Monday, February 06, 2006

Ugly Beauty

Last Sunday I visited Manage (pron. the French way) in the 'Le Centre' region in Southern Belgium. I always seem to gravitate towards that area, which has an ugly beauty.

Of course, of course, beauty and ugliness exclude each other. Yet in my subjective world there are things with a special type of ugliness that I perceive as beautiful.

I find that special beauty in old industrial places like Manage, preferably but not necessarily when the weather is grey.

I hope the pictures don't make you feel down.

By the way, whether Manage's post office is beautiful or not is debatable, I suppose.
I think it is impressively ugly. What I love is the way it says 'Postes' and 'Posterijen' as if these French speaking locals would need that extra Dutch clarification...

Oh, just one more thing, about Dutch grammar: our language makes no difference at all between 'to carry' and 'to wear'. So, if you see a Dutchman without a wristwatch, it'll be because it makes no sense to carry a watch, don't you agree?
I tend to take things a step further. I like to know what time it is at all times, so I carry a mantle clock - 't is better than bearing a mental block.

In fact I found this clock last Saturday in a rubbish heap in Belgium. I took it home and after cleaning it just worked, including a most wonderful chime (soon to be heard on these pages).
Photos Koos Fernhout


Anne-Marie said...

Hi Koos,
I think the post office has beautiful architectural elements (especially the rooftop iron).

Nice clock. One man's garbage...


Dale said...

Dear Koos

How can an image seen through our eyes ever be ugly?
The only time I consider a photo ugly is if there are people in it doing ugly things. (That often happens on the front page of a newspaper...)
Your images are beautiful, especially the one of the railroad tracks.

I so enjoy your use of language!
Lovely "mental clock", I'd love to have one on my mental - if I had one - we have a woodstove...

Check out PTfan's blog. The link she has up has a question on it regarding being able to keep time without looking at a clock.

Again, selective perception or coincidence?


P.S. I just checked out the Lakeside webcam & it shows the sun setting behind the mountains. I can see it from my window, too!

Mary Beth said...

Hi Koos,

I agree - beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. I love your pictures!

Wow, nice clock for being in a garbage heap! Luckily you rescued it and gave it new life. My husband is obsessed with clocks - we have so many in our house - we certainly will never lose track of time!

elena said...

Very nice pictures, Koos....They don't make me feel down at all, I love rainy days....Nice clock, it is great that you fixed it...

Erik-Jan said...

Hi Koos,
I love the post office. Very nice architecture. Now I know if I will find the man in Rotterdam I should look out for someone who is carrying a watch instead of wearing....

Koos F said...

Thanks Anne-Marie, Dale, Mary Beth, Elena and Erik-Jan for really appreciating words.
What can I do but quote a former colleague. He said that the lie starts when the baby is just born. "Oh what a beautiful child" is not true, "Seeing that child makes me feel happy" is true.

A good reason to avoid words like beautiful and ugly from now on (which I won't).