Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable | The Daily Post

The WordPress Cue (via Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable | The Daily Post)

You might think “companion” refers to a person with whom you share experiences, but the definition is much broader:

A person who is frequently in the company of, associates with, or accompanies another.

A mate or match for something.

A handbook or guide.

A member of the lowest rank in an order of knighthood.


Well, yes, I must admit that my first thought on seeing this challenge was to fall back on some tried and trusted cute-az pet pix but then, I went on to read the instructions. This, in its own right, was something of a novel experience because, as most modellers know, the instructions are only really there to mix filler on and generally ignore until fully committed to a irrevocable and erroneous construction path…at this point, the instruction become the targets of rage and frustration because they are clearly WRONG WRONG WRONG and written by IDIOTS IDIOTS IDIOTS.

Anyway, the thought of a handbook as companionable set me off on another train of thought, one which arrived at it destination without derailment or other misadventure…


When I was in Vietnam in 1999, this Lonely Planet book was my constant companion. As a guide book it was off dubious value as I suspect that the author(s) had not actually visited many of the places that they wrote about. If they had, they must have hit Vietnam at its absolute worst as my experience was totally the opposite to the crime-rife doom-laden country that Lonely Planet described…

It was used however for its maps and its canned history (up to around WW2 – after that, lots of pinches of salt) of each region and major town and for providing a background to more contemporary current events i.e. since WW2. My experience then and I cannot speak for now, is that I had not problems finding interesting things to do and see the whole time I was there just by being polite and friendly and simply talking to people.

The LP book however was also useful in some instances where my natural charm was found lacking, for example, bashing bugs…


Another of my constant companions on that trip was my trusty Minolta 7000i 35mm camera which I lugged around the world for fifteen years before it was replaced by a less trusty Fuji S602Z in 2002. I say ‘less trusty’ because its off/on switch suffered a catastrophic failure in 2009 (after only seven years) and it would have cost more to repair than to replace. Although I paid $NZ2k for the Fuji new in 2002 (and that was well under the RRP!), its more capable (and much smaller) replacement in 2009 was only NZ$120.

I always like to travel with a camera – the current Fuji A220 is great as it fits easily into a pocket and is not as obtrusive as the 602 – as you never know when something photo-worthy may cross your path…Murphy’s Corollary to this, of course, is that truly photo-worthy events only occur when you left the camera in your other trousers…


And my third constant companion is a notebook and pen…the (a) pen not shown here but I think that I can safely leave this to your imagination; of course I suppose that I could have left the image of a notebook to your imagination as well but I’m not sure how far that would have flown in a photo challenge post…

As much as I would like to trust my memory, Murphy and cold hard experience have shown that if I do not write down cutting insightful thoughts as and when they occur, the original will be lost forever and anything reconstruction from threads of memory later will not be nearly as good as the original thought…so…I always carry a notebook wherever I can. Whether it is lined of blanked pages tends to vary, but looking back I think that this is more driven by availability than anything else – certainly I do not feel driven to stick to the lines on a lined page, although that may be more a comment on my handwriting style than anything else.

I also like to keep my old notebooks and this one dates from the turn of the last century (that will sound better and better as time goes on) and planning of the 1999 and  last of the Cotillion Balls in Wellington. I used to write in pencil so that I could erase any errors, typos, or changes of minds (mainly the first two) but as propelling/mechanical pencils became more popular, I tended to ‘lose’ them more often and regressed back to using whatever pen I could acquire from the most convenient source. So, getting back to my notebooks, I have a largish, totally unorganised pile of notebooks and legals pads with all sorts of notes and ideas and mental sketchings scrawled across their pages. If you are looking for the key to world peace (watched Miss Congeniality the other night), it is very well captured somewhere on this pages…

So, there you have it, my three ‘companions’….

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