When you have no wifi or TV

Taken one summer at the then family cottage in Canoe Cove. That summer we had no TV or internet so we had to find all kids of creative uses for our time. Mostly we read, played outside and went to the beach, but sometimes we would record silly little videos like this.


Who is this kid? My son wakes up at 5am to be at swimming practice at 5:30. After an 1 1/2hr of practice he is home for breakfast. After breakfast he sits and works on his science project. After an hour, he decides to go play basketball with his friends. After an hour passes on the court he comes home to ride his bike to work on a group project with his classmates. He has another swimming practice at 4. Amazing boy.


Family Photo

family portrait 2016

I generally avoid the camera to about the same degree that I avoid the microphone. Both leave me uneasy as I don’t enjoy the camera and can’t stand the sound of my voice. The effect of which is that most of the photos around our home or in the home of our extended family are ones I have taken of the kids. Few home movies either. It’s unfortunate because we have little record of the passage of time, nothing to share with family who live far away.

Luckily Sheryl finally convinced me this past spring to have a photo session with a photographer and despite my initial inability to take off my art directors cap, many were pleased with the results. The above is one of my favourites due to it’s relative spontaneity.


Children should be allowed to get bored so they can develop their innate ability to be creative.

When children have nothing to do now, they immediately switch on the TV, the computer, the phone or some kind of screen. The time they spend on these things has increased.

But children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them.

Dr. Teresa Belton


Things to do in Charlottetown when it rains: Tourism PEI says ‘nothing’

The weather has ben extremely cold and wet in Prince Edward Island thus far this July. A far cry from the 36˚C temperatures we had in Hong Kong last month. We’ve been at a loss for activities with the kids. We can have fun in the cottage playing, reading, and doing crafts but it would be great to get out and do something – we can do these other activities at home anytime.
A quick call to Tourism PEI revealed the following recommendation: go to McDonald’s on University avenue. Not the advice we were hoping for.
With some pressing the representative suggested the Confederation Centre library and The Guild on Richmond street but they didn’t have any information on exactly what and when they had something geared towards young kids.
Needless to say it’s a bit disappointing. Weather here is seldom ideal, you would think some enterprising person would think of activities for families when bad weather hits.


Flying home

We left Siangsan district in Hsinchu on the 4th for the 26 hour trip to Truro, Nova Scotia. Driving to Cannoe Cove in Prince Edward Island is a further 2-3 hr drive which we did the next day. The newly named Taoyuan airport is as efficient and uncomplicated as ever. Unlike many airports elsewhere they tend to do without the usual orgy of shopping and fast food and focus on getting people in and out as quickly as possible.
Our first stop was Vancouver. They also seem to try to reduce time in transit but through the use of automated check-ins and baggage check. I know this is popular for many business passengers but I appreciate dealing with humans on long haul flights. The whole process is dehumanizing enough.
I think partly I wanted to vent t he fact that Air Canada had closed the check-in gate near arrivals forcing us to walk across the whole airport with luggage and children in tow.
I was a zombie when we arrived in Toronto for our brief layover and only recall the horror of how expensive everything was. I’m still getting used to just how much more people pay for fresh food (if you can find it) here in Canada.
We arrived in Halifax early, stayed over night in Truro, and have been recovering at the family cottage in Canoe Cove. I’m going to be here for at least 3 weeks, working half days, reestablishing ourselves here for the future, and spending some quality time with the kids.


Catriona’s first attempt at photography

daddy.jpg
Catriona took this shot with one of my Lomo’s while she was following me around on photo shoot here in Hsinchu. She’s only a bit over 2 years old. I think she certainly deserves to have her own camera for Christmas – what a delight it will be to see the world from her eyes. I do look big to her, as she constantly reminds me. She might just be the next Rodchenko. It’s fun.