Friday, July 11, 2014

Standing Into Danger

"I can't let you out of my sight!
Do I have to put a leash on you?"

Canary Wharf, London

The Ever-Patient stalks ahead of me
in the heart of London's modern financial center:
Canada Place in Canary Wharf.

Have Leash
Will Travel

Don't say leash!
I spent my early childhood tied on.

"Why would you do something so stupid?
I never know what you're going to do!"

I decide silence is the best recourse.
He's never mentioned a leash before.

I'm struggling to stay up with the E-P
as he stomps blindly through the busy mall.

"Don't you ever think before you do something?
Why?  Why don't you think?"

A Happier Moment

I have to say something.
"I just thought it would make such a cool picture.
You know, the way that bank of red ATMs curved.
The composition, the color.
You getting money."

Big Oops!

"You and that damned camera!
Do you even get why there was a female guard?"

I flash back to exiting the bank
when a very tall man
and a short woman 
swoop in, blocking my way.

"You were taking photographs, Mam,"
challenges the Tall Suit.

I took one of my husband getting money.
I hold up my camera.

Meanwhile the E-P has noticed I'm missing.
He hurries back.

"We have a policy 
that you can't take photographs in our bank," 
says Tall Suit.
Short Suit is standing there silently.

"You want me to delete it!?"


I break out in a sweat.
I'm not sure how to do that.
Why didn't I read the damn manual?
I start pushing buttons.


"Do you know how to delete?"
I ask anxiously, looking up at Tall Suit.

"You have to delete it."

I'm now frantically punching any button.
The Two Suits are very close.

"She's just nervous," says the E-P.
"She doesn't know how to delete.
She's got thousands and thousands of photos,
and she never deletes one.
Not one!"

Finally Tall Suit takes charge.
Do this.  
Do this.  
Do this.

I comply.
The incriminating photo vanishes.

"See, gone," I say.
"It was just of my husband.
It was such a cool shot.
Those curvy, red ATMs."
I shut up, seeing the look on Terry's face.

"A word to the wise, Mam," says Tall Suit.
Don't.   Take.   Photographs.   In a bank.
Especially our bank."

The Suits escort me through the door 
and into the mall.

"Have a good day, Mam."
They melt away.

Flash Forward:

"Do you even get why there was a female guard?"
Mr. Normally Reserved bellows.

"Ah,  . . .  She happened to be on duty?"
I answer as I scramble after him.

"She was there to strip search you."


"Strip search you!
Take you in a room and search your body cavities.
All of them!"

I stop, floored.

He stops.
Turns back.
And enfolds me.
He's more shaken up than I am.

"It's okay, Baby.
But once, 
just once,
could you think 
before doing something?"

He gives me a long hug 
in the mall full of strangers.

"Let's get some coffee," he says,
grabbing my hand tightly
and looking around.

I love all the ways the E-P says,
"I love you."

So there:  
One small example of why I call my blog
Standing Into Danger.

I can be heading into calm blue water,

and I will manage to run aground 
on the one pile of rocks
lurking beneath the surface.
I have a special talent for Standing Into Danger.

International Code of Maritime Signals
U ~ Uniform
You are Standing Into Danger


  1. That was interesting! and quite scary
    I didn't know that you couldn't take photos in a bank.
    I'm glad they weren't to harsh about it.. and i'm especially glad you didn't have to have an encounter with the female guard. Your T must have been really worried

    That sounds like it was a well placed and well deserved hug!

    1. My T is the best! He was really rattled when this happened and worried sick! I didn't get scared until I couldn't figure out how to delete, and I realized they were serious. I was thinking, "Who's going to believe that I don't know how to delete a photo from my own camera?" I knew how on my old camera, but this was a trickier new one. And then I realized that Terry was really worried when he made the comment about my never deleting photos. And when he shouted out the strip search comment I knew he had been scared for me. I don't know if that was really why she was there, but it was obviously on Terry's mind. I laugh now, but he's not ready to. He is such a good and comforting hugger! I'm so lucky to have found him! He gets me!

  2. HAHAHA!!!
    Oh dear, Fundy!
    It could have been me too!
    I can well imagine the sweat and the adrenaline rush!
    What would it have been with the female one!.......... :(
    Anyhow, I just loved the way you recounted that story!
    Keep well and out of..........................DANGER!!!!!!! ;-)

    1. You would understand! LOL!
      But I bet you've read your manual!
      I'm glad that you enjoyed the story.
      I was thinking about it yesterday morning and stopped in the middle of doing the breakfast dishes just to capture the conversation on my computer. The words Terry had said kept running through my head. I forgot all about the dishes and a second cup of coffee. LOL!
      I really do try to stay out of "danger." But, you know, everyone has a special talent! Have a good one!

  3. hahahaha oh that is funny now, may not have been so funny then. At least now you know how to delete. Yeah, I knew about the female and male guards, you don't want them getting frisky lol

    1. I find it funny now, Pat! But it wasn't funny then! Have a great weekend!

  4. Private bank security has the legal authority to strip search? What the hell, England?

    1. I don't know for sure, Debra! That's what came out of Terry's overwrought brain and mouth. He was scared for me, furious with me, and exasperated with me all at once! But you won't catch me taking photos in that bank again! LOL! They probably caught me on a security camera ~ There are camera EVERYWHERE in England. Have a great weekend!

  5. Is it wrong I chuckled?
    Don't take pictures in a gambling establishment either. Just a a little heads up for you.

    1. Thanks for the heads up, Alex! But I was already busted for that in the London Hippodrome! LOL! Live and learn: no banks, no casinos! I would not make a good spy! Enjoy your weekend!

  6. I am not surprised that you cannot take photos in a bank, because one time I was in a store in my hometown (Montreal), and I asked the clerk if I could take a photo of a machine they had in the store and he told me that it was against store policy. And I echo Dawna's comment. :)

  7. Hi Linda! Thanks for sharing ~ least you asked first! I just wasn't thinking! I get into trouble sometimes because I leap without thinking. Terry was shaken by the experience and worried sick about me.

  8. Wow, pretty intimidating situation to be in. Although I doubt very much that they had that much authority as to strip search you. You should definitely find out your rights as a photographer in every country/city you visit. Each one has its own. I know that here, as long as you are on public property, you can photograph whatever is around you and you cannot be made to delete your photos, or any such thing. But on private property, it's the opposite. Best to find out your rights, print out a sheet with them on it, and carry it with you in case you need to show it.

  9. Awesome tip, Martha! Thank you! I'm definitely going to be more aware of my rights in the future. I think Terry's remark about strip searching was likely a measure of how upset he was over the whole thing! I hope so! He was way more upset than I was at the time. At least he was until I couldn't delete the photos. BTW it was your post about reading the manual and learning your camera's settings that made me write this post. I was aiming for humor when I wrote it, but that's not what seems to be coming across. And yeah, I was scared at the end. I'll be smarter until the next time I manage to screw up! Have a happy summer weekend. Enjoy that gorgeous garden!

  10. Yikes. Just yikes. I would have never thought not to take pictures unless there was a giant sign with flashing lights that said "No Photographs".

    1. Hi Terry! I need flashing lights too! I was in different places where "No Photographs" was posted and sometimes I might not see the small sign. Usually someone would politely say something, and I'd put my camera away. I get so caught up in what I'm experiencing and I'm seeing from a composition perspective, so I need a sign that will register on my busy brain. I'm learning to look better after this experience! LOL Have a great weekend!

  11. Oops! This is the reason my mom always told me to wear clean underwear - in case of a random strip-search.

    1. LOL Barb! That a better deterrent than the accident/hospital one! Have a good one!

  12. If that was me in the bank, I would say "Sorry you'll have to forgive me, I'm American".

    1. I wish I had thought of that, Adam! I react more like a deer in the headlights. Some people are just born with a quick wit, and some (unfortunately me) are not! Have a happy weekend!

  13. A. You went to London! (Envy oozes from every Micawber pore.)

    B. Dang, I'd like to see that photo. The curving bank of ATMs sounds lovely.

    C. The British are so polite, aren't they? Even when they're reprimanding you.

    D. What a peach of an E-P. :)

    1. Yes, Sue, I went to London for two weeks, and it was wonderful! We stayed in my sister-in-law's flat while she and her husband were in the USA. It is an endlessly fascinating city. I'll have to content myself with the memory of the ATMs. As for the security people, I can hear his voice, but all I can see is Tall Suit and the Short Suit. It was so funny (in retrospect) when they left saying, "Have a good day, Mam." The British are wonderfully polite. And they say "sorry" almost as much as Canadians! Terry's the best! Have a great weekend ~ and I hope London is in your future! You'd love it!

  14. Oh. My. Gosh!!! I think I would have just died right there. I can just see me taking that photo-- that's SO ME!!

    I took photos in a grocery store one time when we were in Mexico-- they wanted to take my camera away when I did that!! Holy Crap!!

    I'm glad all is well-- could have been worse:(

    I think you are a "danger" magnet!!


    1. How lovely to see you again, Vicki! These experiences are unsettling, aren't they? But all's well that ends well! LOL! My husband would agree with you; danger seems to find me! LOL! Life is definitely not boring! Enjoy your Sunday!

  15. Noooooooo!!! How scary!!!! Obviously the risk or worry of terrorism is high! I didnt know you couldn't take shots in a bank! Glad it was ok in.the end x

    1. The thought of terrorist risk crossed my mind as a reason for the incident! But I got a great hug out of it all! LOL!

  16. Ha ha, this made me laugh so much! Taking photos in public places can be fraught with problems. I can understand the bank thing but I've been approached by security taking a photo in a railway station and was escorted off the top of a mult-storey car park trying to take a photo of rooftops for the Scavenger Hunt! Thanks for all the lovely comments about us polite Britishers - I always think the same about North Americans/Canadians. x

    1. I'm so glad that you found it funny, Julie, because I was aiming for humor when I wrote it. But people seem to react to the scary part ~ which it was, but I am laughing now! And wiser! Don't get between a photographer and her picture, Ha Ha! Have a good one!

  17. I love, love, love this story. (One of the best parts was hubby's concern was clearly because of his love for you, and that won out in the end. Is it the same in Canada? I've never considered taking a "bank" photo but only because it didn't occur to me, not because i realized the danger. Bill thought I should try it out here to see if things are the same :) My sister spent some of her toddler years leashed. it was the only way my mother could keep her safe. You are clearly an adventurer.. but then, there's the deletion of photos complication. I'm not sure how you made it this far without learning that. I think I had 229,000 clicks on my last camera. Without deleting, I'd be in big trouble. Anyhow, thanks for a lovely read :)

  18. I remember taking photos in Zambia customs because it was full of monkeys and I thought that was hilarious. OMG I got into so much trouble I didn't think they were going to let me in, so I can fully relate to this story.

    1. Wow, GT&C! I'd have been taking those monkey shots too! I'm glad that you got through okay! LOL
      Live and learn! Have a good one!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.