A van with a difference

Most vans (une camionnette ou une fourgonnette) that we see on our roads are ordinary, even boring. Their shapes are familiar so what usually makes a particular van distinct is its colour or the design of the publicity painted on its side. Occasionally, we come across one that is unforgettable. Here’s one that we saw in Hemel Hempstead this September.

Landscape gardening van

This one is covered in AstroTurf or artificial grass (gazon synthétique). Everywhere where one would normally see paint, there was a carpet of green, plastic grass. Just the wheels, mirrors, windows and lights were identifiable. The rest of the vehicule was utterly — and splendidly — incongruous (incongru)!

Fixed to the sides of the van was a wodden, framed notice, like a menu in a pub. Chalked on this blackboard in gorgeous chalk-like lettering was the publicity, which one could almost have guessed:

INSIDE OUT
DESIGN & BUILD
LANDSCAPING
Landscape gardening van, side view

The vocabulary is not complicated: design (conception), build (construire) and landscaping (l’aménagement paysager). Inside out is an idiom with various meanings. The first is when something is turned inside out (sens dessus dessous). It also suggests a deep understand of a subject as in comme sa poche or à fond. Idiomatically, it certainly suggests that this business has an expertise in landscaping. As for the van: well it looks like it’s been turned inside out and has its carpet on the outside. Nice design!

Another grass vehicle sighted!

October 2016, Worthing seafront: here are two photos of the same idea, arguably taken to extremes:

Artificial grass car in Worthing
Artificial grass car in Worthing, front view