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Monday, November 14, 2016

The Bucolic Alcoholic

Bucolic scene on Tambo Mountain

I was trying to explain to my father my desire to transform the “snake pit” in our backyard (which has been cleared of debris at great expense) into an English country garden.

We’d thought about designing a Japanese garden but seriously, the idea of pruning and cultivating miniature plants and all the origami involved did our heads in. Plus the fact that Buddha statues are a bit passé and dare I say, 'Bogan'.

Instead we’ve opted for a rambling, straggly, perambulating English type thing which has been passé for so long it’s now IN (or so I’m led to believe by that show on the telly about English stuff).

I was describing my erudite vision to my discerning father as we both perched on our back patio and shooed flies from our various orifices.

“I want chickens meandering around in the manure… and cascading vines,” I waffled as if I were a character from a Bronte novel.

He nodded sagely in agreement.

“And bird baths and verdant hedges,” I continued in a flurry of enthusiastic zeal. “ And a pond with goldfish and shrubbery and daisies and stepping stones and gnomes.”
He furrowed his brow. “You lost me at gnomes,” he interrupted tersely.

“But… but surely one gnome would be alright?” I pleaded. “One little terracotta gnome tucked half out of sight? No one would even notice it.”

“No,” he asserted with a death knell type tone in his voice. “Gnomes are kitsch, Pinky. Don't have a gnome.”

I shut up... but I’m still getting a gnome. I don’t care if they’re kitsch. 

My father is kitsch. 

We’ve ordered a custom made wooden carved sign from the local markets for the chicken coop (which houses our surviving Pekin chickens; Hodor, Ygritte and Jon Snow).

It’s in an Old English font and says, “Winterfowl”. 

My father will probably think that’s kitsch too.

The guy we ordered the sign from was quite disparaging.

“I hate Game of Thrones,” he scoffed. “I tried to watch it but it was boring, it was the same episode over and over.”

I almost immediately cancelled the order on the grounds that he surely must be an idiot but then realised that maybe I’m the idiot and also because I don’t know anyone else who is willing to make a silly, hand carved sign for a chicken coop for thirty-five dollars.

Dad, in a fit of unusual generosity, gifted us a rubbish cubby house he wanted to get rid of but which fits perfectly in our future country garden. 

What do you think?

I think it’s a perfect home for a gnome or two. Or maybe even a family of gnomes actually…

Are you a gnome racist or do you think they're charming?