September 18, 2019

Dog Daze

Popsicles on a hot day with Rebecca & Evey.
Miss Arlo multitasks in the shade.
Little Miss Evey girl! 
Benny's first popsicle.
Pearl & Arlo, Beatty cousins!
Experimentation in good company between B and Evey.
Girl, its MY turn.
Leo and Benny.
Leo gives it away for free.
Evey and Benny go for a swing.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Bernard happily reads with his dad.

Quick! It is essential that I tuck away this summer roll before the snow flies! This day was one of those random, super lovely, good company, sticky, easy breezy kind of days spent with our Beatty-Petkau clan. Cousin party all around!

Winnipeg, MB; July 2019
Canon AE-1 / FP4 400

September 17, 2019

Here & Now

Father and son scope out the Assiniboine River valley at Spruce Woods, MB; September 2019.
Petkau family portrait on a beautiful ridge. September 2019.

September 11, 2019

Mad Scientist

Megan the Mad Scientist, age 8 / Grade 3; 1994.

I am going to lay this photograph here as it is a favourite of mine, captured by my mother during a pivotal time in the development of my character. Halloween 1994. Grade three class party. Blue food colouring in a wacky bottle to complete the Mad Scientist look. Why was my mom there I wonder? Glad she was to catch the moment. I remember feeling very empowered by this look. Dad's blazer, Grandpa Syd's tie. Not pictured, an enormous pair of trick ears that one could pull a string back and forth through each ear via a tube style headband hidden under the wig. Hot and tight contraption, not for the faint of heart. This character was one of my favourites to play on my "Mad Scientist radio show" (which in reality was just me recording a meandering, nonsensical program in different voices--nary a thing to do with science).

Today I slipped this physical photograph into a letter addressed to my dear friend Leo (nearly eight himself and in Grade 3 this year). Had Leo and I been children at the same time, we would have been fast friends methinks. Two little weirdos looking from the outside in, bonded in eccentric solidarity :) Had I discovered Harry Potter at seven, my mind would have been blown also. Thanks be to Leo Isadore for the introduction of dear Harry into my life.

I am not really sure what I am trying to say here. I suppose I simply miss my young friend since he moved to Vancouver last week. Two weeks before he left for the west, his mom Colette (a mentor and friend of mine) gave me a ring asking for a favour: "Hi Meg, would you be willing to bake a cake and attend a surprise Seven and a Half birthday party for Leo in the next hour? He needs this." Why yes, yes I could. Never in my life have I whipped up a carrot cake so quickly! With the addition of some shitty store-bought icing, about an inch of rainbow sprinkles and a pack of ten marble balloons from the corner store later, we were in business. One half plus seven candles flickered as Leo blazed into the parlour with his caregiver Mel and exclaimed in delight, "IS THIS FOR ME??????". Why yes! We had a delightful party (Leo, his best bud Jo plus three women who love him). I gifted him a special navy woollen cape with a brilliant red interior that I had thrifted about a decade ago and have been hanging on to. I wore it about once a year when I needed to pack a punch for my annual Witch costume at Halloween. But he needed it more than I.

In the card I wrote "wear this cape for courage". Well, it has been three weeks and he has been wearing it everyday I hear. My hope is that someone takes note of his courage and appreciates his bold spirit and welcomes him into their fold.

Love from one Mad Scientist to the Harry Potter of my heart. Wind in your sails, boy!

August 29, 2019

Dear Benny Bird

Benny 9.5 months cruising around the back yard on Home.

Yashica 72-E half frame goodness with 40+ year old colour film. WHY NOT eh? Pretty good!

This morning you woke me up with your chuckling coming from the foot of the bed. Then it was the sound of your little hands whacking the bed situated on the floor. I am guessing you were feeling frustrated by the fact that you haven't figured out how to climb up yet. It won't be long. I rolled over and out of my nest and reached to grab your tiny diapered body. You grabbed my nose like a piece of low hanging fruit. Good morning to you too, boy! While you nursed, you warmed your cold hands up in my armpit and in that little pocket under the other breast. Smartie. Satisfied in the meantime, you left me and crawled from the bed onto the chest, onto a pile of books and pulled up to standing on the laundry basket. Impressive feat for seven in the morning. Grinning with pride four feet in the air, I hauled you down and we walked into the kitchen in search of coffee / bananas / slippers. Diaper, pyjamas, slippers. Fingers slipping through the handle of my favourite mug. Baby sounds. Ah Uh and then the sweetly whispered Ah babababa ma ba Tuh Huh uh.

Breakfast appeared: oats, blueberries, banana, yogurt. Fresh watermelon from Auntie Daryl, watermelon fairy. Your eyes twinkled at that sight. Your pajamas never to be the same again after that feast. Satisfied yet again, you banged your spoon on the table to let me know what was what until I washed you up and put you down on the cold floor. You zipped over to the pram waiting in the mudroom and yelled in short "uh" bursts until I came, donned my boots and packed you in for a stroll to the Tot Lot. You are a funny, determined little person Bernard. I like you so so much. I especially appreciate the look / side smirk you give me when I catch you doing something naughty and the way you hold all of your giggles in your belly until your dad magically gets them out and we delight in your delight for the billionth time. Time speeds on. Every day is a new adventure. More brave steps between A and B. My encouraging, outstretched hands don't cut it anymore. You want to do it BY YOURSELF. And so you do, exploring more of the house on foot every hour.

I just want to sniff your neck and kiss that juicy spot at the top of your shoulder and nibble on your ears and smooch your cheeks and feel your lips against mine and gently tug on the small thatch of hair at the back of your head with my lips all day long. But no, you are too fast, too busy to let me linger. Too much to see! And so I let you go, running, crawling, speeding, tumbling head first into this insane world. Okay! Bye bye! Have courage and know that your momma loves you!

Now you are sleeping and I am enjoying a cup of Rooibos tea in solitude while classical music drifts in from the kitchen radio. Oh yes, this week you have been working on your head-bopping rhythm when music comes on. Everyday something new. Everyday more love.

Love you forever my boy!



Experimenting with sound in good company. July 2019

August 26, 2019

Red Rock Lake 2.0

Cousins take a sink bath, cottage edition.
Sink bath, party of one.
My dad teaching us how to knot lures properly.
Granny and grandson.
Dad and son.
Mama and boy.
Bubble machine wonder.
Sun prints exposing under hot midday sun.
B rinses her work.
My print post 15 minute full sun exposure, pre water and peroxide rinse.
Self portrait in the hydrogen peroxide bowl. Can you make out my cyanotype as it oxidizes? 
Sun prints drying on the line.


Red Rock Lake July 2019 2.0 // 35mm edition
Canon AE-1 / FP4 125

August 20, 2019

Spruce Woods

Cousins on a bench on a rainy morning.
Atlas supports Bernard (as per usual).
Arlo gives it away for free.
Granny Tammy and Benny in the camper.
Cozy camper.
This is me, as captured by Arlo. She nailed it!

A few snaps from July. This family took a quick trip to Spruce Woods to join Iain's folks and our nephew and niece for one night. Benny's first tenting experience and the inaugural voyage with the Pet's new pop-up camper. It rained like cats and dogs in the morning but we had a blast none the less :)

Canon AE-1 / FP4 125

July 23, 2019

Dominique Island


One and a half rolls depicting a lovely weekend getaway with good friends in a beautiful spot on Shoal Lake. Did you notice the pick axe and hammers being wielded by Effie, Noam and Leo in the photo of the boys on the rock? The kids ran wild and spent the better part of the weekend "mining for precious metals" in rock by the water, chasing each other with pointed spears, exploring the island barefoot and staying up later than the adults. Lord of the Flies a la Dominique Island. Ahhh to be a child of summer. The big kids doted upon young Benny in their down time. He was so fascinated and energized by their funny antics.

Great getaway! These are some images I felt free to capture at the time.

Kiev 60 / FP4 100
Shoal Lake, Ontario; June 2019