Friday, 26 October 2012

Sepia Saturday - Down by the Riverside

For one reason or another I find this weeks theme a difficult one. Usually the selected sepia provides me with sufficient inspiration to come up with a derivative topic for my post. Not so this week. What I see is a group of people gathering before a structure of some kind. Next to it is a lady who doesn't seem to be interested in anything at all, if she is alive that is. There is a striking resemblance to a mummy with shoe size 11. A closer look also reveals some persons drinking something. And of course there is a river and a mountainous landscape. Thank you Kat and Alan for this inspiring picture :-)
As you all know, a bloggers fate is that he/she must write. So I'll do just that and hope that the result will make some sense. 
My interpretation of this photo is that a lady with closed eyes is seated next to a drinking facility where a lady and gentlemen, all wearing hats, do unclear things on the shore of a waterway. 
Having determined what we see I can tell you now confidentially that in the 70's we had a bar in our house. In those days I traveled a lot all over the world. And from every trip I brought along a bottle of the local booze. Tequila, gin, slivovitsj, vodka  gammel dansk, ouzo, you name it and it was in our bar. However, after some time it appeared that our friends drank mainly beer and genever (Dutch gin). So I gave up bringing in all these exotic bottles. Surprisingly, or maybe not, only very few pictures of this corner of our living room have been made. But here is one showing just a small part of the bar. The lady is my wife closing her eyes because of the flash light.
Orie Rembrandtweg 70s
Part of the bar in our house.
Having dealt with a number of elements displayed in the theme picture of this week, I now turn to the hats people are wearing.
Man in beach chair
Man in beach chair
Woman in beach chair
Woman in beach chair
Unfortunately I don't know who these people are. The photo's come from an album that was given to me by my friend John D. Judging by the ladies' clothing and hat, we are looking at the twenties or thirties of the 20th century. The pictures have clearly been taken on a beach; in the background there are dunes visible and water cannot be far away. But since the water is not visible here I owe you a river as well. 
Amsterdam Amstel Blauwbrug winter February 7 2012
The river Amstel as seen from the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge) on February 7, 2012
The Amstel flows through Amsterdam. It is seen here earlier this year when it was still frozen. An icebreaker kept a fairway in tact. The picture has been taken in a northerly direction. Accurate observers will spot some sepia colors in the background.

Having exhausted myself with interpreting this weeks' task, I needed to convince myself that my contribution is of an adequate level. So I developed the following checklist. 
river P 
man with hat P
woman with eyes closed P
woman with hat P
shore P
people drinking P
drinking facility P
woman on chair P
hilly background P

On the basis of this checklist I believe I have now sufficiently tackled the theme of this week. For more and more convincing contributions I can recommend the Sepia Saturday site!


  1. Oh Peter, you're treading on dangerous ground :) As part-time admin, I will save Kat the trouble of repeating what she/we keep saying. You need not have exhausted yourself as there is no need to follow a theme! That's just an exta bit of fun that some of us like to get involved in. Having said that, you took a very amusing (tick-box) approach, which made your post very enjoyable. We too gave up stocking our drinks cabinet with what we called 'stickies' when we lived in Germany, as most people wanted beer or wine!

    PS. We do ask that if anyone has a favourite theme, or even an image they would like to feature as the prompt, they can send it Alan when he returns (The themes are all chosen well in advance) as it is quite a task finding suitable prompts. You may like to join our Sepia Saturday Facebook group, run by Kat; we have a bit of fun there and support each other with technical queries.

  2. What? No umbrella? Just kidding. You always create an interesting post no matter what the inspiration might be. My favorite pictures are your bar (it's good to be well-stocked no matter what your friends drink) and the Amstel River (the houseboats fascinate me - I caught an episode of "House Hunters International" featuring a couple looking to buy such a houseboat somewhere in the Netherlands).

  3. You are so funny! I was laughing all the way through this post, Peter. Please tell your wife that I think she is very pretty.

    The sepia colors in the river scene are lovely; and I wonder why the woman on the beach in the shade chair is wearing nylons.

    You gave us a great selection, and the checklist was the icing on the cake, lol!

    Kathy M.

  4. LOL! Love the checklist at the end! I also loved the first photo, it definitely has the look of the 70's as well as your wife's hairstyle. I had the same hairstyle as well! Oh and at least you had a well stocked bar!

  5. @Little Nell
    Yes but you see, there is this compelling need to follow the theme. I feel I am entitled to my weekly obsession :) And I am not surprised most people in Germany go for beer or wine. Btw the word 'sticky' has a different meaning, in Amsterdam coffee shops :)
    PS I'll give your suggestion a thought. Unfortunately I am not a FB-fan but I do twitter (@patmcast).
    The moment I put my post on line, I just knew someone would make a remark about the umbrella. And you have won first prize! LOL
    On behalf of my wife, thank you!
    It is remarkable you mention the nylons. I thought that that was a product imported here just after the war. But I haven't got a clue what type of stockings ladies were wearing before WW2.
    As far as the checklist is concerned, Wendy already pointed out it wasn't complete :)
    And I'm sure we are all looking forward to a post which includes your 70s style picture!

    Thank you all for having a look at my checklist.

  6. Sorry that you had to struggle. But you managed to come up with a very entertaining post.
    Your wife is gorgeous. And that river. I can just imagine Hans Brinker skating along it.
    Loved your checklist - what about the size 11 shoes?

  7. I thought the old lady looked kind of dead too, and the rest of the picture seemed strange too. I was inspired by the topic, not the image.

    I couldn't enlarge the picture of the lady on the beach. Maybe she was wearing silk stockings. My mother's father (who died in 1938, before I was born) sold silk stockings.

  8. Excellent follow of the theme!

  9. I totally agree that half the fun is trying to follow the prompt no matter where it may lead. It is definitely a great deal of fun as was your post! I think this is the first checklist (complete or not) that I've seen at SS.

  10. Half the fun of SS for me is seeing where it leads not only me but everyone else. I have some shots of the Amstel - also with lots of ice. Amsterdam is a place I've visted often when visiting Shell there and in the Hague.

  11. I struggled too and came only as close as a river for the water; I really enjoyed your post and the checklist shows you really saw a lot from the prompt. I do not adhere that closely and as I shared, I like to use photos from my own stash too. Funny you mention a bar, hubby would like to put one in our rec room, but we do not entertain like we used to in CA and for 2 of us where it is primarily beer (his choice) and wine (mine) it seems an avoidable expense.

  12. Peter, you did a great job with the theme!

    I love those chairs on the beach!

    And the frozen river? Brrrr! That's a great photo as well!

  13. Ditto what Kathy M. said and ditto what Liz said.

  14. I can see it was a struggle for you, but I am delighted to have seen the photo of your wife, who looks much like the British actress Helen Mirren.

    I'm not going to chastise you for anything. I think you did a good job.

    Little Nell, it will be "handbags at 50 paces between us" in a bit. I'll be happy to hand the reigns back to Alan, and when he goes away next time, you may resume your "part-time" duties. ha ha

  15. You must have had quite a collection of drinks. We collected too, but not traveling that much we had only a few.

  16. I have just been to Europe, I was unable to go very far in cities outside the boundaries of our Bus tour, but I believe I took a boat ride down this very river, it was at night and it was raining, but I thouroughly enjoyed the meal and the sights.

  17. Peter, I enjoyed your humorous post - you made me LOL! You covered all the themes but one (umbrellas), which was quite an undertaking. Your wife is lovely by the way.

  18. Peter, I totally agree with you that the old lady doesn't appear real at all! I enjoyed your opening, about the entire theme thing, ( I always like how you go about it!) Your wife is very lovely, and what cute children in the pictures too! The two people you didn't know they are so funny really!A great photo! As for the bars inside houses, it does seem the 60's and the 70's seemed to have them in photos especially here in America. But my relatives in Germany always had a small bar inside their houses! A very common thing! You sure made quite an interesting post after all! Thank you!

  19. Very entertaining post covering so many subjects. I like your home bar - the good old days. Actualy I thought at first that the lady was some kind of ape.I had a friend with a monkey who liked shirts with dolman sleeves.

  20. Peter, I think you mastered this theme with fun and determination.
    I enjoyed it very much!

  21. @Nancy
    I notice that the SS-crowd are very accurate readers. Wendy already missed the umbrella in the checklist and now you mention the shoes :( I see I have to be more careful next time.
    Indeed there is something wrong with one of the beach pictures. I'll do some repairs later on. Thanks for drawing my attention to this. And I think you are right about the silk.
    Thank you!
    I feel honored to have added a first to the history of SS :)
    I believe I told you earlier I also visited Shell in The Hague. As a matter of fact I still do, but their price per liter goes up and up :)
    Like you I prefer using my own family pictures and stories but sometimes you have to be flexible. When we still had our bar we seemed to drink more hard liqueur than we do today. Now the focus is more on wine.
    I am not surprised you don't like frozen rivers. There is too much Brazilean blood in your veins ;)
    Please see my remarks to Kathy M and Liz :)
    Not knowing how Helen Mirren looked like I googled her and you are right, there is a certain resemblance. And who says I don't want to be chastised?
    We also had a few, at a time ;)
    So you have been on one of those "it is Tuesday so this must be Amsterdam-tours"? Sorry it rained!
    Thank you twice! And Nancy already pointed out I also missed the seize 11 shoes...
    Thanks for your kind words! The children are now 45 and 42... Time flies. Looking at our relatives and friends, I don't think there are any domestic bars around. In my memory it was also a thing of the 60s/70s.
    Not knowing what dolman sleeves are, I looked it up. The translation I found comes down to 'bat sleeves'. Is that what it is?
    Glad to have been of service ;)

    I appreciated all your visits. Thank you!

  22. Your dedication for tackling each element of the theme is evident -- your comments amusing. And I'm glad we don't have to stick to the theme. I'm not very obedient by nature.

  23. Can you just imagine walking onto a beach in you dress for a party, hose and heels included? Not me! I enjoyed your post quite a lot. We used to have a bar as well and while it was also well stocked, we usually drink wine, heh.

  24. A most methodical deconstruction of the thematic prompt, Peter! Such determination should receive an award ... if there were prizes. Perhaps a bottle of fizzy mineral water. I make my own award, by making your splendid photo of the River Amstel my computer desktop image of the week!

  25. I think it's a wonderful post! You definitely ticked more boxes than I did. :)

  26. @Meri
    Disobedience is half the fun of SS. And obedience the other half ;)
    There is a surprising number of SS-people who had a bar. And now they are all on wine. There must be a connection there somewhere...
    Your comment is my award ;) Hope you enjoy the Amstel. If anyone deserves an award...

    Thank you for dropping in!

  27. @Sheila
    Thank you! And as far as the number of ticked boxes is concerned, we have a proverb here that says: there is beauty in simplicity :)
    Thanks for dropping in.

  28. I thought your wife had had "one too many", but you claim it was because of the flash....

  29. I always associate those beach chairs with Germany guess they continue along the coast! You've done well with the tick list, I always think the fun is seeing where the SS prompt leads.
    Oh yes I remember sitting at a few bars like that in friends houses in the 60s and 70s, my eyes would probably be closed to stop the room spinning:-)

  30. @Ticklebear
    Never!!! I am afraid it is this Haloween party putting these evil thoughts in your mind.

  31. Evil?!? Who, me?!? Never!!!

  32. @Joy
    You are right about the beach chairs. This was a very popular type of chair. And be careful what you say about the spinning room, Ticklebear is watching ;)

    Thanks for your visit!

  33. The wooden panels, the plant, the bar, the ‘Annie Schilder’ hairdo, the tv and even the child photos are very characteristic of the 1970s :-).

  34. @Rob
    Now that you mention it, you are absolutely right, we were a 70s family! The photo to the right was a V&D Pixie photo if I remember well. The other one was an own production. And thanks for mentioning Annie, she completely slipped my mind.


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