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


The Feline Question II
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This photograph has appeared before here but it is constantly before me as I go up and down the stairs to and from our bedroom. It hangs outside the bedroom hall. It is impossible to miss. It is special in many ways, the least of which, is the easiest to explain.

I cannot do justice to the print here. I scanned the framed photograph and the glass added some green I had to remove. The print is one of six pictures of Rebecca that I made from a found envelope of Agfa Portriga that was hiding in a dark corner of my darkoom. The paper was long discontinued by Agfa and Agfa is now gone. The paper was very special as it had a rich warmish tone that produced what is called split toning when I immersed the fixed and washed print in a very strong solution of selenium. Because the paper was expired it developed a few extra colours of its own which can never be duplicated.

And of course I can never duplicate the moment or the experience of snapping this picture of Rebecca in the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden. The garden is known for its varied and rich sculpture, its cats (hundreds of stray cats and left cats) and for a fading glory of plants that with no budget have to manage on their own.

It was perhaps here (in that garden) where the Vancouver-born Rebecca developed that air of sophistication that I hope will never leave her. I further hope she will inherit my mother's flair. She always used to tell me, "Alex, hay poca gente fina como nosotros." There are few people as sophisticated (Spanish fina or fino is a combination of gentle manners, too) as we are."

Last week our neighbourhood had an art show at the nearby Osler Elementary gym.
It was an evening affair with wonderful food and sweets. I brought 11 pictures of Rebecca. But because we were told to think of the venue (children) I knew I would have had a problem if I had taken this, the finest of all the pictures of Rebecca along. I didn't.

It was when Rebecca was 6, a few months before we went to Buenos Aires four years ago that I took Rebecca to the Calabria Bar on Commercial. We sat right under a reproduction of Michelangelo's David. Rebecca asked the obvious question and I explained why it was sculptors favoured the nude. It has been one of our favourite places for cappuccino in the city. Rebecca calls the table under David, "Our table." Shortly after, one afternoon of sipping mate and chatting Spanish with Juan Manuel Sanchez and Nora Patrich, Rebecca and I returned home. She decided to do her interpretation of Sanchez's nudes with their perfectly round breasts.


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A Friday Night Ritual of Dance, Sushi and Miso

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