My First Book

My Book Front Cover, February 2021

In a change from photography, I thought I would write about the book which I recently finished. I thought I would start by giving you a taste of the text:

“I see,” said the cat, allowing its head to look down thoughtfully. “While I would want to be of assistance in an emergency, this is a one-cat-space – and you aren’t a cat. Incidentally, I am not a Mr, but a Miss, which I would have thought was perfectly obvious by the cleanliness of the lodgings and the artful arrangement of the furnishings – clearly not a bachelor pad!”
“I’m sorry!” said Erin meekly, for she had never thought of cats as sensitive or huffy, “May I ask your name?”

This is the meeting between Erin, a nine year old girl and Kitten McNoodle, a small black cat. The writing the story was quite straightforward, although at the end, I found myself cutting huge chunks which I felt didn’t really moce the story on. The real work, I found, was the proof-reading and editing. And then I considered doing illustrations. Then I spent ages trying to learn digital illustration. And in the end, I thought I would skip the illustrations (I have promised myself I will draw them for the sequal).

Then you come to publishing. To get published by one of the big publishing houses you need an agent to submit the manuscript. To get an agent you need to be an experienced writer. I can feel and chicken and egg situation coming on! So in the end, I have self-published on Amazon Kindle Publishing – to make a fairly inexpensive book which can be downloaded and read almost anywhere in the world. I’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island from Kowloon, October 2015

Sometimes we go through phases, where we do the same things over and over. And then, things change and you do something else.

A good friend of mine from university repeatedly suggested that I should go and visit. And every so often, I woudl say something like, “I really should come and visit”. But I never did. And years passed. And then a decade. And then and then. And then I got a job in southeast Asia – and then I visited Hong Kong. And then I met the woman who became my wife – and then I went to Hong Kong really quite a lot!

Sometimes, I wonder why it took so long to go there. Part of it was money, because flights and worse still hotels there are really expensive. But most of it, I think was because I didn’t think I could solve the problems to get there.

If you ever have the opportunity to go to Hong Kong, my two favourite place to go are: Victoria Peak – walking right up to the top; and on the Star Ferry between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Both are lovely. Try them first thing in the morning or in the early evening, when Hong Kong looks particularly magical!

I made this picture by stitching together a series of photographs into a panorama. This is my new way of taking wide-angle photographs without a wide-angle lens. And as a bonus, it adds up to a really detailed file. I find I get the best results by overlapping each picture by about 25%. Using a tripod can also help with level horizons (which I tend to fuss about). In this case, I was using a Canon 6D and a 40mm F2.8 – and I think it came out quite well.