I spent all afternoon in a darkroom making some prints from my self-developed films. While there are a number of darkrooms across town, associated to the university in some ways, it turned out to be much more tricky to actually get into one than I had expected. Mostly because the people who have to look after them only do it for some benefits they get because of it rather than caring – or even knowing anything – about photography. So it’s hard to get any support from them. Being quite frustrated from all those failures and non-returned calls, I looked around once more and saw another lab which I hadn’t known about before. I also saw that the guy taking care of it is a friend of mine. Not a very close one, obviously, as I’d have known about this earlier in that case, but we still managed to go there.
The room was tiny and it was the first time I did this without someone with a lot of experience around. So things started rather slowly. To make it even more fun, the developer we found there was quite old already and didn’t do the job, so we had to set-up a fresh mix. Not a problem but all adding up… and leading to surprisingly few photos that actually turned out to be good at the end of our time in tiny room with the refreshing smell of chemicals. I was quite knackered when returning home after that and happy to order a pizza.
Just that I couldn’t relax with that as my mum called. I can handle that, of course, but she wanted to program the video recorder to tape some show. I could have done that myself in a minute or so, but doing the same thing on the phone is a bit more difficult as with those menu driven things you’ll always need to be told what’s seen on screen. E.g. when a ‘wrong’ key is pressed by accident the whole menu may vanish. Or that you’ll have to be explicit about the fact that there’s red and white text on screen and that’s related to what you’re currently editing.
Add to that that B&O changed to a rather crappy remote control in the mid 1990s or so (which looks ridiculous, feels bad, balances poorly and lacks a ‘Play’ button that the VCRs menu refers to because they renamed it to ‘Go’) and that their tellys from that time integrate much worse with their VCRs from the late 1980s than their predecessors and that it’s been years since I’ve last programmed that VCR myself to turn this into a challenge. And – obviously – once that was mastered the typical thing for VCRs happened: The recording started off immediately although it wasn’t due to start yet because the machine was still set to summer time. So everything had to be stopped and readjusted with the timer setting deleting itself in the process and having to be re-entered. My mum was already quicker the second time around… so perhaps she can do it on her own the next time or the time after that.
Oh, and while it’s less rainy now than it was last week, it looks like there may be winter-ish days soon: