Wednesday, September 28, 2011

alpines and other flowers - 1970s

I found some photos I had taken a long time ago (1970s) early on when I first started gardening. The top image shows the Bell Flowers (Campanula latifolia) in the spring before the flower stalks were sent up in a growth spurt. There are more of them shown in the photo below along with a white-flowering plant (name escapes me at the moment). The Bell Flowers had to be transplanted early after the seed sprouted before the taproots developed. The transplant would not survive easily after that point.
The last photo gives a good view of what the section with the flowers looked like at the time. The rest of the planting area contained vegetables and some fruit. At one point there were a couple of red currant bushes planted at the back of this vegetable garden. When I decided to move them, the bushes were far too back, so I took cuttings and rooted those in the area where I wanted those new bushes next to the cedar hedge on the west side of the property. As for the flowers, I planted a new flower bed in the front yard near the porch and incorporated those flowers there. Amazing what happens when you plant a few packets of alpine seed. Its a surprise what comes out! If you would like to see more photos in this series, I plan to post more on my photo blog, so check that source out! - V

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


During the September 4th hike up Eagle Mountain on the Labour Day weekend, this was just one of the views that made it all worthwhile. In this case, we're looking at Mt. Baker to the south in the US (Washington). So where does your hiking experience take you today, or tomorrow? Check out my photo blog for more images from this adventure. The link is in the right-hand sidebar. Have an awesome week! - V

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Katsushika Hokusai

Before I came out west to southwestern British Columbia from southwestern Ontario, I had already bought a couple of good-sized books on Japanese woodblock prints. I have since collected a number of calendars on the subject. The above image is from a colour print by Katsushika Hokusai who lived from 1760 to 1849. In English the print is called :Behind the Great Wave at Kanagawa ("36 Views of Mount Fuji"). Check Wikipedia and other sources for more information if interested.

Before I came out here, I also gave my cousin's wife a Japanese fan (large) that my mother had acquired. As it turns out, my cousin's wife also likes the same artwork! I was in a box and was part of my mother's estate after her passing in 1999. - V


Back in central Canada in southwestern Ontario, autumn meant football when I went to high school. Football anyone? Thanks for the image, Jiel! It brought back some fond memories but I'd have loved to witness someone like Spencer first-hand! - V

autumn grasses and turbulent clouds

Yesterday (Saturday) on returning home from grocery shopping I stopped to take a few photos which included the autumn grasses with their fall colours and the turbulent clouds in the sky above. A storm was brewing but it didn't amount to much in the end. These photos were taken near the Canada Pools building and the Justice Institute of BC in New Westminster. Enjoy! - V

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Here's a nightcap of some cute guys starting with the guy with the shades, something to dream about as you drift off to sleep. They're all wearing jeans or pants of some sort except the first one. You'll have to use your imagination on what he might be wearing. Have a good night, guys! - V


These photos were taken of some of the alpine and other flowers I was growing in the 1970s in the backyard. Most of the alpines were later moved to a flower bed in the front yard. My other passion was growing vegetables, something rather practical. The garden itself involved considerable effort in the springtime with turning the soil, sometimes even double spading. I grew some of the plants, like tomatoes and peppers, indoors to give them a head start. I was living at my parents' home at the time. - V

pecs and other muscles

There are guys that love to have some muscles and when they have them, they want to show them off, and why not. Here is some inspiration in the form of images to motivate those interested. Let Patrick lead the way and the rest follow along! Check out Scott Herman Fitness for helpful hints on exercise and diet. The link is in the right-hand sidebar. And remember to put those muscles to use in your favourite activity! You won't get much in the way of muscular development sitting in a chair in front of the computer or on a couch in front of the television, so get active! Good luck!!! - V

le Clan

Have you ever seen the French film called le Clan? Its available on DVD and gay-themed. I love the hang gliding scene. That's Salimand and Thomas above. It can be seen in French with or without English subtitles. Check it out! - V

some more inspiration

Here's some more inspiration to get you through the day. Have a good one! - V


Those of us old enough to remember know of the bird dance craze back in the 1970s. The music was popular in Europe and I remember it being played on radio broadcasts of German and other European music back then. I even danced to the song back in Europe on my second time back. The image above reminds me of that dance. Mind you, we didn't dance it in the nude but why not? Take time to enjoy life and the positive things it has to offer! - V

an inspiration for Saturday

Let's have Jason lead the way through Saturday showing us a better way. Lead by inspiration! Have an awesome weekend, guys!!! - V

Friday, September 23, 2011

weekend inspiration

The weekend is here. Let Anthony give us some inspiration! Have an awesome weekend, guys! - V

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

happy hour

Back in the 1970s I did something other than what I'm currently doing for a living. Then I was working in retail sales. I've had a very long time to hone my people skills. While holding a job in 1977, we all met at a restaurant-tavern on a Friday after work for "happy hour." It was that time to socialize and talk about things other than work, or that was the plan. This is one such photo taken on one of those pleasant events in London, Ontario. Note the stubby beer bottles, a sign of the times. In the 1980s designer bottles came into vogue and the stubbies disappeared. They disappeared and so did the restaurant-tavern when the mall the establishment was in went through a major renovation. My how things do change! That is a constant in life!! - V

alpines and other flowers

Back in the spring of 1969 I started up a vegetable garden but I did grow some flowers too. I was 16 years of age at that time. Alpines were some of my favourites as you can see in the two photos here taken in the late 1970s. The one at the top is a Bell Flower (Campanula latifolia) and the one below is called Speedwell (Veronica longifolia). I started my collection from seed packets ordered from a Canadian seedhouse and progressed from there. Both grew easily from seed and eventually were found in various places around the garden (backyard). I even grew Edelweiss (Leontipodium alpinum) both from plants purchased from a local nursery and also from seed. At one point I had jars of seed that had been collected for sowing later. The alpines were later moved to a bed ahead of the front porch. In the late 1990s when that was overgrown, I replaced that planting with heathers. - V

Monday, September 19, 2011

Marksburg am Rhein

During my seven week visit to Europe in the summer of 1972 I took the time to see one of the many castles along the Rhein River in western Germany, the Marksburg! I read about the castle before deciding to check it out closer. These are some of the photos taken during my visit.
If you're planning to be in Germany and are interested in seeing the Marksburg, the boat leaves from Koblenz and you disembark at Braubach am Rhein in order to see the castle. The boat trip is southbound (up river). I proceeded on to Bingen after checking out the castles and then back north by train to Koblenz and Koeln (Cologne). From recent photos, I noticed that the roof has been redone. Enjoy the photos! - V

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Strasbourg, France - summer 1972

I visited the city of Strasbourg in Alsace in eastern France along the German border each of the three times I returned to Europe for a visit. The first time there was in the summer of 1972 and then again in 1976 and 1987. You can probably tell why there was such a draw! The German name for the city is "Strassburg" which got its name from the intersecting roads in the region ("Strasse" means road in German).
Here's a view of a tour boat on the Ill River. I took such a tour but the commentary was all in French. I missed the ones in English or German. Below is a view of part of the cathedral in the old town.
The old town has a number of scenic canals as you can see above and below. Check out my photo blog for more images but do enjoy these in the interim! - V

Berlin - east and west - July1972

When I arrived by plan at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport in July 1972, I went straight by rail to my aunt and uncle's place in Dortmund, Germany. After that it was a week's visit to Berlin where more relatives lived, another aunt (mother's sister) and uncle. I took several photos during my stay in West Berlin. Above is a photo of the Soviet Memorial in East Berlin and below a depressing-looking rail yard also in East Berlin.
A view of the Soviet era buildings in East Berlin above and a scene along the wall that divided the city (below).
The no man's land behind the wall on the East Berlin side of the wall (above) and a sign near Checkpoint Charlie looking from the west toward East Berlin.
Here is a view of the Spree River looking into East Berlin from the west and below a shot of the Reichstag in West Berlin not far from the wall.
This is a shot of Alexanderplatz in East Berlin as it appeared in July 1972 and a view of Stalinallee, also in the east.
And below is a view of the Brandenburg Gate as seen from East Berlin. During the visit I got to see the gate from both sides of the wall. All this is now but a memory now that Germany is no longer divided. I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into history! - V