Saturday, June 23, 2012

Who's Joined Us in the Garden? A Bordeaux Visitor

 This lovely fellow arrived last week in a parcel of cushions we had shipped from France (more on those later), and we were very pleased to welcome him. We last saw him in Bordeaux where he decorated the terrace garden of our new friend and temporary landlord's home 

 and his clone spread charm in this delightful garden of the house we rented for two weeks. When we admired him one evening, having drinks at our friend's place, she took him down from the garden wall, popped him in a bag, and insisted we take him home with us. 
Her daughter, a talented painter and sculptor with a growing international reputation and an inspiring blog, based him on the mascarons Bordeaux is renowned for. 

 There are over 3000 of them
 enlivening buildings throughout the city,
 a wonderful array of faces whose features and expressions invite the viewer to speculate on their models, their sculptors, the moments of posing . . .
If one did nothing else but search them out during a stay in Bordeaux, become amateur physiognomist for a few days, the visit would be justified. To say nothing of the wine, the food, the music in the grand opera house, the liveliness of Rue St. Catherine. We couldn't bring those home with us, but this fellow made the long journey and arrived in one piece to enjoy some fleeting sunshine here on our North Pacific island.
 He looks right at home, doesn't he?!

Now is it just me or did that week seem to fly by? I'm off to Vancouver again today for a belated Mother's Day and Birthday treat from my daughters: Afternoon Tea followed by pedicures. How lucky am I?! (Although let me tell you, to dampen your envy, that it's pouring here, rain hurling down from the skies, dripping from every leaf, tapping at every window. And according to the forecast, this is an insistent rain with no intention of leaving.) And you, any treats scheduled for the weekend? (Sunshine would count as a treat -- if you have some, I'm envious!)

25 comments:

  1. What a fab addition to your garden - I'm glad he arrived in one piece! Enjoy your treat with your
    daughters. P.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. Hope you have a fine weekend as well.

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  2. Oh yes, he looks perfectly at home there! What a wonderful addition, with so many wonderful associations and memories attached.

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    1. He does seem settled in, doesn't he?!

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  3. A treasure that fits perfectly in your lush garden, and a generous spontaneous gift- the very best kind!

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    1. It really was lovely -- she just popped up and lifted it from the wall . . . and it was ours!

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  4. He's a wonderful treasure and a permanent reminder of your holidays.
    I dare say the shipping fees on this fellow must have been staggering!
    Enjoy the weekend mater...the torrential rains have stopped here so far and we are enjoying some sunshine.

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    1. Perhaps I should have stayed on the island -- torrential rains are prevailing over here! Stay warm and dry . . .

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  5. What a lovely thing to have received from your landlord! You'll think of your trip every time you see him.

    I just got back from a little two-day jaunt so no real treats for me this weekend. Enjoy the pedis!

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    1. You'll be busy thinking about packing now -- busy times! Take care.

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  6. how appropriate the he now resides in your garden, as he's so strongly reminiscent of the Green Man of ancient european mythology.
    (pls excuse lack of capitalisation, currently wrestling w/ a breast-feeding four-month old.)
    Hester

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  7. Also reminds me of the head of a herm, with all the attendant overtones of that ancient Greek apotropaic talisman, marking your territory as a sacred space of peace, security and safety.
    (Daughter has just dropped off to sleep, ergo am now free to capitalise with abandon.)
    Hester

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    1. Ah, thanks for taking time from your busy mom routines. . . I appreciate you spending that precious naptime on comments here! I knew nothing about herms, but have looked them up and am now interested in researching line between them and the masques and mascarons . . . and I'm definitely expecting this fellow to do some apotropaic work here -- at the very least keeping the deer from nibbling my roses so ferociously. (and he does make me think of the Green Man, planted there in the garden)

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    2. There may be a link between them as from the Renaissance onwards the concept of the herm morphed into a head (and sometimes shoulders), but the original inclusion of a willy was decisively dropped. (Am I allowed to use that noun? I'm English and it's inoffensive over here.)
      Browsing all the 'back issues' of your blog has saved my sanity as it gives me delightful things to ponder at 3am when the rest of my bit of the world is fast asleep, except for one fiercely focussed feeding baby, all wrinkled nose and fuzzy, miniature caterpillar brows furrowed in concentration as she slurps.
      Am I allowed to leave comments on very old posts? You write with such eloquence, sensitivity and intellectual rigour on topics of great interest to me.
      Hester

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    3. Yes, you're allowed to say "willy" ;-)
      And I'd love to see any comments you care to see on old posts -- they won't always show up right away, I think, because the spam-catching program is suspicious of anything left in the back pages, so to speak. But I get them forwarded to me to moderate. I'm flattered to think you find some of the old material engaging.
      Also, thanks for shining that night light on your wee, rocking corner that reminds me so clearly of my own wee ones, that intensity. It doesn't feel like it no, I know, but those nights are almost over . . . so fleeting. .. .

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    4. Phallus, pl. phalloi, that was the scholarly term I was casting for in the cobwebbed recesses of my brain. I am living your life in reverse, first two decades of academia, now full time mothering. All the intellectual infrastructure for one life e.g. the arcane terms employed in academic discourse, seem to have dissolved and been mostly washed out of my mind, leaving a flotsam of random and now largely useless information behind.
      Alas, not sure if infant insomnia will soon be a thing of the past, my son was nearly three before he slept through, I was nearly insane from ver disrupted sleep. But I don't wish this time away, it is very precious and has much to teach and delight if one takes a somewhat Zen, 'mindfully in the moment' attitude to it all.
      Off to find those old posts....
      Hester

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  8. The rain thundered down here last night, and after a gloomy morning, the sun is shining on the wet rocks.
    More than 30 years ago we brought home a similar figure from Italy. He (because he is definitely not an 'it') has graced many houses over the years, but since coming to Pondside He has developed a lovely sheen of moss.

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    1. Oh! I love to think of my fellow, moss-covered, still in our garden, 30 years from now. By that point, of course, I'm unlikely to be there with him, but still. Perhaps you'll post a photo of yours someday. . .

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  9. He does look right at home. What a wonderful gift from a new friend.

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    1. He must miss the southern sunshine, but otherwise seems content. . .

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  10. What a unique and fun memento of your stay in Bordeaux. Love it!
    After the pouring rain yesterday, today is dry, if cool and cloudy. I did some gardening - all the rain makes the weeds easier to pull.

    Enjoy the weekend, hope for sunshine!

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    1. Now that's positive thinking -- some might say that the soaking wet weeds are an even more miserable chore than usual, muddy, cold, yuck. . . some might. . .

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  11. Is that Zeus? Wow! Nice addition to the garden indeed!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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