“Here’s Lookin’ at YOU Kid!”

Alfie - Ellie Kennard 2012
Alfie – Ellie Kennard 2012

Alfie is another fun find in going through my archives. Those eyes just get you, don’t they?

Original Post: March 10, 2012 – 70/366 – Alfie – “Here’s lookin’ at You Kid!”

Alfie is a miniature Shar Pei, with a bear coat. This coat is the least common, though it was the one favoured by the Chinese aristocracy. The peasants had the short haired ones. The bears were the ones first targeted in the cultural revolution, being a sign of great decadence.

Alfie belongs to our good friends and when we called on them this morning I had my camera with me. He is a gentle young dog and he mostly lay at my feet until I spoke to him. This was the look he gave me. They don’t always like pictures of him, so I hope they like this one. Such gentle eyes.

Light as a Feather

Light as a Feather - Ellie Kennard 2013
Light as a Feather – Ellie Kennard 2013

I was so pleased to find this soft image when I was searching for macro images for today’s theme. This reminded me of how interesting it can be to see a photograph by another photographer and try to produce the same effect. This shows the tiny detail of a fluffy downy feather as displayed by a macro lens with a life-size converter.

Original Posting: March 4, 2013

I saw a photograph, posted today by John Wade , of the filaments of a black swan’s feather. I loved the light airy feel he had achieved in this photograph and it inspired me to try to produce something similar. I did not have a black swan’s feather (or any swan’s feather at all as it happens) but had a grey downy one that I used instead. Thank you for inspiring me to try something out here, John.

I used my macro lens with the life size converter to get this as I wanted.

Vintage Memories

Vintage BMW 1975 - Ellie Kennard 2012
Vintage BMW 1975 – Ellie Kennard 2012

Original Post: March 02, 2012 – 62/366 – BMW R75/6 Vintage Memories

This bike has such a wonderful history with us. Steven Kennard bought it in 1981 and used it in England as a second vehicle when I needed the car for a new job I had just started. He drove it 30 miles into work and back every day, all weathers. We also biked down to the South of France on it together and I can still remember falling asleep while riding pillion and waking up as we were going around a roundabout. It was truly a relaxing ride.

There is nothing to beat the wonderful smells as you drive through the warm French countryside on this open transport.

When we moved to France the bike came with us. Then Steven was seduced by a newer bike – another BMW of course – and we sold it to friends of ours. That new flashy bike was sold a few years later and we bought this bike back from the friend. It had only done about 79 miles in the few years he had owned it.

It has come with us to Canada and now sits in the workshop, a loved relic and source of wonderful, vintage memories.

Cows Before the Storm

Farm, Rawdon Hills - Ellie Kennard 2012
Farm, Rawdon Hills – Ellie Kennard 2012

Another rescue post from the past – seemingly an idyllic scene, but a storm was brewing… in more ways than we imagined at the time.

We had done quite a bit of research into the food we were eating, out of concern for our health. First of all, within 6 months of posting this, we decided to become vegetarian, with very little consumption of dairy/eggs. In time, we stopped eating all animal products altogether, in the winter of 2016. We both began to reverse our serious health conditions from that point.

It wasn’t long before we began to find out about the cruelty involved in the dairy, meat and egg industries and realized that what had been doing our bodies so much physical harm was also causing so much in the way of cruelty to these beautiful animals we share our planet with. That was the storm that was brewing – for those cows you see there, they are quickly spent in the dairy industry and are sent for slaughter at a young age, as they are no longer considered productive. They will have had their children taken from them so their milk can be consumed by humans. Their “idyllic” lifestyle is one that begins and ends with sadness and suffering. The other storm that was brewing was one that would start in our minds shortly after this, and end with the feeling of sunny bright skies that comes from eating no animal products, saving suffering to these beautiful creatures and feeling healthy and full of the energy derived from plants.

Original Post: June 28, 2012 – 179/366 – The Perfect Storm

I love Cows. And Farms. And Dramatic Skies. Getting them all together this afternoon was The Perfect Storm for me

Things were Looking Up!

Things are looking up! - Ellie Kennard 2012
Things are looking up! – Ellie Kennard 2012

Update on the post below: Sadly the Future is now the Past as the chain has closed down and the site is filled with a tacky Dollar Store. Chris has moved on. Such are Futures.

A bit of fun for today’s post!

Original Post: Things are looking up!
December 27, 2012 – 362/366 – Things are Looking Up

This man should be in the stock exchange, glancing up at the figures appearing along the banks of monitors, concerned, hyped, tensely waiting for just that right moment to make a fortune for his clients. But no, he is just in Future Shop, having been there since 5:30 am today, for the Boxing Day Sales. He has already done far more than a day’s work by now, but still managed to stay calm (despite his appearance, as I had asked him to pose for me), friendly and polite, in the mad frenzy of buying. It could have been the stock exchange and he would surely have done it justice. I just loved the way the lights hit his fabulous hair. Thanks for being a willing model, Chris!

Ipswich Town Upside Down

Ipswich in reflection - Ellie Kennard 2016
Ipswich in reflection – Ellie Kennard 2016

When we lived in England, I spent a number of years working in the town of Ipswich, in Suffolk. In those days (1980’s) we tended to park a vehicle and walk around the friendly little town, both during the day and at night. The last time we were there, however, in September of 2018, we parked our car (at a very expensive rate) to walk to a restaurant in the town at night. There were 3 of us including my husband Steven, but even so we all felt so uncomfortable, so unsafe, that I resolved never to enter the town on foot again at night. The streets where we walked were in the same part we had known so well. But they were so different that it was as if we were in an entirely unknown town. Where was my friendly, familiar Ipswich?

As in this reflection, my perception of Ipswich was turned upside down. This photograph was taken during our visit of 2016 when, even then in the friendly daylight, I was marvelling at the fact that it looked totally unfamiliar.

Carved in Stone

Carved in Stone - Ellie Kennard 2012
Carved in stone – Ellie Kennard 2012

Another mini diary-like post rescued from social media reminding me of days gone by and the beautiful work of craftsmen.

Original post: July 12, 2012 – 193/366 – Carved in Stone

Days when we have a full work day followed by a midweek concert at the Evergreen Theatre at night (photographic session as well as wonderful music) are never easy when it comes to posting images, or even shooting them. It is an early start to the day and then a very long drive home, late at night, with constant risk of hitting wildlife or cats on the lonely country roads.. Last night we had such a concert and saw a wonderful singer, Alejandra Ribera, so the long day was well worth the exhaustion at the end of it.

While cooking supper before dashing out the door to drive to the theatre, I caught sight of these pears and apple on the dining room table. They have been carved by a Nova Scotia craftsman* and have graced our dining room for years. The light streaming in through the window produced a pleasing effect and accentuated the lovely carved texture on these fruits. So they are my entry for yesterday. Fruits that never rot.

*Nova Scotia stone carver Peter Parachnowitsch  from “Set in Stone’

Leaf Jam

Leaf Jam - Ellie Kennard 2012
Leaf Jam – Ellie Kennard 2012

This photo is a favourite of mine as it was taken at the end of a long hike when I was still almost too sick to undertake such a walk. I was working on a project called “Thankful” with a small group of friends. This is why I really appreciated finding the image and post again as I have almost forgotten what it means to have balance issues and to be so unwell.

We rested when we arrived at these falls and as we were sitting on the rocks (and it wasn’t all that warm, I seem to remember) I saw this bundle of leaves hanging on for dear life. I am so glad to have recovered this post, rather like a mini diary entry as it (and the photo) reminds me of days that I am so glad to have left behind me. Thankful indeed!

Original Post: October 28, 2012 – 301/366 – Leaf Jam – or “The Intrepid Travellers Find the Falls 

Today we decided to do a trek to a place that we have only just heard about, Crystal Falls. We only had very scanty directions (rather sweet ones, given by Google Maps that start off by saying: “Let’s start at Tim Hortons” – Tim Hortons is a chain of coffee shops, for those unfamiliar with this Canadian icon). Eventually, after asking directions twice, we found the rough track that we hoped led to this place, deep in the woods (we were told to be careful of coyotes, which lent an air of excitement to our trek). We trudged along a rocky dirt road that climbed up and up and up a hillside until we came to a rather ugly set of power lines. At the bottom of the hill just under these power lines, we could see the falls.

The descent was steep and tricky and for myself, with balance issues and carrying camera and lenses the trip down was fraught with danger. I made it to the bottom where we then made our way through swampy terrain until we reached the edge of the pool. The falls were there before us and were lovely even though not spectacular. Although I took many photographs of the falls and will no doubt go back and take more, today’s feature is of a leaf jam that took my fancy with the water spraying up from it. 

We saw a couple approaching us from the opposite bank and when we could make our way within hearing distance they told us that the real way back to the road was on their side, much easier and a very pretty walk along the river. To get there we had to jump across slippery rocks, balance across logs wedged between heavy boulders in the rushing stream (remember the balance issues) and eventually be helped up the bank. 

So we were intrepid travellers today.

Halfway Down the Stairs

Halfway down the stairs - Ellie Kennard 2012
Halfway down the stairs – Ellie Kennard 2012

7 years on from this post we now are without Molly and Rupert is almost 18. This poem seems to have been written for cats. Have a wonderful day everyone, keep warm if the weather is stormy as it is here.

Original Post: January 16, 2012 – “Halfway down the stairs is a stair where i sit.”

“Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
I always

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
It’s somewhere else
Instead!” – a.a. milne

We have two Cornish Rex cats – Rupert and Molly who have curly fur. Like all cats, they migrate around the house depending on where the sun is shining. In the morning it shines through onto the stairs. I was struck this morning by the wavy shadows of the stair balusters next to the curly cats, so caught this. Rupert is a golden colour, Molly is black. The image was better in black and white.