It is not often that the reality of a place matches the romantic image that occupies my mind beforehand. How many times have I had my face fixed for a super view or for a charming village only to discover that Ronald McDonald had beat me there. This time, however, after a treetop jungle trip in the morning, our small tour of Costa Rica included a wonderful riverboat passage past thatched houses such as this. Monkeys and sloths skipped through the treetops barely touching the branches while the water was occupied by alligators, silvery fish and turtles.
Riding by on my scooter, I could only catch a fleeting sight of this busy little boatyard right on Hamilton Harbour. I went back and took a number of photos and used a line that has served me well. People are sometimes reluctant, possibly embarrassed, to have me take photos of their activity, so here is my approach. I say, “My brother-in-law thinks that he is a carpenter or painter, policeman or whatever, but I would like to take him a photo of what a real carpenter looks like.” A lie to be sure, but not an obvious one, I hope.
As I travel from time to time, I happen upon small, quirky things such as this burro painted on the wall of a pub in Mexico. This creative bit is as eccentric as the fast food restaurant in North Carolina built to resemble a woman’s skirt or the holes drilled in the fence surrounding a bar in Key West with its sign instructing the viewer to peer through to get a view of New York City.
I suppose not that many people save rejection notes but I’m glad that I framed this one from 1966. On cream-coloured card stock with the address, Borgo Albizi, Firenze, I am told in the nicest possible way by Pietro Annigoni that he must turn down my request to be a student of his because he is travelling a great deal and does not have time for any serious teaching.
It is dramatic to come, as we did, from the beautiful fiords of Norway to the severe lumpy landscape of Iceland. Iceland is a volcanic island, strafed with holes blowing steam and hot water. Although this strange country does have some ice (glaciers), most of the land is clothed in moss and miniature trees. There is an Icelandic joke (and I am convinced possibly the only Icelandic humour is formed in a riddle): If you are lost in an Icelandic forest, what do you do? Just stand up.
Want to score $5 million? On March 18, 1990 the Gardner Museum in Boston was robbed by two unknown white males dressed in police uniforms and identifying themselves as Boston Police Officers. They stole several pieces worth more than $300 million. A $5 million reward is offered for the safe recovery of all stolen items in good condition.
I know a man whose job for Sears Canada included travelling around the world with a Polaroid camera. He was looking to spot coming trends in clothes. It was he who decided what the colours in their merchandise would be for next year. Returning to Toronto with these photos, he would be able to instruct the buyers on what to order for the coming year.
A recent article in the news told of a soon to be raised wreck of a 17th century British ship, purportedly laden with tons of gold coins valued at four billion dollars U.S. This craft was on its way to secure the loyalty of the Duke of Savoy against the expansionist plans of the Sun King. Interestingly, the site of this wreck was simply stated as “off Gibraltar”, which leaves a great deal of open water as possible locations.
A house along the coastline has a unique quality. It is only there that the neighbourhood changes on an ongoing basis. Any other view stays constant, but on the coast, the sight transforms with new neighbours coming and going all the time. If you are fortunate enough to live near a port, a small one, not a huge, stinking, blackened destination, you can enjoy the visual entertainment of visitors from around the world.