Weekly photo challenge: Summer

The photos I’ve submitted so far for the weekly photo challenge have been from North Africa in 1941 or 1942, but my father, who took those photos, missed out on an Egyptian summer.  He left Australia in spring to go to war in the Middle East where it was autumn followed by winter followed by spring, then returned home to autumn followed by winter.  However, in the album there are photos taken a few years later when he and my mother had a holiday together, in what looks like summer.  Well, it was in Queensland, where it’s hot for at least nine months of the year.

My father’s face was heavily shaded by the hat, but editing it to increase the brightness revealed his features.  This is how he always looked.  I don’t think I ever saw him without a cigarette dangling from his lips.  However, something that’s unusual to me is his short sleeves.  I never saw his bare arms.  I was born about thirteen years after this photo was taken, and by then he was wearing long sleeves and trousers in all weathers.  I always wondered what he was covering up, especially when temperatures were up in the high thirties of summer.

The romance implied in these two photos is somewhat comforting.  ‘You take my picture and I’ll take yours.’  They seem to be enjoying their holiday.   My mother is about 24 and gorgeous in clothes she made herself;  my father looks healthy, tanned and muscular.  This is not the man I knew all those years later.

Dad in front of the Hotel Scarborough, Queensland, c1946
Mum in front of the Hotel Scarborough, Queensland, c1946

366 unusual things: days 144-148

23rd May – Rode my bike to work today for the first time (car dead).  Next to the bike path, ducks and galahs were dining together.

24th May – Read on the Via Lucis Photography blog that when building their Romanesque churches, the French moved more stone than was used in building the pyramids in all of Egyptian history.

25th May – On the radio I heard about a guy who goes to the dentist every year on his birthday so he doesn’t forget.  And he enjoys it.

26th May –  Sat at a café table outside in strong autumnal wind.  Sparrows were hopping over the salt and pepper shakers, pecking in the holes.  A strong gust of wind blew the froth from my cappuccino across the table.  A magpie came and pecked at my sandwich, through its wrapper.

27th May – Watching a one-year-old boy and his three-year-old brother toddling past my place, fair in the middle of the street.  Another five houses till they’re home.


Ailsa's travel photo challenge: Street markets

Ailsa (http://wheresmybackpack.wordpress.com) proposed Summer for her photo challenge last week and I was inspired to look long and hard for the right photo to submit.  There were no summery images in the war album of photos taken when my father was serving in the Middle East, during the northern winter!  So I had to resort to my own recent photos.  Now, coincidentally, here’s that summer theme again on this week’s WordPress photo challenge.  But I don’t feel disappointed because I have a photo I’ve looked at many times and wondered what theme I could use it for – and low and behold, coincidentally again, Ailsa has put out a new challenge… for Street Markets.

Cairo markets, 1941/42

366 unusual things: days 139-143

18th May – Just received an email telling me how much the sender is grateful for my friendship and that good things will happen if I send it to ten more people.  But there’s more;  I am promised that at 10.35 am tomorrow I’ll hear something I’ve been waiting to hear.

19th May – At 10.35 am I was teaching a girl who can’t read much.  I didn’t hear what I’ve been waiting to hear;  she still can’t read much.  This false prophecy had an unusual effect on me:  though I looked at the email only once, the exact time prediction played on my brain like an irritating jingle.

20th May – A woman in the Housing flats had her partner evicted by police and is now picking up all the beer cans and rubbish in the yard.

21st May – In the black of night I was driving out of a large country property when the tall wrought-iron gates automatically began closing towards me.  I waited a few seconds, then they opened.

22nd May – Waited at traffic lights behind a painted hippy holiday van with the message ‘Beer makes you see double, makes you feel single’.


Ailsa's travel photo challenge: Summer

Ailsa from the northern hemisphere has proposed a photo challenge:  summer.  http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/05/18/summer/

Of course, I’m sitting here in the southern hemisphere, the heater blasting and the doors closed to keep the low low temperatures out.  It’s a good thing I have photos to remind me what summer is like.

Summer = beach.  I can’t get enough of the beach.  However, in recent years I’ve moved to Canberra, a few hours inland from the coast and now I don’t get much beach at all.  But when I do travel down to the coast, there’s a special compensation for the much cooler ocean temperatures which will keep me out of the water most of the time: the exquisite pleasure of walking on the rocks and reflecting on the constancy of the waves.  I’ve discovered that the rocky shoreline is pitted with rock pools and tiny caves for sea creatures.  This photo is one I took in a moment of delight at spotting crabs spotting me.


Weekly photo challenge: Hands

To an enemy, our hands are the most immediate threat.  With our hands thrust as far away from our body as possible, most of us are defenceless, except for those with awesome kicking skills.  Here, two soldiers play at war as if they were boys, except the gun and bayonet are real.  And the war is real.  But so are the smiles, for now.

AIF soldiers, Egypt, 1942

366 unusual things: days 134-138

13th May –  Wandered down an alley beside an antique shop, attracted by old French doors lined up against the wall.   I wonder who would buy them, they’re so tall and our doorways are not.  The wrought iron is so rusty.  The paint so unattached.  Yet I ache for the doorways they came from.

14th May – Read that echidnas are carnivores because they eat ants. So, an ant is meat!

15th May – Tutored a student who never gave more than one-word answers.

16th May – Saw a large older woman waiting for a bus wearing a knee-length purple cardigan and fluffy pink earmuffs.

17th May  – Read that Abraham’s wife Sarah is the only woman in the Bible to have her age at death recorded.  She was 127.


Weekly photo challenge: Blue

My submissions for the weekly photo challenge usually come from my father’s war album filled with black and white images.  So, in that album I find nothing blue.  However, in his sketch books, while he usually favoured green (don’t know why), I found this painting of a seascape with blue sky and blue sea.  It’s a photo challenge, so I submit this, a photo of a painting.  Before photographing it for this post, I had never noticed the edge of a sunset on the horizon.  Nor the signature on the right.

I did, however, submit a photo of real life for the unofficial challenge by Ailsa (see my previous post).

R.E. Bruce, untitled seascape, c1939, © Patricia Worth

366 unusual things: days 129-133

8th May – The waning Super Moon was super yellow tonight.

9th May – The two cafés at the local shops are both owned by Greeks.  I asked the owner of one if he was related to the owner of the other, and he said, ‘Yes, he’s the godfather of my children and I’m the godfather of his children’.  I tried to get him to confirm they aren’t from the same family, but he wouldn’t really agree.  I saw that he had redefined family for me.

10th May – This week I’ve been feeling really confident about my car because it’s French.  Today its engine died.

11th May – Home alone.  Studied two novels set in monasteries and two documentaries about the unchanging rhythm and solitude of monastic life.

12th May – Drove a car today that has no hand brake.  But it has a button.  A finger brake.