The hardest day of the year

As I do every year, I have booked the day off work on Monday. It will have been four years since Mom died, and the anniversary continues to be a difficult time for me, in which I just want to hide under a blanket. So I plan to hide under a blanket.

But I am a fool, because Monday is easier than today. I woke up on the morning of 25 January, 2012 and showered and got dressed. Mom had been sure that she wasn’t going to make it two days earlier, but seemed a bit better the day before. I went out into the cold morning in Waterloo, Ontario. I got myself a bagel and a coffee. I was about to open my computer when the call came.

It was a shock, but it was also expected. I had been preparing myself for this for a long time – from the initial diagnosis years before, through the recurrences, and finally through the final bout of cancer.

So Monday will be a tough day – it always is. But today is tougher.

22 January, 2012. The next day, my mom will think she won’t make it through the day. She will be wrong. But this day is the toughest day I’ve had. I’ve been in Waterloo for seventeen days, now. Karen and Maggie arrived a couple of days later. Today is their flight back home.

So we start the morning by packing. We pack their things into a bag. We pack their bag into the car. And we drive to the hospice.

This morning, four years ago, my mother said goodbye to my daughter, knowing it was the last time they would ever see each other.

Then we drove to the airport.

I’d write more, but there’s something in my eye.

Rose Glass

A project, at double speed

One thousand three hundred forty six

This morning, 28 December 2015, Maggie is one thousand nine hundred eight days old.

This morning, 28 December, 2015, I posted a picture to Flickr – one thousand five hundred fifty nine in the Maggie-a-day series.

The more observant amongst you might have noticed that the difference between those numbers is closer to a full year’s worth of days than it is to zero. Which means that I am posting year old photos of Maggie – when I’m not posting filler.

So, in an effort to play catch up, I have decided to start posting Maggie twice daily, until we are back to being only a week or two behind reality. Likely early in 2017. Maybe never.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled, double-speed, programming.

One thousand five hundred twenty two

A decision

It has been well over a month since I made a decision to shrink my photo gear, and managed to create a shortlist of cameras that I was considering.

Well, votes have been counted (there was one – mine), and a decision has been made.

Behold! The Sony A7R:



Let’s remind ourselves of the candidates: Leica, Sony, and Fujifilm.

Leica managed to price themselves out of the game early on. I believe that I would truly love a Leica, but at the end of the day I am simply insufficiently wealthy.

In fact, I am scared of Leicas now. I have avoided even handling a Leica camera for fear that I would like it too much. I tried not to look at them for too long when in the shop.

That left me with Sony and Fujifilm.

Sony won out after some handling on three criteria:


In my original comparison, I was comparing the size of the latest version of the Sony and Fujifilm cameras. Sony was definitely bigger – and that was a big drawback.

My analysis was faulty, however.

Sony’s first generation of mirrorless full frame cameras is still recent, still cutting edge, still has better specifications than Fuji or Leica … and is also smaller. My camera is approximately the same size (and perhaps a bit smaller) than its Fujifilm rivals. A Fuji advantage … gone.


One of Fuji’s big advantages was that it was less expensive.

Again, that comparison was with Sony’s second generation alpha 7 line. First generation? Not so much. The camera cost me a little more than a Fujifilm would have, but not by the significant margin I was originally expecting.


Surprisingly, I didn’t enjoy the way the Fujifilm cameras handled. I had expected I would, given that there are reviewers out there saying that Sony cameras were soulless machines that might have better specifications, but are definitely less fun.

Perhaps I didn’t give myself enough time in store to get accustomed to the controls. Perhaps it’s just not for me. But Fujis weren’t fun.

I love the way the Sony handles — I read lots of complaints online indicating that the second generation corrects an uncomfortable first generation design. I didn’t feel that way at all. I absolutely love the handling of this camera.


None of the above were the ‘nail in the coffin’, however – they all served to pull Sony even with Fuji, addressing most of the reasons I initially believed the Fujifilm cameras to be better.

The reason why Sony won out?



Sony have designed their cameras with other manufacturer’s lenses in mind. So I can just put my Nikon lenses on my new camera. And I can put Canon lenses on it, if there’s one I want. And Leica lenses.

Any lens for any SLR or DSLR camera ever made, I can use.

That’s wonderful, and that’s why I’ve ended up here.

And what kind of photos does it take? Pretty good ones, I think …