“All is quiet on New Year's Day” the song says. Also wet dark and cold in Vancouver starting around 4PM, this time of year. But my camera’s marketing literature says it’s waterproof, so I went out to listen to guitar solos in my head and shoot wet lights.

It was appallingly rainy and chilly and generally awful; had been for days. I was going stir-crazy and tried to interest the family in a walk round the neighborhood but the grownup faction shook their heads at me in an irritatingly-tolerant kind of way, while the toddler squealed “It’s raining, Daddy!” OK then.

Christmas lights on a wet New Year’s Day

I will now digress. In 1989 I did aerobics for a few months because it was free where I worked and it rocked; Our tiny skinny tireless instructor had a Rock & Roll heart, we bounced to backbeat and guitars and don’t you forget it. And she brought the pulse-rate to a climax each time with New Year’s Day, and my personal beat went to the max during Edge’s short but absolutely gigantic guitar break. Every microsecond of it lives in my heart and hind-brain, available on demand. So I listened to it in my head as I walked in the rain with my naked camera round my dripping-wet neck.

Neighborhood store on a wet New Year’s Day

This corner has always had a shop. When we got here it was a vestigial convenience store, run-down and unfriendly. One time I went in to buy a liter of milk and the alarm went off but no-one came and that’s terribly disturbing, so I eventually threw a couple of bucks on the counter and ran for it because we had a baby at home and really needed the milk.

Then it was a yoga/art studio. Then it was for rent, with its own address, “the-studio-at-columbia-and-18th@yahoo.com” or some such. Now it’s an organic-and-locally-grown food space and I really hope they manage to make a go of it.

And hey, they had the lights on as the sun set on the first day of a year with a zero in it.


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From: Stuart Dootson (Jan 11 2010, at 03:38)

It's amazing how good a motivator a dog is for going out for a nice walk in the rain (or snow) - especially when you've got a breed (like a Border Collie) that also goes stir crazy when kept inside :-)

And while my camera isn't waterproof, it goes out with me anyway - it's amazing what you happen to see.


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