The wife and I went on a Ghost Tour of Hampton Court Palace last weekend.
We’d gone as part of a coach trip and to avoid getting caught in traffic, we’d arrived in Hampton a little bit early. As the coach was pulling into the car park, my wife noticed the deer roaming free in the adjacent Bushy Park. Being a keen amateur photographer, she takes her camera almost everywhere with her, so our first stop was to the park to take pictures of the deer. After that we strolled towards the Palace and stopped for dinner at The Hampton Arms pub, during which she took some pictures of the establishment too.
There was an almost perfect ambience for a ghost tour - it was chilly, damp and there was the odd rumble of distant thunder to soundtrack the evening. When we got to the Palace for the tour, our guide Christian told us that we wouldn’t be allowed to take pictures as we went around the Palace, but there would be opportunities to take some around the grounds. One such opportunity arose when we were taken out of the palace to the gardens facing the Long Water. There’s a fountain between the water and the Palace, which was lit up by floodlights; my wife asked if she could take pictures there, to which she was told she could. However, as our guide recited a story of how in 1907 a policeman on-duty at the gates had witnessed a procession of people approach the palace from the direction of the fountain before simply vanishing into thin air, her camera stopped working after she’d taken just a single picture. She played about with the settings, but was unable to get the camera to commit to taking any more pictures. So she reluctantly put her camera away, and we carried on the tour.
At the end of it, she asked Christian if she could take his picture, to which he agreed. She tried again to take his photograph with her camera, but despite several attempts in different lights, it still wouldn’t work, so she instead took a picture of our guide using her smartphone.
As we left the grounds, we turned back to see the magnificent palace exterior all brightly floodlit under these dramatic dark rain clouds. My wife decided to try one last attempt to get a picture of the building with her camera - which all of a sudden worked. We laughed at the coincidence.
My wife uses Blipfoto, a daily photo journal where you share one photo a day of any given day. She has an app on her Android phone that connects to it, and a couple of days after the tour, she complained that she couldn’t get her Blip to upload. She’d had a software update the same day which had reset many of her settings, so we put it down to that. However, she still couldn’t get the app to work the following day, so I suggested that she reinstall it to see if that would help. She did so, but still couldn’t get it to function properly, She could use the app to see the site and view other people’s pictures, she just couldn’t upload her own.
We went out for breakfast the next morning and she again tried to upload a picture of the place we were eating at. Remarkably, it worked this time; the picture she took that day was uploaded successfully.
The picture that had failed to upload in the days before that was the other one she’d taken at Hampton Court of our guide.