It has been a long time since I spent so much time in London. My mind’s pulse is at last returning to the slow, steady rhythm of our chosen home place. During the last week we have had two small dogs in our charge which has served to decelerate my descent into pastoral torpor* by reason of the regular walks around the hamlet that were occasioned by their stay. Half of the inhabitants of the hamlet, five souls to be precise, were on holiday which changed the landscape dramatically. More accurately, the lack of people presented the landscape without distraction.

LaMoussiere_grey2_0016The hope sapping proliferation of powerful images from every corner of our shattered world has little or no effect on us save for the momentary firework display Oohs and Aaahs. War photography has to be one of the most self obsessed professions as it’s only true value must be as a rite of passage for the photographer. The shattered bodies of reality meld with the painstaking reproduction of gore that is our daily entertainment. I mention these feelings of mine as the images I captured on those walks represent an unremarkable death. The death of a way of life that will have as little effect on change as did the famous photojournalism of the child on fire with napalm fromย the Vietnam war years.


Today, the missing will have returned and the landscape will change from a film set to real life for as long as its heart still beats. I have a feeling that these pictures will be the basis of a book of pictures and words.

*I have loved that phrase since I heard Dame Edith Evans address it to Squire Western in “Tom Jones”:

“Arouse yourself from your pastoral torpor, Sir!” to which the Squire replies

“Madam, I despise your politics as much as I do a fart”

Fantastic words which somehow fit perfectly into this landscape. However, the two small dogs that accompanied me on my walks could not wait for their master and mistress to return. Here there are staring out of the window, ears cocked for the sounds of a familiar car.dogs_waiting_170341


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Digital photography, Farming, France, French countryside, Landscapes, Photography, photography course, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to DNR….

  1. Very nice. That’s all.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    All those walks and they can’t wait to leave! Were you using live ammunition?

  3. Eha says:

    Somehow you made me feel sad tonight for the departed yesterdays . . . I guess a comment left at Celi’s was the prologue . . . hope you do write . . .

  4. Empty towns give me a strange sense of foreboding and excitement in a “something’s not quite right here” sense. I guess I’m not prone to pastoral torpor.

  5. Well, I am certainly glad you are writing. Some deep and true and tragic thoughts there. I take it DNR refers to ‘Do Not Resuscitate!’

  6. Amanda says:

    This is beautiful. The thoughts and the photos.

  7. I sit in an empty hamlet, and as I wander it, I feel the same way.

  8. lulu says:

    After what was probably a hectic schedule in busy London, I’m sure your return to your calmer life is welcome. I always welcome the return home.

  9. EllaDee says:

    A few choice images capture it so well. Our country village is affected similarly. Empty houses in villages have so much more significance. In our village, there is a tangible sense of relief when an empty house becomes occupied. We live on.

  10. Michelle says:

    Welcome home, Roger.

  11. It kills me to see dying villages. The one my mother grew up in is a ghost town now.
    Lovely photos, though.

  12. Thanks for the asterisk next to “tarpor,” Roger ๐Ÿ™‚

    Beautiful photos, as always. Makes me miss England (I lived in and around London for 5 years).

  13. Mary Frances says:

    Gorgeously haunting photos.

  14. catterel says:

    You know you’re in France when you see those distinctive net curtains with strange horizontal patterns … lovely post

  15. Karen says:

    I love the first photo. The home looks so melancholy except for the beautiful lace curtains which to me shows love has resided within this house over the years.

    • You’ve interpreted that small detail accurately…the couple whose family had farmed there for generations were very sad to leave. They built their retirement house just across the lane from the old house.

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