02 October 2007

Don't Fence Me In

Is there a collective noun for fences? I would like to know if there is because I seem to have a fixation with fences and am building up a collection of them. A fixation of fences? It all started when I saw this one. It was so different to any other fence I had seen and it made me start looking at and photographing all the interesting fences I saw. I know, it's weird, but I can't help it. I am driving John mad as he has to stop the car every time I see a new one so that I can add it to the collection. In fact, I won't leave the house without my camera, just in case I spot something interesting. The people in our neighbourhood are starting to have their suspicions about this strange woman who is photographing their homes and I expect to be accosted any day now by an angry homeowner wondering why I am "casing their joint". I think fences can say a lot about us and some of them even seem to have their own personality. They can give a home a welcoming facade or they can say 'stay out'. They can block out the outside world so that the owners can't see out and prying people like me can't see in or they can provide privacy and, at the same time, let the world in. Some fences are very traditional and some are very trendy.
Some provide a wonderful place for climbing plants and some provide a gap for curious flowers to peek through. Some fences can transport us to another place. This one takes me straight to the Mediterranean. These fences provide a convenient parking place for our behinds while watching the ducks in the local pond,
or the weekend soccer match in the winter and the cricket in the summer. Behind this fence is Mr MacGregor's vegetable garden complete with overturned flower pots, but minus Peter Rabbit. Oh dear, there is one in every neighbourhood.
The other day as I was walking along Mary's Walk (conveniently named so that people know where they are), I came across this fence, the post of which was being used by a little lost elephant waiting for his owner to return and find him. I hope he is now safe at home.
This is what I call a fence with a view.

This fence wants to be a real fence when it grows up
and this fence could be pretty if its owner gave it some TLC.
Here a fence frames a beautiful tree. We live in a very casual beachside suburb and the fences in our area reflect this. The suburb next to us, however, is much more salubrious and upmarket and here people don't build fences, they build Walls. These fences (Walls) definitely say 'keep out'.
Obviously, the size and design of a fence is limited only by its owner's imagination and bank balance. I do think I have only scratched the surface and there are so many more fences out there which are not yet in my collection, but now that I have shared some of my fences, I hope I can recover from this obsession and move on. However, I would still like to have a collective noun for fences and I am scouring the dictionary trying to find one. I think a facade of fences could work, but the one I like best is a fabric of fences. The dictionary describes fabric as "thing put together; edifice, building, frame, structure". I think that could apply to a fence, especially when it is used as a convenient place to hang a pretty fabric bag.


Marjie said...

Fancying fences fascinates! As I read this entry I am listening to a wonderful program with Andre Rieu - he is playing Strauss Waltzes and the music fites in beautifully with the fabric of fence! No offence!!

Linda said...

Hi I saw you on Australian blogs. Fences have sucked me in:) Off to read the rest. Great photo of the bag.