In for a lamb, in for a sheep

There’s a flock of woolly sheep and cute little lambs arriving in Henley on Klip for Easter.

When we moved here, we didn’t know about the tradition of the signposts and we were charmed when the street corners suddenly sprouted Christmas decorations. The theme was candy canes that year and stripy red and white poles were everywhere.

I promptly got myself on the roster for Easter and had a lot of fun. It’s not as easy as you think. The theme was Easter eggs. Easy peasy – I got out the cardboard and the scissors.

Not so easy! I hadn’t considered the effect of heavy rain and wind on cardboard and that year there were a lot of storms. Every year it rains heavily before Easter, I am discovering.

I resorted to covering my eggs with layers of coloured paper and film to waterproof them. It succeeded to a point. They got soggy but didn’t actually fall off the signpost. Cannier, or more experienced signpost decorators used wood, I noticed. Clever!

Christmas came again and the theme was Christmas trees. Aha, I thought, ready-made for natural outdoor materials. I collected branches and pine cones, added wire and spray paint and produced what I considered a beautiful and entirely weatherproof creation.

Somebody else did too. After ten days it disappeared, leaving neatly cut cable-tie ends behind it. I was indignant! Make your own!

The theme this year is sheep.

I have almost finished my lamb. I decided to recycle and drove my family mad by collecting polystryrene and scattering pieces all over the house. No matter how carefully I wash them, the ants appear out of nowhere to find some tiny morsel I left behind.

Either we haven’t found the right ant spray, or they are particularly active this year – positively super-powered when you consider how quickly they accumulate on the smallest of crumbs.

I’ve been sweeping up ants from the kitchen and depositing them in the garden. I find myself wondering whether I have started major territorial wars between the tribes, or whether some intrepid warriors are crossing the vast expanses of grass and tile to find their way home.

There may be epics of endeavour being enacted worthy of song and story.

Glue must also be attractive as my lamb is getting its fair share of antly attention. It won’t matter when it reaches its signpost; I am sure there are ants there already.

Watch out, though, if you are thinking of stealing my lamb for your flock – a horde of super-sensed, super-powered ants is part of the package.

You have been warned!

Lambs are always welcome in the Henley flock – the street signs are allocated, but do make a lamb and put it up on your gate or door.

My lamb – wood (thanks to Rooi Suitcase for the template), polystyrene and ribbon.


Off the Rails: Henley’s haunted house

Off the Rails: Henley’s haunted house

It was once a prefab hut for the British army, perhaps used for officers’ billets or a hospital annex, then, shipped to South Africa in 1904, it was one of Henley on Klip’s first family homes and a church.

Kents in the Circle of Life in Fraser Park

If you can’t spell a street name, blame the Kents

Triumph and Disaster – The True Story of Horace Kent.

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