Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fierce beasts to protect us

One of the interesting things about South Africa is that people see dogs as home protectors.  In addition to the high walls and electric fence, a few dogs patrol each garden.  The small ornamental breeds of dog are not as common there.  Instead you have Rottweilers, Rhodesian ridge-backs and lots and lots of German Shepherds (crossed with sharks) to produce fearsome looking predators. 

Today, Wren and I went down to the U-district to find a home protector of a different kind - a gargoyle!  Its Halloween season (although not quite decorating time) and the kids are getting interested in all things spooky.  Since the D&D phase, Wren has been very interested in gargoyles so he was intrigued when I told him there was a shop that sold them.

Josh said "Yes, and then you can have baklava at The Continental.  You must do it."

A plan was made.

The gargoyle shop is called Gargoyles and is very dark and cluttered with statuary.  The floor is dirty - in the sense that there appears to be dirt upon it - and has leaves lying around so it feels as if you are in the garden of a creepy old house.  The walls are black and in one corner a fountain gargoyle spouts water from its mouth.  Most of the gargoyles are made with resin but some are made from heavy cement and suitable for outdoor use.  I nearly bought an old ogre but instead took some pictures of likely home protectors (to go by our stairs on by the pathway).  We bought a few tiny little pewter gargoyles for halloween.  Wren loves them.

Why are you making me squint into the sun.  The
Sun is too hot and sunny.

The strange little ceramic creatures living
on a mossy stump in Ravenna.

And their gargoyle kindred.

This is the gargoyle I would like for our front wall.

Wren outside the gargoyle shop

More little guys on the parking strip
On the way home (by bicycle) we passed a home with a most splendid array of pottery 'personalities' on their parking strip.  Its one of those things that one or two would be kitsch but with abundance they are splendid and original.  Wren suggested we make some too.  Many of them were made from a basic form of clay rolled around a tin can.

Frost did Soccer camp this evening and had his first experience of a fierce macho firm-talking Coach.  "WHADDAYOU DOING LOOKING OVER THERE?  LOOKADME!"  and "YOU CAHN-DO THAT!  GOAL TO RED!" when Frost, on the sidelines, moved as if he was going to intercept the ball.

I am not sure what Frost makes of it.  It is a very different style to the inclusive, caring and parental coaching style which he has experienced to this point.  I saw him rubbing his eyes at one point but he was also very focused, quick, attentive and doing very well on many drills.  We shall have to watch and see where this leads.


We are all wondering :)

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