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




 

Vancouver's Cold Tap Water & Alienating Disposition
Friday, December 18, 2015




Walking with my granddaughter Lauren, 13 to my car near a shopping centre a tall, blonde woman was opening her car door with a plant in her hand. Since I was near her I said, “Is that a phalaenopsis?” She answered, “No, it’s and orchid.”  So I said, “That’s what that orchid is called.”  She instantly and coldly said, “If you knew, why did you ask me?”

While at the Dunbar Public Library (while my family lined up at the Dunbar Theatre for the lastest Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I noticed that a woman was toying in taking out the DVD The Theory of Everything. Next to it on the shelf was The Imitation Game. I told her, “If you think you will like that one you will also like The Theory of Everything.” Her answer was, “No, I’m not interested.”

Tonight I watched the first 10 minutes of Under the Skin with Scarlet Johansson. I found it bleak, alienating and immediately realized that this was a film I would not see.

The two encounters with the women and Under the Skin all made me feel enajenado and (to stress the point) away from a much needed human contact. Even Lauren had told me, “The woman with that orchid was rude.”

As we prepare ourselves with our slow move to eventually live in our more compact quarters I attempted to chat with what will be our new neighbour. Our neighbour is in the front part of the duplex that faces the street. Both our neighbour’s house number and ours are hidden by a very tall bamboo. I asked if it would be possible for me to put a sign in the front by the sidewalk. My neighbour’s answer was, “Definitely not, if people want to find you they will.”

I recall that when we first arrived from Mexico in 1975 some new friends had invited us to stop by one evening. I asked my Rosemary, “What is an after-dinner-drink?” It was then I came to the conclusion that the residents of Vancouver were as cold as their tap water.

This lack of warmth has rarely dissipated in our years here. And this is most noticeable in the always bleak and rainy November when it gets dark early.

Because we are moving we have been looking at interior decoration magazines, Ikea catalogues, Crate & Barrel catalogues, etc. All but a few feature spartan, black or white, furniture with mostly straight lines. The kitchens look like some high tech version of a morgue.The pictures on the wall ooze ice.

I wonder if this new age of keying in or touching screens for communication and entertainment has affected our ability to laugh, feel, have passion and warmth towards other human beings in the flesh?

I perused my extensive files of photographs looking for one that would illustrate my present feeling. I waded through portraits of my granddaughters, all mostly looking sad or serious. But this one of my daughter Alexandra Elizabeth taken some years ago at La Conner, Washington seems to be just about perfect. Every time I mention to Ale (as we call her) that she has in inherently sad face she protests. Ale was born in Mexico and unlike her younger sister Hilary who is as cheerful as her name, she is very Mexican in her ways. We lived in Mexico for many years and I found many of its inhabitants fatalistic and sad.




     

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Patrick Reid - Wild Colonial Boy

I Would Dump My Wife For Two Of Them

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The Pirelli Calendar - It's All On The Table

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The First Little Bastard Who Calls Me An Elitist.....

Jazz Tango



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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