Thursday, May 26, 2011


Time passes, leaving it's patina on all it touches.

I notice that here more than at home, perhaps because at home, we tend to pitch things in the nearest garbage can as soon as they are of a certain age, or if something brighter and shinier comes along. But here, it's a different story...

Peeking through a garden gate, I saw this tableau... the table is beautifully weathered, charming in it's rusticity, contrasting perfectly with the lush greenery

Six centuries worth of time have passed, and this village has seen it all, the stones of the buildings as hard and strong as the day they were fitted together, still sheltering

Time for ivy to grow over anything that will stand still long enough, lending it's softness to buildings and trees alike

Time that turned rocks to sand and weathered green wood to grey/brown

I was born and raised in a place where the oldest buildings are from about 1898 - I grew up with a narrow view of old. And there is very little left in the city I grew up in that dates back beyond 1950; as buildings crumbled they were torn down.

The '60s and 70's were fraught with getting the latest and greatest of every new invention known to man - we wanted to be hip and modern, and K-Tel made it easy. 

There is no doubt you can find lots of great new things here in France, and there are mega stores that would rival Wal-Mart but there is also a history of hanging on to what you have, if for no other reason but that you just do. All of the private hotels we have stayed in so far have been filled with old furniture and it isn't because they are creating a setting, it's because it's been there, likely for as long as the hotel itself. 
Wardrobes, bureaus with marble tops, rustic tables and nightstands, the list goes on and on - adding a character you just can't buy.

So while I very much like chippy, rusty, rickety and raggedy things, I like them best when they got that way over a period of time.

Time, during which the dings and dents and footsteps made by people long ago become a gift to the future.


Marj Talbot said...

I understand what you're saying about old stuff. Somehow along the way the idea was put forth that we should be "modern". While modern can be nice, there's a lot of nice in the old well used things that some call antiques and others call junk. I prefer the old myself - history written in the scrapes and bruises over time. For the really old - appreciate the talent that someone's hands offered to create these items vs the machine made things of today.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jillayne,

I know exactly what you are saying.
We stayed in a few B&B's, when we were travelling around France and found the very same thing.
Everything is so old, but just works so perfectly.

Have a wonderful weekend

Michelle May (Shell) said...

I agree completely! My gosh girlfriend those photos are so gorgeous! Ok...I'm still totally JEALOUS!! hee,hee,hee.
xx, shell

Laura said...

The picture of the tattered little fence leading down to the sand reminds me so much of that picture that you and Dad have - the one that used to hang above your bed!

Createology said...

You have said this so beautifully. I too adore the charm and history of long ago...buildings, furniture, patina. Like nothing we can re-create or duplicate the old time worn is the very best. You must be having the best time in France and truly "living" the dream.

Becca said...

Hi Jillayne, I have really enjoyed all of your photographs...what a lovely place to visit! I envy you so!

Suztats said...

Yes, I agree totally. When I was in Rome many years ago, one could feel the history in the stones, and see the evidence of it in the patina time painted on the buildings.
Being rather young, I felt that this timelessness juxtaposed against the new cars and fashion of the day was incongruous. I think now, though, since I have a little patina of my own, it was just the strangeness of coming from a country having less history.