This week’s theme has me questioning what are appropriate photos for a blog. My submissions for this weekly photo challenge are all coming from my father’s war album, and this morning I had to choose between a number of photos that tell a story of regret. In the end, I couldn’t put them on my blog. It’s enough to say that my father regretted volunteering to defend Australia in the Middle East. It’s also true, though, that those who were defended didn’t regret his contribution and were very thankful for the servicemen and women of the AIF (Australian Imperial Forces).
This photo, however, makes me wonder what the driver was thinking.
3rd Feb: My son and his fiancée just ordered their wedding rings from a country in the other hemisphere. The new way of shopping. I’m still getting my head around this.
4th Feb: When leaving to walk the dog, the couple in the Housing flats called out: ‘How are ya?’ This is the first time any of the tenants have voluntarily spoken to me.
5th Feb: Bought an antique chair for my son’s fiancée. I saw swirls etched into the seat, but she showed me they were hearts.
6th Feb: I just bought fabric from a country in the other hemisphere. Never say never.
7th Feb: Translating a passage about a dying abbot, I paused for a moment to search for a song online for background music, and found several covers done by Amy Winehouse. I wouldn’t have let her into my personal space, but when I played her version of Billie Holiday’s ‘There is no greater love’ all the grimness of the abbot’s death was forgotten. I never learn to never say never.
It was a toss-up tonight between two photos that suited the theme of ‘ready’. One was of my father and his mates in the training camp, ready and waiting to be sent to the Middle East. And there was this one of an Egyptian kitchen hand bearing about 50 plates with more behind him, ready to serve all the extra patrons. His hands have a firm grip on his load…
Tonight there were only three of us home for dinner. I cooked chicken and asparagus pie. Two of us had Coke glasses and one had a French glass. One of us had Coke in his Coke glass. We lit the new candle bought yesterday at the Sunday markets and made by Benedictine nuns. It burns perfectly, leaving a neat round chasm filled with the melted wax. Though we often eat outside on our deck now the evenings are warm and the days are long, tonight the wind picked up and kept us at the kitchen table.
Perhaps these people were waiting for their weekly challenge, too.
This is another photo from my father’s war album. It would have been taken in the winter of 1941. I researched the acronym he wrote next to Don Gray; AACS probably means Army Airways Communications System personnel.
Looks like a cold place to be waiting for something to happen…
Today I’ve been to three places, my small camera tucked in my hand, looking for the right stranger, someone doing something I wanted to remember. I discovered an underground bookshop of uncatalogued books, and in a side nook, a café and a musician. He was the right stranger.
He sang a song I didn’t know: The Spider Song (Or Somewhere in the car) by Pat Drummond. I’ve just found the lyrics online as well as the stranger’s name. Fred Pilcher. Now I know who he is but he doesn’t know me. I’m the stranger.
The lyrics are a good read: http://www.patdrummond.net/Lyrics/Laughter/Somewhere_In_The_Car.html
With my hands I’m typing what you are reading. With them I write letters and stories that you will not read. I can even add calligraphic flourishes. I can cook, drive, ride a bike because I have hands.
But I can’t play an instrument.
For twenty years I’ve taken my sons to piano and guitar lessons, and now I hear live music in my home. How rich my life is because their hands play instruments.
I thank my son for playing This old love by Lior so I could photograph him. I could listen to him for hours.
I found this photo in the war album. I had to play with the levels because the words were barely visible in the original 2″ x 3″ photo, and I was amazed when I darkened it and saw what was written on this huge sign. It’s derived from Winston Churchill’s London broadcast on 22nd June 1941, following Germany’s invasion of Russia.
I don’t know where this building is, though it’s probably in north Africa. The album contains photos taken in 1941/42.