Pal in Drome

comments 46
Abstract / Horizon / ICM / Impressionism / Photo Log / Photography / Seascapes


August 17, 2020 — Sonoma County Coast, California

There was a guy in England, an RAF officer, he was. A cracking good pilot. He lived at the RAF Aerodrome, which he and all his mates called the ’Drome. He was an affable guy; extremely well thought of. Popular. He had an easy way about him. He also had a unique talent. He was completely ambidextrous. No matter what he did, he could do equally well left- or right-handed. Even better, he could write forwards and backwards, left-to-right to right-to-left with aplomb. Sometimes for amusement he’d start a sentence on the left margin of a piece of paper and stop midway through and write it backwards from the other margin, meeting in the middle.

Like so.os ekiL

His name was Robert, but everyone called him Bob.

His American friends called him their pal in drome.

Don’t know why I chose today to tell you this story, but there you go.

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. I wonder what the practical advantages of this facility might be – apart from providing amusement? When I am doing my tapestry weaving I use both my hands equally, but each does a different job. I can’t imagine swapping them round easily but is it just habit or muscle memory that makes that difficult? Just a thought or two …… 😊

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  2. Bob is an appropriately palindromic name for the person you talked about. I seem to recall that in the 1950s there was a television show for kids in which the watchers were encouraged to use the reverse of their actual name. I was Nevets. Your image isn’t origami but it is imageegami.

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  3. The perfect symmetry guy! Wow! I’m probably ambidextrous but never really followed it. Some things I do best with left, others with right hand, but this guy is incredible!!!!
    To your image. I think the association here is with the symmetry of your photo and maybe even a palindrome movement of the hand! 😉 Associated or not, it’s gorgeous!

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  4. Beautiful. Beautiful.
    And I use both hands…As a child I remember thinking about what hand to use for what purpose. Came to the conclusion that eating was more valuable than drinking (!), so I have always used the left hand for holding cups and glasses. But I have never been able to cut with scissors using my left hand.

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    • Thank you! 👐😊 that’s supposed to be both hands together equals a smile. I like to be able to do anything with either hand. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m pretty good. My handwriting is atrocious with my favored hand, so I can’t imagine what it would be with my less favored hand.


  5. I’m sorry about the smoke, the fire, all of that. Two years ago we had smoke from BC fires down here, believe it or not (but I’m sure you can) and it was awful. So I get the need for something lighthearted, and this sure is! Ans the image meets in the middle too, even if it isn’t identical on the top and bottom. It has the quality of brushes full of paint, dragged carefully across the surface.

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    • Thank you very much. The fires themselves and the resulting smoke have been devastating. And it’s early in the season. And yes, something lighthearted was definitely needed. The image is indeed a palindrome left and right.

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  6. I can read backwards most of the time, not that I make it a habit but if someone presents me with such I can do it. I see your images, and many others that you’ve posted, as visual palindromes…not that it occured to me before and maybe I am mistaken in my memory. I might have shared this with you before, maybe not, but it’s palindromic genius…

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    • Well, I woke this morning with vertigo and some of what I said isn’t quite right. Plus I did not express my pleasure at seeing your image and the peace it brings while viewing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s quite a trip to read backwards. Back in 1969 I was learning recording studio technique from Fred Catero. (Look him up. Link at the bottom.) he told us that after he had recorded the multi track master of the session he would back it up to another 16 track tape by running it backwards at real speed. Copying a tape backwards at real speed maintains fidelity better than copying it running forward. Not wanting to waste time, he would build a rough mix with the tape running backwards. And, to keep himself amused he would sing the vocal part backwards as it went by. He got so that he could talk backwards with great facility. He demonstrated by starting a tape and speaking apparent gibberish into a microphone. Then he reversed the tape and on playback it said, “This is me talking backwards.“

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