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I haven’t contributed anything since early September. I now have a better appreciation of the term ‘writer’s block’.

It is not as though I haven’t had anything to write about. Possibly, there has been too much happening – one has to cope with the basics before venturing further afield.

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Dog Days

After a busy few months, a few things have finished up. It has felt quite strange to have an evening for myself. Now time to revisit some things that have been left by the wayside over the last little while.

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Dogs help a Scottish gamekeeper keep watch in Aberfoyle, Scotland, March 1919. PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAM REID, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Dogs help a Scottish gamekeeper keep watch in Aberfoyle, Scotland, March 1919.
PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAM REID, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The National Geographic has a Tumblr blog simply entitled, “Found“. It has become one of my favourite places on the web. It is essentially just photos from the vast archives of the National Geographic … and the photographs are amazing. The shots date from the 1890’s and cover just about every subject imaginable.

A similar Tumblr blog is from the New York Times. “The Lively Morgue” is comprised of photographs from the Times over the years. A neat part of the Lively Morgue is both the front and back of the photos are shared. The back shows the caption and editor’s notes, which in itself is of interest. While there is a New York focus, as would be expected, the photos are from all over the world.

Both blogs are highly recommended.

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Writer’s Block

Last week I returned home from a 12 day, 7,500 kilometre road trip to Saskatchewan, Ontario and back. You would think that I should be able to come up with some interesting writing after all that.

But I feel as if I need time to process all the thoughts and experiences that occured during my time away. I have done the drive between Alberta and Ontario quite a few times before, but the last one was 15 years ago. This time I took a voice recorder to put down my thoughts on the road but even that hasn’t helped me. I assume the words will come eventually … until then, here are some photos from my journey – with more to come.

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When I first started writing my blog, I posted an entry that explained why I was blogging – or so I thought. However, I am starting to find a different purpose for my writing – that of a family history. This is a little bit of a surprise but in some ways it does make sense.

When Dad passed away in 1994, a friend at the office who had recently lost her father, sent me a note that said that I should consider writing down our family stories. Her experience had been no one in the family had been documenting their past and now she found there was a large void for her generation and those yet to come. This is also sort of along the lines of my friend’s recent advice to label all your old photos. I have to tried to follow Linda”s advice on more than one occasion but I tried to tell our stories in chronological order and soon got bogged down each time. The blog is almost stream of consciousness and so I think I will have better success with this strategy.

So, inter-spaced with other ramblings in the blog will be snippets of Waddell history. Feel free to pass them over if you wish or see if our history resonates with your own. And I probably should tell the kids to look at this once in a while.

Merry Christmas and a joyous and peaceful 2011 to all.

A postscript: Some of my song writing friends sleep with pen and paper by the bed – this is being written on my netbook at 3:30 in the morning. Just another way to capture the thoughts that come in the night. And maybe one of these days, a song for Don.

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