Of Outhouses and Fried Egg Sandwiches

Attitudes to food and eating influence the quality of life wherever you live. The people of Finland lived through a terrible time during the 2nd World War that is only dimly understood by those of us born and raised in North America. The lasting legacy of this was brought home to me when I lived in Finland for a period in the early seventies. I was visiting an elderly couple who had known my then boyfriend since he was a child.

Our visit to their simple country home was unannounced and greeted with unintelligible cries of joy and great excitement. We were seated in places of honour in the parlour and invited to have a few refreshments with them. The wife had fond memories of my friend’s childhood love of fried egg sandwiches and she announced that she would prepare this treat for us. I understood little Finnish and my friend understood only a little more, so the conversation was pretty much one sided, accompanied by beaming faces and much bustling of food preparation.

Family Outhouse

While this was going on my friend invited me outside to view the outhouse – partly for entertainment and partly so that if the need arose, I would be aware of the location of the facilities. This building was truly a marvel as it was much larger than the conventional outhouses of my experience which were built for single occupancy. It was octagonal in shape and clearly designed for a large family. here were 8 stations in the plain smooth wood platform, each provided with its pile of farming magazines and sheets of newspaper on a string for purposes of hygiene. Two of the places had a raised step in front to accommodate smaller children. Beside every hole was a tin can of lime for sprinkling through the opening after a visit.

The walls were decorated with magazine pages lovingly pinned onto the simple wooden structure. I imagine that in the frigid Finnish winter the experience would have been breathtaking and as brief as nature would allow, as in the summer when the smell generated by the heat would have provided the disincentive to linger.

Finnish Hospitality

The aroma of frying butter greeted us as we sat down in our places and were presented with plates to hold on our lap. There was no place for us at the table as it was completely covered with food. Before we could proceed to the groaning buffet spread before us (and we were expected to move on to this feast) we first had to eat the fried egg sandwiches.

Eggs

Basket of eggs ©Steven Kennard

These were made over the open fire using a metal device with a hinged cup held by two long metal rods with a wooden handle on each. The two slices of white bread (buttered sides against the metal cup sides) were placed one in each half of the cup, with an egg on one half. When the second half was closed over the first, the sharp metal sides of the device cut off the crusts and enclosed the buttered bread and egg making a perfect round which cooked to golden perfection on the wood stove.

This kind and gentle farmer’s wife had prepared 28 of these for the two of us.

As I recall, I managed to eat no more than about 4 and my friend packed away a respectable 10 or more. We were forced to eat from the savory goodies on the table and then to proceed to eat sweet pastries. Before the afternoon was out I was glad that I knew the way to the privy.

During the war the Finnish people had suffered through a period of devastating hardship and had faced starvation on many occasions. After the war the country had struggled to repay a large war debt and rebuild their industry and infrastructure. This time of deprivation and shame had an effect that lingered long after the country had been restored to the place of respect and dignity that it deserved.

Every time any visitor came, hospitality had to be extended that showed that there was no longer any shortage of food. The fried egg sandwiches and groaning table laid for 2 young people were a symbol that demonstrated the overcoming of such formidable obstacles by this proud people. This same attitude is evident in the wonderful hospitality of all Finnish people, even today.

Images ©Steven Kennard

Apart Together

 

I was drawn to the lines and light in this and was particularly enjoying the challenge of using my 40mm prime lens, which meant that I had to move to get the composition I wanted. The little 'pancake' lens is perfect for street and city photography as it makes my camera much more unobtrusive and easier to carry with me.

It wasn't until I saw this that I realized that the two main figures in this appeared to be going in two different directions. They are both with me and presumably want to be going the same way together. The obvious one is Steven, but the purposeful stride belongs to my good friend Janet, who really does know where she is going in this station! We have some great memories of our fun trip to Toronto, good to revisit today when we are buried in a blizzard..

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#transportstops +Transport Stops by +Ken Ilio +Annie Irving +Lauri Novak

and at a stretch: #streetphotography +StreetPhotography by +Tatiana Parmeeva

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Our Streets Are Paved With Gold

 

It is commonly spread about abroad that the streets in Canada are paved with gold. This is meant to be figurative. However, as you can see, it is quite literally true in some places.

This was brought home to me when I looked out of my bedroom window one morning and this was what met my eyes. At last here is the proof! (It really did look like this.) For a bit of Friday fun!

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#powerlinefriday +Powerline Friday by +Natosha Davis

#cableicous +Cableicous by +Charles Strebor

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Golden Waves at Sunset

 

There are moments of special light where the world is tinged with gold. This was a moment when we turned around on the beach walk, ready to head back. The beach was rimmed with golden crests to the low waves breaking on the shore. The effect only lasted for a moment or two and then the moment was over.

Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada – Kingsport Beach.

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#WaterWorld #WaterWorldImages #WaterWorldPhotos #WaterWorldPhotography +WaterWorld​ by +Rob Heron​ and +Gemma Costa

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Winter Roads

 

I was having a chat with my friend +Alexa KH the other day and said that I was about to go out, though the visibility was poor because of the snow. I thought as I wasn't driving (!!) I would take the camera to show just what I meant by blowing snow on the roads. It wasn't actually snowing at that point (I don't think, it's not easy to tell sometimes) but the drifting snow makes it hard to see the edges of the road and builds up drifts that can go right across the road. You can see that the snow isn't even very deep. Ah, the joys of a Canadian winter! :-)

For:
My winter loving friends at #PhotoManiaCanada+Giselle Savoie +Mark HELM
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#winterwednesday by +Antoine Berger +Logan Miller
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Up Close and Tiny

 

02/26 – Macro

The 'macro' theme of this part of our B&W project got me thinking – macro (to me) = tiny or very close. Over the two weeks I took a close up look at lots of things by way of my macro lens and converter – parts of animals, vegetables and … minerals! Curly hairs and outstretched claws on our cats, a finely chopped onion, many other objects came under the ruthless scrutiny of my lens.Because a macro lens is brutal in what it will reveal. Do you know how much it might put you off your food if you saw a tiny hair in the chopped onion? Or can you imagine just how many specs of dust are on the claw of a cat?

My submission today is something that caught my eye yesterday, in our kitchen which is still transformed into a building site during the day. I had to ask what it was as it was obvious that each of these tiny objects would be separated from the strip. They are (for those non builders among us) nails for a nail gun. And I was told that they make them in sizes as long as this but as thin as a needle. The pencil and nail punch are there to give an idea of scale.

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#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen

HQSP Macro
#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Terrie Gray +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Ernest Fdez. +Thies Groden

HQSP Monochrome
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Nader El Assy +Howard Salmon and +tri rini nuringtyas

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New Beginnings Grow From the Past

 

01/26 – New Beginnings

New Beginnings of what? What does it mean? I'm glad you asked, or I hope you wanted to ask. :-).

This is the first of themed fortnightly posting in black and white and I have joined some of my friends in this 26 image challenge for 2015. So what is my own personal challenge? My aim in this challenge is to develop my black and white photography to tell some of my stories better than colour pictures could.

The image you see below illustrates my point. Here is a skilled craftsman who has a workshop full of modern tools and machines. Here, though, he is using a labour intensive method and an antique tool, to achieve the effect he is after. It is exactly the right tool for the job. It's not necessarily the easiest way, but it is the best way for him and for what he is making.

Black and white photography is where it all started – historically and also personally for many of us. We now have tools that allow us to process our digital photographs in colour or in black and white, as we choose. So usually we choose colour as… everyone loves colour. And the picture comes out of the camera in colour. But that's not always best. Sometimes colour is a distraction. Sometimes, to tell a photographic story with the emphasis where you want it, black and white is the answer. My aim is to discover the right time and the best way to use this medium to tell my stories.

In case you are wondering, the craftsman here is in fact my husband +Steven Kennard​​​, and he is making the beading trim for my new kitchen cabinets. The name of a previous owner of the plane he is using is engraved above his own name on the end as you can see by zooming in. He is following in the footsteps of craftsmen through the ages, keeping with the traditions of fine craftsmanship. This is also part of my aim in my exploration of my black and white photography in this project. I am looking forward to it and hope that you will follow me in my journey of discovery.

Steven tells me that this plane was probably owned by his grandfather who would have given it to him. He doesn't know who the previous name belonged to, but it was apparently the custom in England, on the death of a craftsman, such as a furniture maker or cabinetmaker for his tools to be sold to help his widow. His own grandfather (also a skilled woodworker) might have come by the plane this way.

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#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery​​​ +Brandon Luk​​​ +Lauri Novak​​​ +Alison Christensen​​​

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Joni Has a Job-She's a Carrier Dog!

 

At last! The big day has arrived! Joni has her first job.

Joni comes from working stock and there is nothing that gives her more pleasure than having a job to do…. especially if that job can include chasing her blue ball in her work breaks. This was her second walk as a carrier dog and she carried her blue ball in her saddle bags (along with about 2 pounds of additional weight) on her walk. She gets more exercise this way as the weight tires her out (or it's supposed to, anyway!). She doesn't seem to mind wearing the harness with the pack and still manages to fly over the snow after her blue ball. We thought you would like to see Joni in her new job. (Don't tell her, but the bags don't really contain anything that needs delivering, just some rice and lentils, or water. I don't want to spoil it for her.)

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Coastal Cliff Erosion Kingsport Beach

 

This was taken on another late afternoon walk with Joni and Linda at low tide with a threatening sky framing the horizon. (It frequently seems to be threatening over Blomidon Cliff that you see in the distance…. or is it that I just like to take photographs when the sky is heavy with cloud??)

Storms will often leave a changed landscape and on the latest of those walks we could really see the difference in the formation of the sandy cliff walls and the trees that had fallen down the sides of the face. The light was just hitting the sand and the end of that spit of land.

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#coastalthursday +Coastal Thursday by +David Polzine +Jon Kahn

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#hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Nader El Assy +Michael Garza +Leo Schubert +David D +Jesse Martineau +Mike Hankey

#bellesphotos +Belles photos by +Jean-Louis LAURENCE +Claudya Bonnet

#PhotoManiaCanada by +Giselle Savoie +Mark HELM

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