Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wheel of Fortune and Other Signs of Our Times . . .

This strange little numbered disk was on a door in an abandoned sugar factory "visited" recently early one Sunday morning. I cannot fathom what its purpose was, other than to remind us that the wheels of fortune are turning, turning, and not much we can do to slow them down. Something oddly beautiful in its numbered simplicity, or so it seemed to my simple mind.
The next one says entry is forbidden to anyone foreign to this service. That does not apply to you. For you, entry is free, absolutely free here, as often as you like, as often as you can put up with my flights of fancy.
Although very hard to read for all the rust on it, the below sign also says entry is forbidden. That didn't stop me, I couldn't read the sign. Anyway, I didn't practice "entry", I just "slipped" in. It didn't say slipping was forbidden.
This last one was the strangest of all. Spotted on the door to a farm courtyard, it has apparently been there for at least the past 46 years or more. It proclaims boldly in red that these stables are free from tuberculosis. I wonder if they got a new disk every year or every two years ? Tuberculosis in Europe was a fearsome disease until not so long ago, but I hadn't realized until seeing this sign that animals could catch it too. Their letter slot amused me, a bit of a hatchet job.


lgsquirrel said...

Nice pics and again they invoke the imagination as to what story lies behind them. I suspect the circle of numbers had an arrow attached to it at one time.

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Tu trouves toujours des lieux incroyables à visiter!!!!!

Steve said...

That circular one is very intriguing... some kind of combination lock perhaps?

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

You fancy is in fine form today Owen, and your signs of the times are intriguing indeed :-)

louciao said...

Did you change the fence on the header? I feel I need to dial back a few days to see if you did but I can't get the Wheel of Time, let alone Fortune to turn for me. It just keeps rolling on and on in a decidely forward motion, faster and faster...And now here it is, time for me to head off to work (this of all days, when I need to ponder). I have a picture of a Wheel of Fortune here

Yes, I'm in a fog this morning, imagining other angles of the same vista and completely unable to get on top of the topic, let alone stay on it. That is my misfortune, while the good fortune is having these curious signs from Mr. Toad to start me off on today's spinning wheel.
Big wheel keeps on turnin'...

mythopolis said...

The wheel is definitely a curiosity. The numbers go around in a counter-clockwise direction which was also the way the rotary dials of old telephones were arranged....

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

J'adore, Owen! Lovely shots of old signs... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Springman said...

Mr. Owen,
Good morning Sir from sunny Michigan.
The meaning of these little relics is slipping away from us, the logic and function are being lost. Why on your little wheel do the numbers run counter clock wise in this otherwise clock wise world? Perhaps it is a misplaced part from a dismanteled time machine. I remember,(there is a time machine app in our brains!)my Father explaining to me the function of strange looking, archaic farm implements at a museum. He came from the time before electricty, when life moved at the pace of a horse, even a little boy could see how quickly the world had changed, how different his own fathers life as a boy had been.
Your eye is in top form Owen, your photographs sublime.
Believe me, I have followed up on every suggestion you have graced me with and discovered wonderful writers and photographers in the process. Recently you turned me on to A thousand thank you's!

"Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?"

Jack London

"Roll with it Baby!"

Stevie Winwood

Crosby Kenyon said...

Everywhere a sign.

Nevine said...

Owen, it has been a while since I last swung by. And what a day I picked... because... of course... you know how much I love rust. And no one does rust quite like you. And yes, that is absolutely a compliment!

I will always entertain your flights of fancy. Nice to know I'm not the only one who has those... he he he. What would life be without flying... every once in a while.

I loved all four, but I am especially fascinated by the first. Something about those numbers is very decisive. I like that.

Hoping the rest of your week is marvelous,

Dee Newman said...

I agree with Dan the numbered wheel looks like the face of an old rotary dial telephone. Great shots

the fly in the web said...

I loved these...took me back to prowling around when I first moved to France....the forbidden is always enticing...

Cattle TB was a real problem. My friend Edith's son caught TB from drinking milk from infected cattle and had his leg amputated below the knee...

My mother caught it likewise when she was six and remembers being sent to a vast TB sanatorium on the south coast of England where the beds were out on the windy, cold verandah twenty four hours a day...

Catherine said...

love that little wheel of fortune - very whimsical - incidently I have a sticker on my passport to say I am free from swine flu (from my Mexico days) Greetings from the Riviera..

Céline said...

Où trouves-tu tout cela Owen ? Tu as vraiment un don !!

ρομπερτ said...

As it has already been said, interesting, that the number are counterclockwise - makes one dream, to turn time likewise.

The pictures, hauntingly beautiful measurement of life. Please have a good Thursday.

nathalie (Avignon) said...

J'espère que tu as pris tes précautions : qui sait si l'étable est encore indemne de tuberculose? La dernière visite a l'air ancienne... :-)

J'espère aussi que tu as joué à la roue de la fortune. Ah, sûr que oui : tu as gagné... de chouettes photos !

Stickup Artist said...

I watched a documentary a while back where the subject was how guns, germs, and geography were deciding factors of how one culture could invade and overtake another, rather than superior intelligence. In the discussion about germs, it seems that most if not all fatal diseases originate with Europeans close living arrangements with barnyard animals long ago. So it didn't surprise me that TB struck animals as well. Great and subtle images that remind us that too much is lost, forgotten, or hidden from view forever with the passage of time...

Therese Cox said...

A mysterious number disc on an abandoned sugar factory. Is it Christmas already?

Owen said...

To one and all... I am always overwhelmed with the kindness, the warmth, the smiles, the sheer profundity of all that comes shining through your comments here. Yes, it is Christmas, it is Christmas every day, imho, or it should be anyway, every day is a gift, and the gifts on any given day are often bounteous...
Thanks everyone...

Pour ceux qui sont plus confortable en langue de Molière que celle de Shakespeare, je vous remercie pour la gentillesse, la chaleur, les sourires qui viennent dans ces commentaires... Je ne sais jamais si c'est moi qui trouve ces endroits, ou si ces endroits qui me trouvent, mais en tout cas, il suffit de sortir, et marcher un peu dans des lieux que l'on ne connait pas, et ouvrir les yeux bien grand... il y a des merveilles un peu partout dans ce bas monde...
Bisoux !

Laurie said...

Great signs, Owen. I thought the first one quite sweet but, as you say, baffling!

Virginia said...

Owen, I love it when you go out exploring. You find the most delicious t reasures for us. I regret that I'm never in Paris long enough to strike out with you. Perhaps you will find a hidden gem for me the next visit inside Paris?

The Sagittarian said...

Yes that letter slot does look like an afterthought...great photos, all these places hidden away and you dig them out for us, brilliant!