Three Gregory men enjoy some time together and apart

My Son, Alex, is 2 years old and like most children attends a nursery.  He attends nursery 2 days a week and normally his Grandmother takes him and collects him.  It is a very convenient arrangement for Alex's mother and I as Tandi Nanny lives a short walk from nursery.

I therefore rarely take Alex to nursery as we drop him off at Tandi Nanny's house.  Tandi Nanny has gone on holiday to spend several weeks watching The Ashes so I took the day off to look after our Son.

Alex's Mother had made sure that I knew what I was taking and what I was supposed to do when dropping Alex off at nursery.  I never considered myself to be someone who would have children and I am not very good at the "job" but I had told Alex to remind me to "look in the tray" before leaving on collection.

Life is hard enough looking after yourself let alone another person.  

Nursery only lasts three hours so I needed to find something to do in Guildford until pick up time.  The obvious option is to succumb to the gargantuan commercial juggernaut that is Christmas Shopping but for me there is only one place to do your Christmas shopping.

I recently sold my Nikon gear and have gotten into bed with Fujifilm and their XE1.  I cannot deny that it is an incredibly sexy camera if you are a geek.  I had read glowing reports of Fuji's X camera's from Zac Arias and David Hobby (if you have any passing interest in photography check them out).  What really made me take the plunge was two things, Fuji continuing to update their X cameras on a regular basis bringing new features and fixes via firmware upgrades.  And Nikon seemingly happy to bring out yet another camera with a few more gigapixels J Dennis Thomas explains it better than I could here

Okay so I am rambling on a bit now, let's get back on track.  Three hours to kill while Alex has fun at nursery.  Let's take the XE1 out for a spin. 

Not far from nursery is a little gem of a spot hidden away in busy Guildford near to the droning A3 road.

Bowers Lock

I was hoping for a bright pleasant Autumn morning but as is usual here in the UK it was overcast (maybe, Alex, that explains our hair colour).

After the lock the river winds off into the distance.  A silent, peaceful gem in the middle of Guildford.

I'm naturally a loner.  I enjoy time on my own, but that is something very rare to me now.  This was a great chance to be silent, to think, to not think and to rest my mind. 

Try to defrag my brain

 

Defragmentation

There has been a lot of recent talk about mental health particularity in sport.  I think it is something that even today is not understood or accepted.  I do wonder sometime if I suffer but I always think to myself there are far more troubled people out there than me.  I liken it to a whirlpool or black hole.  I am lucky that I have wonderful people who persistently pull me out of the hole whether they realise it or not.

I continued down the river and thought I had found my way back to the car.  A bridge heading back across the river

 

Bridge Home?

Unfortunately the bridge was a private access so by now it was time to head back and collect Alex.  Don't want to be late and lose more Father points!

I managed to collect Alex without making any mistakes, we met Pops, had lunch and then headed to Guildford Spectrum for a bit of bowling.  Spectrum is really starting to show it's age now but Alex won't notice that.

Pops, Alex and I had fun it's amazing how quickly he has grasped bowling

 

This ball is not too big

This ball is not too big

Am I winning?

Alex and I bowled while Pops sat and watched.  The arthritis and yet another return of the cancer has left the strong Dad that I knew a frail and old man.

 

Pops

It was soon time to think about making our way home.  Alex was looking tired and could do with a nap.  I think Pops was tired too.

The Fujiflm XE1 is a great camera but significantly different to a DSLR but I am getting used to it. One of the issues is the battery life and I foolishly left the spare in the car.  I just had time for one last photo of Alex and Pops having a cuddle.

 

Cuddles with Pops

A great day.  If you have read this far, spend time with those your love, and capture the moment.