Completely blown away

I’m a big tea drinker, so I was pretty happy when they bought one of these “fancy water boilers” at work. This makes it much quicker to prepare a cup of tea, and as you can see, I have a pretty big cup to fill.

There is only one problem, to fill the cup I need to hold down the lever until my cup is full. As you might guess, it takes some time to fill the cup, and standing there holding down the lever is pretty boring. It has happened that I’ve boiled some water in the regular way, so I’ve had the chance to do something else while waiting.

So imagine my big surprise when I saw a colleague filling up a big tea pot without touching the water boiler … WHAT ????!!! MAGIC !!!!

— H … How … how did you do that?

— What do you mean? Just put the cup there and flip the lever.


Stupid me, I had never realised that it was possible to flip the lever in the other direction and that locked it in place.

My mind was completely blown away … I was just standing there in chock over this revelation. Do I need to mention that my colleague was smiling at me?

My new wide-angle lens

Yesterday I got my new wide-angle lens, new and new … it’s an old second-hand lens (14-24/2.8) from MPB, and it’s a giant piece of glass. Compared to my other lenses it’s “silly big”, I’m starting to get a bit worried if I can fit it in my rucksack!!

Anyway, I went out today to test it and here is my first shot … and it’s going to take some time to get used to this lens. When I took this photo, I could almost touch the sign—I’m not used to that.

I then tried to take some more “open landscape” photos, and it’s really different from my other lenses. I was standing right beside a tree, not visible in the photo, and the branches from it were visible in the frame, so I took a step forward and made a second attempt … and the branches were still there. Not until I walked up to the tree you see, it’s almost within touching distance, I was able to get the branches out of the frame.

This photo is more the kind of photos I expect to take in the future. This one has an obvious flaw … the branches melts together with the background. But what really amazed me was that it felt like I had the camera below the tree … I still got the whole tree in the frame with room to spare.

The final photo was taken with me crouching down right beside the track and the snowmobile passing me just 20-40 cm away.

It was fun to take it out to see how it works, I really need to practice a lot, to learn how to best use this lens. It’s quite different from the other lenses I have for this camera.

Being an idiot

Every so often, I wonder if I need a larger working memory. A couple of days ago, we went on a short trip to visit family, since it was a short family trip, I decided not to bring any serious photo gear. Instead, I would just take the GR IIIx (almost always in my pocket) and the Lumix GM5 with the small 12–32 and 35–100 zooms (fits easily in a pocket). My idea was to take a walk or two and try to capture three landscape photos.

Right before we were leaving home, I realized that I had forgotten the 35-100 and ran in to fetch it. Then we left home and after a couple of hours of driving we arrived at our destination.

After eating lunch, I decided to take my walk before the sun disappeared, and I started to dig in my bag to get the GM5. After about 30 seconds, I realized that I had forgotten to pack it … what an idiot I am!!!! So I had the tele zoom but no camera, great !!

Fortunately, I had the GR IIIx in my pocket, so I was able to capture some photos … but not what I had planned.

Top of the hill
New and old
Waiting for summer

Older computer

This isn’t as much about photography as it’s about post-processing. Some time back, I discovered that Lightroom Classic on my desktop didn’t display all the options that the program has. When I looked closer, I discovered some small text that basically said, “your computer is too old and feeble, so you can’t use the fancy stuff”. Yep, my computer isn’t the latest model, not even the previous model … or the one before that … in fact, they are probably right. My computer is a bit old and feeble, it works quite nicely for anything else than processing images.

To be honest, I get the impression that it spins up the fans if I hold up a memory card from my Nikon Z7 in front of it 😁.

Anyway, yesterday I started to play with ON1 Photo Raw and experienced lagging, we are talking about 1–3 seconds when I try to create a mask using the brush. So, I sent in a support request asking if there was something I could do to improve the performance. The answer was something like “you have an older Intel chip set (hey, at least it isn’t a 68K processor 😁) with not enough graphics memory”. They didn’t write it, but between the lines you can read “get a new computer”.

My wife has been saying the same thing for quite some time now. It feels like the whole world is conspiring against me 😜.

Visiting Wales

One of the benefits of my job is that sometimes I get the chance to travel abroad. I’m not a frequent traveler, the last trip was in 2019 and before that, 2016, especially not compared to some of my colleagues who seem to be on the road more often than being at home. Anyway, this year I was lucky enough to be able to go to Aberystwyth in Wales to do some work. I think I’ve been to Wales once before … but I’m not certain, it was many years ago … but I’ve always wanted to visit.

My plan was to take the train to Arlanda, fly to Schiphol, fly to Birmingham, and then take the train to Aberystwyth. Everything started well, I walked from my office down to the train station and waited for the train.

Waiting for the train

The train was on time and everything seemed to go well. Notice the word “seemed”, first there was a minor incident with a water bottle.

Don’t shake the bottle !!

Then, when we were halfway to Arlanda, 3-4h into the train ride, I got a message that read “your flight has been cancelled” … gahhhh. Fortunately, I got some help to make a new reservation, but since the new flight was leaving for Bromma, I had to find somewhere to stay the night in Stockholm.

Waiting for the next train in Sundsvall, trying to book a new flight.

Anyway, the day after, I walked around a little in Stockholm while waiting for the flight.

Stockholm Central
Up in the air

Instead of going to Schiphol, I was now going to Brussels, where I had to wait for a couple of hours before my next flight to Birmingham.

Ohhh, Tintin
Nope, not going there

I arrived in Birmingham and had to run around a bit to figure out where my train was but managed to catch the train to Aberystwyth with 8 minutes to spare – plenty of time. Then a 3h train ride (why do the trains have open windows? The noice is far too loud for my taste) to Aberystwyth, where I was met by my friends, and taken to the place where I was going to stay (a very nice house from the 1600s).

Look !! Mickey Mouse ears


I didn’t have that much time for photography (remember: work trip, not vacation) so I mostly took various snapshots while walking around in the city … but I like snapshots!

Anyway, Aberystwyth is a fairly small city, where everything in the city centre is within easy walking distance … OK, the hills can make it a bit more taxing than a map might suggest. It’s a very pleasant town and very different from Aberdeen, the last town I visited in the UK. While Aberdeen is mostly gray granite, Aberystwyth is full of colors.


I enjoyed walking around the city and looking at the buildings. To me, they looked exactly how I imagine a small city in the UK looks like. However, there is more to Aberystwyth than buildings. Since people in the UK seem to have a special connection to the sea, there is of course a promenade along the beach.

Aberystwyth from Constitution Hill
The southern part of the promenade
The northern part of the promenade
Life on the promenade
Life on the promenade
Life on the promenade
Life on the promenade
Life on the promenade

And it should be no surprise that the sea seems to play a huge role in what people do in their spare time. There were people taking a bath (or trying to take a bath 😋), having a picnic, just sitting watching the sea, surfing, competing, etc.

Enjoying the view
Picnic, etc
Taking a bath (not in this case though)
The harbor
Rowing competition
Rowing competition
Changing weather

Away from the beach

There is, of course, more to Aberystwyth than the city centre. Standing on a hill, you can see how Aberystwyth stretches out in the valleys and hill sides around the city centre.

A wider view from Constitution Hill
There are of course sheep in Aberystwyth

Something almost every university I’ve seen has in common is the “architecture” and Aberystwyth University is no exception. I will show one photo without any further comments.

The university

We were also a bit mystified by “The Hat” statue close to the National Library of Wales, why on earth would anyone make a statue of a hat? I thought it was a fun statue, but I couldn’t really figure out why, but then I was shown two YouTube videos, Michael Sheen and Yma o hyd, after which everything made sense.

The Hat
The National Library of Wales


I’ve never heard about Hay-on-Wye before this trip. The main reason why people go here are the bookshops, there are numerous bookshops here. Surprisingly, many for a place of this size. In fact, there are more bookshops here than in many much larger cities. It was fun to walk around and browse the bookshops, but since I had to carry everything back home, I just bought a few books that would be difficult to find at home.


When we were done with the bookshops, we took a typical english road (for me that is, having watched too many Midsomer Murders episodes 😜) up in the hills before dinner. Then back to Aberystwyth.

Traditional UK road???
Up in the hills


The day after, we visited the Dyfi Osprey Project to … ehh, look at the Ospreys. It’s a wonderful place, I highly recommend a visit. First, they have set up 4K video cameras around one of the nests, and then had a large screen in the visitor centre which made it possible to see what was happening in great detail. You can view the stream on YouTube. Secondly, it’s so very peaceful there! I could sit there for hours just looking at the surroundings and listening to what was happening around me. And perhaps most importantly: there were no mosquitos around 👍🏻.

Dyfi Osprey Project
Dyfi Osprey Project
Dyfi Osprey Project
Dyfi Osprey Project

After the Ospreys, we went up in the mountain. The roads are … interesting, you would rather not have a huge vehicle when driving on these roads. Anyway, it’s beautiful up in the hills and I could spend quite some time exploring this area. What looked a bit worrying to me was the Nant-y-Moch Reservoir, to me, the water level seemed very low, worrying low. But I’m no expert, so I could be utterly wrong.

Up in the hills
The dam

After the reservoir, we went to Bwlch Nant yr Arian to look at the feeding of the Red Kites. Another nice place to visit, and the feeding is definitely worth a visit.

Bwlch Nant yr Arian

Going home

After 7–8 days in Aberystwyth, it was time to go home. This time everything, almost, went according to plan. I also discovered that my changed flight going to the UK was actually a blessing in disguise. The passport control in Schiphol is very slow … in fact, I would say extremely slow, especially compared to the time it took when going to the UK (about 20-25 seconds). I will avoid traveling via Schiphol in the future.

The only problem I had going home was that the train was about 1h late from Arlanda … but we were a few minutes early to Umeå, so I’m not complaining.

The last few minutes in Aberystwyth
Waiting for the train

Other stuff

Other miscellaneous from the trip. Most importantly, avoid Marmite!!! There are other, much better. ways to get your B vitamins.

Nope, avoid !!!

One really good idea I saw was these “railings” (?) that made it really simple to push a bike up the stairs

A really good idea

Knitting can be done everywhere

You can knit everywhere

Stones have faces

Happy days

Never give up, even if you’re in a non-ideal environment

Don’t give up

Some random flowers


The End

I really liked my trip to Aberystwyth, and would love to come back. I would also like to see more of Wales, perhaps travel north up to Snowdonia and do some hiking. It would probably be best to rent a small camper van to make it possible to travel around to all the places I want to see.