Quay

During last summer Little A. and Big A. accompanied me to Yerseke in The Netherlands to enjoy fresh mussels.

It is a little village situated at the Oosterschelde, a large estuary and a paradise for scuba divers. I know, I did some 90 dives and enjoyed it every time.

There are also oyster farms and we had a stroll before going to my favorite restaurant.

At his quay I made this photograph with my iPhone.

Afterwards we enjoyed a copious and delicious meal in this restaurant that is so special to me.

More than a year ago I went there with Princess and when we came back to my place we made love for the first time.

Oh boy, it was unforgettable, making love with Princess.
Yet it became better and better and better.

It still does, believe me.

Less is more

My Canon G10

I bought it for myself as a Christmas present in 2009 as I didn’t like to walk around all time with my Nikon D300 or D2H and a bag of glass and flashes and so on.

Over the past years it has been a worthy companion, always at my side, a trustworthy friend.
It has never ever failed and as it was always with me I was able to make shots I would have missed otherwise.
The Canon was with me on numerous occasions that were important in my life, it is an emotional loss too.

The G10 accompanied me every day, safely tucked away in my leather Arthur & Ashton briefcase.

I hadn’t used it for a week or two but yesterday I wanted the G10 at my side. Just in case my Nikon flawed.
Plan B.

I wanted to use it to make some candid images of The Baby.

Fuck. When I took it out of my briefcase I immediately saw there was something wrong. The LCD screen on the back was shattered and, worse, when I turned the camera on it made a horrible sound.
A warning flashed on the back screen (it still was in working order) telling me an internal error with the lens had occurred.

My G10 is officially dead and having it repaired is not an option.
As it always is the case with electronics, when it dies, you replace it.

“Dad?”
“Yes Little A.?”
“I’m sorry for you, but please do not throw the camera away.”
“Why?” I asked.
“It is a souvenir. Remember our week in France a few months ago? How much pleasure we had with the camera.”
Indeed we had.
I had the camera with me during my second weekend with Princess.
The G10 was with me on numerous occasions and it seemed it would be like that forever.

I am truly sad and that is why I choose this image made in the Antwerp metro.

Sadness.

And I know it is stupid to mourn for something that so easily can be replaced.

Yet…

Solitude? Sadness?

The Advent

Thursday, December 27th.
23:35.
I got a call from Princess.
“She is finally there,” she whispered.
“O wow,” was the only thing I could say and I felt a deep connection with Princess and her eldest daughter who I’m just getting to know.

Princess told me how she had cut the umbilical cord, the emotions she had experienced assisting her daughters delivery.
The baby was healthy and the mom was doing okay.

After our telephone conversation the first thing I did was enter the baby’s name in my agenda, under “birthdays”.

I was so happy for Princess and her daughter.

Friday, December 28th.
Picked up Princess at her home in the early evening and we drove to the hospital.
It wasn’t only a simple visit but I would make some photographs for the birth announcement card too.

When I watched Princess holding the baby in her arms, Princess’ eyes finding mine, I felt so damned moved. Then she handed this little and helpless being over to me and I almost cried, overwhelmed with emotions. Holding this small creature in my arms, I wished I could go back in time, just a few years. Having a kid with Princess. An impossible dream alas.

It was really an intense evening and the baby was hungry and tired afterwards so it slept all the time and I wasn’t able to make a good portrait.

Princess told me her other daughter, B., had made some pictures in the early afternoon and the baby had its eyes open at that moment.
“Good,” I replied, “maybe we can use these. I would love her images on the birth announcement card. It would be a mutual project.”
B. is one of Princess’ three remaining kids having issues with their mother’s relation.

I drove Princess home and she invited me in, well, just in the hallway.
Everything starts somewhere.

Then she entered the living room and I heard vague voices. Princess asking B., for the photographs she had taken that afternoon.
Silence.
Then Princess appeared with B.
I had not expected that at all.

“Hi,” I said.
“Hi.”
B. patiently showed me the images she had taken.
Fuck, they were really excellent.

“It would be nice to use one of your images,” I said.

To my great astonishment, B. opened her camera, took out the memory card and handed it to me.
It felt awkward taking the card home with me so I asked B. to mail the images.
She nodded yes and went back to the living room.

I was flabbergasted.
What an evening.
Holding her daughters baby, sharing photographs with her other daughter while I was in the hallway.
It felt as an incredible huge step.

We kissed goodbye. It was a long one and very intense.

Then I went home were Little A. was patiently waiting for her father.

Yes, this had been one helluva evening.

Thank you Princess, for sharing these important and magical moments with me.
I love you so much.
Princess and I.

Without words
Without words