Saturday, December 12, 2009

Old sheds and paint jobs

click photo to enlarge
The expenses that our MPs have been claiming in order to carry out their role as elected representatives of the people continues to dumbfound the British public. How, one wonders, is an expensive repair to the clock tower of a country house eligible? How too a plasma TV, or a carpet at £70 per square yard, or a robot vacuum cleaner? And can one really stand up in the House of Commons and decry the bad system that allows such applications to be made, and to succeed, and then two days later submit a £1,081 claim for mortgage interest on a second home? Well, according to the Guardian newspaper of 11th December, the Leader of the Opposition manages to find no problem in so doing. And, if you're the Prime Minister, asking the state to fund the painting of your summer house - a small, octagonal wooden shed about eight feet across - to the tune of £500 (according to the Guardian) also seems quite reasonable. £500! To paint something that size! The fact that he thought it prudent to pay back the claim says something for his sense of what should and what shouldn't be eligible for tax payer support, but nothing about his understanding of how much a job like that should be in the real, unsubsidised world where most voters live.

I was thinking about that expensively painted shed when I took this photograph of some old Fenland sheds today. It's the second image I've taken of them. The earlier shot was taken as fog was clearing. This one was taken around mid-day with the low December sun throwing long shadows. The structures look like they've had not a single penny spent on them since the day they were erected, and as I took my shot I reflected that £500 would probably be enough for a complete refurbishment that would double their life span!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On