Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Three Men In A Tub . . .

While strolling in the town of Rue this past weekend, I was clicking away with the camera, which is a madness that sometimes overcomes me, but it wasn't until I saw three pictures lined up next to each other while editing the weekend's work that it clicked with me that something mildly amusing had happened. Well, amusing to this easily amused individual . . .
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Perhaps you will recall the old nursery rhyme which goes something to the effect of :
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Rub-a-dub-dub
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato!
Turn 'em out knaves all three.
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This first shot is of the World War One memorial in Rue, with a fallen soldier looking up to an angel come to bear him away I suppose. In the background above the striped awning you can read the word "Boucherie", or butcher shop. In French, World War One is sometimes referred to as having been "une vraie boucherie" . . . or a real butcher shop of a war. Although nearly all towns in France have war memorials like this one, I'd never seen a butcher shop immediately adjacent to one, providing such a juxtaposition of images. . .
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Just a very short distance up the street was this bakery, with a friendly baker out in front hawking his wares . . .
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And just a little further along was a church where candles were burning, lit by faithful folks in memory of departed souls . . . so you can understand why the nursery rhyme about the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker came to mind when by chance these three photos lined up . . .
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In the wood box on the wall where candles waiting to be lit were stored, it was rather obvious that some irreverent person had lit a few candles and left them there in the box to burn, badly scorching the wood, but fortunately not doing any worse damage . . .
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37 comments:

@eloh said...

The statues and village clocks were one of my favorite parts of living in Europe.

I remember talking about this with you before...but when I did facial reconstructive research for forensic anthropology...all the research and big breakthroughs happened after and because of WWI...I can not hear or see anything about that war that doesn't bring those butchered faces back into my mind.

Sar@h said...

Magnifique cette troisième photo !

Je pense que j'essaierai de copier l'angle à la prochaine Sainte Rita !

The Sagittarian said...

Fantastic wee town by the look of it! Was there a pub by any chance? One of the few phrases I recall easily from my trip to France happens to be "Un vin de rouge, s'il vous plait?"

Steve said...

I love these little caught scenes of other worlds...

Selina Kingston said...

You are genius - I love the burning candles photo

the watercats said...

Really nice photos!.. but.. I want too see goldilocks and the three bears :-D
(love the candles)

Martin H. said...

Owen

I love spotting these associations after a round of 'snapping'.

designslinger.com said...

Thank goodness there were no rotten potatoes!

Bill Evertson said...

Didn't you see the curds and whey shop right around the corner? All kidding aside; I love these little associations that pop up after the fact. They always give me a bit of pause to wonder if they were a bit of a unconscious trigger.

Adam said...

I can see that 1939-1945 was added to the statue later, so the First World War obviously wasn't enough of a 'boucherie'...

Karen said...

Connections like that seem to pop up with some regularity in life. I call it synchronicity. On one of the eBay chat rooms we found that 3 of us from different parts of the world had had blood work that morning and one day there were about 8 of us who had cooked the same soup.

Finding connections when you aren't looking is always an eye and mind opener.
I once sold only two items on eBay. One went to Paris, France and the other to Paris, Texas. How weird is that?

louciao said...

I always thought it was "Rubby-dub-dub, three men in a pub."

The baker board-guy looks like he's ready to give you a pie in the face! Good thing you didn't move in for a close-up.

I very much like the burning candles photo. If I were religious, I could see making a little portable shrine in a tool box with that photo glued inside the lid and all sorts of religious paraphernalia spilling from the trays. I'm inordinately fond of religious doodads. They're so wonderfully pagan and fetishistic.

Did you notice the image of the saint in the burnt box?! It's in the unburnt part, if you squint a bit. I think it might be Our Mother of the Beehive Hairdo. Or it could be a pope or bishop in one of their party hats. You may have inadvertently recorded a miracle, Owen! And then there's the wonderful symbolism of all the candles lined up in front of the miraculous image, as human souls waiting to be illuminated by the burning touch of Faith.

Halleleujah Brother Owen! It is wondrous to be given the gift of witnessing through photographs your Rued Awakening!

J said...

at least they still use real candles, even after that plonker (lol, not sure if that translates well for your francophone readers!) lit some on the box - the electric candles were something that most disappointed me about italy.

I do like the candle shot...has a little bit of rural gothic about it. If it was the opening shot of a tv programme there'd be a dead body in the first five minutes. (ha, I'm not sure why that's a good thing.)

jeff said...

Et voilà tu recommences...! ! !
Les poilus sont de retour... les poilus Owen... j'ai pas dit les barbus ! ! !...;-)

clo said...

un petit bisou en passant Owen ...a la lumiere de ces chandelles...
merci pour tes visites et commentaires qui sont toujours un plaisir...
a tres bientot...:)
PS ..j'adore les photos du post precedent...tres belles..

Janie said...

Interesting combination of photos to fit the old nursery rhyme. Very observant to recognize how they all went together.

joo said...

I din't know that nursery rhyme - for me three men in... are always in boat:)
Your're really good at finding things - wow, the first photo is superb. Really juxtaposition.
I've always liked those friendly bakers and chefs as well and the third photo is outstanding!
As for Ireland, I spent last holiday in Ireland and Scotland and as usually loved it!
Rathlin is the must Owen:)

Margaret Pangert said...

Ingenious, Owen! How did that occur to you?! Do you think the actual verse illustration would anthropomorphize the pig, the bread, and the candle? which by the way were lovely--long tapers. haven't seen those in a Catholic church in a long time. That was fun, Owen! Best, Margaret

TechnoBabe said...

The bakery looks like so many bakeries around the world. Happy and yummy.

swan said...

Oh my your pictures are whole worlds! Thank you for all the beauty!

Marguerite said...

Such an amusing post, filled with your clever observations, Owen. I always loved that nursery rhyme and my kids had that Fisher Price toy, (the 3 men in a tub) Great photos, too!

AmyR said...

The framing of the last photo is superb Owen!

Babzy said...

Je ne connaissais pas la comptine mais j'adore la manière dont tu l'as mis en image ! La première photo est poignante !

Nathalie said...

Oui Owen, bravo pour le raccourci saisissant de ta première photo. Que la première guerre mondiale ait été une boucherie, on s'accorde tous à le dire.

A picture is worth 1000 words. Well spotted!

Nathalie said...

I gather you have far less time to visit other blogs these days. I assume the "rentrée" had the same effect on you that it had on me. Cheers and take care

Dedene said...

The war memorial statues that I particularly like are the ones with roosters on them.

Owen said...

Hey Dedene! Me too, I love the roosters that one can spot in many places still around this country... something uplifting about those puffed out chests spouting "Co Co Ri Co !"

Funny, but in Haiti, it is chickens that one can see in alot of places... many chicken signs around, an old friend even had a collection of Haitian chicken signs, beautiful...

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Nathalie, yes indeed, am struggling these days with time, the return to work has been hot... shows no signs of abating, but am trying to get out into the blogosphere when I can... however sleep has been in short supply... in any case, many thanks, and I'll see you in Avignon just as soon as I can !
:-D

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Bonjour Babzy, mille fois merci... parfois il y a des choses comme ça qui sautent aux yeux...

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Hi Amy, many thanks... hope the fires have calmed down out around LA...

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Hi Marguerite, I didn't know there was a toy with three men in a tub... This just goes to show how deeply ingrained some of those nursery rhymes we hear as children really are, I'm sure I hadn't seen or heard that rhyme since I was probably 6 or 7, yet it came right back with hardly any effort at all. But what I really want to know is what those three guys were doing in the tub together in the first place ?!? Sounds fishy to me...
:-D

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Hey Swan, you are more than welcome, it is always a pleasure to have you over for company...

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TechnoB, yup, and I love sampling their wares, especially when they do desserts as well... I have a particular fondness and "faiblesse" (weakness) for chocolate eclairs...
:-D

Owen said...

Hi Margaret, glad you had fun here... I really couldn't say other than it really was by chance that the three photos ended up right next to each other in a series I was looking at critically to try to decide whether they were worth sharing with all the millions of viewers reading this blog (ha ha hee hee ho ho) and like I said above, the nursery rhyme from childhood came back in one of those flashes of recognition. Well, if I happen to see and photograph any silverware running around or any cows jumping up high in the sky, we'll know what the next one will be...

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Hi Joo, wow, you've had some nice vacation travels then... I'd love to go to Ireland, have never been, and there is a great blog there too, see link in sidebar to The Watercats... Am adding Rathlin to my list of places to go... Thanks !

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Janie, thank you, I think I'm going to have to go brush up on my nursery rhymes to see if there are any others for which photo illustrations may be possible... hmmm, there's that self portrait of me sitting in a corner eating a pie...

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Howdy Clo ! J'adore des petits bisoux... t'es trop sympa... et c'est plus que normal les commentaires chez toi, car tes photos sont sublimes ! J'espère que tout va bien dans le grand sud !

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Saloum Jeff ! Et oui je recommence, je récidive, et je le ferai sans doute encore, poilu ou barbu, peu importe... bcp de poilus étaient barbus d'ailleurs...

Deborah said...

Very clever indeed!

Owen said...

Hi Deborah, thanks, a certain Sagittarian named Amanda who sometimes visits these pages likes to tell me I'm a clever sod... and although "sod" usually refers to dirt with some grass growing on it... I guess it's a compliment... anyway, glad you enjoyed...

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Hi J ! There seems to be an over-abundance of plonkers in the world these days. Yeah, a little dark gothic in the air there, and I'm sure there must have been some dead bodies around... under the floor of the church for example... haven't seen any electric candles in churches in France yet...

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Mad-Lynne, of course, you're surely correct, because after the knaves got thrown out of the tub for whatever on Earth it was they were doing in there, well, they headed straight for the pub.

The baker was almost as fast as the guy that threw his shoes at George Bush in Iraq, but I dodged the pie... and then sat in a corner with it...

Hmmm, I've never heard of anyone having a fetish for religious doo-dads as you put it, let alone having a tool box to carry them around in, except maybe for priests who bring a suitcase full of stuff when it's time for an exorcism; but hey, whatever tickles your pewter crucifix...

As for your pope's party hat there, well I see what you mean, but then again, it also looks a bit like a volcano in the act of blowing a massive towering cloud of ash up into the sky... but if you wish to attribute miraculous characteristics to this photo, I have no problem with that, just don't give the Vatican my address, ok ?!? Don't need any old farts in fish hats turning up at my doorstep... !
:-D

PS And now if you could only see through cyberspace, you could witness my rude asleepening... 'cause I'm beat, and off to bed !

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Karen, synchronicity is a fabulous thing... your story about ebay and Paris Texas and Paris France for the same deal is incredible... that is really plumbing the deep wonders of synchronicity ! So when you said you were travelling to Paris soon, did you mean Paris, Texas ??? I hadn't thought of that... do they have any museums there??? Or anything else ???

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Adam, definitely, World War One was just a warm up exercise...

jeff said...

My God ! Quelle horreur...! ! ! <8:O
It's a joke...;-)
Mais ils sont beaux tes cierges quand même ! ! !

Allez pixpot ! A plus ! Suis en manque d'inspiration ce soir...

Ciao....

John said...

Great photo series, Owen.

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Great stuff Owen..you have put me in the mood..tonight I will fill the tub with bubbles..light all the candles about it..invite my wife to join me for a nice hot soak..and eat chocolate cake in the bath!
Whhooohooo...YOU are BRILLIANT LAD!
Cheers Friend!
Mojo

Owen said...

Bill, nope, I didn't see any curds and whey, however, there was a young lady who walked by in a red cloak, with her grandmother, a grandmother who had a suspiciously long furry nose... and just a little farther up the road, on the edge of town there was a house made out of gingerbread... the unconscious is an unexplored wonderland...

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DesignSlinger, right on... don't need any rotten potatoes ! And how on earth did those three all jump out of one ??? I really don't get it... but hey, better a rotten potato than the dog bombs that litter many French sidewalks !
:-D

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Hi Martin... indeed, indeed, one of life's little pleasures...

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H2O Cats, I am taking note... desperately seeking Goldilocks & three bears. I promise, if I see them, you'll be the first to know... have a great weekend !

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Hi Selena... I love it when you talk like that... keep talking...
:-D

PS I liked you last post, because I only just very recently saw the film "Keeping Mum"... wonderful !

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Hey Steve, I will do my best then to keep supplying such scenes... especially as I can imagine the consequences should you inform your Somalian pirate cohorts that someone wasn't supplying an adequate flow of such addictive materials...

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Dear Saj, I see your French is perfectly up to the task... and yes, since you've asked, there was not only a pub in Rue, there were at least three that I saw, you could even have had a "moule frites" with your vin rouge should you have felt so inclined...
:-D

Owen said...

Sar@h, mille fois merci...

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@eloh ; there is an incredible amount of public art in Europe, which is one reason I love living here.

The following part of your comment is fascinating. From everything I've read, World War One was indeed a watershed era in terms of developing new approaches both purely medical, and psychological, to deal with the vast numbers of horribly mutilated survivors, both physically and mentally. Given what you've said here, based on your own experience, perhaps in your studies or travels you have come across the Tavistock Institute ? Based in London, the group started with research into how to care for victims of shell shock from WWI, but according to some accounts branched out into studies concerning where the mental "breaking point" lies for human beings... there is alot of fascinating material to be found about them on the web, although how credible all of it is, I cannot say.

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Salut Jeff... en manque d'inspiration ??? Du jamais vu... mais bon, on est en fin de semaine, on a le droit d'avoir cumulé un petit niveau de fatigue dans une semaine de travail, qui pourrait donc expliquer une manque d'inspiration... bon, cela reviendra, allons boire un bon verre de vin rouge, comme Saj a proposé, et ça ira mieux... (la tisane c'est pour plus tard... pour digerer...)
;-D

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Hi John, thanks very much indeed...

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Mr H. Mojo Risin,
Oh boy, hope you had a splendid time in the bath, and that only your lovely wife was there, and no candle stick makers or butchers dropped in out of the blue to splash suds on the chocolate cake... that wouldn't do at all, they can stay put in their rotten potato.... Thank you good sir !

Deborah said...

Hi Owen, I laughed at 'clever sod' - it's complimentary in the way only the British can do it. Closest translation would probably be 'Clever bast***'

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Hey Owen..our bubble bath was GRAND!
I placed a few candles in the cake and sang Happy Birthday to my wife!
Just her and I.. warm bubbles..candles..cake..nice bottle of Red..some cheese..bit of bread
Barry White on the sound system..Ahhh
BLISS!
YOU ARE BRILLIANT LAD!..
Cheers!
Mr. Harry/Mojo Risin