one day at a time…
Sunday 31 August 2003

Pix Of The Day: Postcard Memories From Childhood
CREDITS: © Tony Richards/LakelandCAM.co.uk MAPS: Finsthwaite (and detail).
When clicked, thumbnails popup enlarged versions of the images.

Windermere From High Dam © Tony RichardsWe wonder if any readers remember childhood excitement when a postcard arrived from a relative or family friend who was on holiday. We particularly valued those from Jimmy Dixon, who with his wife Jesse would return every year for a vacation in their native Scottish Highlands.

The commercial printing in the 1950s, particularly for low profit mass market items like postcards, had a more lithographic than photographic appearance. The color palette in particular gave preference to certain colors: imagine our astonishment on the first visit we made to the Trossachs, to discover that the much vaunted purple heather as celebrated in popular song, really was that bright shade of puce!

The southern part of the English Lake District has long been a popular vacation destination, and Windermere particularly has been enjoyed by those who did not go to enjoy the district's boating, hiking, climbing, or other sporting activities. We wish we had a cent for every picture postcard of Windermere that had been sent to the folks back home: we would probably be able to buy the place with all that cash!

Tony Richards walked from the village of Finsthwaite up to High Dam, then onto a viewpoint that is unfamiliar to us, where he captured this evocative picture (also available at 660x394 pixels for larger monitors: we have detected your monitor as We manipulated the image in the computer program Photoshop, producing another version with a 1950s lithographic look for our own enjoyment, replete with purple heather so bright that one needs dark glasses for viewing!

[Readers interested in how and why changing print technologies create differing appearances, may enjoy the feature for Friday 5 September 2003. - Ed.]

From Our 2002 Archive: Desert Gardening - Saturday 31 August 2002
Desert Gardening © Ian Scott-Parker
One of the things I noticed when I came to live in the desert, or at least in this desert, was the occasional profligate use of water. The state governor, Mike Leavitt, occasionally appears on TV in public service advertisements extolling the virtues, necessities even, of water conservation. Many people seem to take the attitude that they are paying for it, so what the heck; a common local expression, our own expletives are blunter. This produces some desert environment absurdities, such as lush green lawns surrounding fountains and cascades. Others practise 'desert gardening' with rocks, gravel, and the native plant species.

One garden nearby has an interesting assortment of skulls, and the skeletal remains of trees as well as animals. All this is laid out on a rockery of local stone laid over red volcanic gravel, edged by petrified wood. The picture was taken just outside the Star Nursery garden centare in the nearby town of St. George, UT. Nice to see them setting such a good example to their customers. Their 'Star Notes'#215 has tips on growing herbs in the desert… I'm sure even Mike Leavitt would approve of a little water to grow something like borage, which they say to 'give deep, infrequent water when established'. Mmmmm! Some roasted garlic bread with cold Ligurian lettuce and borage soup, hard goat cheese, and a well breathed bottle of Cabernet Franc Lison-Pramaggiore D.O.C. Santa Margherita. The gates of heaven. Buono Appetito!

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)