Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Welcome Addition to the Collection

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The publishers of People magazine are very good at repurposing and repackaging their product. In this case, they've taken all 42 cover stories they published on Princess Diana and bound them in a very handsome special edition.

Because the tenth anniversary of her death is a mere six weeks away, the same publicity juggernaut that hounded her in life is again gearing up for an onslaught. The only difference is, this time around I'm part of the juggernaut.

I don't think anyone will ever suitably explain who or what this woman was, but from a personal perspective all I can say is, I loved her like a member of my family. Yet aside from a few seconds twenty years ago never saw her in person.

That kind of appeal is rare. True, it's a kind of mania to love a total stranger, and the mass hysteria that surrounded her death is proof both of her power and the power of the media.

I am aware of her faults. I have them myself. In her I saw a kindred spirit. Because she was bullied, for a time she turned into a bully. For a time she also bullied herself. Then, it seems, she learned to transcend it.

Even if that was the only lesson I ever learned from Diana, Princess of Wales, that would be reason enough to love her. My personal legacy to Diana is to love myself unconditionally, as I hope she came to do before her untimely death.
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Twitching the Kingfisher

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It was Mr. Barr's sharp eye that caught sight of this marvellous little creature, prey and all. I scrambled for my camera, turned and started shooting, only hoping that I'd be able to get a picture of both the bird and the fish in its mouth that was usuable. Voila!

I got off about five frames before the fish and the bird were history, and this one was the best.

This sighting was another first for me. I'd heard tell there were Kingfishers around, and over the years I'd seen glimpses of things that might have been Kingfishers but which could have just as easily been hallucinations.
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