This week at work and what with the royal wedding on Friday has been stressful. I favor an Australian Republic, but my grandma was a Monarchist. I imagine that she'd be excited, so I wish William and Kate well on her behalf. In the meanwhile I find processing old raw photos in Photoshop late at night kinda relaxing, a bit like the old days in the dark room, although not a magical.( more )
More of grandpa's old slides. I am not exactly sure where they are for most of these, except it is probably near Canberra, as I do recognize this first shot. What is missing from this first photo is New Parliament House, which sits today just behind the white building in the distance, which is now known as Old Parliament House, but then simply as Parliament House.( more )
Grandpa's slides from grandma, grandpa and mum's visit to the Breadknife, Lighting Ridge and the Warren Bungles. Taken in the mid 1960s in country New South Wales
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Of course grandpa isn't in any of these because he took them. Enjoying working with slides again. It's not quite as nice as a black and white dark room, but there is some enjoyment to be had at spotting old photographs and bringing them back to life. Didn't do too much work on these though, I don't feel okay about doing colour correction on grandpa's slides (do it all the time on mine), but removing dust from the scans seems legitimate.
We had some light rain this morning. I had a nap out in the atrium my grandma had built, resting to the pitter patter of rain drops outside. The sun gently woke me up an hour or two later and I watched the clouds scoot across the sky over the neighbours house. It made me really glad that I moved up here from the city.
The rain reminded me of this time when I overheard this kid talking to his mum in Sydney while it was raining and he refused a brolly, saying “guy's don't use umbrellas.” I remember thinking to myself, gosh guys are kinda dumb. Me, I like to be dry, so I guess I am not a guy. Next time a girl tells me that guys are all alike I can say “hey, I like to be dry when it rains!”
I scanned another roll of grandpa’s C-41 today. These ones are from the same trip, and according to the envelope scroll include:
- Rio Grande
- Los Alamos
The pond is named after someone named Ashley Pond (I kid you not)
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These were taken before the last set that I posted. They are all in New Mexico, closer to the area where I actually grew up. Although, again, this was long before we had any idea that we’d be moving out there. I had to spot more of these than from the last set, although the majority were completely clean! Some of them had some paper glued to the edges, put there probably by whomever had processed the film. I hate it when places do that because it is not good for the long term storage of the film.
Grandpa was a good photographer. There isn’t a single frame that is out of focus or incorrectly exposed, and the compositions are good.
August 1983, photographer: grandpa (except for the few photos with him in it). The envelope has these four names scralled on it:
- Pikes Peak
- Bear Lake
- Dean Lake
- Chasm Falls
(there maybe errors in the transcribing process, of course)
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I think these were taken on our first trip out to the Southwest, when we were living in New Haven, and therefore before we had any idea that we’d end up living there for nearly twenty years. I found these and plenty others while we were cleaning out the shack. I only did some minor spotting on two of the photographs, and colour correction on one small region of another where there was an unnatural green cast. They are in remarkably good nick given the age and how they were stored.
Apparently when my mum traded in the Tercel for the Corolla I made her feel like a heel for selling an unofficial member of the family into slavery. She reminds me of this from time to time, but I can hardly be held accountable for my actions (I think) because I was only like 12 or something at the time, and it was years ago and I am pretty sure that the statute of limitations on that sort of thing has long since expired.
When grandma passed away this year, mum inherited her house in Gosford. It is a tiny fibro hut with poor insulation and is very cold in the winter. I wonder how grandma, grandpa, mum and my namesake uncle Graham all fit in there. Somehow it is still home to me, even though I only barely remember living there before I moved to America. One day I will inherit that property, I am certain.
Mum told me today that she and Don had decided to knock the house down (I know they don’t do this lightly) and put up a bungalow. Although I will be perversely sad to see the old house go, I am also quietly breathing a sigh of relief, because, as I told my mother, I don’t think I could bring myself to knock it down or sell it or anything when I inherit it.
Sentimental, I know.
Today for mum’s day we brought grandma home for a family barbecue. In this case “home” is Gosford, where nobody actually lives anymore. Anyway, mum was running late as always and so while Don and aunty Rae were picking grandma up from the nursing home, mum and I went looking for a mum’s day card for grandma. Pretty much all of mum’s day cards had been taken, and the only one with “grandma” on it was too frilly for me to take seriously (there were “nana” and “gran” cards but I have never called grandma anything but grandma, so they seemed particularly unnatural). It suddenly struck me as slightly absurd that I was standing there in the newsagency looking for a mum’s day card with my mum standing right next to me.
“Happy mum’s day, by the way.” I said.
The other lady in the store also looking for a last minute mum’s day card thought this was pretty funny. Anyway, I think that mum and grandma know how much I love them and how important they are to my life. That the Hallmark Greeting Card Cartel sponsors the day is rather beside the point. It was nice bringing grandma home for the day.
Aunty Rae and mum were looking through some of my great grandfather’s old WWI records and stuff. His given names were “Fredrick Graham”. Seeing his name on one of the papers, it reminded me that I am really named after him. I always think of myself as being named after my uncle Graham (and I am), but my mum actually called me Fred for the first few days of my life. Thankfully mum and dad agreed on Graham instead.
In 1932 my grandma crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge when it opened. She was being pushed in her pram (she was about 8 years old, mum decided). Today, 75 years later Sydneysiders, myself included, celebrated the anniversary by closing the bridge to cars and doing it again. Walking over the bridge was fun. The ABC had big speakers set up along the length of the bridge blaring historical spoken and musical passages which gave the impression of walking through history. They were giving out free caps in this hideous shade of neon yellow green. Almost everyone was wearing one, which made for an impressive sight as the hats flowed and surged. On the back of the cap was written “our bridge.” I have decided that “our” is the Australian national pronoun, as Australians take any excuse to claim ownership of family, celebrities, buildings, bridges or anything that hails from the land down under. There were lots of people, but it wasn’t over crowded. Kudos to the organizers for pulling it off. The state government has gotten a lot of flack over a few recent fiascos ahead of the state election, so I think they were holding their breath hoping that nothing would go wrong! (like when the QE2 and QM2 came to town and the city had no plan for the huge amount of traffic they caused, and last week when commuters were stuck on the trains for 3 hours because apparently there wasn’t an evacuation plan; good thing the trains weren’t on fire or anything). I’d like to be here in 25 years to do it again, celebrating the bridge’s 100th anniversary!
I am now the proud owner of a Nintendo Wii. It was a hit. Not just with me, but also with the family. Mum and Don both tried it out and all along the way nanna was coaching.
“Don’t move your hips!”
“Follow through on your swing!”
und so weite.
Then when Don got up to play nanna yelled at him to get out the way and not block her view. This, from my grandma, who hates computers, any form of technology and anything new.
Tennis is my favourite. Golf and bowling are okay, but baseball is terribly dull lacking any out fielding. Tomorrow I am going to see if I can snag Twilight Princess and an extra controler and the real gamming will begin :)
( The Sublime )
In short, our range of topics was both wide and deep, and intellectually stimulating.
Then we drove back to Salt Lake City where we attended the annual Christmas Eve party for Don's (my step father) family. Gosh... where to begin. ( The Ridiculous )