What defines a Good Day? Sunshine helps. And after several typically grey English days, a bright and crisply nippy day is a good start. Starting with a Dental appointment is not really the precursor one might expect for a good omen, but hey, this is the real world!
I had not noted down the precise time for said appointment so was early by a wide margin and right outside the Dentists was a bus stop, so I stood by the entrance, but close to the shelter to lessen the wind, but in the sunlight and several girls turned up who obviously knew each other, but three coaches pulled up and left without any of their number boarding, then the answer came as one girl arrived obviously well-known to the others, but after greeting them turned to open the locked gate! They all moved towards the newly open entrance then stopped, said “Good Morning” to me and waved me ahead. I smiled and let the Key Lady pass and thanked them upon entry and sat down to wait.
I did not have to wait too long before my specific dentist arrived and greeted me with a handshake, but it was a while before he actually called me in for the examination. He was happy with my self diagnosis, and informed me that one tooth was going to be ‘tricky’ – a euphemism I recognise as ‘painful’ and ‘expensive’, but that would be at a later date…
I then returned to base, read the morning’s emails, sent a few off, flicked through my website regulars then assembled my rucksack with camera gear and a chocolate bar so that I could leave promptly and not squander this gift of bright sunlight. In my haste, I failed to consider that half-term meant the road to Whipsnade would be brimming with parents taking their children to the Zoo! Coming to the tailback I spotted a chance to use a driveway in which to swing round and take a circuitous route to reach my destination and a planned meeting with the Tringford Trout Fisheries Water Bailiff. I did make good time however and actually passed him walking along the road, but had not been certain it was him till he hailed me as I was getting the kit from the boot.
We chatted as we let ourselves into the anglers’ area and walked to the jetty; his task was to fire off a few blanks to scare the cormorants from the lake, then we both walked back across the road to take the path between Startops End and Marsworth reservoirs, where we parted company as I headed towards Bulbourne. Before we had met up a father and boy had been leaving a parked car just before my arrival and we exchanged pleasantries, well soon after I had left Bob the Bailiff, we met again and immediately he said he had seen two kingfishers in the direction I was heading and another by the weir near the entrance, I was delighted at this unprompted news and thanked him warmly with much more of a spring in my step – my first good omen! I made my way to my familiar spot and had barely strapped the monopod to the tree stump when squinting against the sun I spotted a kingfisher had landed on a far branch complete with fish!
I was obviously over-excited as the first few frames were not sharp, but this beauty obviously felt for me because he hung around for the longest time I have ever experienced when they were within sight, so much so that I made several inadvertent burst through tension and as I waited patiently for signs of his departure, I was so stiff I was unable to move fast enough to capture his takeoff. I was to see him fly by several more times in the next few hours, but he never again settled. Not long after I heard rustling behind me and another intrepid photographer arrived, I said hello and commented that I took it he was here for the same reason as myself – to get shots of the Golden Eagle – he nodded sagely! Later we introduced ourselves and I learned he was Terry. We had seen the mink dive into the water after what we assumed were some of the Mallard ducks, but he came out with a fair-sized fish! When I was leaving later we spotted the mink again, and he did manage to get a few shots, but my camera was back in my rucksack! I left wishing him the best of luck.
Arriving home I found I had a message from a client agreeing to meet me on the following Monday, and as I was responding another message came through from him, asking me to quote on some retouching. I was definitely having a Good Day!