Saturday, 22 January 2011

Lulu Came to Town (Part 1)

December 2010 found me scratching around the back yard of our house here in L'Agulhas like a demented chicken looking for worms.
To my delight, I discovered a pile of brandering off-cuts which we had discarded in a corner after putting up the ceiling in the newly renovated lounge, dining-room section of our bed and breakfast, Beachcombers.
Wood, I love wood! The feel, smell and texture of it makes me happy. If there is a possibility to create something out of it, I will. This time, Lulu was the result, - a giant 10' puppet who had articulated limbs and could wave, do high leg raises, sit, stand...you name it, she could do it. (And she only cost me Rand 100 to make!)
So, I sawed, drilled, screwed and hammered her skeleton together and had Graham, (that's my hubby emerging from his studio on the hour, every hour to demand what I was up to.
“It's a secret, and it's for the Festive Season,” was all I'd say.
When the frame was complete, I dashed off to Struisbaai to seek padding for Lulu's body and hessian to sew her some respectable attire. The wind was blowing like mad, (which is not unusual for the Southern most tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans clash heads.) 
Having purchased the hessian for Rand 100, I then went to various shops to scavenge plastic which had been discarded from packaging and boxes. The best place was out the back of OK Bazaars where they have a locker filled with all the recyclable stuff that I required.
There I was, in amongst rolls of plastic and cardboard, having a field day collecting wonderful things for Lulu's body, when our friend Johnnie from a near-by art gallery came strolling by, stopped and asked in amazement, “Sue, Wat doen jy?” (Sue, what are you doing?)
I turned around to answer him and all the plastic I was clutching was suddenly whisked out of my arms by the wind and blown over his head towards the very last little church in Africa.
“Ek is op soek na plastic vir Lulu” (I am looking for plastic for Lulu)
Johnnie asked me if Lulu was my puppy and did I need the plastic to keep the floors clean.
Whilst I continued to act like a “bag-lady” and collect my treasures from the pile, I told him Lulu was a giant puppet and he could meet her out side Beachcombers later on in the month.
Shaking his head, he quickly continued with his walk. Perhaps he thought I had either gone loco, or secretly sipped one too many at a near-by local pub, TMC!

Once my car was filled to the brim with glorious rubbish, I returned home. Before Graham could see what was up to, I duct taped my finds to the skeleton I had built. Now Lulu looked more human...especially once I had given her a huge ball of a head.
Then I uncovered my twenty year old sewing machine and made her clothes and a hat. As I proceeded in dressing her, Graham arrived:
“What the heck, Babe?” He said, “That's some scary momma!”
My feelings were hurt, Lulu was not scary, “You'll see, she's going to make all the people driving by Beachcombers laugh and wave.”
Graham looked at me dubiously, and as it was the end of the day poured himself a vodka, saying he needed it after meeting scary Lulu.
Undaunted by the verbal slander about Lulu by my husband, I sat her in a chair looking out the sliding door of our Art Gallery. Turning on the light for passers by to become acquainted with her, I ascended the stairs to join Graham and have a glass of good Quoin Rock wine on our deck, which has a beautiful view of the sea.

Story Continued Tomorrow...