postings. Needless to say, this bird is always popular when I post images to Flickr, as are those of Meerkats (much to my chagrin). So as long as you want to see them, I’ll keep posting.

*Great band, finally got to see them live this year for the first time, despite being a fan for over 30 years.
**don’t get me started (I’ll rant on in another blog no doubt**)
*** that’ll be a change


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