Or, the end of the ego trip.
The pictures I have shown over the past five days have been among the ones I have taken this year which have given me the most satisfaction. Those I have posted so far have been in completely random order, but this is the one which has given me the most satisfaction.
My inspiration was a man who is perhaps Brighton's favourite local artist, Philip Dunn. Back in the summer I had an appointment at the hospital. I took advantage of the need to go into town to take a few photographs and I wandered down onto the seafront. There I happened to spot these deckchairs with their contrasting vibrant colours almost exactly framing the remains of the seaward end of the West Pier. It is the sort of shot I had been looking for for years.
Given that at this time of the year there is a better than usual chance of somebody playing silly buggers with my credit card, I thought to check the account online. For some reason, I was unable to access my account. According to the message on the screen, I had made more than the permitted number of attempts to log in and failed each time. It was suggested I should telephone. I rang the number and a very pleasant automated female voice asked me to explain in a few words what it was I wanted. I said I was unable to access my account on-line and, after a short pause, the automated lady replied, 'You are having difficulty logging in. Is that correct?' I assured her she had me bang to rights, whereupon she asked for my card number. After I had given it there was another short pause before she repeated it and I confirmed she had it right. She then told me that there was an unusually high volume of calls and the current wait time was eight minutes. However, she kindly pointed out that i could access my account on-line at www... It was tempting to do so, but I did refrain from shouting at her. And why is it that every time I have to telephone they are experiencing an unusually high volume of calls? I decided to suggest to the "specialist" who eventually (after 11 minutes) sorted the problem that the message be changed so that people ringing becuase of logging-in problems should not be advised to go on-line. But I forgot. Again. Maybe next time it happens.
So here we are once again at the end of a year. Despite the evidence of the previous paragraph, I'm not really a grumpy old man - at least, not yet grumpy though I may be old - but spending the night drinking and generally carousing is no longer my style so I fully expect to be in bed and asleep before the New Year is ushered in to the noise of fireworks and the hooters of the ships in the harbour (which we can hear if the wind is in the south-west as it mostly is). So I will wish each of my readers a very happy New Year and retire gracefully.