The Hamilton Diary #1


At the beginning of April, on my way up to Yellowknife, I stopped off in Ontario, Canada, to see Ned. Since my own brother caught the slightly earlier train two and a half years ago, Ned is the closest I have to a sibling. This was the first time I’d actually seen Ned, in the flesh, for five years, but I climbed into his van at Lester B Pearson airport and we picked-up like we’d seen each other a couple of weeks before. I spent 3 days and nights with Ned, we drank a lot of beer…I wrote 4 days worth of diary during a 7 hour stopover at Calgary airport before flying north. I was very tired and very hungover…

April 2th 2013 – I touched-down in Toronto just before midnight on Monday April 1st, reclaimed my bags and then underwent the usual 1 hour customs interrogation that I only ever get when I fly into Toronto. I walked out into an empty arrivals hall expecting to see Ned, but no, he was stuck in a snowstorm halfway between me and his home, further north, in Owen Sound. I sat and drank coffee and surfed the free internet. Ned finally arrived at about 2am, my biggest worry was that he might not have had time to pick any beer up, this worry proved unfounded. I’d asked Ned to get “a few bottles”, when I opened the sliding door of his van to put my bag in I noticed he’d bought two case of 28 bottles. Excellent work.
We arrived at our ‘hotel’ in Hamilton at 2.30am. Now then, I’m using the term ‘hotel’ very loosely, because it wasn’t a hotel – hotels don’t have shared bathrooms, communal kitchens and dormitory bedrooms. Youth Hostels do. The young man who had waited-up for us was less than pleased at our late arrival, but still insisted on giving us a full guided tour of the building, during which I made the mistake of attempting to negotiate a cast iron spiral staircase wearing just socks. It was only Ned grabbing my arm that saved me from a trip back to the UK in an air ambulance with multiple limb fractures. We got to our room and cracked open a case of Bud’, I fell asleep, fully clothed, at about 5am…”


34***All images made using a Mamiya 7II camera, 80mm lens and Kodak Portra film***



  1. Anne Gundry

    WOW indeed! Phil, you need to get publishing a book, your images and your writing are both superb, a rare talent.


  2. Pingback: Scar Tissue | Phil Kneen

  3. Funny how recognizable these images are to me as a Torontonian. Not just the geese (which are of course, ubiquitous) – but they look and feel like Toronto/Ontario 🙂


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