Canadian Wide-Boy


A big package arrived this morning, just as I was tucking into a bowl of corn flakes, it was my Canada project films back from the processors. I was too excited to wait and while I held each sheet of negatives up to the living-room window my corn flakes went soggy.
I’m not going to start scanning the actual ‘serious’ images, the ones shot on 6x7cm film, until Monday, but here a few shots I made on the Holga 120 Pano 6x12cm camera. Film is either Fuji Acros 100 or Kodak Portra 160. All of these shots were taken in and around Hamilton, Ontario, where I stayed for a few days before heading north. The last shot, the one of the tv, was shot here on the Isle of Man, I was just using the film up…

As I did last year, I’ll be publishing extracts from the diary that I kept. For this article I thought I’d publish the last entry from last September’s trip to Yellowknife, which I did with writer and very good friend, Trevor Gibbs.

img338img348img337img344Wednesday 26th September 2012

Off the plane we walk through immigration. Trevor gets upset because I don’t have one of those electronic, biometric passports which would apparently speed things up through border control and make our transit back onto British soil a lot quicker. I walk through the cattle stalls and clear immigration in less than a minute.
We hang-around Heathrow while I decide what I’m going to do with 122 rolls of unprocessed film. I think it might be a good idea to just get in a taxi and head to the nearest post office, but we decide to stick to the original plan – train it into London Victoria and find a post office there.
The train journey is pleasantly simple, we pass through all the nice bits of London, but by the time we arrive in the City I can sense the slightest glimmer of irritability starting to build-up in both me and Trevor. We just want to get home and these two bags of film are becoming stressful.
I go to WHSmith and buy four large Jiffy bags and address them individually to Peak Imaging in Sheffield, I’m going for the “don’t put all your eggs…” theory. I walk to the post office and change my mind, again, I put all the bags into one big Jiffy bag and send the films north for £15.80, registered.
We have lunch in some generic pub opposite Victoria station, I choose chicken pie, but we both somehow end-up with fish and chips, I’m too tired to complain. The service is terrible, the food mediocre – £14 for a plate of food you could buy elsewhere for half that. Alpha waitress, the most experienced member of staff who’s probably worked there for about 3 weeks, picks on all other waitresses and barks orders under her breath. A decision is made to get the hell out of there and go to Gatwick.
I think I’m going to spend the afternoon at Gatwick writing and drinking tea, but that doesn’t happen. By the time we get to the airport for our flight home I’m so tired I could cry. I find a bench and sleep, scrunched-up like a hibernating bear’



  1. I love these photos, they’re brilliant. Enjoyed the read, too. Nice to know that having to send film away for processing hasn’t put you off. I’ve shot less and less film since they stopped processing locally, but this has inspired me to get out a bit more 🙂


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