The view from my window three hours ago.

When I was a youngster, Boots was the place to have your photographs developed. I very much remember being confused by a shop which dispensed yucky medicine and could also turn the little tubes of plastic into pictures, but much of time I'd accept anything I was told. Mum used to call said cure 'Mickey Mouse' medicine so that I would take it, and even in my teenage years I thought there was some kind of endorsement in the pharmaceutical industry from Disney. Every so often my Dad would bring home one of the little blue Boots envelopes and inside would be photographs of recent holidays, our back garden and family meals.

It just seems right then, that I've just bought my first digital camera from the same place. I did shop around first though. The inevitable flick through an Argos catalogue, the squinting across the counter in Currys, the listening to a lecture or standard sales pitch from the man in the bright yellow shirt roaming around Comet (how can a company live with themselves making their workforce have to damage their eyesight every morning putting on that bright yellow uniform?). In the end though I returned to Boots and I was convinced by one thing in the end. Customer service.

After glancing through the cabinet, I asked at the photo counter about the cameras. A sales girl who looked not unlike Audrey Tattou appears and guides me back there. I ask the boring questions you have to ask when you're spending that much money on a consumable and she answered them but at no point was there a hint of sales pitch. She was straight and honest and had a sense of humour, and unlike the man in Comet didn't spend any time at all boasting about holidays enjoyed in Paris and the Philippines.

In other words I was talking to a real person, who happened to resemble Amelie, who was willing to warn me off buying a camera that took AA batteries because they didn't last too long, ruling out the original camera I was looking at. She thought it was funny as I did that some of the camera manufacturers had jumped on the new media bandwagon and were boasting that their wares had 'blogging features' and were 'You Tube' ready which told you nothing about the quality of the camera. Did you know lithium batteries were rechargable?

In the end, I bought a display model, at a discount, and was very happy about that. It's a Fujifilm Finepix F47fd (for those who know about these things). Even as I paid for it, I marveled at the list of features on the box and we laughed at the reason which spurned me into buying -- the Superlambbanana which have invaded Liverpool, because she'd been out hunting too. And as I sit with Mr Fuji in the palms of my hands it feels like my camera in a way I'm not sure it would if I'd simply picked it from a catalogue and waited for it to appear at a slot. Thanks Nina.


  1. Great story there. So much nicer than pushing buttons and booking one online. Get yourself on Flickr too and join the Liverpool group.

  2. Thanks Pete. I've actually been a flickr member for so many years that when I tried to log back into my account and needed a new password, I couldn't at first remember what details they had on file. Last night I realised it had been so long, they didn't were still a US users only company and I'd actually pretended to be from there so that I could start using the site. So I'm all set up again now and I've edited this post using their blogging function which is why your comment now looks slightly odd...