Good-bye Lulu, Good-bye

Early January 2011 saw the euphoria of the Festive Season fade, and the sense and sensibility of the new year ahead had set in. Graham said Lulu had to be put into retirement. The image of Beachcombers Bed and Breakfast as an upmarket place to stay was important.
A giant scare-crow dressed in hessian, greeting our Guests outside our front door was no longer an option.

Thursday’s here in L’Agulhas are re-cycle refuse collection days.
Lulu was dismantled from her place of honour on Wednesday evening and Graham and I respectfully propped her up against the neighbour’s wall, ready to be placed with all the plastic we had put aside for municipal collection the following morning. (If I had bag-pipes I think I would have piped her out with the “Last Post”)

We went about our daily routine during the course of Wednesday, with Lulu sitting indomitably by the wall.
I noticed our neighbour who had returned the day before from spending time away with his family had parked his car out in his front garden and was giving it a good wash.
Then I heard a yell and his Boston Terrier’s barking madly.
I went out to see what the commotion was all about. There was old Oom Pieter peering over the garden wall at Lulu, while his dogs were yapping and biting poor Lulu’s ankles.

Pieter looked up at me as I approached and said, “Wow, wat is hierdie lelike skepsel doen hier sit?” (Wow, what is this ugly creature doing sitting here?”)
“That’s Lulu,” I answered
“Man, Sue…ek het gedink dit was ‘n gedrink wat deursoek onder die bos, en was aan die slaap die drink af!”
(Man Sue, I thought it was some drunk who had crawled under the bush and was sleeping off the booze!)
“Dit is ‘n lelike ou!” (That’s some ugly ou!)

I was highly amused at the thought of our somewhat inquisitive neighbour peeping over our wall and coming face to face with Lulu, thinking she was a vagrant lurking in the bushes and couldn’t help laughing.
Graham arrived to see what the commotion was about, and to our delight, old Pieter re-enacted his discovery of Lulu, which had all three of us doubled over.
Lulu was still working her amazing capacity to making everyone light hearted…

Thursday arrived and so did the refuse trucks.
Normally only one stops outside our house, but this time there was a drag race of two vehicles with competition to claim the right to take Lulu away.
The collectors jumped off the back of the trucks and there was a mad race of men rushing towards our pile of rubbish where Lulu perched.
The first two men who could run the fastest grabbed her and carried her off, while the losers shouted abuse at them, “Ahh, jou MAARSE!” (Ahh, your Mother!”)
Gently they hoisted Lulu into the back of their refuse truck and then clambered up to sit next to her.

I rushed outside to ask them why they were all fighting over Lulu.
They told me that they had all enjoyed seeing her wave during the course of the Festive Period, and that she had made their children very happy, so they had no intention of relegating her to the rubbish heap, she was going to live with them outside their house where everyone could still enjoy her.

The truck pulled back onto the road with Lulu gazing at me, while four men clung to her affectionately. I waved, and one of the men helped her wave back at me.
“Moenie bekommerd wees nie tannie, sy is in veilige hande is, sal ons kyk na haar!”

(Don’t worry auntie, she is in safe hands, we will look after her!)

“Good bye Lulu, good bye!” I called as I waved sadly…
Graham came and gave my shoulders an affectionate squeeze
“She’s just a puppet Babe”
“I don’t think so…” I mused,
They say that Angels come in many guises, Lulu was one of them.


Freshlyground & ZA NEWS – Chicken to Change (OFFICIAL RELEASE)

 This is just wonderful…the music is great and makes you want to “shake-shake” your boodie!AND of course, the subject is too, too funny…

Lulu Came to Town (Part 2)

Early the following morning I walked into our Art Gallery and nearly jumped out of my shoes with fright, as I had forgotten that Lulu was sitting looking out the door.

I thought some huge person had somehow gained access to Beachcombers and sat herself down in our chair…I shrieked!

Graham came rushing downstairs to see what all the commotion was about and doubled up with laughter as I pointed at Lulu, explaining that I’d forgotten she was now in our lives.
My shriek had proved him right as far as he was concerned, “You see, I told you that lady was scary!”
Lulu just sat there gazing out the door, ignoring his rude jibbing indignantly .
As we were standing there, a car pulled up outside the Gallery. There was a man and woman sitting in the front, pointing at Lulu, laughing.
“He who laughs last laughs loudest,” was my quip at Graham as I walked off, feeling very pleased with myself.

Later on in the day I nipped into the local Greek Grocer to pick up supplies.
The lady behind the counter called out, “ Hey Sue, what’s that giant doing sitting in your place?”
“Oh, that’s Lulu, you like her?” I asked
“Wow, we were driving home last night and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Thought is was you sitting at the door and realized that thing was huge and you are half the size!”
With that, other people in the store said they had also seen Lulu.
I overheard a couple talking, “Mad artists,” said the one to the other, thinking they were out of ear shot.
Oh joy, I thought, everyone in this small village has got something new to talk about, and it’s my Lulu.
Lulu’s come to town!

Two days before Christmas, Graham, and I moved Lulu out side, where she sat majestically staring at every vehicle, cyclist and jogger trekking up or down the very last road leading to the foot of Africa.
Already she was a crowd stopper. To our amusement she became a photo-shoot opportunity to many a passer by.
One lady even had her poodle sit on Lulu’s lap for a pose. Before she could take a picture, the nasty little critter jumped off Lulu’s lap, barking it’s head off at her, cocked his leg and pee’d on Lulu’s leg.
With the dignity of a well bred dame, Lulu chose to show no reaction and stared out at the ocean, whilst the lady hastily hustled her pooch away.

On the afternoon of the 24th December, 2010 Lulu arose out of her chair and we fixed her to one of Beachcombers deck supports. Sadly her hip broke as we moved her, so her legs went into paralysis. As it was now Christmas Eve, there was no time for me to perform a hip-replacement.
Lulu’s legs had to be secured to the upright, avoiding unnecessary knee-bends.
Then we attached fishing line to her wrists, which led up to our sitting area on the deck, which became the “Lulu wave-at-holiday-maker command centre.”

As you may have surmised, Graham had by now taken rather an affectionate bent towards Lulu and was the first to pull her strings!
Our first victims were a group of ladies out on their evening stroll.
Graham had Lulu wave at them as they happened past…
Only one woman saw, looked away and back again.
Lulu waved.
The woman squealed and pointed.
Her friends jumped, Graham and I laughed until we nearly cried.
That was just the reaction I had wished for the public.
Lulu waved,
The ladies all waved back.
Then they all looked at each other, felt embarrassed because they were waving at a large puppet and they laughed.

Cars were stopping to have a look. Children in back seats were waving.
Joggers did not escape Lulu’s sense of humour, with both her hands she imitated how they were running, when they saw this, they laughed.
Cyclists had the same thing happen, Lulu copied them, they laughed.

During the course of the Festive period right until the day after New Year, Lulu came alive in the late afternoons until late evening and waved away merrily.
She was constantly photographed.
Some people got a fright, some ran away, some nearly drove their cars off the road.
She occasionally caused traffic jams, but she always brought a reaction to people that left them feeling good.

Children came to see her, as word had spread that Lulu spoke to them.
She refused to speak to grown ups, only children.
They also found out that Lulu liked lolly-pops, because Lulu told them that she did.
So they brought her lolly-pops and Lulu always thanked them in her squeaky voice.
To Graham’s and my delight, many of these children told Lulu secrets.
We became part of the innocent world of children’s fresh ideas and wonderment.

What a Christmas gift Lulu had brought to us here at Beachcombers.
Lulu was magical.

Final part of story tomorrow.

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…

Visit Beachcombers Bed and Breakfast, L’Agulhas

Beachcombers Bed and Breakfast is a wonderful place to stay when you vist Cape Agulhas, at the Southern Most Tip of Africa.
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Only in Africa!

East London – A drunk motorist was arrested near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape after allegedly being found to be 32 times over the alcohol limit, the department of transport said on Thursday.

The motorist was driving a Mercedes-Benz Vito at about 23:00 on Wednesday when he was stopped by police.
Blood tests were conducted on him and he was found to have an alcohol content of 1.6g/100ml.
This is 32 times over the limit of 0.05g/100ml.
Five boys and a woman, who were also in the vehicle with 15 sheep allegedly stolen from nearby farms, were also arrested.