Friday, September 07, 2007


How is it that the french seem to do even decay more stylishly and beautifully then we do in England?

They are, perhaps, being somewhat influenced by the British DIY / home improvement /
do-up-a-fallingdownbarn-and-call-it-a-gite thing - at least, in the part of France where we were.

But the towns, villages and countryside were still full of elegant shabbiness and dereliction.

Sometimes its hard to tell which buildings are abandoned and which are inhabited.

(A women came and let herself in through this cobwebby door just after i took the photo.)

(yes, she did give me bit of a "look")

I don't think this one had any human inhabitants though.

I wonder whether i would have found all this decay quite so appealing and photogenic if it were in England, and myself not on holiday.

Actually, I think I would. Is it just me?


la bellina mammina said...

As usual, fantastic pics Lettie! I love this rusty, medieval look that France is so famous for.

Lynne said...

Love these, Letty!

I think the little house in the series of three photos at the very beginning looks like somewhere Hansel and Gretal might visit. What a sweet little home!

Love the gate too!

France's decay is so photogenic, and I'm sure that England's is as well. There is something about ruins and neglected buildings that draws one closer, hoping to catch a glimpse of what it used to be and who lived there. Fascinating!

Keep those holiday pics coming!

kimy said...

i too love pictures of abandonment and decay... in terms of style and beauty french are hands-down better than that seen in north america. but then again, out in the west u.s. some of the starkness of arid abandonment is incredibly compelling. great pictures as always.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sorry you had such an awful summer in Britain! I read it was the wettest summer on record. I can't imagine how soggy all you Brits must feel.

The French don't decay more beautifully than the Brits, really. I think it was the sunshine, peaches, and swimming pool temperature that must have made everything look better to you.

Hoping fall is dry and crisp and just perfect - since you have to live there, may the weather be just GREAT.

martin said...

Wendy and I stayed ina town called Bourg on the way back. It was fantastic old signs for vinyards on the walls and old shops that have been forced to close due to out of town shopping centres.
Great pictures.

Steve said...

The French do everything so beautifully. That's why Americans complain about them so much. Pure jealousy!

John Eaton said...

Lovely post, L.

Best milk I ever had I drank in England.

I saw France from the English coast, and went on back to London.

Decay? My friends off to Harrods when I was off to Canterbury.

John :)

Pod said...

ami allowed to speak yet mish? oops, sorry i meant miss.....

tut-tut said...

Nice, very nice. Nothing like any of this here . . .

Have a happy weekend!

Akelamalu said...

You would probably find a beautiful photograph anywhere Lettie - these are lovely. x

Ex-Shammickite said...

The only difference is that if something looks like it may fall into spendid decay here in N America, somebody comes along with a bulldozer and builds a shopping centre.
In France, and also England, it's allowed to become a quaint photogenic ruin. And in France it's sunnier.

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

As you so splendidly indicate, it is all depending on the eye of the beholder. Without you, much of it would be simply decay or neglect; with you, it becomes a part of a landscape of the imagination.

I love that basketball hoop.

America--we give the French basketball hoops in return for the Statue of Liberty and the UK, ah, in return for Common Law and our Fifth Amendment, we leave a Starbucks across Russell Square from the British Museum.

lettuce said...

thanks Bella, it is a very medieval look, much more so than in england

lynne you put your finger on whats so appealing about the ruins - i love it when you can see remnants of wallpaper etc....

kimy i'd love to visit and see it for myself

hey reya - i can't complain after all the sunshine i had in france - but yes, its been awful here. Sunny and crisp at the moment tho. Hope you have a great autumn too (and that you're ok)

sounds great martin- no pics? i got a few pics of old booze signs on walls.

lol Steve - what, you mean the cheese-eating surrender monkeys?

je, i'd choose canterbury over harrods too any time

hmmm.... well ok pod. so long as there are no more slips of the tongue

you too TT, happy and relaxing i hope

akelulu you say the nicest things. But remember, you only see the pics i'm pleased with ;p

haha shammie, thats funny
(also prob. true)

also funny shelly (as ever). i loved the basketball hoop too

Akelamalu said...

I bet the ones you discard are better than the ones I keep!

You have an award to collect next time you call in. :0

Dumdad said...

Keep on snapping!

Dizzy said...

I love the houses in France, including the ones falling down, such character. I love the french countryside too. Its just a shame about the people....

Ooops did I really say that!

Bud said...

thankyou for those lovely pics you took. So lovely to see you. Feel really terrible today so not in work tomorrow. Voice has got worse. Oh dear. So lovely to see you though, dear Lettie. Those mangoes were delish.

Trac said...

Oh The French do so many things well...

sexy accents

I like LG's trousers!

Queenie said...

Maybe that is French DIY! I love your photo work, thanks for sharing.

Jay said...

Of course I think it's lovely, but I'm Canadian. This country is less than 150 years old, nothing here is old, except our envy of Europeans.

Gary said...

Letty I must laugh because I took a look at these pictures before reading the post and when I got to the door with the spider webs and all I thought - now that place is deserted. Then I went back and read the post only to discover that it actually was not. OY!

The photos are so beautiful. It amazes me that there is such beauty in the world even in things that are falling down and past their prime.

ramblingwoman said...

Lovely pictures Lettie.

As you know I'm of the school that can appreciate decay in it's all its beauty but am not good at living with it! (I'm a NIMBY!)

I wonder if the French woman going through those doors just HATES them and keeps meaning to paint them but hasn't got round to it?


Pod said...

are mocking my lisp mish?

Vintage to Victorian said...

Obviously not just you - we all love your portrayal of the decay. And beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder. Another lovely post!

lettuce said...

thanks so much 'Malulu

will do dumdad, i'm addicted.

haha dizzy, you are soooo naughty

they were delish weren't they bud? was lovely to see you, any time. Hope the voice returns. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF or else.

trac. I am gobsmacked. You didn't mention wine.

d'you think so queenie? i think they're certainly too laid back to ever go DIY mad like some brits

thats funny Jay. Tho we also have a certain envy of the french.... thats why we are rude about them

that is funny too Gary. It was just what i was thinking when the woman brushed past me

hello Nimby. Yes, i did wonder about the spray paint ...

you're tho thweet pod, how could i mock?

thanks Sue, nice to see you again, i will visit yours