Saturday, 27 October 2012

Taking the Water

An entry to Sepia Saturday. "Using old images as prompts on new reflections"

This week's prompt picture is from County Clare taken c1900 of people taking the waters at Twin Well.  I wonder if the seated local got damp in her bones or did that magical water protect her. What can I take from the photo, well  
I've got a bowler hat and water.  My mother was trying to identify some of her old photos and to that purpose we took a trip to her cousin Alice at Ayside, who being nine years older than her she thought would know much more. She was disappointed that she only knew a little extra, but did come up with who was on this photo when she quickly said "oh that is Bob the gamekeeper".  I wish I'd quizzed her more but the day was full of chatter and as it turned out the two cousins were not to see each other again in this world.  It is quite a bucolic scene, I can almost here the babble of the brook and I'm sure that out of focus dog is just about to retrieve something.  Which is Bob?
The card was sent to my Great Aunt Harriet from one of her sisters on 10th August 1906 saying "just another one for your book".  Wish I had that book from the turn of the 20th century.  But instead here
is a card I picked up in a local charity shop with a woman, not taking the water, but gazing out over Lake Bourget to Mont Blanc in the distance while balanced a small child above a sheer drop.  The previous owner of the card has put a green cross on a building, perhaps a hotel, and on the reverse in the same green ink has written 'keep'. This must have been a special memory although the use of green ink is a bit of a worry.  The town stretching out in front of the mother and child is Aix Les Bains, a spa town since Roman times at the southern end of the Jura Mountains.  The town was a fashionable mountain resort in the 1920s
from which period this Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942) French travel poster encouraged people to visit.  She looks full of joy so the mineral waters must have the healing power or there is just a good night life. The British called Aix Les Bains 'Aches and Pains' and the millions of gallons of water that pour from its warm sulphur springs every day at 115 degrees (46 degrees Centigrade) are reputed to wash away any twinges.   For more serious cases there are two altitude clinics up on the mountain to retreat to once the bathing and drinking treatment are complete.
  If your preference is not to take the waters but to take to the water this looks the ideal way to cross the largest natural lake in France c1900, oh and there is a woman and child with a hats too. 

15 comments:

Postcardy said...

I'm not worried about green ink, though I am a bit worried about the child.

Liz Stratton said...

Taking a look at the waters might be preferable to drinking them! I can think of medicine I'd rather drink than 'waters.' Great take on the theme. I love that last photo. It makes we want to jump on board.

Wendy said...

"Aches and Pains" - what a funny yet apropos pronunciation of the spa town. But Bob the gamekeeper and friend seem to be as relaxed and refreshed in that woodsy setting as anyone else might be after time at the sulphur springs.

Little Nell said...

A relly enjoyable post with many crafty links to the prompt! I'd hazard a guess that Bob the gamekeeper was wearing the flat cap and carrying the gun. The man in the bowler is probably a bit further up the social scale! My eyes are not as good as they were and I couldn't even see the dog!

Bob Scotney said...

I'm with Nell - Bob has to be the one in the flat hat. I have never seen a gamekeeper wearing a bowler - too 'high class' for them.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

The first photograph is really filled with a lot of detail and is admirable for the site it was taken..do wonder about their seats too. I love posters and the snippet of Leonetto Cappiello's is great with all that red. Nice post.

Kristin said...

Yes, I think Bob is the one in the cap, taking the gentleman out to hunt. And I would have hated to be that child on the railing!

barbara and nancy said...

My vote is for the flat hat also. That's surely Bob.
And I give the Michael Jackson award to the mother with precarious child!
Nancy

Peter said...

I'm sure the flat hat is Bob. The other gentleman might very well be the landowner. The woman in the last picture is having an umbrella in her left hand. I am surprised Wendy didn't spot it ;)

Kathy said...

I thought of Michael Jackson too, but he dangled his baby out over the railing as I recall. A very enjoyable post!

Queen Bee said...

Loved the French travel poster - so colorful! I also thought the guy with the gun was Bob. What a view in the second postcard, but I couldn't keep my eyes off the woman since she didn't have a good hold on her child. One accidental flip over and he may have fallen.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

What a wonderful selection you have given us today! The trail to the waterfalls still looks to be in the beginning stages, that must be when a hike was really a hike.

That fence near the woman and the baby doesn't look very safe. But not so long ago, people were supposed to use common sense and be careful, I suppose.

Thanks for the post,

Kathy M.

Kat Mortensen said...

Very charming post. By the look of things, that dog has either done the retrieving already, or has something else in its mouth.

Karen S. said...

Oh the pup looks like my cocker-spaniel- but moved her head as they snapped the photo....which one is Bob, the gamekeeper, they both seem to be holding guns, but I'm guessing by hats and age the one on the left, but cheap bowler hats could be worn too, and I'm thinking that since your mother was so excited to see him, perhaps he could be the older man as well! Something you may never know for sure!

Ann said...

These days, I don't like to check the mail box, only bills. Email has taken over.

Love to sing Please Mr. Postman with my daughter.