Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It Came from Outer Space

What the hell IS that?

We had friends round for a meal at the weekend – lovely friends who laughed heartily when George burnt the rice, and chewed stoically on my resistant lumps of Pork-in-Ginger with nere a grimace.

These are friends for whom the getting together is paramount rather than the food offerings (mercifully), and who I’m almost certain will not mind when I say that Picards Freezer Emporium is their own market of choice.

So this weekend they brought their fun and frivolity, a superb bottle of wine and… a Thing - the like of which we’d never seen before! (I shall attempt further down to display a photo). But to try and describe it…

It’s about 30cm tall and comes in two parts. One’s a knobbly stick with a pinkyorangeyfurry tennis ball on top, covered in many yellow arrow-headed fronds.

The other part is a flat green stick with a corrugated heart-shaped fan. Beautiul… but what is it for? You could possibly plunge the sink with the tennis ball… despatch tenacious cobwebs, stick it behind your ear while fanning yourself with the other bit…

Alarmingly, Mélanie grabbed The Thing while George and I were still coming to terms with it, and ran with it to the sink – for it's actually Alive! They insisted it came from a flower shop, so now it’s in a vase and yes, it’s drinking the water! I’d say it’s grown twenty feet since Saturday. Ah-hah - Could it be a beanstalk?

The tennis blob has a delicate aroma redolent of cauliflower, yet bizarrely aromatic. We've noticed the cats aren’t keen at all. In fact I suspect that they, like me, think it sometimes moves its fronds. And I could swear it just turned to watch as I walked past.

So, is it trying to communicate? Will it start singing those irritating five notes from 'Close Encounters'? Or will it suddenly leap Triffidly out of its vase and whack us with its fan?

Mélanie, Eveline and Ignace say that they'd never seen one before either, and had gone into the shop to buy an orchid. There was just something about it that made them choose that instead...

It's Just The Beginning...


45 comments:

JW10 said...

Definitely the King Cobra Alien plant, Dolores. Not wanting to alarm you more than you're already alarmed but this outer space fungii lays it's eggs in the stomach of humans a.la the slimy aliens from Alien. John Hurt was aptly named.:-)

Incidentally D, what are the incidental musical five notes from Close Encounters? I've got Doo and Deh but can't remember the rest.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Oh my Goooooohhhd, JW - can it really be? And I Hate 'slimy'.

OK, I'm practising communication - if it's a King Cobra Alien, I shall hypnotise it with my Kazoo.

And just in case, I shall bring into play the universal Close Encounters theme, which I'm fairly certain is hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm HMMMMMM. (You're in for immediate death-ray with your effort)...

JW10 said...

Your hypnotic powers are very good, Dolores. You had me in a deep trance for awhile. The Cobra plant won't stand a chance.

Thanks for the correct Close Encounters jingle. I thought it was - Dee Doo Deh Daa DuMMMM.
But now I think about it, that sounds like a Freddie Mercury (I always come back to him don't I, my hero) scat with the audience.

Deeee Ohhhh.

Canary Islander said...

Ah Dolores, it’s a plant all right, but methinks your friends have dressed it in Elizabethan costume. Did you see the film Elizabeth? There is a remarkable resemblance.

And as an aside, how can we be affronted, when taken aback?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Gadzooks, CI! - surely an affront to all Elizabeths? Yet how taken aback I was to see that you are Right - we had pondered upon the matching crown...

Should it be balanced front or back?

Expat said...

This is driving me CRAZY. I have googled until I can google no more and I can't find this plant.

Dolores, PLEASE ask your friends where they purchased this "thing" and call the shop!

My sanity depends on it.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi Expat - I will Demand an Answer!

All I know so far is that it was an establishment in Paris, disguised as a Flower Shop. Apparently Ignace tried unsuccessfully to find it on the Net - perhaps the Establishment refused to divulge the secret. (Too scared)!

How was your trip this week, by the way? And are you geared up for Halloween invasions?



Someone else we know is sure it comes from South Africa, but what it actually Did in South Africa is the question...

Canary Islander said...

Like Expat, I've googled and giggled to no avail. Me and my gaggle are going groggily gaga goggling at the growth. We need more clues. Have you tasted it yet?
:-)

Canary Islander said...

PS. My trusty dictionary defines a gaggle as a derogatory term for a company of disorderly women. Hmmm...
:-)

Expat said...

I HAVE FOUND IT!!

I'm not smart enough to post a picture unfortunately, but I believe it's a yellow pincushion protea and is indeed from South Africa. I found a picture exactly like yours, Dolores! I also found lots that are similar. Once I re-read your blog and realized the big leaf was separate and not attached to the flower, I changed my google key words.

Dolores Doolittle said...

My God, Expat - you're a Genius!!

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artdec05/bjprotea.html

Using your amazing deduction, I went straight to this site, and the pics-are-it! (Except our fronds are yellower). That may have something to do with whether it's a boy or girl - I haven't delved into the sordid paragraphs...

We're disappointed to discover that the green fan must have come from another plant altogether, or may have been fashioned à la Blue Peter.


CI - thanks to your alliterative encouragement, I was on the point of giving it a lick - well, it does look good enouch to eat, doesn't it!

Shall now stick it in the front window with its name, and a plaque saying 'Identified by Expat'

Expat said...

Dolores, I visited that site also. I dscovered elewhere that there are lots of varieties in different colors, including yellow ones like yours. They are lovely, aren't they?

Now to search out that leaf....

Dolores Doolittle said...

Blimey, Expat - is there No End to your quest for knowledge? You are inspirational!

I've just email'd the fruits of your research to Mélanie, Eveline & Ignace - they'll be Thrilled!

Canary Islander said...

Not to be outdone by Expat’s brilliant research exploits, I nipped down to the local banana plantation and brought back a leaf (and some bananas) from one of the trees. I cut the leaf into a heart shape, and after carefully counting the folds in your photo, I set about duplicating each and every one of the folds until I had a satisfactory replica. I was eating the bananas whilst engaged on the project, but had the presence of mind not to eat the last one, which I’ve used as a makeshift stalk.

I used superglue to fix the leaf to the banana, so now I can’t open the banana to eat it. It’s a small price to pay for all this research. But I can confirm its usefulness as a fan.

Will there be room on the plaque for an additional acknowledgement?
:-)

Dolores Doolittle said...

INDEED, CI - It's already done!
So Not Only can you construct a range of kitchen fitments, But Also precision-build delicate personal accessories!

Could you start a Banana-Fan enterprise over there?

Canary Islander said...

There are lots of banana plantations here, so your idea is a good one. I think I'll call the business Fandabbydozey, which is one of my favourite happy words.

How do you put a photo into a blog? Are there instructions I can read somewhere?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Splendid, CI - I'll definitely put in an immediate order. Will they come in variegated hues too?

As to photo in blog - when you're posting, there are several icons above the enter-text square, starting with making the font bold or italic...

Second from the right is a coloured square - hover your mouse thereover and it says Download Image (or something). Click it to download from your own files or from the web.

You can do videos too with the next icon - Action in the banana plantation, perhaps?

Looking forward to your efforts!

Canary Islander said...

Dolores - Thank You. Dunno about variegated hues, but the first container shipment is due to arrive in Marseilles yesterday.

I predict technical blogging disaster, partly because I've never seen (I think) an "enter-text square". But my memory is poor.

I'm off to investigate. Yippee!

xxxx

JW10 said...

Firstly I would like to thank the investigative Expat for spoiling my Alien Plant theory. :-(

Everybody wants an acknowledgement on your plaque, Dolores, I wanted to blow the King Cobra plant to smithereens! I had dusted off my Ghostbusters suit in anticipation.

Good luck with your photo adventure, C.I; it took me awhile to work it out and it is fraught with banana skins.:-)

Dolores Doolittle said...

Well No Sooner Said, JW, than You're On It! (the plaque)

Do you have a picture of your Ghostbuster Suit, perchance?

And how are you doing with yours, CI? We're verily on Tenterhooks, here!

Canary Islander said...

It’s all your fault, Dolores. I’ve gone all haughty and cultural since I made the replica of your yellow pincushion protea. It just didn’t look right sitting by itself on the balcony floor next to our lemon tree, and anyway the superglue had melted in the heat of the sun. So off we went to a garden centre and bought a vividly red bougainvillea, a pepper plant (pimento picante), a durante repens, a tomato plant, and a couple of cacti in flower. Being a careful chap (and being equipped with a fair bit of foresight) I’ve hung a little label marked “edible” on the ones I think I can eat.

All I have to do now is wait, water, and watch.... (and maybe experiment with a photo or two?).

:-)

Dolores Doolittle said...

A "durante repens", CI? - how I've yearned for one such...

Yes, Please furnish a photo or seven (with labels, if pos)

Canary Islander said...

Dolores - Thanks for showing me how to include a photo! As you know, I succeeded, but by first effort was meant to be in draft! I'll wait a little longer before releasing a blog with a photo in it (maybe until the durante repens gets a little bit bigger). Much prettier than a lemon!

Dolores Doolittle said...

Breath is baited, CI!

I google that durante repens has links to cayenne AND to Japanese geisha - most intriguing...

Expat said...

Does the Durante repens look like a schnozzle?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Brilliant, Expat! And certainly worth a picture...

Canary Islander said...

Canaries like Durantes. That's why a nose by any other name would smell as tweet.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hee Ho Ho, CI - jolly punny!

Dolores Doolittle said...

I see (too late, sadly) that some imbecilic brain-lacking Anonymous specimen, evidently suffering from problems with his appendage, has put a comment here Just to Advertise.

I shall now go and delete it.

Dolores Doolittle said...

It's gone. Apologies to everyone else.

mutleythedog said...

thats a very weird plant... where do you live? Maybe they like stole it out the forest?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hello mutleythedog. You know, that had not occurred to me - there is indeed a goodly amount of forest close by from which they could well have pinched it.

It's beginning to look a teeny bit faded now (though still beauteous in a... different way) - I'm off for a ramble tomorrow in case there's a Glade-full of them.

mutleythedog said...

If there are could you like let us know? that would be weird....

Dolores Doolittle said...

YES mutleythedog! - yon fairy dell of freaky foliage is the perfect place for picnics, and has solved all my Christmas present problems To Boot!

mutleythedog said...

Thats excellent :-))

Irene Tan said...

nice flower :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gigi said...

That is super and lovely..Nice blog.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Thank you Gigi - I'll pop over to your blog soon...

EdwinaHugh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Canary Islander said...

Hello Dolores. I've been missing you! And what's been happening here?

I hope you are well, and not snowed in!! :-)

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi there CI - me too you! And it's been quiet here, (with minor tediums).

I've just come back from your place, though - Always a joy!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ariel Stein said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.