Wednesday, October 16, 2019
|Rosa 'Jacqueline du Pré', EbbTide, Fair Bianca and centre, Brother Cadfael, 15 October 2019|
It is never too late to learn humility. Yesterday my
Rosemary and I went to the monthly meeting of the Vancouver Rose Society. We were
asked to bring some blooms (a rare request at this time of the year and with
the rain). We did.
But I thought of doing something special. I cut four blooms
and first scanned them. Then I was instructed by Rosemary to put them into a
vase and into the refrigerator so that they would keep for the 7:30 meeting.
I thought it would be nice to donate a print of the scan and
place it by the vase with our flowers. At the meeting they have door prizes.
You buy tickets for a nominal sum of 2 or 3 dollars each. My print was
competing with a ceramic flower pot, a bottle of rose water and some florist 6
inch potted roses.
I watched as people, when their number was announced, went to retrieve their prizes. My print was the last prize on the
table and, I would believe, that the winner reluctantly picked it up as there was nothing else.
Appraisal of the Family Jewels
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Since I was a little boy I was fascinated by my grandmother
and mother talking about “the jewels”.
My grandfather Don Tirso de Irureta Goyena wooed my
grandmother María de los Dolores Reyes (who was living in Manila) from Paris by sending her jewels he had
made for her there. This was a vast collection of lovely jades, pearls and
diamonds that slowly with the financing of the divorces of my Aunt Dolly and Uncle Tony (both in
Buenos Aires) was reduced to what was left when my mother died.
I will never forget that my Aunt Dolly called me on that day
to tell me that it was a pity that my mother had died while being a thief.
Years ago when I photographed P.D. James
I told her that her
novels were strange for me as most murders and criminal altercations in her
books were due to wills and last testaments. She was accurate in this I have
since then realized.
My grandmother died without a will so my aunt and uncle
wanted to divide those jewels in three parts. I told my mother that since we
had the key to the bank safety deposit box her brother and sister could take a
Not part of that collection was a beautiful Spanish fan that
was owned by my concert pianist great aunt, Buenaventura Galvez Puig. The fan
had her name in emeralds and diamonds. When my Aunt Dolly and my mother laid claims
to it my mother told her sister to remove and keep the stones. We still have
that fan. The idea that my Aunt would have pawned the whole fan was anathema to
Part of that lore of my boyhood was listening to my
grandmother and mother talk about the jewels that they kept in a locked, black
strong box. My grandmother might have asked, “Are you going to wear the little
angel, the heart of diamonds or the jades to the party?” In other occurrences
they would talk about the Hungarian jeweller called Verga. I would blush as in
Argentine Spanish that is an item that a man has that women don’t have.
As a young teenager in Mexico City there were trips to the
Banco de Londres y México on Balderas in downtown where the two would open that
safety deposit box to return or take out some piece of jewelry. We keep our valuables in a box at the Bank of Montreal.
At age 77 my Rosemary are putting together a will with ample
assistance from our Kerrisdale branch of the Bank of Montreal.
Today we went to Harling’s Jewellers, downtown. We were met
by a pleasant gentleman in a back alley of Howe who directed us to an
underground parking lot (the jewellery company does not have a store front but
a splendid showroom in an office space). I felt we were dealing with spies in a
secret operation! But the procedure has all to do with the company's concern of safety and the protection of clients coming to see them.
Christian Fernández, a pleasant cababayan, gave us an
immediate assessment but we will get an official appraisal (he told us the
difference between those words) in a week.
Before today we had divided the jewels into those that were obviously
valuable from those, that while not being worth as much, carried a sentimental
value. Fernández weighed the gold and checked for karat stamps. Few of the jewels had those stamps but the jades had Chinese stamps. We found out some interesting facts. One was that gold unlike other metals does not have a smell. He was able to discern this in my Rosemary's grandmother's gold watch (a mass produced Elgin we were told) and could smell copper in the alloy.
Rosemary and I will inform our two daughters of our action
and it is our hope that somehow the collection will remain as one.
P.D. James might have had something to say about this.
Hosta tardiflora - Late to the Party
Friday, October 04, 2019
|Hosta tardiflora 4 October 2019|
Hostas are known as shade tolerant (no plant is shade
loving) perennial that has a myriad of versions with variegated leaves.
Hosta tardiflora is a laid back, unvariegated species hosta that in
October has nice, elgantly narrow and shiny green leaves and just happens to flower when most other
hostas have long flowered in June/July/August. Many of those hostas in my
garden have leaves that are getting fall colours and a fall wilt. Not so,
tardiflora which may be late to the party but I would assert that it was worth
The chances of finding this plant in any Vancouver nursery
are exactly 0. Who would want an unvariegated, small hosta that flowers now?
Hello & Goodbye
Monday, September 30, 2019
|Rosa 'Princess Alexandra of Kent' & Hydrangea macrophylla 'Ayesha' 30 September 2019|
Because I have written 4873 blogs to date it taxes my memory and when I look back some come as a complete surprise.
happens with the scans (many) of the plants of my garden. Today I noticed that
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ which blooms in the summer and now all of its
flowers are brown had one bloom that was brand new. Was the plant as confused
as I am? Then I noticed that the English Rose, Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’
had a brilliant flower of a similar colour to the hydrangea. I thought the idea
of scanning these two would be original. This was not to be as when I was
storing my original Tiff another Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’ with Rosa ‘Princesss
Alexandra of Kent’ appeared and it seems I scanned them this past July.
|15 July 2019|
My guess is
that the first image represents a “hello” and today’s a “goodbye for the season”.
Projecting Spock & St. Joseph Surrounded by 40 Year Olds
Saturday, September 28, 2019
I must admit that I only saw one porn film in my life. It
was Deep Throat and I witnessed it in a
San Francisco movie house . What made this a once-in-a –lifetime-even-never-to-be
repeated-event where three men in front of my loudly munching on popcorn.
|Courtenay Webber - The Projection Room, 27 September 2019|
Here in Vancouver I never patronized any of the porn
movie houses and the first time I ever went to the notorious Fox Theatre was
when it was converted into a concert venue by David Pay from Music on Maine.
Suddenly this week I was invited to attend a 40th
birthday bash by a lovely woman at a place called the Projection Room. This was
the very room, above the now cabaret
venue where the films were run from.
At age 77 I could not refuse the invitation by a woman
almost half my age. It gave me the opportunity to watch how these younger
people spend their evenings when they are not glued to Netflix, or looking for
online dates with their phones.
But I had an ulterior motive to attend this fine
celebration last night. I was there waiting for the incarnation of St . Joseph
and Mr. Spock. Neither showed up.
But I did know Michael Unger from years past at Nerd Nite
and at film screenings at the Vancouver Planetarium. The business-like
gentleman appeared with a beautiful woman called Erin who reminded me of British screen
star Diana Dors (born Diana Mary Fluck).
He could not have been Spock as he could not separate the
fingers of his hand in a Spock-like manner. He also confessed to me that he has
never been interested in carpentry.
As for the lovely woman
of the celebration, dressed in a
gold lame outfit, she greeted people all of about her age. I did not know
anybody but I nursed a Fernet con Coca
while talking to a redhead who denied