Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pastel valley

This morning, the valley of the Bourne was shrouded in floating mists, while the sunny sky was pale blue and studded with cumulus clouds.

On autumn mornings like this, my son and I used to have mock-serious conversations in which we would reminisce about the precise exotic regions of faraway China that were most evoked by the misty mountains of Choranche and Châtelus.

I would air my erudition: "Choranche has always reminded me of the upper regions of Fu-Ching, in the vicinity of the great Wong."

François would beg to disagree: "No, not at all; your judgment and visual memories are flawed. The Bourne provides us with exactly the same kind of splendid vision that I recall during my extensive journeys through the Min-Yang, on horseback, in early October."

At other times, I would show the above photo to friends and ask them what they thought of this image of the Bourne in the vicinity of Gamone. Let me cease my trivial joking. It's an old photo of the Clarence River at Jackadgery, not far from where I grew up in Australia.


  1. I like the border effect you've created for the photos. The final one is quite deceptive and hides its location cleverly - only a couple of distant eucalypts.

    I imagine the discussions were over a good red wine? Am I right?

  2. The new graphic design that I've adopted for Antipodes incorporates a pale cream background. So I no longer really need the fine orange border that I've been using for ages for my illustrations. The borders for the images in the present post were obtained by applying a 3-pixel feather to Photoshop's rectangular marquee tool and then pasting the cut image onto a pure white background. Through habit, I continue to create jpegs that are exactly 426 pixels wide, but I realize that the new blog design would accept wider images. In some ways, concerning Antipodes, I've worked myself into a rut. Not only the style of the blog, but its contents too, have ended up acquiring a certain standard look and feel.

    As for the question of being fired by wine while contemplating the local landscape in exotic perspectives, let me borrow a line from the great Lawrence Durrell's book on Provence, Caesar's Vast Ghost:

    "Everything really desirable has come about because of, or in spite of, wine!"

    In fact, when my son and I were motivated to wax lyrical about the misty splendors of Choranche, comparing them to a make-believe China about which we knew nothing, we were usually driving along the narrow cliff-side road up to Presles. On such occasions, on the edge of the abyss, wine was of course out of the question.