Birthdays come and go and the end of an era

Well then – another birthday bites the dust. I have moved into Area 51 …

I had some very nice presents from the family and we decided to buy a couple of watercolours from my friend Roy Alexander to go in the newly decorated living room. The link above is typical of his style, but the two we bought are of scenes in Snowdonia and are subtly different, and darker. They look terrific on the wall and we are very pleased with them.

As I have been hinting for a while now, another late “birthday present” is the completion of the maintenance. It really doesn’t seem like two years since I started that episode, but that’s the end of treatment for the foreseeable future. It does feel a bit odd, not having anything to “look forward to”. My “watch and wait” starts here and it’s going to be a period that I will need to come to terms with. Not thinking about it might not be a bad idea – let’s see how it goes.

I had a very good chat with my haematologist on Thursday and he has asked me to return 3-monthly for a general check-up. (Mental note – that’ll be after Copenhagen). Firstly however, I have a CT scan next Friday to establish the new “base-line” and he will advise me over the phone the results. Given that he has been manually examining me every time he has given me the Rituximab, I am not expecting to see anything untoward – I would be disappointed if there were anything, obviously. That’s not what the maintenance is about. I will write here after the results come back.

It was my sister-in-law Susan’s birthday yesterday and we gave her a couple of framed photographs as a present. She was very pleased with them, which is very good!

Next exciting event is Photokina in Cologne in mid-September. This is the biggest photography trade-fair in the world and is held once every two years. There are always new cameras held back for release at the fair and this year could be very exciting for those of us who love our Leicas. The company has taken an entire hall to itself, so something must be happening. There are plenty of whispers and rumours, of course, but a replacement for their flagship M9 is pretty much a shoe-in, as is a camera capable of taking their old SLR “R-series” lenses. I have converted mine to Nikon mount, but might consider converting them back if the camera, and the price (!) are right. It will have to go some to beat Nikon’s new D800, the replacement for my own D700. I will be taking the Eurostar to Brussels, then the ICE train to Cologne for a three day whirlwind visit. The train timetable is extremely good – roughly 4 hours from London. It would be difficult to match that by air, if you were going city-centre to city-centre. I’m looking forward to seeing just a little bit of Belgian and Germany countryside on the way. I might even blog on the way if the train has wifi…
I have found a replacement for a mislaid film holder for my flatbed scanner, so can now look at scanning the Hasselblad films from holiday properly. We need one final piece of work for the living room and a big, square photograph of Scotland might just do the trick above the fire-place.