This was going to be a cheap day! I started with a run and got terribly ambitious. I made it all the way down to Battersea Park and through to the Albert Bridge, then back along Cheyne Walk. Ten kms all up was pretty impressive. Essentially, I did a chunk of the Thames Path, and I thoroughly recommend it. It would make a great day walk, or two, or three…

I pulled everything together for the day, folded the washing and headed off to see Jan. Of course, I trusted the Underground app on my phone and the National Rail website. My advice is, don’t. There is no allowance made for transferring between stations and platforms, which is quite a big deal on some of the stations. Hence, I missed my train, but it all came good and jan was able to pick me up from Tonbridge. The weather was glorious — and had I brought a hat? No….

Roddy was there with his wife and young Jamie, the sole grandchild of the McDonald clan, for years and and red headed. We had a great lunch and a walk through the fields. Kent could not have been more glorious and the smell of mown hay and wildflowers filled the air.

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Gus the lurcher was still the most interesting dog and apparently loves finding deer and badgers. We didn’t see a badger but I could hear deer in the thickets and rabbits flitting across the grass as Gus belted across the field. Everyone seems to have horses who all want to have a talk.

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Jan is unchanged and looked well, having competent recovered from her cancer and the treatment. Her garden is expanding, with a veggie patch looking pretty productive.

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The stables are still there and she still rides her one remaining horse, Ariodante. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon a trip like this.

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I caught the train back to London just after five, sunburnt and cheerful, but of course I had not left time for dinner before I met Luke for my photography course, so it was a quick ciabatta roll from M & S and of we went again

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I was wondering how on earth you would do night photography when it was not dark until ten, but that was OK. Luke, who turned of to be great company, was a freelance designer when he wasn’t raining his business, and as I was his only customer than night, gave me the in depth course on composition. We did it all, through the golden hour and the blue hour, talking photos and life in general. Luke’s goal was to take less exposures and better shots: get the composition right and then you could play with the controls.

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This was good fun. I started to work with exposure compensation and then move from semi-auto to full manual. Luke showed me a couple of great shortcuts. One shot (of the egg) must have taken us an hour of discussion and experiment, but I think I managed a couple near the Hilton that even surprised Luke. I didn’t come back with hundreds of pictures, but there are about ten exposures that are worth playing with in Lightroom and putting in the portfolio.

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The last shot was a unique view of the done of Saint Paul’s. I caught the last train home and staggered into bed at midnight, ready to do it all again.

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