Friday, July 1, 2011

Abandoned in Belgium . . .

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Where to start ? One of my favorite bloggers in the whole wide wonderful world of blogging has just announced she is taking a break of unknown duration while she sorts out some metamorphasis in her life. I'm going to miss her for however long she's away. Her photography is quite simply out of this world. But at least we can look through her back posts while she's away. If you haven't been there before, her blog name is her stage name : Stickup Artist. Do go take a look.  I was thinking of her just before I saw her announcement about taking a break, because I've been reading Robert Louis Stevenson's lovely travel journal about his voyage in the Cévennes region of France with a donkey. Stickup has posted two absolutely beautiful photos of donkeys here and here.
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I also may be taking a bit of a blogging break, as I'm going to be travelling for the next two weeks in the same area that Stevenson travelled through with his ass named Modestine. I don't know yet if I'll have an internet connection available in the woods we'll be camping in. Sometimes a break is a good thing... go charge up the batteries a bit. I've been secretly hoping that the last four posts about the fabulous hats at the Prix de Diane were going to drive this blog a bit viral with women from all over the world stopping by to look at all the hats; but it isn't happening, attendance has been dropping over the past week... oh well, so much for dreaming silly dreams. In the meanwhile, I would like to dedicate this ass which I photographed last weekend to Stickup Artist, hoping she'll see it. I wish I knew some of her post-processing tricks, to bring out the colors as only she knows how to do, but I don't, so I made do with grainy sepia treatment. Here's braying at you ! This may have been a distant descendant of Modestine herself.
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Having now proved what an ass lover (but not an ass kisser) I can be, now let's get back to some of the photography fare that some of you have seemed to appreciate over the past three years : abandoned buildings ! The following series was taken on my way back from Germany a few weeks ago, near the Belgian city of Liege. The imposing brick castle-like structure is visible from a highway that skirts Liege, and it caught my eye in such a way as to force me to take the next exit and go take a closer look. Maybe I should be forced to wear blinders when travelling to avoid this sort of mis-adventure ? I'm already dreaming of a return trip there to find a way inside this most intriguing building. I'm thinking around the back side, in the woods there must be a hole in a fence somewhere.
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38 comments:

Patricia said...

Odd that you started with a photo of a donkey. We are just back from a birthday dinner celebration at a friend's farm in Maryland. Among the collection of critters there was a miniature donkey which I was dying to snap a picture of but people were the focus of our attention.

There building series is great.

...louciao... said...

May all your asspirations come to pass!

The building brings to mind "All Along the Watch Tower", Jimi Hendrix version.

Elisa said...

I like your photos, as I always do! You have such a different world there, I guess.. Break is a good thing. My computer and my connection has given me break even though I don't want it. Now it works sometimes, and I am hanging here and there.. And yes, we have beautiful summer here in Finland. Water in lakes are so warm, about +20 and up and it is wonderful. I am still working, but after two weeks is my summer holiday. And yes, the cat is quite similar ;) Have a nice weekend!

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Dear Owen. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I have just checked out your post on le Musee Carnavalet and loved it. It's funny how different people notice different things. When i went there last December, I was entirely focused on old medieval signs! Anyway, have a lovely trip to the Cevennes whether you have wifi there or not. Sounds like you will be camping. It should be a lot of fun during this gorgeous French summer! Bonjour from Sarlat, dans le Perigord Noir. Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

Steve said...

Such a wonderfully ugly-beautiful building! Enjoy your break, Owen, though I am secretly hoping you find yourself with a decent connection to the WWW!

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Je cherche des lieux comme ça pour aller faire des photos autour de Lyon!!!!

J'aime aussi quand tu nous montres des photos comme celles-ci dans des lieux improbables!!!!!


C'est vrai que ça donne très envie d'y pénétrer....



Bonnes vacances OWEN!!!!!!

Céline said...

Hi Owen,

Coïncidence, ma mère vient juste de parcourir presque 250 km sur la route de Stevenson et elle parcourt à présent le livre !! Très beau voyage et plein de souvenir pour elle même si elle n'a pas vu beaucoup d'âne.

Bonnes vacances à toi et ta famille (pars-tu en coccinelle rouge ? :))

Céline

henk van es said...

Hi Owen, Enjoy your Cevennes holiday.

shansenn9603q said...

Hey Owen,
Take a break. It will be good for you. I have some information about that abandoned mine you just found, Hasard Cherrate. It's a coal mine that was built in 1860 and closed int 1977. Here's a link to perhaps my favorite website of abandoned photography. http://www.opacity.us/site140_hasard_cheratte_coal_mine.htm

mythopolis said...

That is a very interesting building. I wonder if it is for sale? A good set for a movie, too. Re Stickup, I couldn't agree more about her wonderful photography. One of my favorites (among so many) is an astonishing portrait of a rooster....

Have a great break!

the fly in the web said...

And when you've done Stevenson, track the path of Smollett....with your camera.

Deborah said...

Watch out for bears, Owen!

ρομπερτ said...

A safe road ahead and only happy a sight for you all.

Owen said...

Hi Patricia... donkeys in the air these days I guess, perhaps that's not too surprising with a Democrat for president and all... Sorry you missed getting a picture of the donkey in question if you were dying to do it... some photo opportunities don't repeat themselves...

Owen said...

Dearest Lynne, after a pun like that... I'm going to need an asspirin...

As for Hendrix and the Watchtower, the only thing missing were the women coming and going, and their footservants too...

Owen said...

Hi Elisa, sorry your connection is not connecting when you want it too, but nice that the lakes are warm enough to swim in... The ocean in Britanny never gets above 18°C roughly, but that doesn't keep us from swimming in it... even if we do a lot of shivering afterwards.... brrrrr....

Owen said...

Bonjour Véronique... ah de Paris à Sarlat le Canada, tu bouges, tu bouges ! J'adore le Perigord, et qu'est-ce que l'on mange bien là bas... bonnes vacances alors !

Owen said...

Thanks Steve, well, we will see if there is a connection possible down south, but am ready for a bit of a break, sometimes it's good to unplug and totally disconnect from everything... just me and the missus... :-)

Owen said...

Salut Chrys,
Si tu aimes bien des sites abandonnés, et des photos en de tels lieux, suivre le lien dans le commentaire de shansenn9603q a laissé vers le site Opacity (il y un lien vers ce site déjà dans mon sidebar sous "Don't Miss These Worlds"... il y a des photos sans fin de beaux sites laissés pour mort. Il doit y en avoir autour de Lyon. Après pour rentrer dedans, c'est parfois pas facile, et méfiance aux pièges... de tels sites sont parfois dangereux, planchers troués, etc... mais bonne chance pour en trouver, il y en a de splendides. Le dernier que j'ai trouvé en France était à coté de la ville de Sens, une usine abandonné. Alors, ton nouvel appareil va bien ???

Owen said...

Hi Céline, c'est fabuleux que ta mère lit ce livre à présent... si tu as le temps, ça vaut la peine, et ce n'est pas très long d'ailleurs. Un beau récit, l'âne Modestine est merveilleuse.

Non, malheureusement pas pas de coccinelle pour ce voyage... juste en reve...

Owen said...

Thanks Henk ! Am looking forward to it... and will keep my eyes peeled for any outsider art. I know there is some outsider art in that region, because people left dolmens standing some thousands of years ago... and other traces carved in stone...

Owen said...

Shansenn... what a small world it is ! Amazing that you saw these photos and knew that the building had been featured on that most excellent of websites which is Opacity. There's been a link to the Opacity site in my sidebar under "Don't Miss These Worlds" for a long time, but it didn't occur to me to check and see if this building had already been featured on the Opacity site... That guy sure gets around ! Anyway, many THANKS for that...

Owen said...

Hi Dan, funny you mention it would be a good site for a movie, on the Opacity site where this building is documented (link in comment just above yours) a number of people left comments saying they thought it would be a great place for a horror movie... Many thanks !!!

Owen said...

Hi Fly... would that be Tobias Smollett ? Wasn't previously familiar with him or his writings... many thanks for the tip...

Owen said...

Ok Deborah, will keep my eyes peeled for bears, and wolves... and the beast of Gevaudan... which apparently is (or was) the most ferocious of all !

Owen said...

Hi Robert, danke schon !

Stickup Artist said...

Hi Owen. I'm away from home today working on my laptop and got an email re this post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words! You have no idea how uplifted I was to read them in my current state! I showed my associates your blog and they were absolutely crazy for your hat posts from the horse races. Seriously, everyone agreed there is a future for you in the portraiture business if you felt like it. There was also much admiring feedback over your header. Everyone thought that the old decaying car is a wonderful shot. And that abandoned building is crazy awesome. And the ass, well he's simply asstounding! Have a great vacation and I'll see you again soon. Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again...

Suze said...

I feel completely uplifted by those blue skies. Thanks!

Nadege said...

Have a wonderful time in my beloved Cévennes! I try to keep up with my favorite blogs but don't leave comments as often. Summer is always busy and I also found 24 hour live webcams from South Africa and Botswana (Ustream Pete's pond and Ustream Djuma).

Dedene said...

Have a great vacation. Stay away from donkeys, they bite.

Owen said...

Hi StickUp ! Very happy you could stop by, and glad there are little birds out there who could whisper in your ear to come take a look, I wouldn't want you to miss this donkey ! And you should know, he is a very high class ass, for he lives at the polo grounds of Apremont, a very chic place, where he rubs shoulders, literally, at the feed trough with so very racy horses ! And I'm smiling then if you associates liked the hats, that was just no end of fun, spotting them in the crowd, then seeking out an angle for a photograph, for several hours that afternoon... Be well and stay in touch... If you have time do drop me a little e-mail, I'd love to hear what you're doing this summer...

Owen said...

Hi Suze... glad someone noticed the sky there !

Owen said...

Dear Nadege, I like how you put that : "my beloved Cévennes...", I think once someone has wandered for a few days in the Cévennes, one cannot help but to fall head over heels in love with them, forever... I've been dreaming of going back there for quite some time now, and am thrilled that it finally is about to happen... Did you see in the press where the Causses were just named Patrimoine Mondial ? A fine distinction for that fabulously beautiful area. I've been spending hours poring over the topographic IGN maps for all around Florac, planning out all the remote area I want to explore over the next two weeks... am like a kid in a candyshop with maps like those... Do stop back, there should be some photos here before long of the Causses, les Gorges du Tarn, le Mont Lozère...

Owen said...

Hey Dedene, Thanks for the warning, and I hope you are not speaking from first-hand experience... !

Nadege said...

Owen, Tammy lives in the Cévennes
http://www.laviecevenole.blogspot.com/
How lucky is she?
Can't wait to see your pictures.
Have a wonderful time!

Peter said...

So, the "normal" Owen is back again, after a nice fashionable break!

I saw that no cars were allowed to park there; I guess it would have been too good if there had also been some car wrecks! :-)

Let's see what kind of treasures you will find in the Cevennes. Especially, have a nice and relaxing time there!

James said...

Hi Owen! I've been in California for about a month. Your trip sounds great and I really enjoyed seeing these pictures. The lighting and colors are amazing! Also I share your about Stickup Artist.

I don't know if you remember but I while we were in Paris I mentioned that I wanted to visit this abandoned coal mine (Hasard de Charette. It was featured in the first episode of PhotoXplorers. Later I sent you an email with a link to their website. Watch the episode if you can because they show how to go inside.

Roxana said...

so many around taking blogging pauses... i miss Stickup already, a lot (i hope she reads this). and now you go away too. i am staying here, looking at these broken windows, i like this photo so much, you know, it makes me get into some ponderous mood about frailty and strength and death and life, better not to hear me start on this :-)

i wish you a lovely holiday and come back soon! with tones of pics, yes? and jokes and adventures, glowing with that special magic lantern light which is unique :-)