New series of photos

I have, as usual, been fiddling with my photo editing software. When I fiddle, I see just how far I can push the image and see what happens when I do to an image just about everything you aren’t supposed to do.

I really like this series. They remind me of early pinhole photographs. I will really have to go back and do some reading on the history of photography.

What I want to start developing with these images is a sort of an unsettling, dream-like quality. I am a big fan of the work of Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison and a number of other photographers, as well as many Victorian photographers.


“House on a Hill”


The Gate”


“Windvane”

“Snowy Road”

“Snowy Road II”

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New series of photos

I have, as usual, been fiddling with my photo editing software. When I fiddle, I see just how far I can push the image and see what happens when I do to an image just about everything you aren’t supposed to do.

I really like this series. They remind me of early pinhole photographs. I will really have to go back and do some reading on the history of photography.

What I want to start developing with these images is a sort of an unsettling, dream-like quality. I am a big fan of the work of Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison and a number of other photographers, as well as many Victorian photographers.


“House on a Hill”


The Gate”


“Windvane”

“Snowy Road”

“Snowy Road II”

New photos…

A couple of phots from the last few weeks…


Sunset, Merivale Road

Ice and Fog, Third Line

Sunset, Ashton Side Road

Cat, Irene’s Pub

Shawn Brown, Dave Kerr and Janice Fitzsimmons, Jammin’, Ray and Michelle’s housewarming

A co-worker was sick for the last couple of days and I asked him what it was… He said “Oh, you know… some stupid thing that lays you on your back…”

I said… “A man?”

Bwahahaha!

New photos…

A couple of phots from the last few weeks…


Sunset, Merivale Road

Ice and Fog, Third Line

Sunset, Ashton Side Road

Cat, Irene’s Pub

Shawn Brown, Dave Kerr and Janice Fitzsimmons, Jammin’, Ray and Michelle’s housewarming

A co-worker was sick for the last couple of days and I asked him what it was… He said “Oh, you know… some stupid thing that lays you on your back…”

I said… “A man?”

Bwahahaha!

Roots and Riffs fundraiser for the Ottawa Folk Festival

Friday night was the fundraiser at Irene’s Pub for the Ottawa Folk Festival.

There were 5 bands/musicians, including the Skulls. The sound was kind of spotty… Sorry but the sound guy at Irene’s showed up at 8, an hour before the show. The bands were asked to be there at 6:30. The sound was way, way too loud and it didn’t seem to occur to him that when people were saying they couldn’t hear the vocals because the sound for the instruments was way too high to turn the sound for the instruments down… Instead, he just kept turning ALL the sound up. It was fine for Dave Gaudet and Lynne Hanson who were solo — just them and their acoustic guitars.

Lynne Hanson Dave Gaudet


For the other three bands, the louder the band, the louder he had the music. The Skulls voices were completely drowned out by the instruments.

Having said that, I thouroughly enjoyed Lynne Hanson, Dave Gaudet, and The Ethics (they are GREAT!). The Skulls, of course, were great aside from the sound which was beyond their control.

The Ethics The Sun Bleached Skulls

Professional Courtesy or the lack, thereof….
The fifth band, Neil Gerster and his band were okay. However, not a few of us were put off by the fact that cerrtain members of his band have yet to learn about professional courtesy and respect.

During the sound checks and last set, both the bass and back-up singer spent the entire time making faces, snickering, and miming the band. It was obvious they didn’t like the music offered up by that particular band and sat at the first table in front of the stage acting like asses.

In fact, Neil himself indulged in the same sort of assinine behaviour at one point.

Particularly galling was that the band they were making fun of, true to their generous selves, were willing to loan them tuners and cords because THEY didn’t come properly equipped.

Moments after apeing the band, the back-up guitarist had the nerve to go up on stage to offer his hand and say “how great” the band was, while his friend the bass player convulsed at the table.

I cornered Neil after the show and told him that I enjoyed his music and that I had taken a lot of photos and video which I had planned to post on my LiveVideo space for Ottawa music. “However!”, I said “They are gone… I will not be posting them after the display by his bandmates.”.

I didn’t mention that I had seem him also taking the Mickey but left him to think about “professional courtesy”.

“You might not like someone else’ music but when you are sharing a stage, it is just not “on” to sit there making fun of them. This is a community and it hurts the community when fellow musicians behave like that about the music and persona of other musicians.”

I should also have pointed out that when they are in their 40s, with many years of pleasing crowds with great music, and which may be, by then, considered “passé” by musicians and bands in their 20s I would hope that they never have to have asses like that making fun of their music simply because it isn’t their taste.

Neil said “Thanks for telling me”.

I hope he really does. I hope he takes it to heart.

The fact is, as a respectful member of the audience, if I don’t particularly find someone’s music to my taste, I would be polite and clap.

I can’t sing or play an instrument to save my life. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has any sort of talent and gets up on stage, even if what they do isn’t to my taste. It’s a shame that certain musicians don’t haave the same respect for fellow musicians.

Cat groovin’ to the tunes

Roots and Riffs fundraiser for the Ottawa Folk Festival

Friday night was the fundraiser at Irene’s Pub for the Ottawa Folk Festival.

There were 5 bands/musicians, including the Skulls. The sound was kind of spotty… Sorry but the sound guy at Irene’s showed up at 8, an hour before the show. The bands were asked to be there at 6:30. The sound was way, way too loud and it didn’t seem to occur to him that when people were saying they couldn’t hear the vocals because the sound for the instruments was way too high to turn the sound for the instruments down… Instead, he just kept turning ALL the sound up. It was fine for Dave Gaudet and Lynne Hanson who were solo — just them and their acoustic guitars.

Lynne Hanson Dave Gaudet


For the other three bands, the louder the band, the louder he had the music. The Skulls voices were completely drowned out by the instruments.

Having said that, I thouroughly enjoyed Lynne Hanson, Dave Gaudet, and The Ethics (they are GREAT!). The Skulls, of course, were great aside from the sound which was beyond their control.

The Ethics The Sun Bleached Skulls

Professional Courtesy or the lack, thereof….
The fifth band, Neil Gerster and his band were okay. However, not a few of us were put off by the fact that cerrtain members of his band have yet to learn about professional courtesy and respect.

During the sound checks and last set, both the bass and back-up singer spent the entire time making faces, snickering, and miming the band. It was obvious they didn’t like the music offered up by that particular band and sat at the first table in front of the stage acting like asses.

In fact, Neil himself indulged in the same sort of assinine behaviour at one point.

Particularly galling was that the band they were making fun of, true to their generous selves, were willing to loan them tuners and cords because THEY didn’t come properly equipped.

Moments after apeing the band, the back-up guitarist had the nerve to go up on stage to offer his hand and say “how great” the band was, while his friend the bass player convulsed at the table.

I cornered Neil after the show and told him that I enjoyed his music and that I had taken a lot of photos and video which I had planned to post on my LiveVideo space for Ottawa music. “However!”, I said “They are gone… I will not be posting them after the display by his bandmates.”.

I didn’t mention that I had seem him also taking the Mickey but left him to think about “professional courtesy”.

“You might not like someone else’ music but when you are sharing a stage, it is just not “on” to sit there making fun of them. This is a community and it hurts the community when fellow musicians behave like that about the music and persona of other musicians.”

I should also have pointed out that when they are in their 40s, with many years of pleasing crowds with great music, and which may be, by then, considered “passé” by musicians and bands in their 20s I would hope that they never have to have asses like that making fun of their music simply because it isn’t their taste.

Neil said “Thanks for telling me”.

I hope he really does. I hope he takes it to heart.

The fact is, as a respectful member of the audience, if I don’t particularly find someone’s music to my taste, I would be polite and clap.

I can’t sing or play an instrument to save my life. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has any sort of talent and gets up on stage, even if what they do isn’t to my taste. It’s a shame that certain musicians don’t haave the same respect for fellow musicians.

Cat groovin’ to the tunes

The Polish Airman

For many years, ever since I was little, really, my mother has told me the story of how, during WWII, her family met and became friends with a young Polish airman, serving with the Polish Air Force, under the auspices of the RAF.In about 1940, my grandfather was recovering from an illness and was sent by his doctor to recuperate at the seaside.Since many hotels were reserved as billets for servicemen and women and other people whose jobs were deemed “important for the war effort”, one had to get special permission to stay at these hotels. As my grandfather was a clergyman, he was given a permit to stay at a hotel, likely in Blackpool (I have to verify this with Mom). It was at this hotel that my grandfather, grandmother and my mother met Alojzy Dreja, a young Polish airman and his captain whose name is forgotten.

They became friends and exchanged letters for some time after. The captain was killed sometime later, in action.

Eventually, however, they lost touch with Alojzy. They never knew what happened to him.

Since my grandfather died between VE Day and VJ Day, and my mother and grandmother had to leave the Manse, any letters which came may have gone astray. My grandmother died shortly after the war and my mother left Scotland for Canada in 1950.

All that remained were my mother’s story and two New Years cards, and accompanying letter dated Dec. 27, 1940, and a Christmas wafer enclosed in a piece of folded writing paper. All these years later, I still have them all, including the Christmas wafer which is now broken in a hundred pieces.

This week, I was reading an article by Stan Oziewicz in the Globe and Mail about his father receiving a medal from the Polish government for his wartime service with 300 Squadron of the Polish Airforce, in England. Information about the squadron spurred me to look again for Alojzy. I had tried a few years ago but found not a mention of him.This time, however, I found a few tantalizing details using Google… details like his being awarded the Virtuti Militari, Poland’s highest military honour, the name of his squadron other details, and that it appeared that he had written a bookon another Polish airman (I think… the book is in Polish). However, I found little else.I did come across two people with the same last name but nothing more about him.

Just clutching at straws, I even emailed one of the two men with the same last name as him. The other one is Chris Dreja, one of the founding members of The Yardbirds! Hardly likely to be related…. I simply passed him over. However…. his name kept popping up so I had a closer look.

Chris Dreja was born in Surbiton, Surrey in 1945. I was born in 1956. My mother said that Alojzy was “a few years older” than her, possibly 22 or so when they met. Was it possible that Alojzy is Chris’ father? It certainly warranted checking, just on the off-chance.

After tracking down the name of his booking agent, I emailed him with the question of whether he knew or was related to Alojzy.

Today, it occurred to me to do a search of the telephone directories in the UK, including old directories. Unfortunately, you couldn’t simply do a search for the name. You had to put in a town or county. Not having any other starting point, I put in Alojzy Dreja and Surbiton.

Lo, and Behold…. Alojzy Dreja was listed in the early 1950s as living in Surbiton, Surrey! Sadly, in doing a subsequent search using the same database but searching other records, I discovered this:

Name : Alojzy Baltazar Dreja
Birth: 1 Jan 1918
Death: Dec 1985 – Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

I cannot tell you how my heart sank when I read this.

My one hope is that my query gets to Chris Dreja and that he is, as I strongly suspect, Alojzy’s son (or at least a relative).

I have to say that it wasn’t until I began this search just a few days ago that I began to feel as though the 1930s and 1940s is fast falling into history (with a capital “H”). I have lived with my mother’s stories of her wartime service, with my father and step-fathers’ stories. Now it strikes me that they are like sand falling through my fingers…. It makes me very sad.

I updated this in a later post in September 2009 and again in Feb. 2010. I actually got the reply from Chris Dreja the day after I wrote the initial post, above.

The Polish Airman

For many years, ever since I was little, really, my mother has told me the story of how, during WWII, her family met and became friends with a young Polish airman, serving with the Polish Air Force, under the auspices of the RAF.

In about 1940, my grandfather was recovering from an illness and was sent by his doctor to recuperate at the seaside.

Since many hotels were reserved as billets for servicemen and women and other people whose jobs were deemed “important for the war effort”, one had to get special permission to stay at these hotels. As my grandfather was a clergyman, he was given a permit to stay at a hotel, likely in Blackpool (I have to verify this with Mom). It was at this hotel that my grandfather, grandmother and my mother met Alojzy Dreja, a young Polish airman and his captain whose name is forgotten.

They became friends and exchanged letters for some time after. The captain was killed sometime later, in action.

Eventually, however, they lost touch with Alojzy. They never knew what happened to him.

Since my grandfather died between VE Day and VJ Day, and my mother and grandmother had to leave the Manse, any letters which came may have gone astray. My grandmother died shortly after the war and my mother left Scotland for Canada in 1950.

All that remained were my mother’s story and two New Years cards, and accompanying letter dated Dec. 27, 1940, and a Christmas wafer enclosed in a piece of folded writing paper. All these years later, I still have them all, including the Christmas wafer which is now broken in a hundred pieces.

This week, I was reading an article by Stan Oziewicz in the Globe and Mail about his father receiving a medal from the Polish government for his wartime service with 300 Squadron of the Polish Airforce, in England. Information about the squadron spurred me to look again for Alojzy. I had tried a few years ago but found not a mention of him.

This time, however, I found a few tantalizing details using Google… details like his being awarded the Virtuti Militari, Poland’s highest military honour, the name of his squadron other details, and that it appeared that he had written a book on another Polish airman (I think… the book is in Polish). However, I found little else.

I did come across two people with the same last name but nothing more about him.

Just clutching at straws, I even emailed one of the two men with the same last name as him. The other one is Chris Dreja, one of the founding members of The Yardbirds! Hardly likely to be related…. I simply passed him over. However…. his name kept popping up so I had a closer look.

Chris Dreja was born in Surbiton, Surrey in 1945. I was born in 1956. My mother said that Alojzy was “a few years older” than her, possibly 22 or so when they met. Was it possible that Alojzy is Chris’ father? It certainly warranted checking, just on the off-chance.

After tracking down the name of his booking agent, I emailed him with the question of whether he knew or was related to Alojzy.

Today, it occurred to me to do a search of the telephone directories in the UK, including old directories. Unfortunately, you couldn’t simply do a search for the name. You had to put in a town or county. Not having any other starting point, I put in Alojzy Dreja and Surbiton.

Lo, and Behold…. Alojzy Dreja was listed in the early 1950s as living in Surbiton, Surrey! Sadly, in doing a subsequent search using the same database but searching other records, I discovered this:

Name : Alojzy Baltazar Dreja
Birth: 1 Jan 1918
Death: Dec 1985 – Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey

I cannot tell you how my heart sank when I read this.

My one hope is that my query gets to Chris Dreja and that he is, as I strongly suspect, Alojzy’s son (or at least a relative).

I have to say that it wasn’t until I began this search just a few days ago that I began to feel as though the 1930s and 1940s is fast falling into history (with a capital “H”). I have lived with my mother’s stories of her wartime service, with my father and step-fathers’ stories. Now it strikes me that they are like sand falling through my fingers…. It makes me very sad.

For the UPDATE, click here

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