Tuesday, 11 September 2012

On becoming Victor

This became all too clear when we recently took a friend staying with us to visit the wonderful chateau at Chenonceau. Here are a just a few examples of items and peoples behaviour that encouraged the “Victor SyndrFor several years I have felt that I was increasingly becoming a cut down version of Victor Meldrew.
ome” to rear its ugly head on that day:
1. Audio guides
I am sure that they are very informative and can be delivered in many languages and are also a great money spinner for owners. However with their headsets on, the wearer becomes a vehicle totally oblivious to the rest of the world. They glide about the site in their own little dream-world. You can be looking at an exhibit when one of them floats in front of you blocking your view, in a seemingly trance like mode. If you ask them to move so that you can view the exhibit or simply want to pass them, it’s a waste of time because the volume on the damn thing is turned so high they just do not hear you.
2. Digital Photography
I have always been a great lover of photography, and I know that digital photography has enabled more people to take more pictures but.... why do they always think they are David Bailey (that shows my age), stand in the way, stop suddenly arms outstretched (no viewfinder looking for them), and take copious pictures of uninteresting things that you can’t imagine they will never look at again.  Have you also passed someone taking a shot of something, but when you look as you pass them, you cannot see anything remotely interesting to take a picture of? Also there are those instances when you have seen a potentially lovely shot only to find people (usually but not exclusively from the far east) who need to be photographed (not only once but several times) in front of that beautiful building or object, just to remind them in later years they have been there. It’s getting worse with phones which include good quality cameras. Also on that day I saw someone walking about taking pictures on his Ipad. In the old days when film abounded, because of the cost involved, people actually thought about the pictures they took.
3. Camcorders
These are great for taking pictures of kids and family occasions to remember people and events in later years. However I am sure you have all seen people who walk around beautiful and historic sites looking at it through the little screen on their camcorders. You have to feel sorry for the poor folks back at home who have to sit through 17 hours of someone else’s holiday movies. Just put the b.....y camera down and take in the beauty around you.
4. Guided tours
At Chenonceau we arrived at a room at the highest part of the chateau which is my favourite room there; not very large, but with a story to tell. All of a sudden a guided tour of about 50 people swept in pinning you to the wall, with the guide speaking loudly in some other language, essentially forcing you to leave for your own sanity. Pity those coming up the narrow winding stairs when the group has had enough and swarms en masse down the stairs.

Apart from that we had a delightful visit and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves

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