Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 14/01/2012

Something for nothing

Not exactly nothing, I do have to pay a monthly fee, but my broadband (as I mentioned) was upgraded this week. The email I received stated that there wouldn’t be an increase in bandwidth, and that most of the work had been carried out on the exchange but that I should find it more reliable which is interesting as up until that fateful email, it had been reliable. We had an interruption of service on the Thursday, just as I was trying to upload my blog, and then for all of Friday our connection was neither broad nor in fact, any band at all. I spoke to a couple of agents from my service provider, the later of which after much testing determined there was a network (notwork – old IT joke!) issue and that the respective team would work on the issue in the background. With little else I could do at this point, I headed out for an afternoon at the movies – of course the first thing I checked when I got back was the state of the broadband router, and to my surprise and elation (it doesn’t take much to get me elated, in fact I have my 600m elation badge.. no hang on, that’s my 600m swimming badge, I get them mixed up all the time) the broadband light which had fixedly remained unlit was glowing a deep purple (Smoke on the water – not something you want to experience with your broadband router I can tell you). I quickly powered up my laptop, connected to the router wirelessly only to find that the blessed thing hadn’t logged in correctly; with this quickly amended in the router configuration screen, I tested a couple of web pages to make sure it was working. What happened next too me aback somewhat, yes they did load and boy how they loaded – the page rendering speed was markedly improved, so with a quick hop over to, I ran a connection check. My service provider had lied to me, but it was a good lie and I certainly won’t hold it against them.. my connection speed has increased by an extra 50% and the difference is startling. So whilst I am paying a fee for my connection, I am getting more bang for my buck.

I’m praying (figuratively, not literally) that tomorrow’s weather is as perfect as it was today as I’m at last getting out with my camera for a much needed photo day. I’ve checked the weather forecasts, and they all show that it should be as nice a day tomorrow as today, but we all know how reliable forecasts can be. I’m hoping to revisit one of my regular haunts, Whipsnade Zoo, it’s been far too long since I photographed a cheetah, and with clear blue skies and the sun low in the sky (it’s very low at the moment, seeing as it’s night time) the lighting is perfect in photographic terms – it’s like having a giant flashgun, except it doesn’t flash.. and it’s certainly not loaded (except with hydrogen and helium). Fingers crossed it all goes to plan, it’s been too long since I went out with my gear.

As I’ve mentioned I’ve had a number of my photos displayed in the local library for six months now and the reception they’ve had has been very gratifying. Today, however, it went stratospheric – the Library Manager has sent me a message asking whether I’d be interested in giving a talk at the library, on any subject I’d like – whether that be “how to use your camera”, “Andrew Skelton, Nature Photographer”, or even “Dartmoor Zoo and Me”.. it’s totally up to me. of course I’ve jumped at the offer so now, once I’ve got Dartmoor Zoo’s photographic training day out of the way (though there are more in the pipeline), it looks like I have a monologue to prepare.



  1. Amazing colors and clarity in this shot. Very beautiful. And way to go with all the great feedback from the library. Good luck on the talk.

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