Tuesday, 13 October 2009

"Dance me to the end of love..."


Reggie A Hill (Dr Adder)
2nd April 1949 – 29th September 2009



















On the 29th September 2009 the author if this blog, Reggie Hill, died 14 months after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. His family were with him and he will be sadly missed.

On 3rd October 2009 Reggie's family said
their final farewell, with their friends.

Here are some of the words spoken on that morning.

Although inadequate to convey the loss, they give an insight, along with this blog, of a special man.

Good-bye Reggie.



Dad - part 1



My Dad will be remembered by many of you for many things. As The Women so beautifully put it 'our friend, photographer, music buff, traveler, blogger and brave man'. I have a lifetime of memories, too many to pick a couple to share today. My earliest is of Jennifer’s Rabbit being sung to sooth me to sleep. People say he will live on in his grandchildren. I believe he will, not just through the ways they are so like him but also through his legacy in his love of music and books. One of those books which will always be shared with them is that of the little prince. I wish to read some from this today
.

The little prince on his little planet, scarcely any larger than a house, had only three little volcanoes - and a single rose, which he thought unique and which he loved. Later in his travels he came to a garden with 5,000 roses and said...

"I thought I was rich with a flower unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose...' and he lay down in the grass and cried.

It was then that the fox appeared.

The fox talks to the little prince into taming him - until eventually they care for each other. Then the fox sends him back to look at the roses. And the little prince tells them:

"You are not at all like my rose. As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed

you and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first new him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend and now he is unique in all the world."

The little prince goes back to see the fox and the fox tells him his secret:

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."

"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince so he would be sure to remember.

"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it.

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that's enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars."

The tender friendships one gives up, on parting, leave their bite on the heart, but also a curious feeling of a treasure somewhere buried'

Goodbye dad, granda x



Clocks


Do you know how many clocks there are in Belfast city centre? No, neither do I, except for maybe the Albert clock and that one that used to be above H. Samuels in front of the city hall. Reggie knew how many there were because he knew what was important in life. Not clocks, but spending the time to look for them while everyone around him is busy being busy - going here and there, doing this and that. He put pictures of them onto his blog along with other things that interested him, and the occasional rant.


He started his blog several years before he became ill, and called it Wind, Sand and Stars – look it up on Google, it’s ranked 9th. I used to give him a hard time about it, telling him he had too much time on his hands. But the truth was that Reggie used his time differently…..


Reggie wasn’t a wealthy man in the traditional sense, but then he didn’t crave the acquisition of “Stuff” – although it’s true he did have some questionable collections, he didn’t desire the latest and greatest.


The last few years has seen the appearance of the expression “time poor”. Well in this respect Reggie was truly wealthy, but not because he somehow figured out how to get 30 hrs into a day or had nothing to do, because Reggie worked as hard as anyone. It was because Reggie chose to use his time for something other than gaining stuff, or getting one up on someone in the office or impressing the boss. He chose to have a picnic, enjoy a bottle of red wine, spoil his grand-kids, go to France, enjoy the company of friends and family …and good craic….. and look for the clocks on the tops of buildings. He can’t take “stuff” with him, but he can leave a collection of memories that money couldn’t buy.



So the next time you’re rushing through this or any city, have a look up and see how many clocks you can find, and check if you’re using your time as well as Reggie did making memories for the people that mattered.

I know I’m richer for it.


My Friend

Clocks

Do you know how many clocks there are in Belfast city centre? No, neither do I, except for maybe the Albert clock and that one that used to be above H. Samuels in front of the city hall. Reggie knew how many there were because he knew what was important in life. Not clocks, but spending the time to look for them while everyone around him is busy being busy - going here and there, doing this and that. He put pictures of them onto his blog along with other things that interested him, and the occasional rant.


He started his blog several years before he became ill, and called it Wind, Sand and Stars – look it up on Google, it’s ranked 9th. I used to give him a hard time about it, telling him he had too much time on his hands. But the truth was that Reggie used his time differently…..

Reggie wasn’t a wealthy man in the traditional sense, but then he didn’t crave the acquisition of “Stuff” – although it’s true he did have some questionable collections, he didn’t desire the latest and greatest.

The last few years has seen the appearance of the expression “time poor”. Well in this respect Reggie was truly wealthy, but not because he somehow figured out how to get 30 hrs into a day or had nothing to do, because Reggie worked as hard as anyone. It was because Reggie chose to use his time for something other than gaining stuff, or getting one up on someone in the office or impressing the boss. He chose to have a picnic, enjoy a bottle of red wine, spoil his grand-kids, go to France, enjoy the company of friends and family …and good craic….. and look for the clocks on the tops of buildings.


He can’t take “stuff” with him, but he can leave a collection of memories that money couldn’t buy.


So the next time you’re rushing through this or any city, have a look up and see how many clocks you can find, and check if you’re using your time as well as Reggie did making memories for the people that mattered.


I know I’m richer for it.


My Friend

This is a personal and (forgive me) a sentimental tribute to My Friend

















I call him Reggie – despite what the Belfast Telegraph told us!!

We all had different relationships with Reggie

Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, Brother, Brother-in-law, Uncle..


Friend: I qualified for at least 2 of these and

Most of all I was glad to be his Friend.


I’ve known him since the summer of 1967and he brought Myrtle into my life about a year later.

All the kids in our street called them John and Yoko!!


What a great time to meet a friend.

I was 11 when we met and he became like an older brother to me..

but it was better than a brother. I thought he was the coolest person on the planet and he was my access to all things cool.

He knew who was “happening Man” (But we were too cool to use that language) and he knew who was to be the next big discovery in the music world or the arts long before we heard them on the wireless.

He introduced me to Velvet Underground, Tim Hardin, Janis Joplin, got me copies of the Underground Press..Remember the UNDERGROUND PRESS and underground music??

Anyway we were cool…but he was never too cool to take himself too seriously and saw the humour in a situations.

He Loved the different. He looked for Beauty in things the rest of us missed He loved the Obscure the eccentric the slightly skewed things that made the world less ordinary. A glance at his Blog demonstrates that with his collection of thoughts and images on things different…and all his photos on facebook.

But long before the Internet, when out on our rambles he would see some discarded item and bring it home and the next time you’d see it, it was adapted as piece of furniture or adorning the walls. He was an artist with a difference..

I’ve said he was cool and one of my many memories of our outings was going to see a Documentary about Janis Joplin at the QFT.


We went early expecting a crowd. Arrived and there was no crowd – we were first in and got the best seats in the house. Then in came three Nuns and they sat right in front of us.

We whispered to each other about how brilliant this was and remembering the scene in Woodstock where the Nun threw a piece sign to camera we began adjusting our views of the modern Church.

Anyway the lights dimmed and the film started with dreamy shots of Skies, Clouds and calm seas accompanied by violins playing soothing music.

And we thought this is different.

A seagull glides in the scene and eventually it lands and speaks to us!!

Reggie says out loud “Hah a seagull with an American Accent!!!


And we fell about laughing for the rest of …not Janis Joplin but ..we were in the wrong show and we were watching Jonathon Livingston Seagull –

WE were in the wrong film!!

We laughed all the way through a supposedly serious film about the meaning of life.. with talking American seagulls. Mostly though we were laughing at ourselves (‘cause maybe we’d been just a bit Too Cool by getting the best seats first)


We had to pay again to see Janis..and it wasn’t nearly as funny.


His humour was Just one of the many wonderful facets of my Friend Reggie.


When we heard he had passed away. Yvonne Christine and I were standing on a bridge on the canals of a Rainy Amsterdam. We were watching a man in a yellow sequined coat with silver top hat sailing in tiny circles in a tiny boat and he was playing a wooden organ and trumpet….

and then Christine’s mobile phone rang…

and I thought …..

Reggie would just love this - and I’m glad that’s how I heard the news.

We held each other and cried in the rain while one of the eccentrics of the world entertained a canal bridge and He would have loved it.

As I have said he loved so many things and so much.

But what he so obviously loved most was his family.

Myrtle, Cathy, Joanne and he adored his grandchildren Rebecca, Toby and Zane.

I agreed with my friend so much about his family that I joined it!!

I thought it would be appropriate to leave you with something from Reggie’s Dad.

His dad was a great collector of words of wisdom and poetry. He carried pen and paper around and would note down words and poetry that caught his interest on his walks and on his travels ..or in books. ….(sounds a bit familiar!!)

Just after Reggie’s Dad Hill passed away, We found this verse in his note book…..


From a Native American Burial Ceremony.



Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there I do not sleep

I am a thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints on snow

I am the sunlight on ripened grain

I am the gentle autumn rain

When you awaken in the morning hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight

I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not stand at my grave and cry

I am not there; I do not die.

……………………………………….

Reggie, We’ll miss you.

and I’ll look forward to meeting you

in the sun and the wind

and the rain and the snow

and the stars

and I’ll wait for you in the morning hush.



Dad - part 2


When people talk to me about my dad, I have noticed that one word in particular comes up again and again. Whether discussing his love of travel, music, books, films .... or good food and drink ... or even his choice of clothing colour combinations .... one word people seem unable to avoid is "interesting".

I'm glad people see my dad that way, because to me he has always been that first - and then so much more. Let me tell you, being my dad's daughter was an education in fascination and imagination - and yet with a solid foundation of realism. I remember dad reading to me as a child, and I would hear him sing 'Jennifer's Rabbit' to my sister Joanne down the hall as well. The book he read me most of ten was called 'Rebecca's World'. My dad injected such life and humour into the characters that they stayed with me long beyond my childhood. So much so, in fact, that when my own beautiful daughter was born it seemed the most fitting thing to name her after the pragmatic, curious main character Rebecca that my dad had brought to share my young dreams.

Both 'Rebecca's World' and 'Jennifer's Rabbit' have a common theme, where the young ladies of the titles escape to far off strange new worlds, and my dad loved to cultivate a good imagination. We were regularly transported to places through looking glasses, down rabbit holes, under the sea, or out beyond ... where the wild things are.Rebecca and Jennifer always came home safe, and dad tried to keep us similarly grounded. He enjoyed minds that query the real things in life, taking a thoughtful approach to new information and he had respect for the process of honest education. As well as all the fantasy, my childhood was filled with learning. If I had hours I could tell you about the long walks we all regularly took as a family. So much time together.

Dad always had time to stop and help me identify a flower or berry. There were word games and quizzes too, and as soon as I was old enough to hold a camera we were in ...friendly ... competition to get the best images from our day trips. (I think I beat him once only, when I learned a new trick with depth of field!)

Basically, what I'm trying to share with you all is that I don't think I could have had a better male role model in life. I still recognise when I'm using basic skills I learned from my dad - who was indeed, in summary, one of
the most interesting men I have ever been privileged to know.




Hobo’s Lullaby (EmmyLou Harris)


Go to sleep, you weary hobo

Let the towns drift slowly by


Can't you hear the steel rails humming


That's the hobo's lullaby


Don't you worry about tomorrow

Let tomorrow come and go


Tonight you're in a nice warm boxcar

Safe from all the wind and snow




I know the police cause you trouble


They cause trouble everywhere


But when you die and go to heaven


There'll be no policemen there


I know your clothes are torn and ragged



And your hair is turning gray


Lift your head and smile at trouble


You'll find peace and rest some day



So go to sleep, you weary hobo


Let the towns drift slowly by


Can't you hear the steel rails humming


That's the hobo's lullaby









Saturday, 19 September 2009

Mary Allin Travers, 9 November 1936 - 16 September 2009.

Obituary:

Henry Gibson: September 21, 1935 – September 14, 2009

Henry Gibson, who died on September 14 from cancer at the age of 73, was a fine comedic actor and living pun. (Born James Bateman, his stage name was a tip of the hat to playwright Henrik Ibsen.) Gibson initially became famous in the late ’60s with his turns on the satirical comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. more:


Obituary:

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Willy Ronis, photographer: 14 August 1910 - 12 September 2009.

WILLY RONIS
Willy Ronis, photographer: born Paris 14 August 1910; died 12 September 2009.

One afternoon in 1949 in the South of France, Willy Ronis came upon his wife Marie-Anne washing. She stood on a stone flagged floor, her shoulders illuminated by the strong Provencal sun. "I said to her, 'stay like that' and taking the camera from the chest of drawers, went three steps up the staircase and shot three frames." In that instant, Ronis made a portrait which has become emblematic of the romantic and wistful hedonism of post-war French photography. The innocent sensuality of a woman's body, set against the roughness of floors and walls, the intricate tracery of leaves and branches seen through an open window, all present, a tableau of a momentary paradise.


Photography had always played an important role in Ronis's life. His father owned a photographic studio in Paris, and after serving as a meteorologist in the French Air Force the 22-year-old Ronis joined the family business. But studio portraiture, with its posing and artifice, soon lost its appeal; by the mid-1930s, his growing fascination with photographing the street life of Paris had propelled him towards an intense and politically committed photodocumentary. As-signments came from picture magazines, in particular from the leftist journal Regards.
He photographed in factories and on the streets, producing harsh critical documents in which there was no space for romanticism. By the end of the 1930s, Ronis had mounted two one-man shows, "Neige dans les Vosges" and "Paris la Nuit". Stimulation came from new friends like the emigre photojournalists Chim Seymour and Robert Capa, as Paris became the centre for European photojournalism. more:

Friday, 7 August 2009

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

In my childhood trees were green
And there was plenty to be seen.

Come back early or never come.

My father made the walls resound,
He wore his collar the wrong way round.

Come back early or never come.

My mother wore a yellow dress;
Gently, gently, gentleness.

Come back early or never come.

When I was five the black dreams came;
Nothing after was quite the same.

Come back early or never come.

The dark was talking to the dead;
The lamp was dark beside my bed.

Come back early or never come.

When I woke they did not care;
Nobody, nobody was there.

Come back early or never come.

When my silent terror cried,
Nobody, nobody replied.

Come back early or never come.

I got up; the chilly sun
Saw me walk away alone.

Come back early or never come.

- Louis Macneice



This moving poem by Louis MacNeice is about the illness and loss of his mother, who died when he was five years old.

"She suffered gynaecological problems, a mental breakdown, which meant she left the family to go into a nursing-home in 1913, and, finally, death from tuberculosis a year later.

The loss of his mother at such an early age had a profound and lasting effect on MacNeice; his sister Elizabeth writes that “His last memory-picture of her walking up and down the garden path in tears seems to have haunted him for the rest of his life”.

“Autobiography”, one of his finest poems, turns this haunting into eerily effective art as it moves from an evocation of the beloved mother,

“My mother wore a yellow dress; / Gently, gently, gentleness”,

into the nightmarish aftermath of her going,

“When I was five the black dreams
came; / Nothing after was quite the same”

(Michael O'Neill, University of Durham)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Monday, 29 June 2009

Ardglass shop


Saturday, 27 June 2009

Friday, 26 June 2009

Bastille Market


Saturday, 13 June 2009

Friday, 12 June 2009

Somewhere in Belfast


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Fountain Lane


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Happiness is a thing called Belfast

A couple of photos taken in Belfast today - don't need to say much about the above pic. ...


... but, there's artistic licence and there's artistic licence. Belfast City has been compressed to the size of a postage stamp almost. Well can't really complain about that, it does make a nice image, but, much as I like the poster, I'm afraid I really cannot find anything complimentary to say about the product.

Oh, I thought the DuckTour bus could be found in Dublin!!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Till earth leans over


An exhibition of new works by John McSorley to be held at the Artz Yard Gallery between 30th May and 25th July 2009.

Now an annual event at Artz Yard Gallery, Portaferry, John McSorley’s
eagerly awaited 2009 exhibition of new work will not disappoint. Followers of
his work will recognise his continuing love affair with the nocturne. In the
West of Ireland, a river dances with the reflected light of a glorious sunset,
while a delicate crescent moon, accompanied here by Jupiter and Venus, rises
gracefully in the darkening sky. more:

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

I got mentioned on U105 this morning .....

... well, more or less, I was called the 'man with a camera' (c:

And here are the photos to prove it.....
Maurice is doing this for a good cause so go along and support him (preferrably with some hard cash) or visit the justgiving web site and make a donation or just give him a wave of encouragement. Go ahead, make his day.

Maurice J, Lindy McDowell, and Nicky Fullerton


More here:


Thursday, 23 April 2009

The next Lewis Hamilton?

Once again Belfast's City Hall was the scene of an early morning photo-shoot but not with scantily clad models this time. Object of the photographer's attention was none other than Portadown's rising racing star - Adam Carroll, who some are saying is destined to become the next Lewis Hamilton. Given Hamilton's recent performances I hope Adam does better than that. Apparently there may be an announcement made shortly about Adam's entry into the F1 arena - I, for one, can't wait to see him competing against Hamilton etc. and wish him the very best of luck.


Manipe F1 reports the following .....

Ulsterman Adam Carroll is in talks with several F1 teams about a possible race seat for 2010, Irish national broadcaster RTÉ is reporting tonight. Carroll's exploits in A1GP, where he is currently battling for the championship with Team Ireland, have not gone unnoticed, having previously conducted many test miles for the Honda F1 Team as part of their young driver programme.

Although no team names were mentioned, RTÉ says that the Portadown man is in discussions about an F1 foray, although he is also eyeing Indycar as a future option. Many drivers on the F1 grid have their contracts up for renewal at the end of the current season, with under-pressure drivers such as Sébastien Bourdais, Nelson Piquet, Giancarlo Fisichella, Nick Heidfeld and Kazuki Nakajima all at the end of their current deals. Also a possibility for Carroll on the F1 grid are the many new teams expected to debut next year, with as many as three new teams rumoured, offering an extra six seats.

... and, for those of you who are interested, you can see more pictures of the car here: (and a couple of scantily clad models).