French Postcards: Saillans (Drôme)

I've been missing the postcards. It's like not having mail.

Sure, often I just slap up the text and don't engage deeply with its possibilities and subtexts, and sure, often the pictures are generic and flat and unattractive in tone, hue, and saturation, but still I am compelled to continue. (Or else I'll never get them put away, to be honest. "Putting things away" and "keeping them put away" is the new chocolate.)

Saillans in Drôme is not to be confused with Saillans in Gironde. One is in the southeast, the other, the southwest. Neither has a Wikipedia article saying more than what I just told you.

Oopsie-moi: I fib. The Drôme entry does give basic stats, including population, which is 905. 905! And they have their own postcard!


(Tranquility - I recommend it.)

(Tranquility - defined as "not what you feel when you, sleep-deprived and busy, rush to write something critical and last-minute-notice for someone, hand it over, take a nap, then spend the rest of the night worrying that you may not have mentioned XYZ or ABC, and XYZ and ABC are sooo important, but you can't bear to look because there's nothing to be done about it now.")

This card was sent on 31 July (Harry Potter's birthday!) 1991 to Miss Joy Stander, 11 Tilgate Common, Bletchingley, Surrey.

I looked up Bletchingley because, the way the writer had underlined it, I was sure it was a huge in-joke. Bletchingley? Yes, apparently. Here are the five best facts from the Wikipedia article:

  • It is in the Domesday book.
  • Anne of Cleves lived here after her annulment from Henry VIII.
  • Desmond Tutu was a curate at the church (parts of which date from 1100).
  • It is 3.5x the size of Saillans.
  • It is the place to be and a great little village.

Picture Joy, living the quaint life, when she takes in her mail, flips the postcard, and reads:

"Dear Joy,

"Our farm is hidden in the mountains below these high rocks in the middle of lavender fields, pasture, and a sea of butterflies. The weather, though mired has not prevented us, and particularly the chuldren, from being outdoors. We hope that all is well at Tilgate Common and that you enjoy your break. Much love, Kim, Gvelyne, ???, and Samuel" (Everyone signed his/her own name.)

Lavender fields and a sea of butterflies. That's what I'm talking about. Oh, and look at the photo again: you can see the arrow pointing to their farm on the far left side, just above the mountains.

This makes me think of a sad Postsecret card from this past Sunday. Postsecret doesn't offer permalinks or archives for its posts, so here is a direct link to the card, for however long it lasts. Does anyone really think of postcards as "tacky souvenirs"? (Well, obviously someone does, but do you know anybody who feels this way?) I think that card is great - look at the seals! They're right up there with lavender fields of butterflies.

Speaking of seals, when am I going to post those sea lion photos? Not today - there is a jalapeno/cilantro tortilla filled with panela cheese on the dance card. Not tomorrow - I have to pick up (and enjoy!) the 16 books (yes, 16) I requested from the library. (I'm not even quite done with Palin's diary.) And hopefully somewhere between the two I'll grab my other three hours of sleep.

15 April 2008 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)