The Phoenix Time #45


He looked at his watch. It was time to get back to Gloria’s. She was making a risotto for tea and he didn’t want to be late for that. He was being spoiled, but it would be wrong to impose on her good nature for much longer. He decided to have a word after tea if he could get her on her own. He sent a text to Charlotte to ask how she was but didn’t expect a reply. She’d be getting ready for a long night of star-watching and would probably be conserving her phone battery life.

He looked forward to joining the family including David and his children for their dinner the following evening.



Sunday – first day of Week Three

Dorset Day Seven – A day in Lyme relaxing

The final moments of Charlotte’s waking dream were rudely broken by the five notes of a message notification on her phone. As had happened each day this week she suddenly sat straight up, looking for Frank, aware that she wasn’t in her room at home. She remained in that seated position, the fingers of both hands to her mouth as she took in her circumstances and surroundings.

The morning sun was streaming through a crack in her closed curtains. She rubbed her eyes, sighed, rose from her bed, and walked around it to the bathroom. She felt better once she’d showered, dried off and applied her make up before dressing for the day. She looked at the time – ten past ten – she’d missed breakfast.

Picking up her phone she checked and replied to her notifications and messages – all bar one from family – she still thought of Frank as family despite recent history.  The one that wasn’t from family was from Carrie.

‘You up? Call round when you’re ready and bring your camera. We’ll develop our photos then have a walk – if you’re up to it.’

She replied.

‘Only just got up. Not had breakfast yet. Be round in an hour. That okay?’

Carrie agreed by a return message. She checked that she had all she needed, then walked down the hill to the shops and cafes. It was the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend. Plenty people were up and about already, many of the men were armed with a Sunday newspaper.

Before she went for breakfast, she called in at a couple of shops and bought a Thank-You card and a media card. While she waited at her table for her food, she wrote the card, addressed the envelope and sealed the card and media card in the envelope, which she put in her handbag for later. It was a lovely sunny morning again – she couldn’t quite believe how lucky she’d been with the weather – so she walked from the shops to Carrie’s hotel.

Carrie made them both a drink, using the room hospitality-tray facilities, and they chatted generally for a while before Carrie asked Charlotte for the media card out of her camera. She placed her laptop on the desk, plugged its cable into a wall socket and switched on the power. She inserted the media card into a slot on the side of the laptop and the contents of the card loaded straight into the software program for processing photographic images that Charlotte had seen after their trip to Sidmouth.

Using the first image in a filmstrip of thumbnail photos, Carrie demonstrated the sliders she was using to improve the exposure, contrast and colours. She used an option to transfer the partly processed image into a different program to improve the quality of the image then exported it back into the original software. Charlotte was stunned by the transformation.

Carrie explained that she hadn’t added a thing to the photo, she’d merely used the computer to develop the information that the camera had captured and brought out the beautiful details.

‘And that’s a photo that I took?’ Charlotte asked.

‘All of those images in the filmstrip are from your camera Charlie. You took them all. Would you like to have a try now?’

Featured Photo

I took this photo last weekend (Saturday 6 March, 2021) while out especially to take some daybreak photographs at Carr Mill Dam. Obviously then, the photo was not taken at the same time as those in the past few posts, but this shot – and the ones tomorrow and the day after, fit nicely into the sequence before we leave Happy Valley and Carr Mill completely.

I photographed this shot from the bank of the Dam looking across to the Nineteen Arches – a pedestrian viaduct from the western side of the Dam to the Eastern side.

I used my Pentax K-1 36 MP full-frame camera with a 24-70 mm f/2.8 full-frame short telephoto lens attached. The shutter speed was 30s at f/8, 24 mm and the ISO was 100. The shot was tripod- mounted and and using a six stop neutral density filter. I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

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