The Travails of Traveling in the 21st Century II
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
|Niño & Niña|
At age 76 I know we must travel before travel insurance for
the both of us become onerous. Yesterday (I am writing this February 19), a few hours before we were to leave for
the airport, Rosemary decided to purchase insurance. I had to answer all kinds
of questions on what seems to have been an infinity of possible diseases. In
the end I am insured. I told the woman on the phone that since we were
traveling to Italy the premium should have been double because of bureaucracy.
But she had no sense of humour and I left it at that.
I put Niño and Niña in their cage and took them with all
their blankets, food and food dishes to the Feline Hilton. There I was told I
had to have the cats vaccinated for this and that. I had no choice but to give
Niño in particular looked at me with big mournful eyes a
sort of, “Why are you doing this?”
I have stated before that somehow a cat in its essential
catness reinforces our own personal humanity. Niño and Niña make compel me to
feel more human, more caring and more forgiving.
As I drove back I felt myself hoping that the days in Italy
were almost over and I could turn the car and pick them up. They say that cats,
lacking clocks, have no idea of the passage of time. I am not too sure. Will
they think of us while we are gone? Who knows?
But we will have them in our thoughts every day of our trip.
Chances are that our next trip will not be one that comes soon.
The Travails of Traveling in the 21st Century
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
moved to our lovely Kerrisdale corner home with a large garden we spent a
little fortune in buying the best plants money could buy. We went to Maple
Ridge and other places to find beautiful antiques. Our house made it in Better
Homes and Gardens and in several Canadian gardening magazines.
|Niño - Photograph Rosemary Waterhouse-Hayward|
never worried too much about the upstairs until the plumbing began to fail.
Suddenly we had leaky bathrooms and no money in the bank for repairs. It was embarrassing
because we could never invite anybody (friends or relatives) to stay with us.
sold over the objection of my Rosemary and bought a neat, clean duplex in
Kitsilano which our younger granddaughter Lauren says is cozy.
is electric and I cough much less. We have floor heating in the tiled floors of
the kitchen and the bathrooms. Everything works including a toilet much too
complicated for me to figure out. We still use toilet paper.
two months ago we had a slow leak in the kitchen. We found a plumber who did
not tear up the whole kitchen to find the leak.
story short is that our insurance is pretty well changing more than half the
before we packed for our trip to Venice they removed the cabinets and counters.
Luckily we have a stove and microwave. But there is no kitchen sink so I have
been washing dishes in the downstairs guest bathroom. Our pots and pans and
dishes are all on the dining room table.
they are not going to do the dry wall and other repairs we will return to
travails of traveling in the 21st century are an unsavory challenge.
We need the cubes and the wires to charge Rosemary’s iPhone7, my Galaxy S5 and
for my dedicated only camera iPhone3G. I need to pack a charger for my two Fuji
X cameras. Because one of my swivel lens panoramics, a Horizont will be loaded
with Kodak B+W Infrared Film I need to take a changing bag.
plan to photograph my cello playing friend Claudio Ronco I am taking a light
that adjusts from 110 to 220. But I cannot forget the plug in cord and the
Italian outlet adaptor. And without a flash cord and an adaptor to connect it
to onë of my Fujis I need the adaptor. My Minolta Flash Meter is coming too as
well as a small soft box and collapsible light stand.
how dishonest someone might amidst the throngs of Venice I am bringing a “faltriquera”
which is worn underneath my pant waist. I will put a few Euros there.
needs all sorts of cream and makeup. She insists on bringing two Eyewitness
Books, one is on Venice the other is on Florence. In my shoulder camera bag (it
does not look like one) I am packing Dickens’s book on his travels in Italy as
well as Ruskin’s the Stones of Venice. Rosemary will slip into her shoulder bag
Vidal in Venice.
for Niño and Niño is ready. I will take them in the morning. We feel guilty and
would like to suddenly be back from our trip.
snow on Tuesday. We have already booked our cab to the airport just in case
they will be hard to come by in the morning.
trying to empty the fridge. The combination of food we have been having in the
last few days defies any standard of culinary compatibility.
As I ready
myself to sleep (Rosemary is getting up at five to call Blue Cross travel
insurance on her iPhone) I know I will be restless. My Niño will get on top of
me on the bed and look at me with mournful eyes. I know what he is thinking.
you abandoning us?
three batteries for the Fujis as well as spare storage cards. And the film.
Buenaventura - A Venetian Ghost
Monday, February 18, 2019
|Buenaventura - Photograph - Girolamo Clemente|
When Rosemary and I arrive in Venice on the 20th I will have
the ghosts (images) of the many books I have read about Venice. Some have been
novels others non-fiction. But there will be a ghost that will be with me all
the time. It is a 19th century photograph by a mostly forgotten
Venetian photographer called Girolamo Clemente. From what I can gather he died
at age 35 in 1875. I am haunted by this lovely image of a woman he called
Buenaventura. Who was she? I will never know. But perhaps I can find someone to
pose for me in homage to this woman.
A Happy Blowsy on a Gray Vancouver Day
I may have 40, mostly old roses in my garden. In our
Kerrisdale garden we had 85. Some died. Some were taken by enthusiastic
gardeners. Some of the hardy Gallicas went to my daughter Ale who lives in
dessert cold and dessert heat Lillooet.
But since 2002 I have scanned all the roses we ever had or
have and many of Rosemary’s perennials. These high resolution scans are safely backed
How do I feel about these long gone roses? I believe I feel the same sense of loss as I
do of my dead friends and relatives. Of my friend and relatives I retain
memories that are reinforced by photographs.
In the parlance of this digital century, photographers
capture their images with their cameras. Have I in some way captured a tad of
the uniqueness and essence of my roses?
The rose here (not a scan but a photograph) came from a Langley friend with no confirmed
name to it. Because of its look I named it (for myself) Rosa ‘Blowsy’. I have
no idea if Blowsy is in our old garden. But I look at these images and I must
smile on a cloudy February 18 as we get ready for our trip to Italy.
Because I like to associate stuff I immediately did so with
Blowsy and my friend (have no idea where she is now) Salem.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
|Ralph Rinke & Robert Kwong|
My architect friend Abraham Rogatnick
who died some 7 years
ago used to tell me,”I am not long for this world and I am glad of it.”
understood then and more so now.
Consider that my Microsoft Word program questions the use of the work Ektachrome.
More than half of the cars that I could at once recognize with but a glance are
gone. When I look at the celebrities in my NY Times or even the Vancouver Sun I
have no idea who they are.
While I cannot brag that I used to walk miles to my school
when I was a little boy, whatever else I might want to brag about (since it will be pre-digital revolution)
will be of no importance.
As that not-too-polite English young man in a photography
class I gave some years ago said to me, “Can you show us photographs of people
in magazines that still exist?”
So when two intrepid photographers (and you have to be intrepid
to be one these days), Robert Kwong and Ralph Rinke called me up to ask me if I
could be visited, I jumped at the offer. They were here yesterday and for three
hours my Vancouver isolation in things photographic dissipated. Over Spanish Alhambra
Beer we talked of things that nobody these days would understand. Such as
HC-110, Dektol, Technical Pan and, on and on.
Bless these two from saving me for at least three hours.
The Snowstorm & My LensBaby - Ready for Venice
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
I cannot abide seeing snow photographs when it snows
in Vancouver and not to mention the thousands of blood moon photographs of past
weeks. At the very least these trends are a brief respite from baby pictures or
cat pictures. Food pictures amply prove why when magazines functioned as
magazines, food photographers were paid very good wages for product. The snow
photographs were also a rest from summer fireworks, night cityscapes and
So here you have some lousy snow pictures that I took today.
Can I justify them?
I think I can.
My Rosemary and I are on our way to Venice next week. I am
participating in this group show
. My wife has been there before. Millions have
been there. Soon it will be millions & one when I show up. How can I
possibly take pictures with some sort of originality?
Jeff Gin at Leo’s Camera
contributed (at a very good price)
part of a LensBaby that has different black disks with from small to large size
I chose the almost wide
open f-2.8 disc. I took pictures of the scene outside our Kerrisdale house
today featuring our 2017 Chevrolet Cruze. I believe that these pictures are
indeed lousy but they show that perhaps the f-4 disc might be a better bet to
take some “dreamy” shots of Venice with the Fuji X-E1. With the Fuji X-E3 I
will be using its panoramic stitching capability and in particular for vertical
But I am taking two more cameras that use film. One is a
Japanese swivel lens panoramic called a Widelux which I will load with 160 ISO
Kodak colour negative film. The other camera (as seen here) is a Russian
Horizont swivel lens panoramic. The deep red filter seen in the middle is an
indication that I will be loading it with the long discontinued and most
wonderful Kodak B+W Infrared Film.
I have been reading John Ruskins’s The Stones of Venice
Charles Dickens’s book
on his trip to
Italy, Henry James’s Italian Hours
and Gore Vidal’s Vidal in Venice.
My idea is
to illustrate evocative passages in those books with my photographs.
What the Dickens?
Joani Taylor Salute - Jazz @ The Pat this Saturday
Monday, February 11, 2019
|Joani Taylor and brother Jimm Taylor|
Even though I will be flying to Venice with my Rosemary
on Tuesday I believe I will do my best to attend this Saturday’s Jazz @The Pat.
I remember fondly listening to Joani at the Classical Joint and at variety
shows that I photographed at the CBC. I found the above photographs in my files. I have nod idea of the location or the date.
3 pm Saturday Feb 16 - Jazz @ The Pat presents a special
salute to Joani Taylor.
The Graeme Coleman 4tet plus special guests pay tribute
to outstanding, legendary, awesome, standing-ovation-only (superlatives fail
me) vocalist Joani Taylor as she battles leukaemia.
Special guests include Jennifer Scott, Cecile Larochelle,
Jack Stafford, Rene Worst and Andreas Schuld.
We never charge a cover for Saturday afternoon shows but
we will be collecting donations to help Joani during this difficult time. $20
recommended, more appreciated, come prepared.
Graeme Coleman - piano
Craig Scott - drums
Miles Hill - bass
Bill Runge - sax