Videos made using my video camera

The video camera I took with me to Africa was used to film many other things, including my flats in Barrow, Chapel Close and Beast Banks and my daily journeys from Barrow to Kendal. These now appear in my website for the first time. In Africa I fitted the camera to the dashboard of the motor caravan, but I couldn’t do this in the car, and I had to stop the vehicle to film.

Recent diary

The story of my life, as recorded in my book Happy Memories, ended at the A.G.M. of the Wainwright Society in 2014, but that was not the end of my life. Here are some quotations from my diary that will bring the story up to date:

Tuesday, 8th April, 2014 – Worked out that my latest computer can store a million times as much information as the Amstrad word processor I bought in 1988. This is equivalent to an increase of x 1.7 per year, which ties in very well with Moore’s Law.

Tuesday, 6th May – Finished scanning the panorama archives onto a computer disc and disposed of the originals, which were in a poor condition.

Wednesday, 21st May – Finished scanning photographs taken since 1967 and kept the originals.

Friday, 8th August – Worked out that, on average, over the last four weeks, I have only been able to do things that require thought for about 50 minutes a day. A year ago it was 1 hour 40 minutes: twice as long.

Thursday, 1st January, 2015 – I now spend nearly all my time lying in bed reading non-fiction library books or sitting in an armchair watching recorded television programmes. There is no hope that I shall ever finish the book that I was planning to write when I finished my work on the Wainwright books: I have simply left it too late.

Monday, 9th February – Received an email from Designworks to say that my website is now up and running, and I was able to find it. It is over four months since I finished preparing it. Whether anyone will ever read it or not I don’t know.

Saturday, 27th June – Finished correcting all the television scenes in my collection where the last word or note is missing. The only way I could do this was to retain the first few frames of the next scene. Making these improvements took more than four months, far longer than I thought it would. There are still long pauses before and after the joins, and it is possible to take them out, but this would take too much time. In any case, the pauses can sometimes be a help if they provide a buffer between two scenes that don’t follow on naturally.

Tuesday, 22nd December – I have been watching a television series called The World’s Weirdest Weather recently. The range of weather phenomena that I have not encountered before is quite amazing.

Thursday, 13th October, 2016 – Finished reading the Eyewitness guide to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The commentary and illustrations were so detailed I could experience the pleasure of visiting the area without the trouble and expense of actually going there.

Monday, 14th November – Worked out, using ‘Word’ in my old computer, that my diary now contains about 392,000 words. I also used the old computer to correct mistakes in my book. The fact that it couldn’t tell the difference between wrongly spelt words and correctly spelt place-names didn’t prevent me from finding seventy-four mistakes. It even told me that I had written ‘fair’ when I should have written ‘fare’, although ‘fair’ is a real word!

Monday, 13th March, 2017 – Finished my autobiography Happy Memories and posted it to Frances Lincoln. It took three years and came to 47,000 words. [Frances Lincoln rejected my book and I had to publish it myself.]

Tuesday, 14th March – Received an extraordinary email asking if parts of the Scafell Pike panorama could be incorporated into Lake District bank notes.

Saturday, 10th June – I find it more interesting studying the view from my windows when the visibility is poor than when it is good because when it is poor I can determine the relative distance of features that would otherwise appear to be the same distance away.

Saturday, 8th July – Decided to devote myself to enabling people to watch my favourite scenes from films and television on the internet.

Saturday, 7th October – I find that I am more inclined to forget whether I have done things than I used to be.

Tuesday, 31st October – I find now that I can read a book over and over again and enjoy it just as much each time because I forget it all.

Saturday, 1st December, 2017 – On average 16 people per day have visited my website since 16th November, compared with 1.5 per day in the first 45 days. I would have expected the number to go down because most of the people who want to look me up will have already done so.

Monday, 18th December – My weight has gone down from 11 stone 4 pounds to 10 stone in less than 18 months. I stopped eating sweet things when I stopped walking in the mountains so that I wouldn’t put on weight, but I never thought that I would lose weight.

Sunday, 25th February, 2018 – Went through my old photographs and found some of Whistlefield that I had completely forgotten about. They just fitted the last page of Volume 36 of my scrap books. I remembered losing the photographs in 1979, but I had forgotten what the subjects of the photographs were. The one that was taken in the snow is incredible.

Wednesday, 7th March – One of my favourite television programmes at the moment is The Planet’s Funniest Animals. It enables one to have the pleasure of owning a cat or dog without the bother of doing so.

Friday, 18th May – Went by bus to Buttermere in beautiful weather for a television interview on the shore of the lake. If I had not had advance warning of the questions I would not have been able to think of the answers in the time available.

Sunday, 1st July – For months the weather has been fine and sunny with good visibility, and the grass outside my windows has gone brown through lack of rain.

Monday, 2nd July – Saw a large fly in Butterywell Lane and later identified as a banded hoverfly. I got the scientific name from a book about insects and the English name from the internet.

Wednesday, 4th July – Identified a tree bumble bee on the slopes above Garth Heads. I found it by simply going to the internet and typing in ‘British bumble bees’. Later I saw an identical one in my flat. [On September 20th I read that tree bumble bees have only been found in Britain since 2001.]

Friday, 6th July – I spent years working on my book and nobody takes any interest in it, and yet I only devoted a day or two to my recent television interview and I expect it to be seen by vast numbers of people.

Tuesday, 14th August – When I was waiting for a bus in Windermere someone came up to me and said that he had bought a copy of my book though the internet. This was most remarkable because only about five copies had been sold.

Thursday, 23rd August – The grass outside my windows has become green again as a result of recent rain.

Saturday, 22nd September – Went for a Wainwright Society walk from Ambleside to Loughrigg Fell. When I finally reached the summit I felt like the man in the illustration on the back of The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. On the way up I was recognised by a lady who had visited my website.

Wednesday, 26th September – Received an email asking me to supply a lady with a copy of my book. I telephoned her and was told that she had read about it in the October edition of the magazine Cumbria. I bought a copy and read an amazingly complimentary review of my book. It occupies the same amount of space as the other four reviews in the magazine. Only sixteen days ago I wrote in my website that I couldn’t get anyone to take an interest in the book, and only four days ago I told members of the Wainwright Society something similar.

Saturday, 13th October – Watched myself on the television series Walking Britain’s Lost Railways with Rob Bell. I didn’t appear until the last five minutes of the programme, and I was only on for two minutes. The producers appear to have removed the pauses while I was thinking what to say. The interview was accom­panied by beautiful scenery, and good starting and finishing points made it easy to extract the scene.

Saturday, 20th October – Went on a Wainwright Society walk to Aira Force and Dockray. I have had fine weather on all four of my walks with the society. Saw a house with a grass roof and an insect that I later identified as a rove beetle. One of the members gave me a lift home. He fed my postcode into a piece of equipment built into the car dashboard and received clear directions to my home avoiding the centre of Kendal. I predicted maps on car dashboards in The Third Millennium, but the one I saw today was better because it only shows the roads that are needed to reach the destination. This could revolutionise taxi driving.

Wednesday, 19th December – Received an email from someone who claimed to have seen Liverpool from Pillar and was able to prove it to my satisfaction. I had a look at the Viewfinder panorama for Scafell Pike and found that Liverpool was shown, although it wasn’t mentioned on my panorama.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 – Worked out that between 14th December and 23rd January my website was visited 33 times a day, which is equivalent to 12,000 a year. This is where my future lies, not in books.

Thursday, 31st January – Searched for ‘Golden Treasury of Video’ in the internet to find out whether anyone else had used the title and found that all the references were about me! This is a life-changing discovery. It means that if I add ‘Golden Treasury of Video’ at the end of each title people who find one of my sequences and like it can find all the rest. It also means that they can find my website.

Wednesday, 27th March – Finished copying my collection of scenes from television onto a hundred discs.

Thursday, 18th April – Tried the link sent by Designworks and found most of my videos, but that doesn’t mean that anyone else will be able to find them.

Saturday, 25th May – Went on a Wainwright Society walk from Windermere to Orrest Head and Garburn Road. Somebody had a mobile phone that could be used to access the internet, and we were able to watch my video of Wainwright on Orrest Head.

Wednesday, 3rd July – Saw a harlequin ladybird larva on a leaf at the back of Marks & Spencers. I was able to identify it using the internet.

Saturday, 27th July – Went on a Wainwright Society walk from Staveley to Brunt Knott in the rain. Saw some remarkable flowers in Staveley that someone was able to identify within a few seconds using a mobile phone. He said that this was done by comparing a photograph that he took with a vast number of other photographs. I would not have believed that this was possible if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

Sunday, 25th August – Worked out that the number of times my website is visited per hour is about a third higher between midnight and 6.0 a.m. than between 6.0 a.m. and midnight. The only explanation I can think of is that most of my readers live in America, where nobody knows about of me.

Saturday, 21st September – Looked myself up in the internet and went to ‘Images’. Among the interesting things I found were photographs from my scrapbooks, stills from my videos and a photograph of me taken two weeks ago.

Friday, 4th October, – Saw an adult harlequin ladybird near the Blind Beck.

Saturday, 26th October – Searched for ‘curiosity is the first step on the road to knowledge’ in the internet. When I used this phrase in my book I thought that it was so profound and concise that it must be an established saying, but I found to my astonishment that the only reference to the phrase was from my website.

Friday, 1st November, 2019 – Was recognised by a lady who remembered my Dorset books.

Monday, 11th November – Went with Andrew Nichol to the Villa Levens for a meeting of people who have been involved with the Wainwright books. It was organised by Chris Butterfield. Gave a copy of Happy Memories to Mark Richards and a Scafell Pike panorama to Terry Abrahams because he has produced a television programme about the mountain. I told him how to find a Viewfinder panorama from Helvellyn for the programme he is working on at the moment. Clive Hutchby said that he enjoyed reading my autobiography. Other people I spoke to included Eric Robson, John Manning, David Rigg, Andy Beck and Mike Duff.

Tuesday, 19th November – Watched part of a video of the meeting in Facebook, but I couldn’t understand a word anyone said.