Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #159 – Postcards

This week Ana invites us to the world of postcards! I am old enough to have received and sent hundreds of postcards, but I admit I haven’t kept them all. – Ana says: ”You can show us some of your pictures that you would send as postcards to someone you love. Or you can simply share with us images of your favorite places.

If you have a garden full of flowers, show us a beautiful and colorful collection of floral postcards. It doesn’t need to be your garden, It can also be your neighbour’s.

If you have some real postcards it would be great if you would like to share them with us, I’m sure they have a nice story behind them.”

I was so thrilled by this theme, that I immediately went looking for my box of postcards – even though I knew I had not kept but a fraction of all I got over the years. As we have rearranged everything in the cellar the last year, they were not easily found – but finally I did.

I will start though, with a couple of my own images, that I would have loved to send as postcards to my friends – from the Verzasca valley in Italy and from Reykjavik. They have something important to say about their place, with no words needed on the picture page – only on the other side of the picture. I used to write quite a lot when I sent my cards, loving to reveal details and experiences. Nowadays the joy is not the same – I agree with Ana – sending an mms is another story…

My box opened, I sat for hours today, in memories, reading messages from near and far, from people long since gone, old friends, collegues and relatives. Birthday greetings, words of wisdom…the upper card on the right saying:

Life is not about the days we have lived, but the days we remember.

I picked some different cards, from people I love and loved, and remember some places where I have been a visitor myself as well. The Acores I have been to several times – and always loved it. But this card comes from our neighbours who toured the world (in 2003 I think). Sometimes the cards are not dated, and the stamp not clear enough to read.

Tenerife and Teide was a yearly visit when the children grew up. Wonderful nature and not much snow wintertime…We often went with friends and children the same age as ours. The lovely Moomin valley in Finland was such a treat – for us grown-ups as well! Many Swedish families visited Finland when the Moomin series were on TV.

Bretagne shows a postcard in a postcard – rather beautiful I think. And then Kashmir, my cousin worked for many years in Pakistan and the area around there, as an ambulance nurse. He sent me cards to calm me down – showing he was still alive. So, the reason for sending cards vary!

The green, middle card, is from a painting made by a local artist – now dead since long. But I met him several times, a very special man. He had a nice pottery too. The forest motif was painted from my home forest.

The last two cards both came with encouraging messages from dear friends. One soft and sweet, the other one fiery – Cards And Senders… In fact I find it interesting to notice how different people pick so different cards to send. And handwriting – that is no more – was an amazing way of showing your personality. Times gone by…

As for the opener, I have featured a postcard from my daughter when I finally had set up my glass house – Oh, the joy! So, in my family, we still send handwritten messages to each other. Feeling the warmth!

Thank you, Beth, for taking us along so many lovely country roads! Please visit the excellent work done by all the previous guest hosts this month:

John Steiner of Journeys With Johnbo – “On the Water

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed – “Black and White

Rusha Sams of Oh The Places We See – “Getting Away

Beth Smith of Wandering Dawgs – “Along Back Country Roads

Remember to link to Ana’s post and use the Lens Artists tag. Next week, we will return to our regular schedule.  On Saturday, August 7, Patti will host LAPC #160 Your inspiration, which can be a place, a subject, a person, a book–just about anything that inspires you.

Until then – stay kind and safe.

Thursday Thoughts – A Swedish Tudor Castle

Tjolöholm Castle is in many respects a fairytale castle. The castle was built 1898-1904 by James Fredrik and Blanche Dickson. In fact it was Blanche who finished it, as her husband died shortly after the plans were ready.

The young architect, Lars Israel Wahlman, combined the Tudor style with modernities from the turn of the century such as showers with circularly flowing water, electricity, central heating, and a vaccuum cleaner (so big and heavy that it had to be drawn by horses). The intention was to create a home that was both comfortable and dignified.

Parts of the castle were being renovated when we visited, which of course made it more difficult to take decent photos.

Some of the most impressive ideas and rooms were the bathrooms with the special showers. All ordered from Liberty in London – the worksmen as well!

I also loved the fashion exhibition, grand royal 19th century, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert depicted from majestic festivities to the family’s private sphere. The Dickson family had moved from England and bought Tjolöholm to build a new home. The style is Arts and Crafts, and the whole interior is intact. A very unusual thing – rather fantastic. The furniture, tapestery and almost everything indoors was bought from Liberty in London – a company that still exists.

The lady’s riding costume certainly makes for the side saddle…

Rooms I really loved seeing were the children’s rooms and the flower arranging room.

Then…rooms with very special things in them or special thoughts guiding their interior decoration.

I especially want you to look at the green carpet room. The entrance to the room was meant to lead the eye along the (very) green broadloom (?) and through the window, out in the green of the garden. To create a feeling of wholeness – indoors and outdoors nature. The player piano or pianola in the last picture, is one of the last existing, working pianolas. The many boxes on top of it contains pieces of music for the instrument. The lady, one of the guides, offered to play the pianola for us. It worked perfectly well!

There is much more to be seen in this charming Tudor castle, so I suggest you visit yourself someday.

There will be one more post from me on the Castle – and the beautiful castle garden. Hope you enjoyed a piece of the cake – I enjoyed your coming along with me!

Lens-Artists Challenge #158 – Along Back Country Roads

Beth is our guest host this week, and for this challenge she is asking us to show our interpretation of going along a back country road. It can be any road that’s off the beaten track.

My opener is a photo taken long ago, of one of my favourite roads ever. It was a late summer evening, and the last warm sun rays made the whole world golden. I can still feel the air that night.

Last week, as we finally went for a short trip to dear friends some 300 miles from home, we had to drive far out along lovely country roads. We had some trouble finding their house this time, because the world becomes so different when all the trees are cut down…

They live on a beautiful lake named Grecken, and luckily their window lights were easily discerned in the soft darkness falling. So, we found our way.

I have tried to assemble some of my favourite country roads, and I easily realise that almost all of them go through pure farmland. Not surprising at all… Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong…

The most lovable country road should be a gravel road, with grass in the middle. I am lucky to have some of those special roads close to me. As Beth mentioned – I would have wanted to follow every one of them to find out where they are leading to.

Last autumn we walked some new roads nearby. (There are always new old roads!) This one is said to be one of Skånes most beautiful country roads.

My forest in winter, and the tractor road.

I have to finish with a real winter road. The winter roads in powdery snow always make my heart beat extra hard – because we don’t have them every year anymore. And, they can be dangerous too. Careful driving!

Hope you are inspired to come along! If you do, in your post, please include a link to Beth’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so everyone can find your post in the WordPress reader. Be sure to check out the first three guest hosted challenges.

John Steiner of Journeys with JohnBo – On the Water

Anne Sandler of Slow Shutter Speed – Black and White

Bert and Rusha Sams of Oh the Places we see – Getting Away

Thank you, for letting us get away with Bert and Rusha last week! Next week on July 31, please visit Ana Campo of Anvica’s Gallery for her challenge – “Postcards.”

I’m looking forward to seeing where your back country roads have taken you!

Thursday Thoughts – Sleep Tight in a B&B

We went for a three day trip to dear friends, and had to stay the first night at a B&B.

And I fell in love…

We stayed in a grand old house, where the upper apartment with four rooms had been converted into a B&B. Our lovely hostess told us she had finally left her career in Stockholm and started a B&B – an old dream of hers. Originally thought for Spain or Italy, but they had settled for the southern part of Sweden instead. (At least it was in the south…she laughed.)

The house was finally ready in 2019 – then came the pandemic. As so many other small businesses they have had a hard time now – so it felt good we had chosen their place. We will certainly recommend it to our friends.

From here, we visited two famous Swedish castles. Maybe I will post on them later.

Lens Artist Challenge #157 – Getting Away

Rusha and Bert at Oh, the Places We See are hosting for us this week, and they say… ”whether you head to a favorite place each year, or you like to travel to destinations far and wide, show us what “getting away” means to you.”

I started traveling, together with my boyfriend, in 1975. The first trip was by car to Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Lichtenstein and the Netherlands. The next year we went by car again, for 5 weeks through France. After that, we went outside Europe too. One of the first getaways was Nepal, where we biked in the Kathmandu valley and hiked around the Anapurna, and also got a glimpse of Mount Everest. We continued traveling for 44 years. Then came the pandemic.

You can never really get away you can only take yourself somewhere else.

– Charles M. Schwab

I don’t know how to explain what made me travel from the start. I guess that was a youngster’s ”getting away” in the sense of experiencing new cultures and places dreamed of as a child. And, my boyfriend had a car! What were we waiting for?

A major getaway was going via China and the train on permafrost to Tibet. A childhood dream come true.

But my getaways can also be hiking – preferably in hidden areas – this time in Spain. This was a hidden valley for a long time, which had kept its flora and fauna spectacular with many endemic species.

Get away from the crowd when you can. Keep yourself to yourself, if only for a few hours daily.

– Arthur Brisbane

I walked alone on my track, and my husband walked another track. Important criteria for getting away – being alone to really savour it all.

Another excellent means of getting away is reading. Or finding the inspirational places used by famous authors! This little picture shows the path over the moor to the farm in Wuthering Heights. Who doesn’t love Emily Brontë’s story of Heathcliff and Catherine…?

I’d like to get away from earth awhile. And then come back to it and begin over.

– Robert Frost
The ordinary getting away plan used to include a flight. I loved flying – the feeling of adventure imminent…but now I am not so sure about that anymore.

No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself. – Haruki Murakami
Art is another means of getting away – and it makes it easier to stay close to my home. Interesting exhibitions – or just painting, drawing, singing…

In fact I have found that the tiny worlds around me are my everyday getting away…and I love photographing them. Marvelling at their beauty and complexity.

Thanks again to Anne for the marvelous B&W theme, and to Rusha for #157: Getting Away. Please go to her site for inspiration, and if you join us, please include a link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag.

We invite you to join us again next week when Beth Smith of Wandering Dawgs leads Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #158. Her theme is “Along Back Country Roads.” Until then, stay well and safe and be kind.