It was a rare Saturday off for Esra, and despite the cold, it was a lovely day. We wanted to go somewhere we had never been before, another little discovery, and I had wanted to visit the sea.
I had been talking recently with a client and she had recommended a lovely seaside town in Devon. Unfortunately, me being me, I couldn’t remember where exactly she had said it was. I had hoped that looking through a map may jog my memory, but alas it did not.
Instead I decided to improvise and chose somewhere not too far away (about a two hour drive) and that sounded pleasant. So we bundled up, poured two large coffees into our travel mugs, de-iced the car and set off.
Esra, having been out the night before, took the journey as an opportunity to sleep off a creeping hangover, so I drove in silence, all for the odd grunt, snort and running commentary (mine) at fellow drivers. He woke, as he always does, just as we were arriving at our chosen destination. However, the lovely sounding Sandy Beach turned out to be a Haven Holiday site and not a vast expanse of sand as denoted by its name. I had a mini tantrum along the line of, “why on earth would a Holiday Park be named on a map?” to which Esra could offer no response, which was not required anyway as my question was, as most are, rhetorical.
So, sandy beach being not so sandy a beach, I chose another ‘nice’ sounding place in the locality, which happened to be Sidmouth, only a few miles down the road.
Sidmouth isn’t actually too far away from Lyme Regis and it was a lovely little surprise if we’re being honest. We found a car park not far out of town, which had a winter special on, £2 parking for all day, so we paid our money, chose our space in a rather empty car park, got our coats on and set off.
One of the aims of the day was to test out our newly purchased DSLR camera. We had bought is especially for our trip to Thailand, and as neither of us has owned a DSLR before, it was an opportunity for us to both learn and experiment. We crossed the road from the car park and entered straight into Connaught Gardens, a lovely little landscaped area with brilliant sea views. The camera was out straight away with many photo opportunities presenting themselves. For the time being we are going to be using the ‘auto’ mode for our photos, with several options to chose from there is a setting for most eventualities. I set the camera to landscape and started snapping photos.
Much to my distress I couldn’t get the camera to focus properly. I noticed a flashing code in the viewfinder at the bottom right hand corner and promptly got my phone out to google it. Unfortunately the code only referred to the number of photos left on the memory card. I faffed and faffed for ages, each photo came out blurry or the camera simply wouldn’t take a photo because it wouldn’t focus. It appeared to work when I used the screen at the back, intermittently, but wouldn’t work at all when I used the view finder. I was getting increasingly upset. I googled this and that as Esra watched my gamut of emotions in dismay. “Don’t worry about it baby” he soothed, but I couldn’t let it go…”I don’t understand” I wailed with tears in my eyes. Having spent a few hundred pounds on the camera on eBay I was convinced at this point that I had been sold a dud. I re-read the listing to see if anything had been mentioned about it not working is some way or another, and there was nothing, in fact quite the opposite, it was listed as in ‘perfect’ working order. All my google searches lead to a possibility with the lense sticking. So I fired an email to the seller stating that it wasn’t working on auto focus and I was not happy.
We resorted to our old faithful phones and continued on our way.
The beach is filled with lovely pink stones which give it an unusual hue, and there are a multitude of beacons and rocks and beautiful Victorian Hotels to make some very interesting photos. We wandered away from the beach into the town, which as most towns in December was fully decorated with Christmas lights. Sidmouth has a thriving town centre with lots of lovely shops and is quite large with meandering cobbled streets. The river Sid runs alongside with its pretty old cottages and cross over bridges.
However, much to Esras frustrations I couldn’t get the issue with the camera out of my head. Whilst he was wandering ahead I pulled out my phone again and re-read the listing. I suddenly noticed at the bottom of the bullet point list of ‘what was included’ was a macro lense. I don’t remember seeing the macro lense in the box which arrived with the camera in it. Then it dawned on me. I took another look at the camera lense, and sure enough, there, nestled on the end was the macro lense! no wonder the camera couldn’t focus on long distance landscape views. I gave it a hefty twist and it came off. A mere sliver of a thing, you seriously wouldn’t have noticed it. I laughed in relief and then felt completely embarrassed at my blonde faux par. I quickly opened eBay and shot another email to the seller, apologising profusely and explaining what had happened.
Feeling so much happier I literally skipped for the remainder of the hours we were in Sidmouth. Happily clicking away taking wonderful photos with my wonderful new camera! I think Esra was secretly relieved because I can be like a dog with a bone when something isn’t right, I have a desperate need to understand why and it makes me miserable. Now I was happy again, which I am sure makes his day much more enjoyable.
I didn’t get all the photos I wanted because by this time the sun had gone behind thick clouds, but at least I knew that the camera worked exactly as it should.
We finished our day with a bag of warm donuts from the stall on the sea front and merrily made our way home with sugar encrusted lips and a smile.