Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The old and the new

click photo to enlarge
In a newspaper article I was reading the other week the writer made the point that he (or was it she?) knew of many people's houses that contained nothing that was old. No old pieces of furniture, no old photographs on display, no old "consumer durables", no old books, nothing: everything seemed to date from the past five years.

Thinking about it, I can understand how this might come about. In recent years people setting up home have tended to acquire everything that is necessary within a short space of time. The lower cost of such goods, higher incomes, and greater expectations, have made this approach, in some quarters, the norm. Not for them the collecting of cast-offs from parents and relatives, or the scouring of junk shops for something that "will do." No, the new house, the new car, the new interior has been the aim that some have thought a "right", and they've had it whether or not they can afford it. The economic downturn will result in some of these houses suffering what I think of as "Soviet navy syndrome". The old USSR expanded its surface fleet by building new vessels over a very short period, with the result that they all became obsolete at the same time too.

Whilst some people love the style, quality, associations, thrift, and eclectic feel that comes from mixing old with new (I certainly do), others see the anachronism as awkward, the old items as dirty and shabby, and much prefer to lust after the newest, latest, most fashionable in everything. I suppose some people are just strange! I was reminded of this as I processed this image of an old house overlooked by wind turbines on the Lincolnshire Fens. The flat landscape and old buildings look like they're accompanied by some shiny new visitors from outer space, so "different" do the new turbines look. Yet, I can't help thinking that, in reasonable numbers, they add to this landscape rather than detract from it. But I suppose I would say that as I view this text on my glossy new 22 inch LCD screen and type on my grubby, battered ten year old keyboard that I keep for its wonderful action (real mechanical linkages to each key as opposed to a squishy plastic membrane)!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On