A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Not All Portraits
Saturday, November 13, 2010















The story behind these pictures is here.








Not A Portrait
Friday, November 12, 2010

Yuliya in My Living Room

In 1975 Rosemary, our two daughters and I arrived in Vancouver from Mexico City. My goal was to become a photographer. I must admit that I was completely ignorant on the diverse areas of photography that were around at the time. In Mexico City my experience had been limited to taking b+w portraits of wealthy Mexican families or street scenes around Mexico City and surrounding small towns. I had no idea about magazine photography, commercial photography, aerial photography, art photography, annual report photography and of course I was much too youngish and naïve to even know of the existence of pornographic photography.

It took about two years before I started as a magazine photographer. It began with a recommendation to see Gabriel Levy who at the time was the fashion editor of Vancouver Magazine. I had a desire (misguided, perhaps) of wanting to photograph young women with little on) of wanting to be a fashion photographer. Gabriel Levy looked at my photographs (and surely did me one of the best favours I ever received), and said, “You are an excellent portrait photographer but you will never be a fashion photographer. Let me give you my card and go and see Rick Staehling (art director) and Mac Parry (editor) at Vancouver Magazine. The rest is my history as a photographer in Vancouver care of the impulse I received from both Staehling and Parry with that gentle push by Levy to get out of the way of all those fashion photographers that came and went. There were so many of them.

Being a good portrait photographer in the late 70s had one big benefit. It meant I got lots of work from magazines. Every photographer around wanted to be another Anselm Adams and most did not know how to approach the human being. But being a good portrait photographer had a negative feature, I soon found out. I could make real people look like real people and I could make celebrities look good. When I went to see the high budget advertising agencies I did not comprehend until much later why I was so often rejected. They were afraid of the fact that I could make real people look real. They didn't want people that looked like individuals. They wanted people that were everyman and everywoman.  These agencies tried to make people look as innocuous as they could. They wanted plain pictures that were accompanied by catchy writing. My portraits, one account executive told me, “Are too realistic, too scary.”


Edward Hopper, New York Interior

It was only in the last 18 years that my ability to make real people look real has paid off in the field of portraits of politicians for city, provincial and federal campaigns.

Today I saw a b+w version of a famous Edward Hopper painting, New York Interior, 1921 in my New York Times. I have always been attracted to the paintings of Hopper. In this lonely age of the 21st century it seems to me that his paintings resonate even more. I looked at it and I immediately realized that I have always avoided this kind of take. I insist, so often in getting eye contact. My photographs are always portraits. But this painting has such charm and I can imagine so much about what surely must be a young ballerina-to-be getting ready for her class. While I have not taken many of these I now have a new resolve to shoot many pictures of this sort. I have two available granddaughters. I shall have to look at what they do and start experimenting.

What excitement! No more portraits, not fashion, Gabriel Levy, but not portraits either!



Mimi, Or A Poisoner's Comedy - Opera Buffa? Yes!
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Donald Adams & Jennifer Lines
Yes, Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy is indeed funny and fun. The music, unlike many modern musicals has the complexity of good writing, care of Allen Cole. The direction by Katrina Dunn is just right and the players, Donald Adams, Greg Armstrong-Morris. Peter Jorgensen, Jennifer Lines, Linda Quibell and Sanders Whiting are charming. The musical direction and interpretation (live on piano) by Stephen Greenfield is expert, seamless and, yes, charming, too.

My wife and I attended the Touchstone Theatre opening performance of this musical tonight at the Firehall Arts Centre Centre (with association to the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts).

There was a new and most pleasant wrinkle. In performances past, the Firehall’s festival seating meant that if you wanted to sit up front (in a theatre small enough where every seat is really a good seat) you had to show up at least 45 minutes before performances and line up in the narrow looby/bar. This time around the Firehall has instituted numbered seating.

It is the numbered seating and something about the musical that gave me a feeling that I was in the right wrong place, or was that the wrong right place? During the whole performance in which both my wife and I laughed and laughed an I particularly savoured the performance of my favourite Vancouver comic actor, Donald Adams I had this strange feeling of rightness and or wrongness.

As we left, satisfied after a two hour performance that seemed a lot shorter, it hit me. I can see Mimi, Or the Poisoner’s Comedy as a soon-to-be produced opera buffa at the Queen Elizabeth care of the Vancouver Opera.


Jennifer Lines & Peter Jorgensen

This musical has lots of comedy but it does have its tragedy and saving-grace modern dialectics advice, “To be perfectly good you must also be perfectly bad.”

In many ways that defines for me this play. It has perfectly funny moments which are perfectly bad and over the top, just wait until you see Greg Armstrong-Morris (limbless, alas!) fall over pigeon pie (courtesy of JustCatering). In spite of all the shenanigans there was a serious streak that made the play more than the light musical the meets the eye and perhaps that is why I long to see Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Musical as a soon to be performed opera.



Going to the Firehall for some can be a problem, although to be fair there seems to be lots of empty spaces with parking meters around. For us it never is as our Malibu has municipal plates. I park the car on a loading zone on Cordova right next to a well lit charity institution. Walking by St James I noticed four men sleeping at the doors. When we left there was only one man. We wondered what had happened to the other three. Did they find better shelter? Across from our car there was an empty lot with tents and sopping wet mattresses. As we navigated west on Powell I saw that Oppenheimer Park was a lot worse than it ever was. There were many people on the street which was covered with garbage.



Twenty five years ago the three strip bars on Powell, The Drake Hotel, the Marr Pub and the Number 5 Orange hired me to shoot a poster that proclaimed the benefits of prowling Powell. In those days you could safely navigate (even in an inebriated state) Powell (which was well lit then) from the Drake to the Number 5 without being in fear of your wallet or your life.

Twenty five years ago the Firehall was not as neat and nice as it is now. Let us hope that this arts institution gets some city help and support (which the Firehall justly deserves) so that more people might venture at night for its varied cultural rewards.



No Chat Coffee
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Mexico a boliche is a bowling alley. In my birthplace, Buenos Aires, a boliche is your corner café, bar or if you want to call it that, the joint. Because liquor laws are a tad more liberal all of these cafes serve wine and spirits yet minors can enter and sit down and order lunch. Many of these boliches are actually in corners (one of the more famous ones is La Biela, seen below) and the entrance is exactly at the corner so that instead of it being a sharp one it is a lazy straight one. In the summer the windows are completely open and sometimes the windows are low enough that you can rest your arm, while sitting inside and yet just be three or four feet from the sidewalk.


These boliches serve good coffee. Most Argentines will usually order a café cortado. This means that you want your very dark and very strong coffee slightly sweetened by a touch of milk or cream. Should you be suffering from a headache, one induced initially by a hangover you will be able to order your coffee with a bit of the hair of the dog. You can order, for example a café con grappa or as Italians call it café corretto.

My friend, the Argentine painter Juan Manuel Sanchez returned to his native Buenos Aires some four years ago. I Skype him with some regularity. I ask him if he is painting. The man is 80 so he might have a good excuse for slackening off. He tells me, “I don’t paint as much as I used to because I like to go to some nearby café and sit with friends and discuss art. Or I like to watch people go buy. I take my sketch book.” I listen to this with jealousy as I miss having coffee with him. We used to often go to Café Calabria on Commercial and on summer days we would sit outside with our cappuccinos and we would talk about Thomas Mann, Borges, Picasso and photography.

I miss my coffee culture because I have had it since I can remember. While still a boy my mother took me to the Café Richmond on Calle Florida after the movies. She didn’t yet know (this was the early 50s) that Jorge Luís Borges was a patron. All I knew is that their desserts were heavenly. By the time I was a 21 year old conscript I would stop at the main train station of Retiro (on my way to my desk job at the Senior US Naval Advisory Group) to have a large tostada ( a very large slice of toast) with very good butter (unsalted) and a strong café con leche. I would dunk my toast with relish.

Sometimes on my way back to my pension in Beccar I would stop and have an extremely strong expresso in one of the many stand-up cafes on Calle Florida. The waiter would coldly and efficiently place a tiny cup with (always) an accompanying glass of water in front of you. I would down it as quickly as I could and I was off.

It was at a corner boliche where I had my first and last rendezvous with my red-haired first cousin Elizabeth Blew. I was smitten. She was beautiful and had one of those upper class British accents that made me feel like a gentleman even if I were wearing slightly soiled Navy whites. It was the sudden entrance of her boyfriend (an extremely tall and large young man of Norwegian origin) dressed in his Argentine Army conscript uniform, circa WWII Wehrmatch when I knew immediately that I was no match. I gave
my suit up.


In Mexico in the early 60s and late 60s I learned that cafes were the places where you met your Mexican friends. If you were lucky you might perhaps be invited to their homes at a later date. But it was normal then to have friendships that consisted of coffee and a movie or a concert and no more.

In and around 1967 I had a friend who was an urbane older man who had been educated in Switzerland. He spoke several languages. He would suggest we got to see French or Italian films. With Raúl Guerrero Montemayor I saw some of the best of those films. We would often meet at three possible cafes. One was called la Rana Sabia (the Wise Frog) where they served black coffee, men wore black turtle necks and the background music was be-bop. Another was el Kinneret which was a corner café right in the smack of the then not quite-yet-so-famous Zona Rosa or Pink Zone. I would drink my coffee with Raul while staring at beautiful blonde gringas and icy mexicanas. The third joint of choice was not far and it was called Café Tirol. It was owned by a friend of Raul’s called Jaime Vidal. Vidal was also a jeweler and one of his projects was to build crossbows using truck suspension springs. I almost never noticed a man, a few years older than me, who was the resident chess shark at the Tirol. He became my favourite Mexican poet and novelist, Homero Aridjis. Watching him play one day I knew I could play with him for more than five minutes before he would have me in some untenable position.

It was at the Kinneret where I once saw Louis Armstrong having a sandwich. Nobody seemed to know who he was. He was a black man almost invisible in Mexico City.

It has been barely ten years since I used to have weekly coffees with my photographer friends Ian and Patrice. It was at one of the cafes, Zubeez (where I took the coffee picture above) that I came up with the idea of the three of us taking pictures (separately) of one model and then having a one evening show in my studio. I spied a beautiful young woman who was our waitress and I called her over and told her of our plan. She said yes and that became the first of two more subsequent joint shows. The name of the waitress was Moya O’Connell who is now an actress of note at Stratford.

Once Juan Manuel Sanchez and his wife Nora Patrich returned to Argentina (by separate ways) my days of going for coffee ended.

Today I called Raul Guerrero Montemayor (he is in his mid 80s) and told him how I missed going to a café. He told me that he rarely went to a café and gave me his reasons. “In Mexico City if you have to drive you must realize that parking is impossible. If you go in the Metro it’s like a sardine can plus it stinks. If you go on a Sunday when there are fewer people and you, perhaps walk to a nearby café there is the threat of violence. Besides most people have forgotten how to converse. They can talk about the past or gossip. That’s it.” He further added that you can do almost everything right at home.

Here in Vancouver, Raúl’s reasons for not going for coffee are not relevant and yet… Raúl did say, “You can do almost everything at home.”

I can put the electric kettle to boil and make myself a strong cup of tea or even a homemade café con leche. I move to the living room and place my mug on a coaster on my desk. I click on facebook. I can chat with Nina who is in Southern Spain or exchange niceties with my local friends in Vancouver or with local friends from Vancouver that I have never met in person who are my friends.

I can read how Nina says that she has had a nice meal of fish and that she is going to watch a film that will make her feel warm. Some friend suggests one. Nine responds, “Thank you that’s lovely.”

Many times when I do this I want to immediately write in answer to the facebook “What’s on your mind?”

How can so many people do this? How can so many people write so many inanities and banalites? So there is a lovely sunset over English Bay? Who bloody cares? I don’t care. I reflect that there must be something wrong with me if so many others find the facebook exercise satisfying.

Then I remember what Raúl said to me today. “Alex your business is to write and you have a way with words as that is also part of your business as a photographer. For most of us, writing is difficult, very difficult. And we have forgotten to carry a conversation because we stay mostly at home.”

Is Raúl right? As I have written before, even incoming phone calls are sparse for me. More that one of my friends has pointed out that there is no need to talk to me as they can be up to date as to what I am doing through my blog. You can no longer surprise people into a phone conversation with Caller ID being so universal.

I have a friend who invariably cuts me off with something like this, “I have to go, the plumber is here.”

When the internet first became an existence that we all knew was here to stay I noticed adds inviting us to “Visit us at www…” The word visit, such a warm word soon lost its luster. Even your local plumber invited you to visit his web page. A similar thing has happened to that erstwhile warm and intimate word chat. There are quite a few people still alive to remember having tuned their radios to an American president who broadcast 30 “fireside chats” between 1933 and 1944.

Even in a medium where you could not see Franklin D. Roosevelt’s face, it was his voice, his human voice that raised the temperature of humanity, an erstwhile warm-blooded species.



I look at all the lonely people.
I look at all the lonely people.


Eleanor Rigby
Picks up the rice in the church where her wedding has been;
Lives in a dream.
Waits at the window,
Wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door.
Who is it for?

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?


Father MacKenzie
Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear;
No one comes near.
Look at him working,
Nodding his socks in the night when there's nobody there.
What does he care?

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
ll the lonely people, where do they all belong?
I look at all the lonely people.
I look at all the lonely people.


Eleanor Rigby
Died in the church and was buried alone with her name.
Nobody came.
Father MacKenzie
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from her grave.
No one was saved.
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?

Eleanor Rigby, The Beatles



Delicate But Hardy
Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday afternoon could have been much more pleasant than it was. I picked up Lauren at school and then waited for Rebecca at her bus stop. We went home and had some package Ramen which the girls like even though I think that ramen is no better than Kraft Dinner (something I am proud to assert I never tried nor did I ever prepare it for my daughters).


It was on Saturday night that when I took my granddaughters and their mother home I popped into the Malibu’s CD player one of my fave jazz albums, Dizzie GillespieCon Alma. Rebecca went on a small critical rage, “Why do you always play the same stuff? If that is the case I can wear my hair straight (I don’t like it) or curly as I please and there is nothing you can do to change my wishes.” I tried to explain that I had not played the CD in at least a year but Rebecca kept protesting and finally her mother said (to my chagrin), “Papi is listening to his music (that made me feel terrible) so shut up.” And that was that.

Yesterday I had a pile of long playing 33 1/3 rpm albums waiting for Rebecca. After our ramen lunch I steered her towards the living room and poured (on a couple of my mother’s very nice tea cups) a lovely Harrod’s Ceylon which I accompanied with extra thick Oreos.

I explained that many of the records and tapes that I really like I cannot listen to in the car because the car has no cassette player. I explained that by now she must know that I have an exclectic taste for classical music, opera, new music and baroque plus I like rock from the point of view of a snob who worked for many years with Les Wiseman who definitely was a snob. I remember him telling me, “If you are going to like heavy metal, make sure it is Motorhead.” It was Wiseman who told me of the wonders of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

Rebecca sat on the sofa and covered herself with a blanket. This is the music that I played for her:

1. From Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me I Am the Piano Player: Daniel

2. From The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (Rebecca had no patience to listen to this in its entirety)

3. The Young Canadians: Data Redux

4. John Cale – Animal Justice: Memphis

5. Iggy Pop – Blah – Blah – Blah: Real Wild Child

6. Ian Hunter: Boy

7. Secret V’s- No Life Like It: Waiting for the Drugs to Take Hold

8. Siouxsie and the Banshies –juju: Halloween

9. John Cale – Honi Soit: Dead or Alive

10. Scissors: Wrecked My Car

11. Johnny Thunders – In Cold Blood: Intro, Just Another Girl, Too Much Junkie Business

12. The Clash –London Calling: London Calling

13. Lou Reed – Live in Italy: Sweet Jane

14. Bauhaus – Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape: Bela Lugosi is Dead

Rebecca commented that she liked some of it and we quit then.

Dinner was pleasant. I made a meat loaf from The Len Deighton Cook Book and Rosemary made her special scalloped potatoes. For dessert we had sour (not intended to be) strawberries, grapes and melon. I took the girls home.

This morning (after not sleeping too well) we went to the cancer clinic on Broadway to find out the pathology results on Rosemary’s lumpectomy (which was cancerous). In short, with a smile on her face Rosemary’s surgeon and her assistant told us that the cancer was gone and everything was back to normal. We left with relief in our faces.

I had picked some roses which had been blooming (a surprising event in my garden at this stage of Autumn) on Monday to decorate our dinner table. One of them, the almost white on is Rosa ‘Madame Pierre Oger’. It is a delicately coloured Bourbon Rose that one would swear was too delicate to bloom now. The red one is the English Rose Rosa ‘William Shakespeare 2000’ and the two pink ones are the English Rose, Rosa ‘Spirit of Freedom’.

There is no doubt in my mind that my Rosemary is much like the roses in my garden, hardy, long lasting and quite beautiful.



Narratives & Job Jars
Monday, November 08, 2010


Perhaps one of the best paying photographic jobs that I ever had was one that was dependable, consistent and relatively easy. I had a gentleman’s contract with Canadian Pacific Limited to shoot trucks, trains, railroad crews working, and stuff related to personnel. It was the latter category that brought me much grief. I was often dispatched to places like the Vancouver Club or the Terminal City Club (I had to wear a suit and tie) to photograph a retiring CP executive. These increasingly became more elaborate and resembled good old American roasts where the poor retiring executive (not often a woman) had to take embarrassing insults, the projection of equally embarrassing photographs as young men and then received gifts that ranged from rocking chairs, golf clubs to a fishing rod. Had I been the retiring executive I would have died on the spot.


There was one gift that had me perplexed for many years which only now has really hit home. These CP executives were sometimes given an elaborately wrapped box that would contain an empty jam jar. This jar was called a job-jar and the wife of the executive would write, on little bits of paper, little jobs that the now retired and idle man would have to execute at his leisure. Imagine a man who once had at his disposal the control of several rail yards with hundreds of locomotives now being asked, “Please repair the leak in the upstairs toilet.” Sometimes the “roast” became racy enough that the job-jar task would involve a reminder that the gentleman had a husband duty to perform, less golf and more…

In the last few months it has slowly but surely set in that while I may not be a retired CP executive, the freelancer’s phone is not ringing off the hook (an expression my granddaughter would have no concept of). We might settle in for the night around midnight and get up after a longish breakfast in bed with the Vancouver Sun and the New York Times, around 10. Rosemary often asks, “What are you going to do today?” I wonder if I should take out an empty jam jar from underneath the kitchen cupboard and tell Rosemary of its purpose.



My somewhat morose and melancholy friend Mark Budgen has suggested I get my house in order and re-do our will and specifically write in instructions on what to do with an eventual incapacitation, “Pull the plug on me dear wife!” This is stuff that fails to cheer me up on these increasingly gloomy, dark and rainy days of fall!

But the most jarring event of late was a question that arts photographer David Cooper asked when I ran into him at a play on Granville Island last week. “What are you doing these days, Alex? Are you doing any shooting?”

A lawyer, lawyers, a doctor, doctors and bus driver, drives, a prostitute, turns tricks, a chef cooks and important to me if I will insist on calling myself a photographer, a photographer shoots.

My answer was a defensive and court, “I photograph my granddaughters and other stuff.”



The loss of my studio in September 2009 has made it a tad difficult to physically leave home and go to the studio and plan some sort of project. While I have access to the Focal Point studio it still is not my studio and it is rather sparse. It has no windows.

I have been shooting some actors with my iPhone and then writing accompanying blogs. I have been taking photographs of Rebecca and Lauren. One was the Halloween shot as zombies another was Rebecca with her blond wig getting ready to go to her first high school dance. I have a project in the works of taking portraits of Lauren with different toys formerly owned by her mother, aunt and grandmother.

But there is one project that I would like to continue that became an unlikely arsenal in my bag of photographic tricks some 12 years ago. It was then that I began to understand that one picture does not tell as good a story as several. After some experimental work I decided that five (not four or three) but five pictures told a good story and particularly if it was the story of a person.



To have a person come into a studio with the idea of taking an ultimate and very good portrait can be a terribly difficult task at hand. I discovered that taking five distinct facets of the person was easier, more fun and ultimately more rewarding.

This meant that my final “product” would consist of five smallish (never bigger than 4x5 inches) photographs matted with five separate openings on one long frame. One of my better ones and gratefully appreciated by their subjects was Art Phillips at 70 and Carole Taylor at 50. I did the same with their children.

In my photo classes I teach my students of this concept which I call the narrative. They quickly understand the paradox that taking five good pictures is far easier than taking one good picture.



The narrative lends itself very nicely to the nude. Since I teach nude photography the narrative is a major part of my class. One example is to bring in a model (much more fun if the model has not posed undraped before) and to shoot her or him (we use both sexes) in a gradual state of undress so that only the fifth and last picture reveals all. Sometimes we begin in the opposite direction and shoot from fully nude to all dressed.

Another variant is to take five tight portrait shots (head and shoulders) in which the model is slowly removing all clothes. The five portraits, is skillfully taken would reveal in just which one the model was naked (and perhaps more vulnerable?).

My favourite kind of narrative is to explore what a person does in some unique way. One of my most successful narrative involved working with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra violinist Karen Gerbrecht. The idea was to take violin shots that were in some way “anti violin” shots. One of the setups involved taking portraits of an almost-to-term pregnant Gerbrecht where I used lighting to hide the fact that she was undraped and only in the final (5th) image could the viewer finally discern that the violinist had a stomach!

I would like to continue shooting my narratives. I have a few in the works. These narratives almost always involve some sort of nudity. Could it be that a person’s story somehow has to reveal all at some point? Could I be wrong?

But what is important is that the next time I run into David Cooper I will answer, "Yes I am shooting. And lots."




The narrative here, of Karen Gerbrecht I shot with Polaroid b+w instant negative. I used it with my 6x7 cm format Mamiya RB-67. Because the Mamiya lenses have generous coverage the resulting images were not 6x7 but square 7x7. Alas the good film is not made anymore.



Fallback & The Pollarding Is Done
Sunday, November 07, 2010

Our Garden
There seems to be an imperative that I have thrown on myself that every day’s blog has to be something written and that just a photograph isn’t good enough. But there are days when I want to drink my tea and read or putter in the garden where I simply do not want to write anything. I have no obligation to do so.


VanDusen


Mid-week Rosemary and I walked to VanDusen and upon arriving we walked through the garden. I took some snaps of fall colours that attracted me. I did the same with our own garden. The garden is just about ready for the winter. There are some hostas that I should move but I have the option of doing so come spring. There is a Hydrangea heteromalla that has grown much too big where it is. Even if I prune it for height it is going to be big. Most hydrangeas are fully hardy in our climate and some of them manage to not go dormant in the winter season. Of all the plants I have been lucky with moving it is the hydrangea with which I have failed a couple of times. So I will wait until late December before I move Hydrangea heteromalla to a location where it will have more room.

That Scottish rose (it isn’t  really Scottish but since it sends out runners and I am able to give plants a year after I cut them out from their parent) Rosa ‘Charles de Mills’ (it is really a once-blooming Gallica) has provided me with many baby roses that I have to move around in our back-lane garden.


VanDusen


It is about this time where I turn on all the hoses and then shut down the valves inside the house. Should we get one of those unseasonal but very cold, cold spells my hoses will not burst nor will the pipes. The Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) is shedding lots of brown from its evergreen racemes. The stuff falls under and especially around my hosta beds and lawn. It is quite acid so that it curtails the growth of both lawn and hostas. I have to remove it by hand and place it in our large plastic garbage containers and throw it into the green bins. This stuff is not good for composting.

Rosemary is a tad sore under her right arm so this year I wiil be the only one removing the thuja sheddings.


VanDusen

Some years I would give my roses some preliminary pruning and I would finish it all off in March. But since so many of my roses are now Gallicas I find that I need not prune them at all except sometime in February/March just of esthetic shape value.

For some reason, in spite of it all, I do believe that this year our garden is really ready for winter. Rosemary and I pollarded the old English hawthorn in our front garden in early October. This is a terrible task and we used to postpone it until early December where rain and cold made the pruning of the tall overhead shoots a dangerous one. The thorns will cause infection so I prune with leather gloves, glasses and sometimes even while wearing my Canadian Pacific Rail hard hat!

Our garden
It may have been some five or six years ago that I was pruning the hawthorn all by myself. I was on the most unstable aluminum ladder and I over extended my reach so that the ladder tipped over. It seems to me that it all happened in slow motion. I remained floating in the air while the ladder fell to the ground. Once the ladder was on the ground, body (had it been waiting?) plummeted and I fell on my side. I could not breathe. I wheezed noisily for air.

Our garden

 A neighbour heard me and called an ambulance. It came and I refused to be put on a stretcher and I insisted on walking on to the ambulance which took me to UBC Emergency. There I was patched up and told I had some broken ribs. I called Rosemary and told her I was in the hospital (this was a surprise as she thought I was still outside pruning the hawthorn!) and that she could pick me up. We know make the hawthorn a joint project and she is there to keep the ladder firmly established to the ground.

VanDusen
Perhaps there is some sort of symmetrical balance as I look from beyond this monitor on to the back garden and I enjoy the brilliant brownish yellow colours of my hostas and our ornamental cherry tree. The Gingko is late this year and the leaves are still green and on the tree. The symmetrical balance is that the garden is ready on the very same day in which we moved back our clocks one hour. It will be dark sooner, but mornings, when sunny, are brilliant to the eye. The garden is ready for winter. Will the owners be around to enjoy its awakening? I am pretty sure we will and it is exciting to look forward to just that.


Our garden, Hosta 'Northwest Textures'

Rebecca & the Hawthorn




     

Previous Posts
Lee Lytton III & Friendly & Warm Ghosts

San Valentín

From Simple To Complex

Leaning Towards Irrelevancy

Nevertheless She Persisted - For Allan Morgan - My...

El Reloj de Arena - The Hour Glass - Jorge Luís Bo...

An Officer and a Gentleman & An Anniversary

el ayelmado tripolio que ademenos es de satén rosa...

For Susanne Tabata's Media Class At the Art Instit...

Linda Melsted - The Music in the Violin does not e...



Archives
1/15/06 - 1/22/06

1/22/06 - 1/29/06

1/29/06 - 2/5/06

2/5/06 - 2/12/06

2/12/06 - 2/19/06

2/19/06 - 2/26/06

2/26/06 - 3/5/06

3/5/06 - 3/12/06

3/12/06 - 3/19/06

3/19/06 - 3/26/06

3/26/06 - 4/2/06

4/2/06 - 4/9/06

4/9/06 - 4/16/06

4/16/06 - 4/23/06

4/23/06 - 4/30/06

4/30/06 - 5/7/06

5/7/06 - 5/14/06

5/14/06 - 5/21/06

5/21/06 - 5/28/06

5/28/06 - 6/4/06

6/4/06 - 6/11/06

6/11/06 - 6/18/06

6/18/06 - 6/25/06

6/25/06 - 7/2/06

7/2/06 - 7/9/06

7/9/06 - 7/16/06

7/16/06 - 7/23/06

7/23/06 - 7/30/06

7/30/06 - 8/6/06

8/6/06 - 8/13/06

8/13/06 - 8/20/06

8/20/06 - 8/27/06

8/27/06 - 9/3/06

9/3/06 - 9/10/06

9/10/06 - 9/17/06

9/17/06 - 9/24/06

9/24/06 - 10/1/06

10/1/06 - 10/8/06

10/8/06 - 10/15/06

10/15/06 - 10/22/06

10/22/06 - 10/29/06

10/29/06 - 11/5/06

11/5/06 - 11/12/06

11/12/06 - 11/19/06

11/19/06 - 11/26/06

11/26/06 - 12/3/06

12/3/06 - 12/10/06

12/10/06 - 12/17/06

12/17/06 - 12/24/06

12/24/06 - 12/31/06

12/31/06 - 1/7/07

1/7/07 - 1/14/07

1/14/07 - 1/21/07

1/21/07 - 1/28/07

1/28/07 - 2/4/07

2/4/07 - 2/11/07

2/11/07 - 2/18/07

2/18/07 - 2/25/07

2/25/07 - 3/4/07

3/4/07 - 3/11/07

3/11/07 - 3/18/07

3/18/07 - 3/25/07

3/25/07 - 4/1/07

4/1/07 - 4/8/07

4/8/07 - 4/15/07

4/15/07 - 4/22/07

4/22/07 - 4/29/07

4/29/07 - 5/6/07

5/6/07 - 5/13/07

5/13/07 - 5/20/07

5/20/07 - 5/27/07

5/27/07 - 6/3/07

6/3/07 - 6/10/07

6/10/07 - 6/17/07

6/17/07 - 6/24/07

6/24/07 - 7/1/07

7/1/07 - 7/8/07

7/8/07 - 7/15/07

7/15/07 - 7/22/07

7/22/07 - 7/29/07

7/29/07 - 8/5/07

8/5/07 - 8/12/07

8/12/07 - 8/19/07

8/19/07 - 8/26/07

8/26/07 - 9/2/07

9/2/07 - 9/9/07

9/9/07 - 9/16/07

9/16/07 - 9/23/07

9/23/07 - 9/30/07

9/30/07 - 10/7/07

10/7/07 - 10/14/07

10/14/07 - 10/21/07

10/21/07 - 10/28/07

10/28/07 - 11/4/07

11/4/07 - 11/11/07

11/11/07 - 11/18/07

11/18/07 - 11/25/07

11/25/07 - 12/2/07

12/2/07 - 12/9/07

12/9/07 - 12/16/07

12/16/07 - 12/23/07

12/23/07 - 12/30/07

12/30/07 - 1/6/08

1/6/08 - 1/13/08

1/13/08 - 1/20/08

1/20/08 - 1/27/08

1/27/08 - 2/3/08

2/3/08 - 2/10/08

2/10/08 - 2/17/08

2/17/08 - 2/24/08

2/24/08 - 3/2/08

3/2/08 - 3/9/08

3/9/08 - 3/16/08

3/16/08 - 3/23/08

3/23/08 - 3/30/08

3/30/08 - 4/6/08

4/6/08 - 4/13/08

4/13/08 - 4/20/08

4/20/08 - 4/27/08

4/27/08 - 5/4/08

5/4/08 - 5/11/08

5/11/08 - 5/18/08

5/18/08 - 5/25/08

5/25/08 - 6/1/08

6/1/08 - 6/8/08

6/8/08 - 6/15/08

6/15/08 - 6/22/08

6/22/08 - 6/29/08

6/29/08 - 7/6/08

7/6/08 - 7/13/08

7/13/08 - 7/20/08

7/20/08 - 7/27/08

7/27/08 - 8/3/08

8/3/08 - 8/10/08

8/10/08 - 8/17/08

8/17/08 - 8/24/08

8/24/08 - 8/31/08

8/31/08 - 9/7/08

9/7/08 - 9/14/08

9/14/08 - 9/21/08

9/21/08 - 9/28/08

9/28/08 - 10/5/08

10/5/08 - 10/12/08

10/12/08 - 10/19/08

10/19/08 - 10/26/08

10/26/08 - 11/2/08

11/2/08 - 11/9/08

11/9/08 - 11/16/08

11/16/08 - 11/23/08

11/23/08 - 11/30/08

11/30/08 - 12/7/08

12/7/08 - 12/14/08

12/14/08 - 12/21/08

12/21/08 - 12/28/08

12/28/08 - 1/4/09

1/4/09 - 1/11/09

1/11/09 - 1/18/09

1/18/09 - 1/25/09

1/25/09 - 2/1/09

2/1/09 - 2/8/09

2/8/09 - 2/15/09

2/15/09 - 2/22/09

2/22/09 - 3/1/09

3/1/09 - 3/8/09

3/8/09 - 3/15/09

3/15/09 - 3/22/09

3/22/09 - 3/29/09

3/29/09 - 4/5/09

4/5/09 - 4/12/09

4/12/09 - 4/19/09

4/19/09 - 4/26/09

4/26/09 - 5/3/09

5/3/09 - 5/10/09

5/10/09 - 5/17/09

5/17/09 - 5/24/09

5/24/09 - 5/31/09

5/31/09 - 6/7/09

6/7/09 - 6/14/09

6/14/09 - 6/21/09

6/21/09 - 6/28/09

6/28/09 - 7/5/09

7/5/09 - 7/12/09

7/12/09 - 7/19/09

7/19/09 - 7/26/09

7/26/09 - 8/2/09

8/2/09 - 8/9/09

8/9/09 - 8/16/09

8/16/09 - 8/23/09

8/23/09 - 8/30/09

8/30/09 - 9/6/09

9/6/09 - 9/13/09

9/13/09 - 9/20/09

9/20/09 - 9/27/09

9/27/09 - 10/4/09

10/4/09 - 10/11/09

10/11/09 - 10/18/09

10/18/09 - 10/25/09

10/25/09 - 11/1/09

11/1/09 - 11/8/09

11/8/09 - 11/15/09

11/15/09 - 11/22/09

11/22/09 - 11/29/09

11/29/09 - 12/6/09

12/6/09 - 12/13/09

12/13/09 - 12/20/09

12/20/09 - 12/27/09

12/27/09 - 1/3/10

1/3/10 - 1/10/10

1/10/10 - 1/17/10

1/17/10 - 1/24/10

1/24/10 - 1/31/10

1/31/10 - 2/7/10

2/7/10 - 2/14/10

2/14/10 - 2/21/10

2/21/10 - 2/28/10

2/28/10 - 3/7/10

3/7/10 - 3/14/10

3/14/10 - 3/21/10

3/21/10 - 3/28/10

3/28/10 - 4/4/10

4/4/10 - 4/11/10

4/11/10 - 4/18/10

4/18/10 - 4/25/10

4/25/10 - 5/2/10

5/2/10 - 5/9/10

5/9/10 - 5/16/10

5/16/10 - 5/23/10

5/23/10 - 5/30/10

5/30/10 - 6/6/10

6/6/10 - 6/13/10

6/13/10 - 6/20/10

6/20/10 - 6/27/10

6/27/10 - 7/4/10

7/4/10 - 7/11/10

7/11/10 - 7/18/10

7/18/10 - 7/25/10

7/25/10 - 8/1/10

8/1/10 - 8/8/10

8/8/10 - 8/15/10

8/15/10 - 8/22/10

8/22/10 - 8/29/10

8/29/10 - 9/5/10

9/5/10 - 9/12/10

9/12/10 - 9/19/10

9/19/10 - 9/26/10

9/26/10 - 10/3/10

10/3/10 - 10/10/10

10/10/10 - 10/17/10

10/17/10 - 10/24/10

10/24/10 - 10/31/10

10/31/10 - 11/7/10

11/7/10 - 11/14/10

11/14/10 - 11/21/10

11/21/10 - 11/28/10

11/28/10 - 12/5/10

12/5/10 - 12/12/10

12/12/10 - 12/19/10

12/19/10 - 12/26/10

12/26/10 - 1/2/11

1/2/11 - 1/9/11

1/9/11 - 1/16/11

1/16/11 - 1/23/11

1/23/11 - 1/30/11

1/30/11 - 2/6/11

2/6/11 - 2/13/11

2/13/11 - 2/20/11

2/20/11 - 2/27/11

2/27/11 - 3/6/11

3/6/11 - 3/13/11

3/13/11 - 3/20/11

3/20/11 - 3/27/11

3/27/11 - 4/3/11

4/3/11 - 4/10/11

4/10/11 - 4/17/11

4/17/11 - 4/24/11

4/24/11 - 5/1/11

5/1/11 - 5/8/11

5/8/11 - 5/15/11

5/15/11 - 5/22/11

5/22/11 - 5/29/11

5/29/11 - 6/5/11

6/5/11 - 6/12/11

6/12/11 - 6/19/11

6/19/11 - 6/26/11

6/26/11 - 7/3/11

7/3/11 - 7/10/11

7/10/11 - 7/17/11

7/17/11 - 7/24/11

7/24/11 - 7/31/11

7/31/11 - 8/7/11

8/7/11 - 8/14/11

8/14/11 - 8/21/11

8/21/11 - 8/28/11

8/28/11 - 9/4/11

9/4/11 - 9/11/11

9/11/11 - 9/18/11

9/18/11 - 9/25/11

9/25/11 - 10/2/11

10/2/11 - 10/9/11

10/9/11 - 10/16/11

10/16/11 - 10/23/11

10/23/11 - 10/30/11

10/30/11 - 11/6/11

11/6/11 - 11/13/11

11/13/11 - 11/20/11

11/20/11 - 11/27/11

11/27/11 - 12/4/11

12/4/11 - 12/11/11

12/11/11 - 12/18/11

12/18/11 - 12/25/11

12/25/11 - 1/1/12

1/1/12 - 1/8/12

1/8/12 - 1/15/12

1/15/12 - 1/22/12

1/22/12 - 1/29/12

1/29/12 - 2/5/12

2/5/12 - 2/12/12

2/12/12 - 2/19/12

2/19/12 - 2/26/12

2/26/12 - 3/4/12

3/4/12 - 3/11/12

3/11/12 - 3/18/12

3/18/12 - 3/25/12

3/25/12 - 4/1/12

4/1/12 - 4/8/12

4/8/12 - 4/15/12

4/15/12 - 4/22/12

4/22/12 - 4/29/12

4/29/12 - 5/6/12

5/6/12 - 5/13/12

5/13/12 - 5/20/12

5/20/12 - 5/27/12

5/27/12 - 6/3/12

6/3/12 - 6/10/12

6/10/12 - 6/17/12

6/17/12 - 6/24/12

6/24/12 - 7/1/12

7/1/12 - 7/8/12

7/8/12 - 7/15/12

7/15/12 - 7/22/12

7/22/12 - 7/29/12

7/29/12 - 8/5/12

8/5/12 - 8/12/12

8/12/12 - 8/19/12

8/19/12 - 8/26/12

8/26/12 - 9/2/12

9/2/12 - 9/9/12

9/9/12 - 9/16/12

9/16/12 - 9/23/12

9/23/12 - 9/30/12

9/30/12 - 10/7/12

10/7/12 - 10/14/12

10/14/12 - 10/21/12

10/21/12 - 10/28/12

10/28/12 - 11/4/12

11/4/12 - 11/11/12

11/11/12 - 11/18/12

11/18/12 - 11/25/12

11/25/12 - 12/2/12

12/2/12 - 12/9/12

12/9/12 - 12/16/12

12/16/12 - 12/23/12

12/23/12 - 12/30/12

12/30/12 - 1/6/13

1/6/13 - 1/13/13

1/13/13 - 1/20/13

1/20/13 - 1/27/13

1/27/13 - 2/3/13

2/3/13 - 2/10/13

2/10/13 - 2/17/13

2/17/13 - 2/24/13

2/24/13 - 3/3/13

3/3/13 - 3/10/13

3/10/13 - 3/17/13

3/17/13 - 3/24/13

3/24/13 - 3/31/13

3/31/13 - 4/7/13

4/7/13 - 4/14/13

4/14/13 - 4/21/13

4/21/13 - 4/28/13

4/28/13 - 5/5/13

5/5/13 - 5/12/13

5/12/13 - 5/19/13

5/19/13 - 5/26/13

5/26/13 - 6/2/13

6/2/13 - 6/9/13

6/9/13 - 6/16/13

6/16/13 - 6/23/13

6/23/13 - 6/30/13

6/30/13 - 7/7/13

7/7/13 - 7/14/13

7/14/13 - 7/21/13

7/21/13 - 7/28/13

7/28/13 - 8/4/13

8/4/13 - 8/11/13

8/11/13 - 8/18/13

8/18/13 - 8/25/13

8/25/13 - 9/1/13

9/1/13 - 9/8/13

9/8/13 - 9/15/13

9/15/13 - 9/22/13

9/22/13 - 9/29/13

9/29/13 - 10/6/13

10/6/13 - 10/13/13

10/13/13 - 10/20/13

10/20/13 - 10/27/13

10/27/13 - 11/3/13

11/3/13 - 11/10/13

11/10/13 - 11/17/13

11/17/13 - 11/24/13

11/24/13 - 12/1/13

12/1/13 - 12/8/13

12/8/13 - 12/15/13

12/15/13 - 12/22/13

12/22/13 - 12/29/13

12/29/13 - 1/5/14

1/5/14 - 1/12/14

1/12/14 - 1/19/14

1/19/14 - 1/26/14

1/26/14 - 2/2/14

2/2/14 - 2/9/14

2/9/14 - 2/16/14

2/16/14 - 2/23/14

2/23/14 - 3/2/14

3/2/14 - 3/9/14

3/9/14 - 3/16/14

3/16/14 - 3/23/14

3/23/14 - 3/30/14

3/30/14 - 4/6/14

4/6/14 - 4/13/14

4/13/14 - 4/20/14

4/20/14 - 4/27/14

4/27/14 - 5/4/14

5/4/14 - 5/11/14

5/11/14 - 5/18/14

5/18/14 - 5/25/14

5/25/14 - 6/1/14

6/1/14 - 6/8/14

6/8/14 - 6/15/14

6/15/14 - 6/22/14

6/22/14 - 6/29/14

6/29/14 - 7/6/14

7/6/14 - 7/13/14

7/13/14 - 7/20/14

7/20/14 - 7/27/14

7/27/14 - 8/3/14

8/3/14 - 8/10/14

8/10/14 - 8/17/14

8/17/14 - 8/24/14

8/24/14 - 8/31/14

8/31/14 - 9/7/14

9/7/14 - 9/14/14

9/14/14 - 9/21/14

9/21/14 - 9/28/14

9/28/14 - 10/5/14

10/5/14 - 10/12/14

10/12/14 - 10/19/14

10/19/14 - 10/26/14

10/26/14 - 11/2/14

11/2/14 - 11/9/14

11/9/14 - 11/16/14

11/16/14 - 11/23/14

11/23/14 - 11/30/14

11/30/14 - 12/7/14

12/7/14 - 12/14/14

12/14/14 - 12/21/14

12/21/14 - 12/28/14

12/28/14 - 1/4/15

1/4/15 - 1/11/15

1/11/15 - 1/18/15

1/18/15 - 1/25/15

1/25/15 - 2/1/15

2/1/15 - 2/8/15

2/8/15 - 2/15/15

2/15/15 - 2/22/15

2/22/15 - 3/1/15

3/1/15 - 3/8/15

3/8/15 - 3/15/15

3/15/15 - 3/22/15

3/22/15 - 3/29/15

3/29/15 - 4/5/15

4/5/15 - 4/12/15

4/12/15 - 4/19/15

4/19/15 - 4/26/15

4/26/15 - 5/3/15

5/3/15 - 5/10/15

5/10/15 - 5/17/15

5/17/15 - 5/24/15

5/24/15 - 5/31/15

5/31/15 - 6/7/15

6/7/15 - 6/14/15

6/14/15 - 6/21/15

6/21/15 - 6/28/15

6/28/15 - 7/5/15

7/5/15 - 7/12/15

7/12/15 - 7/19/15

7/19/15 - 7/26/15

7/26/15 - 8/2/15

8/2/15 - 8/9/15

8/9/15 - 8/16/15

8/16/15 - 8/23/15

8/23/15 - 8/30/15

8/30/15 - 9/6/15

9/6/15 - 9/13/15

9/13/15 - 9/20/15

9/20/15 - 9/27/15

9/27/15 - 10/4/15

10/4/15 - 10/11/15

10/18/15 - 10/25/15

10/25/15 - 11/1/15

11/1/15 - 11/8/15

11/8/15 - 11/15/15

11/15/15 - 11/22/15

11/22/15 - 11/29/15

11/29/15 - 12/6/15

12/6/15 - 12/13/15

12/13/15 - 12/20/15

12/20/15 - 12/27/15

12/27/15 - 1/3/16

1/3/16 - 1/10/16

1/10/16 - 1/17/16

1/31/16 - 2/7/16

2/7/16 - 2/14/16

2/14/16 - 2/21/16

2/21/16 - 2/28/16

2/28/16 - 3/6/16

3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17