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


Carl Valentine & I Didn't Clean Ale's Fridge
Saturday, June 30, 2007

My daughter Ale called us this morning at 9. Last night she drove to her new home in Lillooet and arrived at 4 this morning. We spent the afternoon helping her move stuff into her friend Dave's truck and Rosemary, and I cleaned her kitchen, bathroom, etc. During this whole ordeal (and an ordeal it was) I kept thinking of Ale not being near us for the first time in 38 years. Rebecca and Lauren worship her and listen to her gentle admonitions on their behaviour.

We will miss her even though Ale was always very Mexican in her relationship with time. It drives Rosemary crazy that to this day Ale will show up at our door step, spur of the moment, without calling. Ale also retains not only her Mexico City accent but also all the slang words of being a chilanga (Mexico City born).

On the other hand Hilary, who was also born in Mexico City retains a connection with her father's birth in Argentina. She inherited that illogical attraction to soccer that seems to be in our blood. She has always been crazy about Argentina and its performances in the FIFA World Cup. If she didn't have to work today she would be glued as I will to the Under 20 FIFA World Cup on CBC TV when Argentina plays Czechoslovakia.

When Ale called she told us her old place still had some things to pick up and that the fridge had to be cleaned. I went with Rosemary and removed hooks from the wall and emptied the refrigerator. The detritus of someone who has left a house after years of living in it has the power to depress deeply. And this power is double when it affects the ex-tenant's father. I determined then that I was not going to clean the fridge. Rosemary looked at me and said, "I thought your were going to do it." "No, I am going home right now."

All the time I had in mind the idea rustling up the only image in my files related to futbol (soccer). It is my photograph of the handsome, and quiet spoken Carl Valentine who came so many years ago to play for the Whitecaps. I had been assigned in the mid 80s to photograph him for Equity. I also had in mind of sitting in front of my TV to watch the Brazilians play Poland.

I am sure there are many more fridges for me to clean (and Rosemary will do fine without me this time). The depression is beginning to lift and who knows, perhaps Rebecca will inherit something of her mother and she just might want to sit next to me when I watch Argentina this afternoon.


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