icy passage

Another shot from Fisherman’s Wharf – this boat must have a hard time finding a passage in this ice.

cold harbour

Fisherman’s wharf – Hamilton


More snow today - I took this leaving my driveway this morning - not enough to shovel yet though.

truecity conference

Another shot from this weekend's TrueCity Conference in Hamilton. TrueCity is not just a conferece, it is a movement.

truecity at philpott

A picture from this weekend's True City conference in Hamilton.

close enough

This was a volatile confrontation between some guys in London quite a few years ago. I got into the middle of with my camera it after listening to the famous war photographer Robert Capa say, "if your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

If you are wondering why I am posting some older photos recently, it is because I have a new Cannon 8600F scanner and I digitizing all my old pictures. This one is scanned from an Ilford FP4 negative—I am impressed with the scanning results.

free soloing

This is a picture of me rock climbing a few years ago. This is technically called free solo climbing, which means it must be more than 25 feet about the ground and hardware such as ropes, harnesses or other gear are not allowed. Looking back, I think it might be better called free foolish climbing!

For more information about this climbing style check here


Taken last year - looking across the lawns to the University of Victoria library.

laid up

A laker laid up in Hamilton.

hamilton tree eposode four

Taken today. the white material on the beach is ice. Click the "hamilton tree" label below to see all episodes.

battle of cable street

This is a picture of my grandmother in her old age. My grandmother, a social activist, always had great stories to tell of growing up and living in London’s East End. One of those stories was the day she fought the "Blackshirts" in the Battle of Cable Street. Speaking of the battle she told me, "boy," (she always called me boy), "that day I picked up a big stick and cracked some fascist heads."

In 1930s Britain, Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists (the Blackshirts), an organization aligned with Hitler’s Nazi party, were attacking Jews and Jewish businesses in London’s East End. At the height of this violence, Mosley organized an Anti-Semitic march through Cable Street - the heart of the East End's Jewish community. Early Sunday October 4, 1936 thousands of Blackshirts rallied outside the Tower of London and began to march toward Cable Street. The Blackshirts were supported by the police because the government had refused a request by Jewish community to ban the march and instead asked the police to support the Blackshirts and ensure that they were able to exercise their democratic right to march.

The East Enders had had enough: local residents, Jews and Trade Unionist and others joined forces, barricaded the entrance to Cable Street and stood firm. The police charged the barricade followed by the Blackshirts - but the East Enders did not budge and they prevailed – the march did not proceed.

I don’t support violence, but there are moments in history when people need to rise up, stand firm, and not back down, and this was one of those moments. May we all have the wisdom of my grandmother, for there is a time for everything: a time to tear down and a time to build up, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to walk away and a time to pick up a big stick just like so many East Enders did on that day!

Below is a news video of the clash but be warned it contains violence. Notice how the commentator praises the police for keeping the peace, but skims over the fact the police were using excessive force to attack the protestors in an effort to move them out of the way so the Blackshirts could march through the East End and intimidate Jews.

love, love, love

I took this is a picture some time ago—it is the statue of Eros, the Greek god of passionate and erotic love, at Piccadilly Circus in London. Well at least most people think that it is Eros, but truthfully it is Anteros, Eros’ twin brother who is the god of requited or returned love. The sculptor, Alfred Gilbert, had already started a statue of Anteros when commissioned, so he just carried on making Anteros and thought that people would be none the wiser. The other twist to this story is that Gilbert was not actually asked to make Eros, but the Angel of Christian Charity, and of course charity is another form of love. Victorian London, however, rather than being none the wiser, was not amused when an almost completely naked Anreros showed up in Piccadilly Circus posing as an Angel of Charity! Anyway, ever since then, people have been referring to this statue as Eros.

I thought this picture and story would be a good lead in to Valentines Day.

hard to let

I am continuing my tour of London’s East End. Not too far from where Jalil in yesterdays pictures lived, was this GLC (Greater London Council) housing estate in Hackney where my best friends, Joyce and Lawrence lived. These buildings would be called "tenements" or "the projects" in the USA. At the time of this photo these were considered "hard to let" properties because nobody wanted to live there. I lived in similar GLC hard to let apartment, but a few miles away just off Cable Street, which is not in such a nice part of town as these buildings! Although hard to let, it was home, and despite the poverty and high crime rates it was a great place to live!

the grandfather

I have decided to cycle some older pictures into the mix. This is a shot of Jalil, an old friend and his grandson, in their apartment over a restaurant in Brick Lane, London.

frozen goose

Temperatures in this picture at are -30 (with windchill) and it was surprising that my camera even worked! When I saw these guys outside the Marine Discovery Centre in Hamilton I had to stop, not just to take a picture, but to also tell them that there is a lot to be said for heading south in times like these! I even pointed out this chap at the front where south was, but he just looked at me as if puzzled and took no notice.

bridge walkers

Sydney Harbour Bridge - taken on a recent trip to Australia.

circular thinking

I took this shot on Highway 403: A truck carrying train wheels, that will carry a train, that will probably carry trucks.


A few hours ago at a frozen Hamilton Harbour just before the sun went down.


Back at the dock in Cairns, Australia.

sailing lesson

There are a few things to notice in this picture. See how the mainsail (on the right) does not go up to the top of the mast—this is because it is reefed due to high winds. If it were fully extended this sail would be 150 sq. meters. Notice also the four thin dark white bands running across the mainsail, these are battens that help keep the mainsail stiff.

The sail at the front is a jib, which is 70 sq. meters. This does not go all the way to the top of the mast, not because it is reefed, but because it is a “fractional rig” rather than “masthead rig.” Unlike the main, reefing the jib does not affect its height because it is unfurled from the fore-stay which acts like a roller.

Part way up the mast on the front (left of picture) the radar can be seen. The steel cables going upwards from the bottom right of the pictures are shrouds, which are a part of the standing rigging that holds the mast upright, enormous strain is placed on this rigging while sailing hence their thickness and strength. The ropes hanging on the side of the mast are some of the halyards, which are used to hoist sails and are a part of the running rigging.

make sail

Time to sail back to the mainland before the sun sets.


On the beach a member of the ships crew keeps watch as lifeguard.

back at the beach

Some months ago I posted a series of photos that took you to this beach on the Great Barrier Reef - do you remember - we sailed here on the boat in the background. Over the next few days I will post some photos as we sail back. Are you along for the ride?