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Jan 12, 2017
Category: Christmas
Posted by: adrians

64 Lamb’s Lane, Cottenham, Cambridge CB24 8TA, UK
Tel: 01954 204610
Email: adrian.stephens@ntlworld.com

Click here for pdf with pictures.

Christmas Letter 2016

Well, it’s that time of year.  Our American friends have already stuffed, cooked and consumed their turkeys.  We can look forward to the same in a few weeks.  So it is time to cast a retrospective eye on the happenings of the year.

What a busy year it has been.  Two weddings, a funeral and a semi-retirement.

We said goodbye to Aunt Eileen, who lived with my parents.  She had suffered two strokes and found life very difficult.  She died in May.  Adrian and Tina were out of the country at the time, but Sarah and David were able to attend to pay their respects.  She was much loved and will be missed.

Our son David married Eleanor Fountain in Bar Hill (near to Cambridge).  They had a lovely wedding on a hot summer’s day.  They live in Bar Hill along with (from time to time) a cat, a pug, a sister (until recently) and two chickens.  They are also expecting a baby in May next year.  David continues to work for the fire service in London. The photos are here: http://www.chezstephens.org.uk/piwigo/index.php?/category/765.

Our daughter Sarah married Derek Archer near their home in Raunds.  Adrian got to give her away, which meant a ride in a 1932 Rolls-Royce to the hotel venue where the wedding took place.  Unfortunately it rained, but that didn’t dampen folks’ spirits. 

The photos are here:  http://www.chezstephens.org.uk/piwigo/index.php?/category/772. Counting Derek’s two children Jaden and Kyson we now are proud grandparents of 3, 5 (including step-grandchildren) or 6 (including ex-step-grandchildren).  Sarah continues to enjoy her work for the police looking (medically) after those in custody.  She is studying for a master’s.

 

Our daughter Ruth has a boyfriend John, who is in the US air force.  As I write, she is gallivanting round the USA (Chicago, Washington, New York, Maryland) to “meet the family”.  She continues to enjoy her work at the Cambridge Botanic gardens doing things with plant DNA.

 

 

Tina and Adrian are thankful that they are decaying gracefully at no more than the expected rate.  Adrian’s condition is stable. Pity his fashion sense hasn’t improved.

 

Tina’s Aunt Elsie had a fall at the end of last year and spent quite a lot of time in hospital (which was a strain on Tina) as they tried to work out her medications and care package.  We are thankful with the provision of a full time care assistant that allows her to keep her independence.

Adrian was offered a separation package from Intel, somewhat out of the blue.  As big American corporates often do, they needed to do a “headcount reduction” of about 10%.  This time they were “cutting from the top”, and I got offered the choice of taking voluntary redundancy.   I took the offer, and subsequently negotiated with them to support me as a consultant for the remaining 18 months of my commitment as 802.11 chair.  This happened during our May holiday.  He continues to travel about 10 trips a year. 

The separation allows me to spend more time on my own projects, such as building a church sound desk, rebuilding a window, fixing joist sag (painful).  I’ve yet to become idle.  If I do, I anticipate what my colleague Jon describes as “honeydo” projects (“Honey do this,  honey do that…”) to keep me occupied (or I might just buy a large padlock for the office, now christened the doghouse (Tina)).

We give thanks to God for the year past, with its comings and goings.   God bless you wherever you are.

Sincerely/Love/Kisses/Hugs/Manly Handshakes (according to our relationship),

Tina and Adrian Stephens xx

Dec 21, 2015
Category: Christmas
Posted by: adrians

Click here for .pdf version (with pictures).

 

The Stephens Family Christmas letter

Dear friend,

It is that time of year again.  The turkey is getting worried (or, if you are one of our friends from across the pond, the turkey is past worrying).  Christmas present suggestions fill the airwaves. Everybody is making preparations.  I’m wondering just what I can get Tina when she says she wants nothing.  I guess she is wondering the exact same thing.  We’re looking forward to having Eleanor’s family up for Christmas lunch.  Adrian, as, supervisor of the cooking, will try not to poison them.  He’s never actually killed anybody yet.

 

 

Adrian is still gainfully employed at Intel and as chair of IEEE 802.11, and is flying around the world (about 12 foreign trips a year) helping others create fine standards.  Tina likes to accompany him.  And as we meeting once a year in Hawaii, that’s a great opportunity for us to take a holiday.   So we did the usual and enjoyed ourselves snorkelling and eating out on Big Island this year.

 

 

We thank God for continued relatively good health and the opportunity to see the world (or certain bits of it).

Our Children are all getting hitched in various ways this coming year.  Ruth is moving up to Scotland to be with her boyfriend Rory.  We will be sad to see her move away (Tina likes her girls’ nights out), but we are pleased for them both and hope that Ruth will be happy. Rory is a fine fellow – for a Scot. Sarah and her fiancé Derek will be getting married, as will David and his fiancée Eleanor. So next year will be busy.

Tina’s Aunt Elsie had a fall and is currently in hospital with a broken elbow. 

 

 

Adrian’s parents are still growing older gracefully.  He will be seeing them shortly with a hamper of goodies, and will be cooking them an early Christmas lunch too.

Our church called a new minister, and we look forward to his ministry in the Church.  Tina as treasurer has been particularly busy.

 

 

 

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful 2016.

With hugs, kisses, manly thumps on the back, etc… as (in)appropriate to our relationship.

 

 

Adrian & Tina Stephens

Dec 22, 2014
Category: General
Posted by: adrians

I have been using Menalto's Gallery project for years.  It has now been end-of-lifed.

As a result,  I have moved to Piwigo.  Here is the finished result.

The conversion process took about 2 hours.

Dec 22, 2014
Category: Christmas
Posted by: adrians
Click here for the 2014 Christmas Letter
Apr 21, 2014
Category: General
Posted by: adrians
Changed infrastructure from plain HTML to CMS made simple.
 

Photos

Photos

Click here for the photo gallery.

These photos are mainly Copyright © 1977-2014 Adrian Stephens, except where attributed elsewhere.

History

Adrian has enjoyed photography in various forms throughout his life. While a youngster, he processed his own films and photographs using his parents' dark-room. The film used was typically FP4 developed in Acutol. Enlarged with a Durst enlarger onto Ilford silk paper.

Many happy hours were spent enlarging, developing and fixing.

At University, he used photography as part of both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. As an undergraduate he had a Part II Nat. Sciences project involving movie photography of crack propagation in various transparent crystals. This included an explosive capsule firing a small tungsten ball at a crystal surface photographed by a rotating mirror "framing camera" capable of up to 1 million frames per second for 36 frames. Synchronisation was difficult to achieve, and most of the 3 films developed per day during this period were "duds". As a graduate, his research was on chemical microanalysis using electron microscopes. Again, many more films - most of them not duds, and many many prints.

After all this excessive photography, when he finished university, photography was firmly relegated to snaps. His first camera was a Zenith M bought when he was about 19. His second camera was a Pentax Spotmatic F with a 50mm f1.4 lens. This was second-hand when he bought it in about 1982 (for about £100). He sold it on Ebay for £52.



Snapshots



Over the period of 1977-2000, Adrian took 3,000 pictures which were printed as 4x6" or 5x7" and are kept in 30 Flip-photo albums. Adrian acquired an HP Scanjet 5500c (with auto photo feeder) and scanned this entire collection.

 

Digital Photography


In 2001, for their wedding anniversary, they bought a Canon Digital Ixus II (Digital Elf) and started taking pictures in larger volume. The Digital Ixus is a very convenient camera as it slips into a bum-bag (fanny pack). Adrian took about 5,000 pictures with this camera over a period of 3 years.

In 2004, for their 25th wedding anniversary, Tina bought Adrian a Canon 300D (Digital Rebel), and Adrian bought a number of lenses for it on Ebay. His favourites were a 28-135 mm f3.5-4.5 image stablised lens and the indispensible 50mm F1.8. The latter is just perfect for indoor portraiture under available light, or where a shallow depth of focus is wanted.  He has recently obtained a second-hand 28-75 f2.8 L, which will replace the 28-135 lens.  This is an "L" series - sharper, brighter and more solid than the IS lens.

In roughly 2008,  Adrian replaced the Canon 300D with a Canon 350D and added a 16-35 f2.8 L-series lens.   This is now his favourite lens for "snapshots".

In mid 2011, Adrian bought a Canon Kiss X4 (eos 450).  The Canon 350D was relegated to 2nd camera,  and was packed in luggage on trips.  In 2016 it was stolen from his bags on the way back from Atlanta to London.   In 2015, he bought a EF 70-200mm f4 L IS lens.

Photo Gallery


The results of this labour are all available in our photo gallery here.
This contains the early scanned photos, the Digital Ixus photos and the more recent 300D/350D/450 photos.

Also, being blessed with three grandchildren - there are many photos of Luke, Holly and Mia.  They will be well documented!

Gallery Software


Prior to 2014: Gallery is an excellent freeware package. See their homepage. It can be downloaded from sourceforge.  I recently upgraded to Gallery 3,  which is a significant improvement on the previous version. Gallery is programmed mainly in PHP. 

After 2014: With the end-of-life of the Gallery package,  I transferred to Piwigo as my photo gallery infrastructure.  The transition was pretty painless,  and I haven't had any problems with it in the time I've been using it.

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