busy bangkok

A shot from last year in Bangkok - a nice place but not my kind of city - stayed there for a couple of days and moved onto other parts of Thailand I enjoyed much more.

girl on a bike

As seen in Thailand last year


A photo from a few weeks ago - the back of McMaster Hospital

shenzhen subway

Shenzhen Metro has to be one of the best subway systems in the world, with eight lines, 166 stations, and 286 kilometres of track, trains every few minites, and fairs are so cheap. Makes me a little embarrassed about Toronto!

the bookseller

Shenzhen about an hour ago.

back in baishizhou

I always visit the backstreet markets and alleyways of Baishizhou when I am in Shenzhen- see the photoblog index for these photos I have been taking over the years - given that the area is being developed these old places won't be there much longer.

shenzhen time

Spending time with JD in Shenzhen.

good friday

I took this photo of a scene from Good Friday last year somewhere in Israel - a pretty grim scene - but don't worry He won't be in that tomb for long!

temple guard

Another shot from last year in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.

the story of loud voice annie

Jasmine lives in Berlin and does not like load noises, so I wrote her this story.


At kitta there were lots of teachers, but only one who the children were afraid of, her name was Loud Voice Annie. Loud Voice Annie's parents had been opera singers and her grandparents were too, so she had never ever learnt to speak in a soft voice, she was always very loud loud loud.

When Loud Voice Annie was growing up she had no pets, every time she got a pet it would get so scared of her loud voice that it would run away, and this made Loud Voice Annie very lonely. Loud Voice Annie longed for friends and for people to be nice to her, but she never had any friends and nobody was nice, all because her voice was so loud loud loud.

When Loud Voice Annie grew up she decided to become a kitta teacher. She knew children were always friendly to teachers, and she thought that her loud voice would be just right for telling stories;  she thought the children would be sure to like her and at last she would be happy.

But all the children were afraid of Loud Voice Annie. Every morning Loud Voice Annie would say with her loud voice, "GOODMORNING CHILDREN!" But her voice was so loud loud loud that all the children would put their fingers in their ears, and run to hide under desks, inside cupboards, or anywhere else they could find.

One day Loud Voice Annie said "GOODMORNING" so loud that a classroom window broke with shock, and all the children screamed so loud that another window broke too! All the other teachers, and all the parents, decided something had to be done, because Loud Voice Annie was not just too loud loud loud for the children, she was also to loud for the building too.

After a big meeting, all the parents and all the teachers told Loud Voice Annie that she had to leave, she could stay one month more while she was looking for another job, but during that time she was not allowed to say a single word in case it broke another window or scared another child. From that day on Loud Voice Annie never said anything and was very very very sad.

The day before Loud Voice Annie was to leave, the whole kitta went on a nature trip into the forest, all the children, all the teachers, and lots of parents went on the trip, so did Loud Voice Annie, but she was not allowed to speak because she was too loud loud loud. When lunchtime came they were having a picnic when they realized that one of the children, a little girl called Jasmine, was missing. All the teachers and children looked and called for her, but could not find her anywhere.

So what do you think the teachers did? What would you do? Yes, you would ask Loud Voice Annie for help, and this is what the teachers did, because they knew Loud Voice Annie was so loud loud loud!

Loud Voice Annie shouted "JASMINE JASMINE JASMINE" so loud that all the trees shook, all the birds flew in the air, all the rabbits ran away, and all the worms crawled deep deep deep under the ground. Then everything went quiet and in the distance, they heard a small voice saying, "help I am lost."

Loud Voice Annie ran toward the voice and everyone followed, first all the children, then all the teachers, and then all the parents who came on the trip to help. They ran so hard and so fast that the ground shook and leaves started to fall off the trees.

Suddenly they came to a big opening in the forest and in the middle stood Jasmine, and on the other side was a big grizzly bear. Loud Voice Annie stopped running, so did everyone else, everything became quiet as the bear and Loud Voice Annie stared at each other.

Suddenly the bear stood up on his hind legs, he was as tall as a house, and he gave a big roar, “GROWL, GROWL, GROWL!” It was so loud that some of the trees fell down.
Loud Voice Annie growled back, “GROWL, GROWL, GROWL,” but it was not as loud as the bear, and no trees fell down.

"Help me everyone," said Loud Voice Annie, so the teachers, children and parents growled together, “GROWL, GROWL, GROWL.” But it was still not as loud as the bear.

"Help me everyone and Jasmine too," Loud Voice Annie said, so everyone and Jasmine roared together, "GROWL, GROWL, GROWL." This time it was louder than anything anyone had ever heard before, lots of trees fell down, the bear started to shake, and he ran away as fast as he could.

Jasmine ran to Loud Voice Annie and gave her a big hug. All the children, teachers and parents asked Loud Voice Annie to please please please stay and not leave the kita, and to never ever be quiet again. Loud Voice Annie agreed!

From that day on at the start of kitta Loud Voice Annie would say in her strongest ever voice "GOODMORNING CHILDREN." None of the children would run away, instead they replied in their strongest voices, "GOODMORNING TEACHER." The desks would rattle, the floor shake, books would fall off the shelves, but nobody got scared. Also, no windows broke, this was because the kitta replaced all the glass with extra strong windows that could never ever ever ever break no matter how loud loud loud the teacher and children became.

For many years after that Loud Voice Annie worked at the kitta and she worked at other kittas too, she was always loud loud loud and also always very happy, and so were all the children she worked with. Next time you are in kitta look at the windows, and if they are extra extra extra strong glass, then maybe this is one of the kitas where Loud Voice Annie worked.

The end

birthday party

In 1980 I was walking along a hot dusty road on Leguan Island, Guyana, when Janet who live by backpart koker, call me over to sit under her house and drink some cool coconut water with her family. Now many years later she is in Toronto, and this weekend was her 70 birthday, so of course I had to show up at the party.


Ceremonial guards in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre


A priest in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with a striking resemblance to Saruman.

end of semester

McMaster - as seen tonight - at the end of the semester. Well not entirely the end of the semester it has a while to run yet, but tonight was the last class of this semester for me. This was one of my favorite classes too, made even more so by the best ever group of students. After class a number of us adjourned to the campus pub for some good beer, great conversation, and for me some fish and chips. What could be better than that?

motorbike in a moment of sun

The sun came out for a moment - so I took my bike out and took a photo - to remind myself that someday summer will come.

thai dance

It is still so cold in Ontario - wish I was back here - as seen in Northern Thailand last year.  

mcmaster hospital

Still testing that new 7-14 lens, and still liking it! I was walking past the McMaster Hospital on campus and took this shot looking up.


Some photos I took in Chinatown, Soho, London UK; either 1980 or 1981, in the neighbourhood of the famous Wong Kei Restaurant (great food, check it out if you are in town).

library art

As seen in Mills Library