A bit of everything tonight

Canola hill fr15-16

Canola field near York, WA © PJ Croft 2015

I took that shot in 2004 using the big Fuji 6x7SW film camera. I bought that camera second hand in Singapore and sold it on to a friend for what I paid for it – $1200. I don’t think he’s ever used it. He’s never shown or talked about any results. I saw one for sale second hand in a pro photo shop last week and they still want $800. Lovely camera, but you can do quality just as high with digital now. The days of film are over for me. I’ve still got my Contax G1 and G2 film cameras and I’ll sell them one day. I never use them, but I can adapt their Zeiss lenses to my digital bodies now. Ideal, well, sort of.


I was looking in the second hand cabinet at this pro camera shop, Camera Electronic Services, and a guy asked if he could help. I said, “Gee, I wish you’d make the price labels visible, turn them right side up so I can see them.”

“Oh it’s hard”, he said, “We show people all the time and it’s too hard to keep the labels organised.”

What??!! It’s too much hard work to turn price labels uppermost so customers can see them? This is not the first time I’ve encountered that attitude in this shop and the effect is, if I can’t see the price, I move on. If I could see the prices, maybe I might buy something. This guy was an idiot. He loses potential sales by being too lazy. That’s the Aussie attitude on full display.


I mentioned crooked horizons in supposedly pro images on the web. Here’s the latest:

CoolangattaBeach_EN-AU11904135596_1366x768CoolangattaBeach_ straightThe top one hits me in the eye. The lower one is corrected by 1.6 deg. It’s from the Microsoft Bing search page. How can this photo be released with such a glaring discrepancy? Another one:

4fc8c619-6f60-4271-b402-ba08e383a127-2060x12364fc8c619-6f60-4271-b402-ba08e383a127-2060x1236 rotatedLovely shot, but why is it released as in the top image with such a tilted water horizon? I’ve rotated it in the second image. No photo of mine is ever published with a tilted horizon. And another one:

Bamburgh-DawnBamburgh-Dawn straightAnother lovely shot, but the horizon is tilted in the top one. Amazing. I have more examples, but enough for now.


Orders are coming in for my Croft Family History: The Bruce Rock Years book. Orders from cousins, of course. Apparently it has met with enthusiasm and they want their own copies. I’ve had seven copies printed so far, and I was still finding small errors, even in the last few! It is so hard to ensure that everything – spelling, dates, typos, duplicate photos etc. – is right. The last one printed is the reference copy now.

I’ve made progress on the next two books – Volume 3 of the Croft History, and My History: The Story of Me, Peter Croft.


This is good fun. But I’m spending a lot of time looking at cars, Mercedes cars, on the web.

Contenders are, the CL500


CL class

For: absolute top luxury, top technology (ie self levelling air suspension, great styling). But against: very complex, very expensive to fix, a risk being more than ten years old.

Then there’s the CLK350 or CLK500, a more recent version of the CL class but more Kompact, hence CLK:


CLK class

Then the CLS350 or CLS500, a 4 door sedan version:

CLS class

CLS class

Finally the SL350 or SL500, sports cars:

2004 SL500 Lorbek 7

SL class. This one’s an SL500. It’s a convertible, shown here with top up.

2004 SL500 Lorbek 4

SL500 top down.

All these are ten years old or more, and priced between $35,000 and $50,000. Mercedes owners seem to keep their cars in immaculate condition, as you can see.

I’m torn between wanting a 2 door coupe and the 4 door sedan. My mate says a 2 door coupe has long doors which are hard to open when up against other cars in a car park. Too hard for me to get in and out, he says. Aha, I say, I’ve got an ACROD sticker and I can park in the wide bays. Actually, I won’t unless I really need to. I think a coupe will be OK for me.

The CLK is a less mechanically complex version of the CL, and generally younger and cheaper. If I’m sensible, that’s what I should buy. But an SL – wow! I didn’t think I wanted a convertible due to security reasons with a soft top. But this is a hard top convertible, so that’s not a worry. Water leaks can be a problem, though, and they’re hard to fix, I believe. Plus the boot space is restricted due to the roof folding down into the boot. Hmmm.

All these models have advantages and disadvantages, making it very hard to decide, but one thing is clear to me – the styling! It’s timeless and magnificent. No other car excites me like these. The styling is all important to me. I don’t like the current styling trends of other cars. I’m considering others, like a VW Passat or a Volvo, but they just don’t have the prestige that a Merc has and they’re the same price. No, it’s got to be a Merc for me. This will be the last car I buy, I think. Gotta get it right. No rush.


I’ve been writing this between 3.30am and now, 5am. My sleep is hopeless these days. Last night, Tuesday night, I slept right through to 0645am, a very rare thing for me. But tonight I slept from 1230am to 0230am but woke with terrible leg nerve itching and couldn’t get back to sleep, so here I am, wide awake. I sleep during the day to catch up, but that throws things out again. Problem.


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