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Return of an old friend

Return of an old friend

50 years ago I was lucky enough to go to the Munich Olympics, we drove from the UK in a convoy of Land Rovers and VW buses and stayed in a campsite in Bavaria (we knew almost nothing about any of the violence until we got home- this was before instant news and cell phones).

But before we went my Aunt Lou (not actually my aunt, but the mother of both my Godfathers, an amazing woman originally from Boston) had asked me what I wanted for Christmas- and knowing where we were going 8-year-old me asked for a wristwatch with a stopwatch so I could time the races we would be seeing (not actually knowing that such a thing existed).

Never a woman to do anything by half, she gave me a Breitling Cadette Chronograph, which I wore every day for the next twenty years or so, until it ended up battered and broken and was consigned to the back of a drawer.

It has travelled with me through all my moves, with the vague idea of eventually getting it fixed, but it was only recently that I rediscovered it and found out that the local jewelers in Rye were Breitling dealers. I took it in to them and found out that Breitling would no longer service it as it was too old– I also found out what a fine watch a Breitling was (I had always assumed this was just a few steps up from a Timex, like a Seiko or something, what did I know) and this just hardened my resolve to get it fixed if I could.

After a bunch or research I tracked down a gentleman in Pennsylvania who used to work for Breitling and bought up a lot of their old stock when he left them and now specializes in vintage Breitling watches. I corresponded with him and eventually sent him the watch for assessment. He wrote back with an encouraging report and a slightly scary estimate of the cost and said that he was backed up and it would take about 7 months before he could work on it.

I had almost forgotten about it until a couple of weeks ago when he sent me some pictures of the work he had done and told me that it was in the final testing and adjustment phase and would be back with me soon.

And today it arrived back to me πŸ™‚ It has been totally disassembled, cleaned and lubricated, has new hands, a new crown, a new mainspring, and a new crystal, has had many internal parts adjusted, tightened and tweaked, and has been regulated over 10 days of testing to keep the best possible time.

I kind of love the fact that although it has new hands and a new crystal he has not done too much to clean the scratches on the case or the face- it still bears the battle scars of being used and abused for all those years. It came back with a whole set of instructions for its use and care, including a note that “we do not recommend vintage watches for daily use”- well, sorry, but that’s just going to be ignored πŸ˜‰ I will be a little more careful with it than I was before I knew what caliber of watch it is, but I look forward to many more years with my old friend on my wrist every day.

Winter rotation

Winter rotation


It’s that time of year again, time for the cars to get their winter boots.
It’s a little early, but next weekend will be kind of busy with Christmas trees and stuff so I figured I’d get it out of the way 🌨️
I know it’s too early …

I know it’s too early …

…. but all the Church Christmas trees for the sale next weekend were delivered this morning, so Crisp and I spent a happy hour this afternoon setting up this 13-footer in the church so it’s branches have a chance to settle in time for Sunday (which is the first Sunday of Advent). The tree will be unadorned this Sunday, will get lights the following week, and then more decorations each Sunday until Christmas πŸŽ„

A cabin in the woods?

A cabin in the woods?

We started our walk this morning in the dark, and I thought this was quite a nice picture. Although it’s not actually a cosy little cabin in the woods or anything like that, it’s a little sewage pumping station!

Drizzly lunchtime in the Woods

Drizzly lunchtime in the Woods

Took my A7iii to the Woods this lunchtime, with a couple of favorite lenses: my Helios 44M 58mm f/2 and my Auto-Takumar 35mm f/2.3. It was a little murky and damp, but that just made all the leaves that much shinier πŸ™‚

Then I came home and edited everything on my new (refurbished) MacBook Air M1.

Yes, I have rejoined the dark side πŸ˜‰ Haven’t had a Mac since the first computer Jackie and I bought back in 1994- that was a Performa 575 (which we still actually have in storage) that actually cost more almost 30 years ago than this new one cost me today (even with Jackie’s educator discount)! I will still mostly use my main Windows desktop for photo stuff, but through the magic of Smart Previews in Lightroom it’s nice to be able to do the initial editing with my feet up on the sofa πŸ™‚