The week flew by here in Europe with a weekend in Gent and then five days in Berlin. I met up with my cousin and two other very close friends and had a blast the whole time. It was fast but I am a little surprised how much was stuffed in. Last night, I spent the evening around Alexanderplatz and went up the Fernsehturm for a true bird’s-eye view of the city. Berlin’s TV Tower is referred to by some as the toothpick and the TV asparagus I’m told. I expect there are more nicknames but its status as an icon of Berlin and a dominating presence in her skyline elevates it above reproach in my book.
When I was down on the ground, the Berlin lacht festival was in full swing so the performances, partying and laughter overran the square. This image shows a bit of the colours and mood of this event – all under the watchful eye of the tower with a lump in its throat.
Anyways, a quick image while I wait for my plane and get home to my kids. I will share more from the whirlwind soon I hope.
I crossed the pond last night to come to Berlin for a whirlwind visit with my cousin. I did find Berlin, and him so the trip’s off to a great start. We’re off to Belgium for the weekend and then I will be looking forward to finding much more of Berlin.
This was a quick shot of transportation by transportation while waiting for the metro on the U7 at the Jakob-Kaiser-Platz station.
I started this year’s Calgary Stampede with an afternoon at the rodeo with two good friends. We were part of a larger band of harmless troublemakers so the party started before and continued after the rodeo was over. Photography wasn’t my focus on this visit to the grounds but I did have some good opportunities from the seats in the infield right above the chutes.
It was great to see the cowgirls, cowboys and all of the animals in action. Judging by the capacity crowd and all of their happy faces, I wasn’t alone. Happy Stampede!
To my fellow Canadians, and anyone else with a soft spot for the country, Happy Canada Day! 149 years old today!
This was the annual bike parade in Redwood Meadows led by our local Fire Department. And followed closely by my daughter, Kezia, in the middle looking back.
My dearest boy on your ninth birthday I should soon start to refer to you as a young man for that is what you are and have done the work to become. I love how much fun you have doing the things which you are drawn to do. I love your fierce commitment to equality and fairness. I love the joy you take from time spent with me, our family and your friends. I love everything about you and especially love learning about the new things you pick up, the dreams you have, the challenges, the triumphs and everything else that comes.
I tremble, a little, when I think how fast your first nine years have flown by but I am incredibly excited to see where you will take the many yet to come. I am humbled to be your father and honoured to be your friend.
Happy birthday my son! Let’s make sure all of the wishes you made come true!
I found this ice rink in a park near Marda Loop. There were a few people playing hockey under the night lights. I stopped for a few minutes to play with the patterns of the trees and lights against the rink. I loved the setting and that everyone was out to enjoy this most traditional of Canadian pastimes.
A window into a traditional Tibetan home in a rural village. This was from one of my day trips out of Shangri-La and up into the front range of the Himalayas in the northern corner of Yunnan province. Many of the people living in the small mountainside towns, farms and villages are ethnic Tibetan. It was an honour to see some of their culture during a visit to this village.
It was interesting as this is a place that tour buses stop during day trips into the mountains so it is a tourist focused place but the people living there had a joy and vibrancy about them which stood apart from many similar locations. I really enjoyed the couple of hours that I spent there.
Today you celebrate your 7th birthday. The joy you share with me and everyone you touch is just one of your amazing gifts. Every minute I am with you I fall deeper in love with you, with everything that you are and with everything that you are becoming. It is a wonderful honour for me to be your daddy, to be part of your journey and to celebrate you. Happy birthday my little angel. Happy birthday Kezia.
Kezia and Kian had fun from early Christmas morning when Kezia told her grandparents she just missed Santa Claus. We made it out sledding in the backyard before lunch and then we had family visit in the afternoon.
On Boxing day we had thirty family members come over for dinner – kids and adults all seemed to have a great evening.
I hope everyone is enjoying a lot of family time!
I caught Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday and absolutely loved it. The continuation of the saga is a joyride I have been looking forward to enormously and the movie met my loftiest hopes
Earlier in the week, my kids and I went downtown for my birthday evening and we saw these Stormtroopers walking near The Bow. Great foreshadowing for us. There was a film crew with them so it was some form of promotional shoot. That didn’t stop the kids and I getting really excited daydreaming about walking into the middle of a real life Star Wars scene.
On this day of remembrance of those who have served, sacrificed and given so much to so many we say thank you. It is a small repayment of our debt to you but is heartfelt and my children understand the history that you have helped shape for our country. To those in our family who gave their lives and those who returned with memories no one should be burdened with, we love you and we remember.
The image above is of the Governor General’s Foot Guards during the Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (note: this image was taken August 2008)
After a great evening with another family who came over for dinner, we enjoyed having some time playing around before bed. Kian and Kezia had a bunch of glow sticks that they connected together and swung around in the dark. We had a lot of fun tracing out crazy patterns during a series of long exposures.