Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Potpourri . . . Smorgasbord . . . Cornucopia . . .

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I set out this afternoon, not knowing where the day would lead me. Sometimes it's best that way, just to set out, then follow signs, follow one's nose, follow one's heart. So, all aboard for Owencourt . . . where seeing is believing. If I may add, I'm going to mention a few other blogs in this post, and I just wish I could mention everyone's blog all at once, but there are too many excellent blogs out there. . . so if not this time, surely another . . .
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And was that a big neon O ? Wish I'd caught it lit up like a full moon, on the nights when the full moon wasn't . . . For more about neon, do take a look at the "Let There Be Neon" website, few do it better from what I gather. And if you get to their page, take a look at the Rudi Stern memoriam section there, as well as past posts about Rudi in the misty fogs of past posts here a the Magic Lantern . . .
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There are a large number of photos waiting in the wings to come on stage for their 24 hours in the spotlight before they get buried by more recent postings. There's so much there in the queue on many days I hardly know where to start. There are no instructions you know, this is what's known as flying by the seat of one's pants. If there were instructions on how to live and what to say or where to go on any given day, I lost them long ago, or they perhaps got rusted over, leaving a sign with no words on it . . .
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One figure who seems to spend most of his time just hanging out is also rusting, and isn't saying much these days . . .
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But one place I have been finding spiritual sustenance of late is right here in the blogosphere, for the simple reason being that there are some simply extraordinary folks out there, sailing on the blog sea, doing their thing, expressing themselves openly and honestly and passionately. Just one example, if I may, is Tom Bejgrowicz's Tom B. Photography blog which has recently gone dormant in favor of his new media project on the Tumblr site, which can be found here. If you have moment do take a look at both his blog archives, and the Tumblr adventure, they are both voyages into the surreal worlds of abandonment and decay. I humbly offer these next two photos taken today in homage to Tom, and in gratitude for all the inspiration. You could say his work really rings my bell . . .
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If you've been reading these pages for any length of time you have guessed by now that I'm somewhat drawn, for inexplicable reasons, to the history of World War One, which is still visible in these parts. Most every village or town or city in France has a monument to the people who died from their community, and they are all different. Here are a couple of statues spotted today . . .
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Another blogger I'd like tip my hat to is Laurie up north in England, whose blog (Creating Pictures In My Mind) and company have been a pleasure over the past year or more, as we both enjoy stepping into cemeteries from time to time and marvelling at the history in such places, as well as the peace and quiet, far from the madding crowd, if you will. So Laurie, here are a few from this afternoon just for you . . .
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This third one bears a message the likes of which I've never seen on a tombstone; to translate roughly it says : "Absolutely forbidden to place any objects or religious texts here." And what about non-religious texts ? On the heart shaped stone it does say, "For friendship between individuals and peoples".
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These irises were in the same graveyard, and if I may I'd like to dedicate them to Clo whose blog Photos Sans Cibles just blows me away every time she does a new post.
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As for a very slightly photoshopped version of the same flowers seen today, this one is for Lynne at Décolleté Glimpses, who has developped a bit of an afinity for Photoshop, and is doing some heartwarming work . . .
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This pile of freshly cut stone was waiting to be put in place in the new facade of the Basilica in Saint Quentin, an enormous structure which seems to be getting a large scale makeover. I dedicate this to the master stonecarver who is the other half at Spit & Baling Wire, whose sheer spirit and inimitable style are unique in the realm of blogging.
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Another blog which I somehow stumbled on at least a year ago and have been following avidly ever since belongs to Amy, with the lovely name : Of Heliotropes and Silver Strings. Well, Amy, did you know there is a village in France named after you ? I found it today . . .
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Amy did a couple of posts in the past few days about a small carnaval that set up shop near where she is. This shot below wasn't in Amy, but it wasn't far away . . .
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In a comment this evening over on the Floating Bridge of Dreams, Roxana's magical art and poetry gallery, I mentioned to her that I'd seen a bar today named the Black Angel. Here is the proof. Anyone up for a little drink and a chat?
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As for you Bob, well, you know who you are, but I have no link to link here, other than that of unforgettable friendship over the years, and this very afternoon, I finally found a great place over here in France for us to go have a drink as soon as you get here, heck, it's only been what, seventeen years ? Eighteen soon ? Welcome to Chez Bob !
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If anyone is curious about Bob, who is a damn fine painter as well as an all around wild and crazy guy, there have been some past posts here that you could take a gander at if I haven't already worn out your linking patience . . .
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40 comments:

Amy said...

It's always a good idea to follow along on your journeys. You visit the best sort of locations.

I'm rather chuffed to be included with all these fine blogs and folks. And I'm extraordinarily happy to find that there is a village in France that shares my name. Yay!!

I think it is lovely that you have some photos to go with each of your recommendations. And now, I'm going to go click those out. :)

James said...

Great mix of old, rusty and interesting things. A fine tribute to your blog friends.
One of my favorite songs when I was a teenager was "The Black Angel's death song" by The Velvet Underground. I would have loved to have that sign hanging on my wall. :)

Steve said...

I'd quite happily pay homage at the Court of Owen... I'm sure it's a place full of courtly intrigue...!

Alberto Oliver said...

Owen, i must give you the credit for the inspiration and allow my self to see and enjoy the inherent beauty of all to those forgotten and anodine places and corners that nevertheless give shape to the everyday life. Cemeteries, rusty surfaces, ruins, flat roofs (my favorites and my must beloved photographic subject) I wonder why we all spent that much time without being able to turn and discover that strange and fascinating aesthetic that places and outsider landscapes have. Hurray with them!!

the watercats said...

man!.. this has been a ride ;-).. when I have some more time to spare I'l be doing some visiting to those blogs, cheers!.. that pub looks fine for a couple of watercats! :-D

louciao said...

Well that was a trip and a half! When Owen holds court there's just no telling where it all might lead.

the fly in the web said...

The notice on the grave forbidding religious texts, etc., taken with the message of freindship to all people would indicate someone decidedly on the 'laic' side of French society.
Before cremation was available and given the problem of being buried in your garden, you would have to be buried in the cemetery, but this person clearly wanted it known that it was not for any religious reason!

Super post. Thank you.

Clytie said...

What a wonderful journey you have taken me on today! I've enjoyed every minute - every sight. Now I will have to come back and follow every link!!!

TechnoBabe said...

What a nice way to send greetings to some blogs you like and to share photos with them and all your readers as well. I so love the irises. I know you are more into the older war period treasures and I like them but I like the old buildings and rusty pieces myself. Kinda like me. Smile.

Kris said...

Great pics. I love the colors and the stories they all tell!

Deborah said...

Owen, I am reminded of the Carly Simon song 'Nobody Does It Better' as I read this.

You have an absolutely unique way of linking pictures and text, seamlessly, humourously, tenderly. I feel like I step into another world when I come to visit you.

Really enjoyed seeing how you creatively 'used up' your photos.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I never used to care for France, but you're starting to give me a worrying yen to give it another chance.

Excellent photos as ever.

Laurie said...

Thanks, Owen - for the cemetery shots and the first world war statue - very colourful - not seen anything like that before. I used to be wild once. Well, I will rephrase that. I was once wild - when I stubbed my toe on a kerbstone. You should have heard my language - well, perhaps not!

Thanks for the wild ride of this post - lots of places to visit.

Laurie

Roxana said...

what a wonderful idea to take us on such a double journey, reality and virtual worlds mirroring themselves...
and now the Bridge has got herself a little dark bar as well :-) (one of my fantasies is to run precisely such a bar)

and of course, up for a little drink and a chat, soon soon (she says, winking mysteriously)

(thank you!!!)

louciao said...

I admit it--I came back for more. There is just such a wide variety of subject matter and interesting shots here that I really wanted to take my time at each site/sight, rather than just be rushed through on the cheaper tour. Your commentary over the microphone from the front of the bus was excellent, really adding life and colour to already engaging roadside attractions. For some reason, I'm particularly taken with those soldier statues; so unusual to see coloured statuary, almost going into the realm of folk art. Really, this tour, with all its side trips, was worth every penny and I'll be sure to leave you a big tip when you pass the hat (depending on how much I have left once we get out of Bob's).

Owen said...

Hi Amy, glad to hear someone is "chuffed" by all this ! Funny, I went to look up "chuff", but it wasn't even in my American Heritage dictionary... so I went to the web, and found the same definition for chuff as the American Heritage gives for chug : to produce or move with noisy puffing or explosive sounds, sort of galumphing along I guess. But it also said a chuff is a boor, a churl, or a sullen fellow... hope I'm not that ! But then it got to : "British slang, to please or delight"... so I'm chuffed to know more about chuff.

;-)

And when you get over here you'll have to be sure to sign up for the guided tour of Amy... well, actually there's not alot to see there, it's a tiny village. But the sign was fun.

Owen said...

James, for sure, Rust Rocks ! Sounds like you were rocking too in those teenage years... Guess you'll just have to get over here and see if you can negotiate a price for the sign... or you could fabricate a replication? But maybe best just to enjoy it where it is, while drinking a beer to teenage favorite songs...

Owen said...

Steve, no end of intrigue in these parts... mysteries too... You are welcome to join the court, bring your jester's attire...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Alberto... it is exactly the anodine corners of our world, the places it is easy to pass right by, where often some of the finest treasures can be found... I like the way you worded that. Indeed, indeed, hurray for outsider art, in all its wide and varied forms !

Owen said...

Dear Cats, I'm sure you would have been right at home in either the Black Angel Bar or Chez Bob, they both could've used some live music...

K'line Bloom said...

J'adore tes récits Owen, ce sont de vraies petites perles. Mais surtout c'est l'humanité qui s'en dégage et ta générosité.
Ah ! j'ai oublié de te dire que la photo de la façade (sous la cloche) produisait un effet d'optique intéressant (scroll down slowly and you will see what I mean...).
Bises

The Pliers said...

I don't know how you do it!

So many fantastic photos, so many acknowledgments, so many blog favorites, so little time. You amaze me.

I particularly love the bronze of the WWI soldier that has been painted. That is rare and it is soooo cool. Of course, stones being prepped for installation have a special place in my pointed little heart!

Owen said...

Hey Lynne, Can assure, when the court is in session, I have no idea where it may be leading either, it seems to take on a will of it's own... scary, huh ? Imagine, toads out of control in court !
:-)

Owen said...

Hello Fly in the Web,
Unless I'm mistaken this is a first comment here... welcome, welcome, the more the merrier I've been saying... You make very astute observations, although I honestly was quite surprised but this statement, the likes of which I'd never before seen carved on a stone in any of the many cemeteries I've visited over the years. How many people go around depositing objects or religious texts on the graves of strangers ??? Frankly, I've never encountered any overt or covert object placers or religious text leavers, but you never know, they may be furtively, stealthily making the rounds... causing untold anguish among departed souls who didn't think, like this one did, to place an eternal warning on their tomb... No, really, this engraved message is really full of aspects to marvel at... Bon, may he rest in peace, in any case.

And many thanks for stopping by. I was just looking at your page too, and can see you have a wicked sense of humour and heightened awareness of social justice... I'll be back I hope soon. In the meanwhile, I too am on French leave...
:-)

Owen said...

Clytie ! Many thanks, and hopefully among the links you may have found some interesting places... happy travelling...

Owen said...

TechnoB., so, you'd compare yourself to the old buildings and rusty pieces... for me that speaks of mysteries, hidden treasures, and exquisite traces of the passage of time, few subjects are more romantic to this particular toad... but they say there's no accounting for taste !

Rust on happily ! We are all rusting, whether we know it or not. Oxidization apparently takes quite a toll on human cells...

:-)

Owen said...

Hi Kris ! Ooowheeee, it's been a little while I'm thinking... the crazy world of blogs... If you had a good time with these little tidbits of stories and the flowing colors emitted by the magic lantern, then I'm happy... Long live the metatron !

Owen said...

Deborah,
I admit I had to go look up the Carly Simon song, but found a vivacious version of it here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaV-6qerkqI

And so now I'm blushing... I told Carly a long time ago that I was embarrassed about her singing about us in public like that, but she would not relent...

No, all silly, vanity stricken kidding aside, thank you for these exceptionally kind words. And you know, it's funny, I could have gone on for quite a while longer in that vein with more photos just from Monday... It never ceases to amaze me how subject matter can be inter-related when one stops and looks a little more closely... these connections between images, text, and other bloggers just seem to flow effortlessly from some muse perhaps...

Now, I'm off, I need to go call Carly and see what she's doing this weekend...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Poet L., uh-oh, I'm almost afraid to ask what happened that made you not care for France in the past... well, all I can say, is I hope it isn't insurmountable... "a worrying yen"... I like that...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Laurie, you're very welcome, and I'm sure a good part of the air in the northern hemisphere turned blue when that toe got stubbed... Stubbed toes are the worst ! Happy hunting...

Owen said...

Roxana - reality and virtuality could never meet were there not a floating bridge to join them... so you see, you fill a unique and primordial role in the modern world... as prior to the advent of virtual parallels to reality, there was no conceptual framework needed to join the two and serve as a frontier to be crossed... the floating bridge, like certain bridges not that long ago between eastern and western Europe, joining separate universes...

Anyway, I'm sure I'm not going to be sleeping much whilst wondering about that most mysterious of winks... you certainly know how to create suspense, which may be one reason your (magical) images create such a dynamic... they are literally oozing with suspense, of unresolved tensions, of mysteries...
:-)

Owen said...

Mad Lynne II,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnrsqf33MXA

And listen, if you're really broke by the time we're finished at Bob's, don't worry, I'll stand for a round or two at the Black Angel...
:-)

Owen said...

Chère K'line, des petites perles... bon, on va essayer d'en créer assez pour t'en faire un joli collier ? ok ? Mais, attn, c'est long à faire pousser des perles, à partir d'un grain de sable... mais la patience compte pour beaucoup... merci petite fée verte qui s'est transformée depuis...

Owen said...

Dear Pliers,
In your pointed heart ? I see your point... but I'm sure it is not a heart of stone. I don't know how I do it either, it just seems to gush out sometimes, like an uncapped oil well, errrr, no, bad analogy, let's scratch that from the record... gosh, I wish some stories could just be scratched from the record. And for sure, those painted WWI memorial statues were something else, I've rarely seen any like that. And although from a distance the paint looked bright and fresh, up close there were signs of decay showing... not easy to maintain such monuments forever.

Very best to Mr Pliers and your good self !

The Sagittarian said...

How amazing that you get to visit so many wonderful places and take such great photos of it all! Thanks heaps for sharing, it would great to get your bus down this way sometime....

louciao said...

So YOU'RE the mystery man Carly's referring to in her song "You're so Vain"!

louciao said...

PS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqPR0ltgwpU

Owen said...

Dearest Sister Saj, it is not so much "amazing" as "fortunate that la Grenouille lets me out of the house once in a while !" These shots from Monday where up in the general direction of that day trip last summer when I went looking for a certain grave of a certain New Zealander... not too terribly far away.

And of course I would love to get down under to NZ, hire a bus we all could ride on, and go discover the wonders of New Zealand's finest car graveyards and other renowned tourist destinations...
:-)
With of course a plentiful supply of Tipples for every day of the week !

Owen said...

Ah Lynne, there are some secrets I can never reveal !

When she sings "and your horse naturally won"... is that horse or hoarse ? Even so, she's holding up pretty well for closing in on 65...
:-)

magnoliaamber said...

Owen, the flowers look like a painting! It's thrilling!