that i had taken 33 years ago
on September 29th, 1976
it had survived the 83 bushfire in someone else's keeping
i shot it with a Canon FTb...an honest SLR camera that doesn't do anything unless you ask it.
you set the exposure and the aperture and press the button. it has a light meter but if the battery on that goes flat you can still take a picture with a lovely real clunking sound.
i still have it.
i still go back to that view, too. it's from the top of Russian Hill in San Francisco. and hey, those are eucalyptus leaves dangling in the foreground.
that famous bridge is in the far distance, a little bleached with time.
we'd come to San Francisco having driven a Jeep across Canada and then down the west coast of the US. that the Jeep [known fondly as the Heap and acquired for the princely sum of $200] got so far is testament to the mechanical nursing skills of my Papa. He's [still] more than just a pretty face and a PhD in Glaciology [mind you, i do sometimes question his judgement, such as when he let my unlicensed 14 year old brother take the wheel across Alberta]
it was the end of a long wandering that had seen us living next to the hayloft of a farmhouse in Tirol, swinging into Easter Sunday Mass at San Marco [Venezia] and nearly being arrested for insanely laughing on the train while it was waiting at a station in the Basque region [that story is too hard to explain, you had to be there]
in our luggage we were nursing a kefir fungus, reputedly smuggled out of the Caucasus by a Benedictine monk. and if it wasn't, well it's a good story. i'm not sure i want to know where he hid it, though.
kefir is a fermented milk drink. legend has it that drinking it will extend your longevity and that if you're a consistent consumer you may aspire to become a Sesquicentenarian.
33 years ago we were drinking kefir in San Francisco. 33 years ago i had a 22 inch waist, long hair, an aversion to shoes and wanted to be an architect.
some things have changed.
i didn't make it through architecture school [foolishly stormed out after a huge row during a crit session], the waist has sadly become rather sturdier and i've developed an affinity for steel capped boots [especially when drafting cattle]
but i still have long hair
i'm still drinking kefir.
today with the added luxury of a swirl of maple syrup.