PASSAGES TO INDIA

I have finally committed images to print in my new photobook, “Passages to India” which reveals photos of my three trips to India. My first was in December of 1970 and my last was on assignment with Canada’s Department of External Affairs in 1993. Much has happened in India since then but my photographic record gives an honest account of the India of that period.

The title is of course a hat tip to the great English novelist E. M. Forster’s famous work, “A Passage to India.” Thanks to the miracle of artificial intelligence image processing software, I have brought old roll and slide film images up to a modern standard.

I welcome you to peruse this book at your leisure by clicking below. (Be sure to expand when prompted for the best viewing experience.) Enjoy!!

https://www.blurb.ca/bookstore/invited/10315720/588c1a1ac5e64fb4d127c5647b5107253ca3e322

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The Great Glebe Art in the Garden Tour

Last July 6-7 was the current edition of the Glebe Art in the Garden Tour. The Glebe is the central residential district in Ottawa. I was fortunate to welcome over a hundred plus visitors to my backyard which is in full summer bloom. A very relaxed and hospitable way to meet friends and neighbours and discuss images from the various phases of my life. Many heartfelt thanks to the organizers of this increasingly popular event.

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JULIAN ASSANGE

Saipan is the largest island and capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Territory of the United States in the western Pacific. Saipan was liberated by the US Marines after the Battle of Saipan in July 1945, thus exposing Japan to direct attacks of the USAF.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have concatenated Saipan with the freedom of Julian Assange.

Today, after 12 years of persecution, which included 7 years of diplomatic immunity in the Ecuadorean embassy in central London and 5 years in Britian’s maximum security Belmarsh prison pending extradition to the United States, Julian Assange was declared a free man in return for a guilty plea on the island of Saipan.

Below is a snap I took of the Ecuadorean Embassy in central London when I was just a dozen yards or so from Julian during his sequestration. I discreetly waited for the uniformed Bobby permanently stationed outside the main entrance to walk out of view while waiting to arrest Julian should he step out into the street.

How we have changed. For publishing the “Pentagon Papers” revealing the misinformation of the US DOD about the Vietnam War back in the 60s, Daniel Elsberg became a national hero. Free speech in the West is now just about extinct.

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WALTER GLADEN QUARVE

Today is Memorial Day in the US. A day for remembering America’s war dead. After watching the restored version of the “Memphis Belle” I couldn’t help thinking of an old neigbour of my family in Lake City, Minnesota with whom I was priviliged to play many rounds of golf. Walt Quarve did not die in the war. He flew with the USAF’s Mighty Eighth out of Bassingbourn in the lush fields of East Anglia that I came to know so well. His plane was shot down exactly 80 years ago to this very day!! What an amazing coincidence!!! Fortunately his crippled Flying Fortress, “Liberty Run”, was able to reach the Swiss border where he spent the rest of the war in internment.

Long gone now but still remembered.

Straight drives and lush greens old buddy.

AVE ATQUE VALE!!

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VISIT TO CHAFFEY’S LOCKS

A day’s trip to Chaffey’s Locks and the Opinicon Road yesterday produced a good variety of species. One disappointment was the lack of a Golden-winged Warbler. However, I was able to improve my captures of the following. All in all a good day with good friends.

YELLOW-THROATED VIREO

INDIGO BUNTING

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TULIPS FROM AMSTERDAM

When it’s Spring again,

I’ll bring again,

Tulips from Amsterdam”

TULIP FESTIVAL, PARLIAMENT HILL, OTTAWA

Once again a flood of Dutch tulips graces the environs of Ottawa and brings forth a wave of personal memories on this the 79th anniversary of the Victory in Europe.

THE MAN WITH TWO HATS

In the aftermath of WWII, Canada benefitted from a massive cohort of Dutch immigrants. No greater benefit could have been bestowed upon me than that of the Kramers, a childless Dutch immigrant couple who poured their love and attention on us Cub and Boy Scouts teaching us duty, respect and honour in our remote rural community in their new country of adoption.

This mutual attraction between Canada and Holland started with the liberation of the Low country by Canadian troops. In the above photo you have a physical manifestation in the heart of our tulip festival of the famous photo showing a Dutch man celebrating the liberation with not one, but two hats!! The starvation and tyranny were finally over.

Later in life I would live in London’s Eastend, just a few hundred kilometres from the tulip fields of Holland. My cockney landlady, Ada, would become my third grandmother and recount the horrors of the Blitz. In the Spring, I would labour in her old “Victory” garden, not for desperately needed food but this time to tend her colourful roses and tulips which she thoroughly enjoyed.

ADA & ME, BACK IN THE DAY, EAST LONDON

Gimme me Max!

Gimme me Max!!

That’s what Ada would say everytime she saw the old “Cockney Crooner,” Max Bygraves, come on the tele. Here he is belting out a tune that wraps it all together. My personal tribute to both Ada and the Kramers that I’m sure Max now does in person in a much better place.

God bless them all!

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SNAPPING TURTLE

SNAPPING TURTLE

Gigantic and prehistoric snapping turtle crawls laboriously out of the water to lay eggs on a stony slope.

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SAINT GEORGE’S DAY 2024

In celebration of England’s patron saint, Saint George.

THE MALL, CENTRAL LONDON

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IRANIAN DRONE ATTACKS ON ISRAEL

Last night Iran launched a sustained drone missile attack on Israel. At this hour, reliable information is scarce but it would seem that most of the drones have been neutralised by the Israeli Air Force with the help of RAF jets based in Cyprus and those of the USN and USAF in the region. Apparently, the Iron Dome proved its worth once again. Below are a few photos I was fortunate to take a few years ago at the annual Israeli Air Force graduation ceremony in the Negev Desert near biblical Beer Sheva.

IRAELI F-35 FLIES OVER THE NEGEV DESERT

IRON DOME BATTERY

Jointly developed by Israel and the US, the Iron Dome is perhaps the world’s most sophisticated defensive missile system for the take down of incoming missiles and rockets. It has no offensive capability.

ISRAELI AIR FORCE GRADUATION CEREMONY, HATZERIM AIR BASE, NEGEV DESERT

Hats off (quite literally!) to the Israeli Air Force for a job well done!

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GRAND NATIONAL 2024

Today is the running of the Grand National Race at Aintree, England. The spectacle will be viewed by 600 million people round the world. The race was introduced to a North American audience by the film National Velvet, starring Mickey Rooney and a young Liz Taylor. One of the biggest betting days in the UK as nearly everyone takes a “flutter” on the outcome. Good luck to all! Especially the “runners and riders”.

YOUNG LADIES IN THEIR BEST FINERY ON THEIR WAY TO THE BIG DAY.

MANCUNIANS CROWD RAILWAY PLATFORM ON THEIR WAY TO AINTREE.

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