Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pressure Tactics

Putting On Airs And Graces


Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


These shots were taken this week, at one of our local service stations. We all pay for petrol. We all pay for oil. We all pay for everything else, but not for the air we put in our tyres. That's still free, so I thought this photograph was perfect for this week's Photo Hunt theme.

The theme reminds me of a great story about a very close friend of mine. About seven years ago, he asked me about the wording of an advertisement for new cars on offer at a major dealership. "Free air", the ad proclaimed in bold letters.

"Yes," I answered, "that's fairly normal."

But he was still puzzled. "Why make a big deal about free air in the tyres?"

That's when I looked left and right to see if anyone else was listening in. Very quietly, I told him that "free air" didn't refer to properly inflated tyres. It meant there was no additional cost if a buyer chose an air-conditioned car instead of a non air-conditioned car!

But if we really think about it, there is no shortage of free products. Blogging is free. Email accounts are free. Local newspapers are free. In come countries, local phone calls are free.

And what of the other treasures of everyday life? They're all free, and where would we be without them? Friendship. Love. Advice. Prayer. Faith. Courage. Laughter. Fellowship. Reliance. Help. Support. Loyalty. Trustworthiness. Honour. Respect. They were the cornerstone of the upbringing that my brothers and I received from our parents, and they are the watchwords we have passed on, in turn, to our own children.

And if you want free roses, just drop into our home and you can help yourself to as many as you want. These roses are called Chicago Peace. They are huge blooms, larger than the palm of my hand and they have a wonderful, subtle fragrance. It's also interesting to see the colours they span. Have a look at this shot of a bud that just started opening in my garden ....


Now have a look at the same flower a couple of days later (below). I took this shot indoors and you can see that the bloom, in a vase, has taken on much more pastel shades. I guess that brings me to the conclusion of this post. Allow me to point out another thing of great beauty that we often take for granted - Mother Nature.

69 comments:

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

I must be tired. Insted ov 'airs an graces' I red 'Bears in Braces'...

david mcmahon said...

Hi Bob,

It sure DOES say ``Bears In Braces''!!

Keep smiling

David

Sandy Kessler said...

I got free heart balloons at grocery today and that good old air filling my lungs haha

lime said...

the best and most beautiful things really are free.

those roses are magnificent in their shadings! like one of your sunsets rendered in flower petals.

dr sardonicus said...

Pioneers of capitalism that we are, you'll find few places in the United States that provide free air for tires any more. Most places, you have to drop 50 to 75 cents in the machine for the air to come on.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Sandy,

No doubt about it - you are the Air to the throne!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Lime,

You're so right. The list of precious things in our life that are free just goes on and on ...

Have a great weekend and I hope your recovery is quick.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Dr Sardonicus,

Wow - I didn't know that. Tyre air is free right around Australia.

We'd better ``tread'' carefully now!!

Keep smiling

David

Lee said...

Neat photos, David! We have air pumps where I live but I don't think they allow you to preset the pressure. That's pretty neat technology.

And those ROSES! Ohmygosh! I knew that roses were lots of different colors. I didn't know that they changed color as they bloomed. That's a gorgeous rose. Guess I'll have to have one of that kind when I finally have a house of my own again.

Cheers!

Sharon said...

What a wonderful post. I particularly like what you said about thr free things in our everyday lives. So true.
Note: air at the gas stations isn't free anymore here. You have to feed the machines coins now! 50 cents or so.

starnitesky said...

Enjoyed your post - I have been struggling with 'free' you have reminded me of all that is free. I love the rose such a beautiful colour.

daryl e said...

We take so much for granted .. free to admire an exquisite rose on a blog halfway 'round the world where its already tomorrow . cool

Melissa said...

Those roses are just gorgeous and like others have said, tire air here isn't free anymore. It's about .50 cents...imagine that!

Jo Beaufoix said...

I love this post David. ANd the flowers are stunning.

Carver said...

Your roses are lovely. Mine won't be blooming for another couple of months but in the spring, summer, and fall I have lots of flowers to give away for free too. Good take on the theme. The funny part though is where I live you have to put change in most of the air pumps. They used to be free but now they charge for air which annoys me. My free post is up too. Hope you have a great weekend.

Tammy said...

The pictures of the roses are beautiful, but one question. Why on the air pump do they spell it "tyre" instead of "tire"?

Am'n2deep said...

Thanks for the reminder of all the wonderful things we can have for free.

Beautiful roses! We just got dumped on again with another several inches of snow. I am really longing for Spring! I would totally take you up on that offer if you weren't across the ocean!

John-Michael said...

Poor Poets, and Lyricists, Authors and Bards ... all delving into the most remote corners of their imaginations and creativities ... yet, never so eloquent as Mother Nature. Thank you Sir David ... beautiful posting.

Anna said...

David, beautiful flower photos, I really like light colored roses, Anna :) btw happy belated V day!

napaboaniya said...

Of all the free things in the world, the most beautiful ones are those created by mother nature :)

Have a good weekend David!

Sandi McBride said...

I start with such lovely roses...I'm very fond of the Peace Rose, it's one of my favorites because of the color changes. Free air in your tires? Chance would be a fine thing here...air is 25 cents at least, depending on whether you're totally down and out! Oh and thanks for the help in "Link"ing...I've done as you suggested and put it on the desktop...now if I can just remember what I named it.
Sandi

Heather said...

That is great--both the photos and the commentary. :)

Natalie said...

Interesting thought. Air for tires is usually free here too...sadly, not always. :(

leslie said...

That is one awesome rose! My FREE post is up now, so come on over to see it. It's FREE, you know! ;D

Bubba's Sis said...

David, the roses are GORGEOUS! I'll drop by your house this weekend to pick some, OK? ;-)

DeLi said...

i woudl surely love to help myself with some of your beautiful roses. just looking at their pictures are are just like invitation!

lovely lovely

-Li

Anonymous said...

What a great free list!

That color of rose is one
of my favorite colors of
roses. It dries a nice color.

Have a Blessed Year!!!

Flassie

Sharon said...

Those roses are absolutely beautiful!

PastorMac's Ann said...

Wow - lovely roses (and terrific photos of them!

Great choices for The Hunt.

Casdok said...

Yes the best things in life are free!

Theres a party over at my blog! Please bring a bottle and some friends!! :)

archiearchive said...

Free air was one I didn't think of. Those are great roses and you are totally correct. Beauty is free.

mott said...

Very beautiful photos of the roses! I forgot I had a lemon and lime tree...which is FREE!!!!!

Heh...


mine's up too...

Rosie said...

Hi David, I'm on my way over to collect my free flowers. The journey may take some time - 24 hours minimum with a stopover in New York!

Hootin' Anni said...

Here in America, we PAY for air for our tires.

My 'free' photo is shared...come by and visit ---it's there for your viewing, for 'free'. Oops, no I guess not --it's costing money to use the computer of yours and being online. Oh well, stop by for a visit, if you can!!!

the mother of this lot said...

My dad used to grow roses and Chicago Peace were always his favourites! Yours look beautiful.

Dragonheart & Merlin said...

Terrific post. The photos of the rose are beautiful! That is a wonderful list of free items that we treasure: love, friendship, etc.

Dragonheart and Merlin

Chikai said...

i love your take for this weeks theme and i love those roses as well. ;)

Chikai said...

hope you can check out my entries when you have the time. it's here, here, here, and here. thanks! :)

holly said...

i have maintained for quite some time now that it is only a matter of time before they charge us for air. so i'm glad you reminded us of the free things we still have.

right now i'm going to go enjoy some free *time* with the kiddies. and i'll get some free *cuddles*.
actually i have to pay for those cuddles, but i don't mind.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Once again, these photos are gorgeous... I am going to get out my dictionary to find more ways of saying, "great post!"

Sarge Charlie said...

I remember when you could get FREE AIR at a service station, today they want a quarter or more......

lynn said...

Oh gosh,i wish i could pop into your garden and avail myself of those beauties. The roses are lovely too ;)

It's only a matter of time before we'll be charged for tyre air, i feel.

What's a come country? ... snigger...

shooting star said...

lovely rose!!....yeah the best things in life are free...but most of the times we dont realise and value them until they are gone from us....!!

Dorid said...

We have to pay 50 cents or 75 cents (some places even up to $1.50!) to put air in our tires at the service station. I do remember back when it was free, a couple decades ago!

Mary said...

As the old adage goes, "the best things in life are free." I may be struggling financially, but I am rich in what I do have...my Savior, the love of my husband, my friends, my family, and even my pets. I feel absolutely blessed.

I'll take some of that Chicago Peace...how awesome since I'm originally from Chicago!

Old Wom Tigley said...

FREE...
One of, if not the best blog post I've ever read... you could so easily have just left this post with the top two pictures of 'free air'... but no David... you went that extry mile... and wrote the truth... free is a great word... and we should all be thankful and not take for granted all we do have.
Very wise words indeed thankyou for that extry mile you give us so often.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

... I used to have peace roses in my garden; lovely to see them again...
I can smell them now. Great post.

D... said...

Your post is so right on. We truly have a lot of free 'things' to be grateful for.

And those roses? Stunning! I've always wanted to visit Australia and I think grabbing some of your roses gives me the perfect reason. :D

Kara Dunn said...

David, the roses are breath taking. I'm so envious. Here in Maine we are shrouded in white! A looooong way from roses in the garden. Thanks for sharing.

And here... it's a treat to find a gas station that offers free air for your tires!

Dragonstar said...

Great post David. I've often wondered when "they" will start charging for air for our tyres, but I'm glad it's still free.

You are so right about the free and good things in life.

Your roses are exquisite. I love the way roses change colour as they open wider. If I lived (considerably!) closer I'd collect some!

TopChamp said...

it's a fair old way to pop over and steal your blooms, but they look beautiful.

Utah Mommy said...

True free air is all we get and it is very important for us. Good choice for the theme. Happy weekend!
FREE RIDE

Charles Gramlich said...

It's generally 75 cents for air at the stations here. Love the pics of the roses.

Katney said...

Our air machines cost at least a quarter, but if we stop by at the tire store they will check and add needed air for you. Actual service that is free. I think that it can be done even if you did not buy your tires there.

Wow!

Stop by to see my interpretation of free.

kathyann said...

Wonderful post David,I love roses and you have captured them so beautifully! I totally agree,the most precious things in life,friendship,support,love ,prayers etc are free!
Just stopped by to thank you for visiting and leaveing a comment on my blog,Take care Love from Kathyann and the girls

imac said...

Nice post David, talking about free phone call (local) not if you ring from a phone box it isnt - cost me 40p.

see my free == gift.

Lynda Lehmann said...

David,

A lovely and inspiring post, and a dazzling bloom! I agree that nature is our greatest gift. :)

(I'm putting your link on my page.)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Incredible photograph of the rose - my favourite flower along with freesias.

I guess we will soon be charged to breathe fresh air, the tax system over here is getting out of hand!

Crystal xx

Neva said...

I love your roses and if I am ever your way.....I will stop in for some! and at some gas stations here, we pay for to put air in our tires......something I never thought to see!
Thanks for the kind words on my blog...a sad thing for all.

Gawdess said...

I love roses - part of that is because of the way they do change colours so dramatically - like sunset and sunrise skies do.
I think you caught that very nicely with your photos.

Misty Dawn said...

You are right this was perfect for the theme!

Your roses are absolutely beautiful David!

Jeni said...

Beautiful pics of the roses, just gorgeous. Those look very similar to the ones my son-in-law brought home to daughter Mandy for Valentine's Day!
And the air for tires here -like a few others have already mentioned, brings to mind the old expression "There is no free ride." because where I live in the boondocks of central PA, it's three quarters please to get air in one's tires!

denz said...

wow! you have a very nice picture and I love the way you put consistency of the picture, indeed that is a great post for this week theme! keep it up!!!

check mine:
PhotoHunt-1
PhotoHunt-2
Have a great Weekend!!!

Lori said...

Roses always make me think of Mother. For as far back as I can remember, she's always had a beautiful rose garden tended with a green thumb and a loving heart. At 81 she still loves them and remembers where she got each as well as their names.

Thank you for the cherished thoughts that always come to mind when I think of my mother.

Jessica said...

They charge for air around here.... Why on earth do they get away with that?

skinnylittleblonde said...

As a kid, we would joke about paying for water, now it's a reality. Several years ago, my friend thought about the idea of fresh air for sale... then during the olympics I saw runner prepping by taking in fresh air (bottled). Here, we pay for air to go in our tires though so....

Even so, hugs are free and so are smiles!

Mima said...

Your roses are really lovely, both the flowers themselves, and the photos of them! I am really looking forward to the start of spring and to mine starting once again. The crocuses are just starting to come up so we are a little way off yet, but soon come, and I see the roses out of my window and just love them.

Flapjacks are a rolled oats tray bake, normally with brown sugar and golden syrup. My fav is with coconut and very crispy, but people also make them chewy. In South Africa I gather from my carers that they are called crunchies. So nothing like a pancake (maybe an American thing?).

the teach said...

Air is no longer free in and around my neighborhood (Queens - NYC) How do you like that David? Thank you for the roses though. They are beautiful!

Amrita said...

Lovely rose. Ours are doing good too but by next month it will be too hot for them.