I watched the build up to the UEFA Cup Final last night, and was pleased to see the sun splitting the pavements down in Lisbon as I listened to the rain battering off the windows. Just to think, I will soon be there - although, unfortunately, I will have to work.... well, some of the time at least. I had a brief chat with Sílvia (who is a Sporting supporter) and commiserated her on her team's abysmal second-half performance that handed the trophy to the Russians. In the end, though, Moscow deserved to win, as they were by far the better team after the break. So anyway, Sílvia tells me that she is going to visit our mutual friends, Carmen and Pere, at their home in Barcelona from next Thursday to the following Sunday - making the most of the public holiday on the 26th (a Thursday, of all days). I was invited to join them, but I had to decline: it's difficult enough convincing Linda that I actually go to Portugal to work, without galavanting off to another country for half the time I am there - bank holiday weekend or not! Anyway, I have made tentative arrangements to meet up with Pedro in São Martinho and José in Marinha Grande for the weekend. I went into town this afternoon to pay some bills, and arranged to meet up with Gavin (the UHT Milk Junkie) while I was there. We went to a photographic exhibition at the Discovery Centre, where Gavin loaned me another one of his lenses to take to Portugal with me. I honestly believe that I have more of his lenses than he has! In exchange for his 70-300mm AF, I am lending him my 28-200mm MF. I bought another lens today, I got the Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm M42 on Ebay for next to nothing. It won't arrive before I leave for Portugal, but it will be nice to come back to it: it is a very nice lens to use (although it didn't do too well with this one. The lesson: use a tripod at 1/15th of a second!). Once again, though, this picture is completely untittivated (for what it's worth).
This time last year I was up early