Summer Holiday – day 13

29 08 2015

Day 13, third born was invited to join his girlfriend’s family for an hour of motorised fun in the dunes. We’d arranged to pick him up in the early afternoon in Florence.

Mrs E and I decided to go early to Florence and amble around to see what it offered. The river was very similar in feel to Steveston along BC’s Fraser River. I assume it had had a similar salmon-oriented industry a few decades ago.

The derelict industrial scenery was quite pleasing I thought, with river pilings telling tales of times now gone.

Piling it on

Piling it on

There were still a number of boats – both leisure and working boats – moored at the river’s side. Florence seemed to have avoided the general malaise we’d felt coming up the Oregon coast.

Fishing still pays the bills for some

Fishing still pays the bills for some

The road bridge over the Siuslaw was completed in March 1936. It is a “bascule” bridge, meaning it is a drawbridge with counter-weights (in its solid-looking supports). It was designed by Conde McCullough and was funded by the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works… i.e. part of the infrastructure projects that were intended to pull the US from the recession of the 30’s. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 2005, and has since seen some TLC and much-needed restoration.

Siuslaw River Bridge, opened 1936

Siuslaw River Bridge, opened 1936

We found a most excellent lunch at the Bridgwater FishHouse and Zebra Bar housed in the Kyle Building, named for one of the early settlers in the area. After lunch we headed of to the small local museum and found an amusing signpost reminding us of the North American tendency to recycle place-names from other locales.

Florence - one of many

Florence – one of many

The small museum was in the old school-house, just off the main drag. It was stuffed with the usual ephemera of local museums. Family photos that mean little to outsiders, old pianos once loved in log cabin parlours. It had interesting sections on the early industries of logging and fishing, but these are repeated in most similar museums along the Pacific North-west and had little of new interest. Upstairs there was a collection of local school items including what seemed like arbitrary rules for turn of the century teachers. (Male teachers would be thought errant if they used a public barber!) There was a rather random collection of glass artefacts including telephone insulators and several coloured glass bottles. I thought the ambiguous colours in these were most intriguing.

Translucent blue

Translucent blue

Not green bottles

Not green bottles

We ambled back to the Bay Street area to recover our son and had a pleasant hanging-out with his girlfriend’s family on a café patio overlooking the river. Here I was surprised to see a sack from l’Herault area of southern France, an area we loved very much. It just seemed out of place in the PNW, but on reflection, no more than us!

A sack from southern France, in Florence, in Oregon

A sack from southern France, in Florence, in Oregon





Summer Holiday – day 10

25 08 2015

Today was a lazy day. We started by dropping in to the small local village of Winchester Bay. Like Port Orford, it felt like this had once been a bustling tourist trap, but now felt empty and forlorn. It was actually quite sad. The local area now seemed to cater almost exclusively for the rednecks on their quad bikes tearing up and down the dunes.

We managed to find an open café, but the offerings were meagre… and in polystyrene cups!

Winchester Bay... a sad, lonely place.

Winchester Bay… a sad, lonely place.

An air of dereliction in Winchester Bay marina

An air of dereliction in Winchester Bay marina

Seems there'd once been a thriving oyster trade

Seems there’d once been a thriving oyster trade

In search of more lively entertainment – or at least food – we headed further north to Florence. Here we stopped at Fred Meyer – a US supermarket chain – and stocked up on food and provisions. As we were leaving the car-park we noticed that the famous dunes of the coast LITERALLY started at the boundary fence. In no particular hurry, we parked again and set off for a most amusing hour or so on the dunes just to the north of Florence.

Mrs E and the yoofs trying to run off and leave me

Mrs E and the yoofs trying to run off and leave me

All that's left

All that’s left

T.E. Lawrence would be back in a mo. He was just off getting his camel serviced. Fnaar fnaar.

T.E. Lawrence would be back in a mo. He was just off getting his camel serviced. Fnaar fnaar.

That's art, that is...

That’s art, that is…

The ever-present reminder that this was red-neck central.

The ever-present reminder that this was red-neck central.





Don’t stand on ceremony

29 01 2012

So, Florence + the Machine have a newish album out: Ceremonials. My daughter loves it, but I’m still in the “meh” stage. It’s yet to grow on me. But, like fungus, and if I’m lucky enough a mixed coloured, quite uncategorisable hydrangea – I’m sure it eventually will.

Wikipedia: Ceremonials

Wikipedia: Ceremonials

Dougal and the Blue Cat (Buxton, the more learned amongst you will already know) is on my list for future potential postings, but let me just say that this is not the same Florence. No, that Florence is the one much maligned by Jasper Carrot’s parody of Magic Roundabout.

Florence + the Crew

Florence + the Crew

And I have to say I think that Noddy has much to regret in that whole sorry affair.

Now hang on while I have a sip of tea. I need a second to just try and remember where the hell I was going with all this….

(slurp)

… ah yes! Got it. Nearly there. Keep your legs crossed, the bus will stop soon enough.

So this Florence, one Ms Welch, is from London (not Ontario), and fronts the band. “The Machine” is a group of musicians who back her. The appeal her music has to me is that it’s very hard to categorise. All the best things are, in my view (the only one, let’s face it, that I actually care about). One of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do was to describe a peacock’s tail feather to a blind lady. She eventually took pity on me, and we got drunk instead. It was a simpler concept. So anyway, earlier on in her career, Florence wrote a boppy little number called Kiss with a fist. She rerecorded it with The Machine and put it on their first album Lungs.

Despite the apparently violent lyrics, Florence (according to Wikipedia at least) claims it is metaphorical, and actually about a couple who express their love through tension and violent fantasy, a “destructive force”.

I quote:

Florence explained the song’s meaning on her MySpace:

“Kiss with a Fist” is NOT a song about domestic violence. It is about two people pushing each other to psychological extremes because they are fighting but they still love each other. The song is not about one person being attacked, or any actual physical violence, there are no victims in this song. Sometimes the love two people have for each other is a destructive force. But they can’t have it any other way, because it’s what holds them together, they enjoy the drama and pushing each other’s buttons. The only way to express these extreme emotions is with extreme imagery, all of which is fantasism and nothing in the song is based on reality. 

So – take it how you will, but without further ado, I give you, ladies, gentlemen, and anyone else feeling left out by those labels, Florence, her Machine and Kiss with a Fist:








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