Friday, July 17, 2009

Summertime, and the Living's Easy . . .

On three blogs that I enjoy reading very much at every chance I get, there were posts done this week about going travelling. I suppose that's normal this time of year for a lot of people in the Northern Hemisphere whose wanderlust hormones rise proportionally with the temperature and the length of daylight. Over at A Majority of Two, Jo wrote about wishing to travel in a motor home, and illustrated her thoughts with a couple of photos of one. On Jumble Sale Rabbits, Liz was quite happy about the prospect of acquiring a relatively speaking small caravan to take some road trips with. (Accompanied of course by her adorable Tiger Tiddles !) At Of Heliotropes and Silver Strings, Amy described a fantastic road trip she just took from Los Angeles up into Yosemite National Park, accompanied by some of her mouth watering photographs.
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I admit, my ambitions for this Summer are far more modest still. Given the current economic situation, we won't be going on any cruises or flying anywhere or taking any long road trips, as much as I might like to. We may just settle for camping in this abandoned Peugeot vehicle that I found in a lovely setting a few years ago not far from Florac, France, which is in the Lozère region, one of my all time very favorite destinations. I'm fairly certain it is still there, perhaps a little rustier than the last time ? It probably just needs a bit of sweeping out and sprucing up. Although we may have to share it with a few bats and field mice. . . Now I just have to figure out how to get there ! Well, I still have my thumb . . .
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47 comments:

The Sagittarian said...

Grande photo, Owen ! Je vois que le vieux vehiocle a une échelle d'évasion de secours.
My French is rather rusty, like that old van!!

Owen said...

Excellente idée Saj, on peut parler on Français, comme tu veux, ce serait amusant sans doute, deux étrangers qui pourraient tranquillement massacrer la langue de Molière... :-D Anyway, you get the earlybird prize today, le prix d'oiseau qui se leve tôt... The ladder, however, is not an escape ladder at all, it is for climbing up on the roof to dance up there under the full moon ! Will have to dream up a prize reward now... well, you get to gaze at these photos as long as you like ?!? That's a pretty good deal, right ???

The Sagittarian said...

Well, yes that would be better than gazing at my navel for as long as I like, which os often what happens on a Friday! I haven't been told I can massacre a language since that time in a bar in Calais...was that you?? :-) What I was trying to say then was I could murder a drink!

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

I'm loving this vehicle!!! This seems like the ideal mode of transportation and camper. Great photos, Owen!

Buskitten said...

'Dream vechicle!' - well that tag says it all owen, as that van is adorable! Oh, if only I had the skills and money to rescue a car like this, I would be very happy! I find it amazing that some classic vehicle restorers can do just that - it's mind-boggling to see their work, and how they cut out rusty metal until there's nearly nothing left; then slowing, by welding new panels and metal in place, the car starts to live again! magic!
If I had my time again, maybe that's what I'd be!
I'm just going to drool over the Red Car at the Paris Air Show, with a cuppatea!
Most of my road trips at the moment are dreams, as I have no money to speak of, I thought even to go down the road for 4 miles to the local beach in the caravan would be fun - and pretend I'm back in the 1960's!
But hey, without our dreams, what are we?

Steve said...

What a fantastic little vehicle - crying out to be renovated and liberated, possibly with a young Cliff Richard at the wheel.

clo said...

bonjour Owen .... va falloir retaper le bus pour les vacances...
je crois que la route va être longue...
une bonne journée a toi ....

the watercats said...

gimme, gimme, gimme....... a van after midnight.....
Sorry, I temporarily became posessed by the spirit of abba... Anyway, that is a beautiful thing, we're holidaying at home again this year...... still, I can imagine lovely places like this.. (and we sort of live somewhere pretty amazing too..lol)

Loulou said...

Comme dit Clo, faudra lui redonner un coup d'éclat...pas tout à fait au point il me semble.
Bon voyage en perspective à la petite famille
Bises pluvieuses (grrr)
Loulou

Owen said...

Hey WCs (well that stands for Water Cats, right ?) Temporary possession by the spirt of Abba... it happened to me when our tadpole daughters got us to watch Mamma Mia... I'm willing to bet you've seen it ??? So, holidays at home ? Sounds good to me... Tons of people would love to go to Ireland for a holiday, I know I would... sure would love to see more photos of the area where you all raise heck... that kayak trip a while back there looked great... anyhoo, hope y'all have a great weekend, best to you cats and horses and dogs and gitars and sitars and whatnot...

cornel said...

well done with your old van series...I love it !

Owen said...

Salllooouuuu Louloooouuuu !
Wow, on a eu des supers orages cette nuit, quelle deluge ! Bon, heureusement tu passes tout l'été là, le beau temps va revenir ! Je ne sais pas si tu connais l'endroit qui s'appelle les Causses Méjean, près de Florac, mais du peu que j'ai vu, j'adore cette région, c'est sauvage, beau, et des ruines de vielles fermes en pierre là dedans qui me fait baver chaque fois... bon, c'est normal, la bave du crapaud, je ne peux pas faire autrement ! ;-D Faut que j'y retourne un de ces 4... Bon, j'ose espérer que la grippe est partie sans traces, et que vous passez tous de belles journées tranquilles, peut-être à visiter un peu ce pays ? C'est un beau pays aussi la France, n'est-ce pas??? Au fait, as-tu bien reçu les photos ?
Alors, bonnes vacances !

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Bonjour Clo ! oui, effectivement, elle a besoin de qqs menus travaux cette vieille Peugeot... peut-être on la laissera tranquille pour finir ces jours, eh ? Elle est très belle telle quelle, non ? Ah, et pendant que je bave un peu, je bave encore pour tes photos du Verdon... ça, ça donne envie de bouger un peu. Je n'oublierai jamais la première fois que j'ai regarder dans les gorges du Verdon d'en haut d'une falaise...
Bisoux du nord ! :-D

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Hey Steve, well I guess Cliff would look good behind the wheel of just about anything ? I'm afraid the renovations are probably going to be more than my wallet can manage, so maybe we'll just let her sleep peacefully as she's been doing for years now already... hope all is well with you, no mad neighbors's dogs, no man-gifts to deal with, and a great weekend in view ! See ya !

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Hi Liz, indeed, indeed, our dreams are everything, if it weren't for our dreams I guess we'd be little better than.... well, whatever you want to imagine... Thought you might like this one, although she's probably a little beyond salvaging... but you never know... gosh, can you imagine a bright new fresh coat of gleaming green paint on her, and Tiddles behind the wheel grinning his happy grin ?!?

Owen said...

Hi Sixpence, I wonder what she looked like brand new, when she first rolled off the production line... and I'd love to know her story too, what brought her to be abandoned in this remote and lonely place... sort of like the school bus that figured in Alaska in the book/movie of Into the Wild... glad you like the photos !!! Thanks...

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Are you proposing that we come gaze at your navel with you ??? And was that you on the ferry from Dover, and continuing into the bar in Calais, where you kept saying you could "keel" for a drink ??? And then you said you were feeling dizzy and needed to lie down ??? Do you remember all that ???? Wow, what a memory you have !!! So, as they say in French, "trève de conneries" ! :-D (that translates loosely as : ok, a truce in this exchange of daft thoughts)Well, I'm wondering, are there any people named Nicholas still around Canterbury ??? Have a fine weekend, and stay away from the tequila, it'l keel'ya ! One of my absolute worst ever drinking memories involved Tequila... I give it a wide berth of healthy respect since then... :-D

Owen said...

Cornel, many thanks for dropping in here, welcome... and glad you enjoyed these... was just looking through some of your photos, can see I'll have to come take a closer look and go back further in the past... looks like you are doing some great work there... like your "Tensioned Break" ! And the Tractor Boy...

La Framéricaine said...

Owen,

Are you sure that abandoned automobile was in France? I thought I saw it sliding down a hill in high desert Arizona.

Well, I could be wrong...

David said...

Looks like a great project for someone who likes to tinker. A new paint job, set of sweet rims and tires, kicking stereo sounds...what a ride! A real chick magnet! Great B&W set. Thanks for sharing.

louciao said...

What a beauty! Then and now.

We once bought the town's old bookmobile. Pierre drove it across Canada twice, moving all our goods and chattels from one coast to the other (I told you I'm bi-coastal). It averaged 8 miles to the gallon and reached speeds up to 40 mph going uphill. We kept it out back of our house here for a number of years, hoping guests might use it when they came to visit, but they were always keen to stay inside with us for some reason. It was a sad day when we eventually had it towed away for scrap. It obviously didn't want to go and left big black marks down the driveway where it was dragging its wheels and squealing in protest as it was towed off. Tears were shed, I tell you.

Caio Fernandes said...

wow !! people are realy writen on their comments !!
i just wanna to say that is realy great to come back and see all the posts that i missed on the last days .
your work is an inspiration .

Owen said...

Ciao Fernandes... many thanks for dropping by, come back any time !

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Louciao, sounds fabulous, too bad it had to go... you couldn't keep it for a raccoon hotel ? Can't imagine why nobody wanted to stay in it ??? Hopefully you have some photos of it tucked away somewhere? It must be this fellow's distant cousin... no wonder he was looking so sad...

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David, nice vision you have ! But I'm afraid this baby's days as a "chick magnet" are ancient history, especially given that these photos date from about 1995 ! Funny expression that, "chick magnet"... in French people say "un aspirateur à nanas", which means a vacuum cleaner for vacuuming up chicks off the street"... :-D Hope they still look ok once they're shaken out of the dust collecting bag...

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Dear Fram ! Hey ! good to see you ! Hope you got a picture of whatever it was you saw sliding down a hill in Arizona... Where are you now ?!? Will be by soon to check up... Happy highways !!!

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jeff said...

ça c'est de la bagnole ! Mais tu viens dans un pays que je connais plus que bien ! Le causse méjean, c'est un endroit désertique mais merveilleux... of course, c'est le pays natal de ma grand mother ! ! !
Bon choix Owen !
Tu te fais bien rare ces temps-ci ? Bahhh ! Une tisane que tu aurais mal apprécié ? Je ne pense pas !...
Ciao AmigOwen ! Pour moi, ce sont les vacances ! Je ne sais pas si je vais être fidèle à mon blog ? Je vais essayer ! je vais surtout aller voir si la vie est bien belle ailleurs que sur la planète "Blogger" ! ! !

Amitiés !....:)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Your photos are always MAJOR AWESOMENESS, love them!

Peter said...

As you say somewhere in your comments, it would be interesting to know the story of this old Peugeot.. and how it ended up here. Where is the road?

Roxana said...

hi again, Owen, speaking of travelling i have just come back and have to catch up with your blog, what a delight! :-) even if i don't understand cars (i wonder if i will be banished from the Magic Lantern Show after this bold confession :-) - your pictures captivate me - and i don't know how to explain that, the story hidden behind, perhaps, that intense feeling of the time going-by, the very precise composition, that geometric 'coldness' of the gaze? which one? or everything working together so well? hmmm.

cara said...

This is the second time I've come back to look at these shots of the old van. They just make me smile - some vehicles really have personality, don't they?
I'm really glad your daughter enjoyed herself here. It is cold at night now - 4 or 5 (especially with no heating...barbaric!!) but the days are bright and sunny - around 20 degrees. Not quite as balmy as France I'm sure but nice enough to feel guilty if you don't get out and enjoy it!

Margaret Pangert said...

I think it's the thumb for you, Owen! You know, in this country, there are countless organizations who want to take old cars off your hands; they'll even pay the change of title fee and pick it up. Seems like a better option than all these abandoned vehicles...

Adrian LaRoque said...

I am sure this was a great little bus!

... said...

Hey thanks for following my blog. I love how you called it your "humble little blog", you have so many followers. How did you get so many. I wish more people would follow mine. It's hard not to have any input i feel like im talking to myself sometimes. haha thanks again yuor blog is great!

Faye Pekas said...

I absolutely adore these shots. The black and white was an excellent choice. I just love old things that have outlived their usefulness but are still hanging around.

AmyR said...

Just a little elbow grease, and that would be quite the vehicle to tour the countryside in. Look at all the room for gear and snacks!

We might do a couple more short roadtrips into the mountains to get away from the heat, but I think we'll staying close to home for the most part.

Thanks for the mention here!! :D

Maggie May said...

hee hee

we have the same financial constraints ( meaning no money )

i love to travel

Prospero said...

Is it like The Who's Magic Bus?

Owen said...

Hi Faye, this one had certainly outlived its usefulness in a utilitarian sense, but was becoming useful in a decorative sense, as it worked on returning to the earth. Love that old barn in a field of yellow you put up this past week !

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@ ... - I'm not sure that the number of followers is of all that much importance, not sure that all that many of the people who sign up to follow a blog actually come by and visit regularly, or leave comments... not sure I'd know what to do if 250 people were leaving a comment on every post ! But I guess it is an indication that a blog is getting seen to a certain extent. What really matters to me is the relations that slowly can get created with a regular exchange of comments... that, I think, is where the real joy of blogging occurs. So, I guess the message, get out in the blogosphere and find blogs that you like, leave a comment or two, see what happens... :-D

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Adrian, for sure, wish I could see it new, but then I like it this way too...

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Hi Margaret, well, I hope no one clears this one off, I like it just the way it is, I don't see it as an eyesore needing to be removed, it is just a part of the post industrial landscape...

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G'day Cara ! Come back as many times as you like ! I agree, this old mini-bus was oozing personality, I half expect a troupe of clowns to come pouring out of it any time... As for the weather, even France has been a bit chilly this week, after a series of storms came the cold air. Just as well I'm not on vacation yet... all my best to Brisbane !

Owen said...

Prospero; could very well be ! Love that era of Who music !

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Hi Maggie... well, you can travel vicariously on the Magic Lantern whenever you wish to. Hope Kaye is going to come through... and I loved your 17 year old story !!!!

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Hey Amy, If I can help steer a little traffic your way, it's a pleasure... this would have been a great little travelling wagon I'm sure, guess it ran out of gas here... happy roadtrips if you do go again, your Yosemite shots were wonderful... :-)

Owen said...

Ahh Roxana, Banished ? Perish the thought... you could never be banished from the Magic Lantern, for you hold an honorary lifetime membership, based on the beauty of your images and the profound and intelligent depth of the texts you accompany them with... understanding of cars is not a quality I would value highly ... cars provide a certain freedom of movement, true, but at what cost ? Cars are at the origin of the oil industry, cars are perhaps the most glaring symbol of our overly industrialized age, cars lead to car wrecks... I think I like them best when they are in this condition, quietly rusting away in a field somewhere, melting back into the earth. I would have preferred to live in a shelter made of animal skins and to ride on a horse if I needed to get somewhere farther than I could walk in a day... And your words about these photos are music to my ears, it is usually a mood I'm after when I start clicking away... if it works for you, then in some small way I have succeeded... thank you ever so much...

PS although, there was one book I enjoyed immensely which did discuss to a certain extent our relationship with machines... have you perhaps read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" ?
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Hey Peter, I found this several years ago on a trip when I stayed in Florac for a week, and did day trips everyday out into the surrounding Lozere countryside, Gorges du Tarn, Causses... it was in that area, while the exact road, I'm no longer sure exactly where it was... I have a weakness for going up tiny little tracks into barren looking country, where suprises often lie...

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Daisy, THANKS !!! Major awesomeness is a major compliment, and I appreciate that... thanks for dropping in, hope you're listening to something tasty today... :-)

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Salut Jeff !!! Ahhh donc tu connais les Causses ? J'ai découvert cette région il y a un bon moment, mes deux sejours par-là sont restés gravés dans mon souvenir, j'y retournerais volontairement pour un long sejour de découvert... les causses me semblaient totalement magique comme paysages, émotions, espace, histoire, traces de l'homme, mais peu d'hommes de nos jours... je pourrais finir mes jours en hermite là dedans je pense... un endroit sublime. Et si ta grandmaman vient de là, tu as donc un peu du sang des causses dans tes veines... veinard ! :-D

Quant à étant un peu rare ces jours-ci, absolument pas de cas de mauvais tisane, loin, loin de là, juste un cas banal d'un boulot qui me bouffe vivant, et une épouse qui est partie avec la petite rendre visite à sa soeur en Espagne pour deux semaines, me laissant seul à la maison, et donc besoin de faire tout un tas de choses en plus que d'habitude, comme nourir les chats, arroser les plantes, préparer des repas... etc etc, et tout cela bouffe le peu de temps que j'avais pour blogger, donc oui, je sors moins, et me trouve bien crevé en rentrant la nuit tard... mais tôt ou tard je reviens toujours à la Life de Jeff, ne t'inquiètes, tu ne te débarrasseras le plancher si vite de ton pixel pote, hein ? :-D

Content si ce vieux tacot en ruine t'a plu... moi je l'adore, elle exprime un monde de poésie cette camionnette des Causses ! A plus, à bientôt, bon voyage en Italie alors...

tricia said...

Beautifully done.

Owen said...

Hi Tricia... Merci beaucoup ! Thanks for dropping in here to this humble little frog blog...

La Belette Rouge said...

There is something about these photos and other photos you have featured tat make me think of the photography of Sally Mann. Do you know her work? If not you might want to Google it. I think you might like her work in her "What remains" series.

Thanks, Owen, for your very nice comment on my blog. I am very lucky to have such thoughtful readers.

Janie said...

The Peugeot might not be that bad. Really.
On the other hand, camping out under the stars has some appeal, too, and you don't even have to spruce up the place first.

Ming the Merciless said...

Thanks for visiting Bangor Daily Photo.

Have a good summer and don't lose your thumbs.

English Rider said...

I guess you already knew about Lozere then, she says, feeling foolish.

Sar@h said...

Je pars quelques jours dans la ville des grands navigateurs. [Je dormirai dans l'aérogare de Roissy mardi] Besoin de soleil, d'être face à moi-même et de musées !

L'autre jour, un ami m'a dit qu'il faudrait que je songe à changer ma voiture … J'hésite … Un break ? ou un petit fourgon ? Je n'ai pas encore arrêté mon choix, donc je garde ma vieille voiture !

Pour celui-ci, pourquoi ne pas l'aménager sur place ? Imaginons, quelques épaves aménagées sommairement où nous pourrions faire étape, où chacun déposerait sa touche et repartirait. À lire le nombre de commentaires, nous ne devons pas être les seul(e)s … Une vision soudaine du bus d'Into the wild.

Arnaud said...

Ahhh les Causses... Méjean, Noir, Rouge, Sauveterre, ...
Rien que l'évocation de ces noms me fait saliver...
Moi qui suis spéléo, les Causses sont un terrain de jeu fabuleux. Des cavités superbes, faciles d'accès (pas de marche d'approche de 2h comme dans les Alpes !) parsèment les plateaux.
Ça me manque énormément, comme d'autres choses d'ailleurs ... :-)
Sinon j'adore tes photos d'épaves qui me font imaginer la vie de leur ancien propriétaire... C'est génial, continue, j'adore !

Owen said...

Arnaud, ah là, tu me combles, donc tu serais un adepte de la musique des Causses ??? Ces landes fabuleusement desertes, vastes, oui, Méjean, Noir, oh Larzac, oh Severac, des noms qui me donnent envie d'y retourner, mais toute de suite, j'ai l'atlas ouvert sur la table à coté du PC, mes yeux parcourent ces petites routes qui plongent dans les gorges qui délimitent les plateaux des Causses, les gorges du Tarn, de la Jonte !!! Oh douce musique de ces noms ! Oh là, tu me rends gaga en évoquant tout cela..., et les grottes, ce coté là je connais moins, mais le coté souterrain doit être splendide aussi, des abris pour l'homme depuis des milliers d'années. Au fait, si tu étais à Ornans là, es-tu passée par le Creux Billard, à coté de la source du Lison ??? Pour un spéléo ce trou là doit faire rever un peu, non ? A plus Arnaud... merci pour ce détour ! J'ai d'autres photos de cette région des Causses qui vont venir...

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Salut Sar@h ! Alors, la ville de grands navigateurs ??? Mystère... tu parles peut-être de Lisbon ??? Alexandrie ??? Genes ??? En tout cas, bon voyage ! Ressources-toi bien au soleil !!! Et oui, j'avait "Into the Wild" en tête avec ce vieux fourgon qui s'est fait largué dans la large nature, sur la mer des Causses... bon courage pour le changement de voiture, c'est toujours l'aventure...

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Chère English, I was so happy when I saw your note about the stone roof coverings in the Lozere area, thinking... ahhh, she knows about that magical place... and one can always learn more. I had remembered reading somewhere once about the stones being called Lozeres, but was very pleased for you to remind me of that, one forgets things too, new confirmations of things once learned are always a pleasure... and I'd love to hear more about your travels and experiences there, I've only been a couple of times, and I want to go back... soon !

Owen said...

Ming, thanks, will try to hang onto my thumbs, sometimes have to chase them down the road though...

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Hay Janie, Under the stars sounds good, but it's sometimes nice to have a plan B when the heavens burst open and the deluge falls...
:-D

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Dear Belette, Many thanks for the comparison to Sally Mann ! She is awesome. I remember seeing a piece about her in the Philadelphia Inquirer a long time ago, with a print of the girl holding a candy cigarette, which I liked so much I saved the article, I have it around here somewhere, tucked into the front of a photography book... but hadn't seen much else... so just went and googled her, oh boy, there is alot out there. She has been very successful ! I should hope to come up to the height of her little toe some day... in the meanwhile, will keep quietly blogging away... Anyway, hope your situation will work itself out, and not stop you from having a great summertime...

Arnaud said...

For you, I just posted this

The Panorama said...

Awesome pictures. Great post and have a nice camping trip:)

Owen said...

Arnaud... from the bottom of my heart... thank you ! ! ! !
They are gorgeous ! Will comment over at your place...

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Pano, many thanks, am looking forward to camping there some day... :-)