Resisting the urge to make this blog title an innuendo. I love a good pun as much as the next person, but there’s a time and place for smut and this ain’t it.
This blog post was planned for early January, meant to come straight off the back of my Christmas wreath lecture – as the two were connected, as you’ll see – but well, January got in the way of my plans, with its god-damned sheer Januaryness.
We got through it all, more or less in one piece, but it’s only now that temperatures have begun to climb and snowdrops peep out, that I have had enough mental energy to think about writing – there are plenty more real-life doings and happenings to talk about, but I did want to start the year with the post I had originally planned, even if it is a month late.
Back, then, to the knockers – when I was scouting around for my favourite wreaths at Christmas, I noticed a rather fine door knocker in the shape of a bee.
A few doors down, a lovely dragonfly –
And on the same street, another bee, but this time in gold (no photo of that one, sorry) – all three within the same half dozen row of houses. Clearly two of the neighbours must all have admired the original bee and been inspired to copy it, I do wonder if they are all friends or if the original adopter of a quirky knocker resents being imitated? Either way, the fun of spotting unusual knockers became a new game.
It had never really occurred to me that there were options beyond the typical D-shape knocker, circle or vertical strip – and I’d never really looked closely at them, since our door doesn’t have one, it’s never been on my radar. (Though I did have one at the old house, a boring D-shape one, I can’t even remember if I considered other options, or gave it more than minimal thought).
On New Year’s Day we went to Greenwich – lots of character in some of the little grids of terraced streets around the Park and river frontage, and I bet there would be even more unusual knockers if I had a proper explore around the grander streets, but I found the cheeky frog (above), and Romanesque-looking lion with a mane like a Medusa’s locks (below).
Closer to home, I found another, more conventional lion, and a handsome fox:
This was my last quirky knocker for a while – I have been keeping an eye out, but the standard styles are so universal, at least on our regular suburban streets, it’s really hard to spot anything different. Then today, just a stones throw from preschool, I saw perhaps my favourite yet:
Is it an eagle or a Phoenix? Whichever it is, I love it. It’s got a very Hogwarts feel to it.
My architectural excitement for the day was not over yet, though, as looking at that particular house got me looking higher up at the frontages of the row as a whole, and saw something I’d never noticed before, a beautiful decorative portico:
And the house next door had one too
I must have walked past these houses a hundred times and never noticed how ornate they were. It just goes to show, wherever you go – remember to look up!
Unprecedented, I know. I’ve never revisited a blog before – but this time, I feel I should have waited a bit longer before writing this. Just a few weekends later, we visited Cambridge for the first time in years, and spent a Sunday morning wandering round in glorious sunshine.
I should have guessed Cambridge would deliver good knockers, and it didn’t let me down.
Scallop shell designs seemed to be popular.
Bird knocking on wood (though not a woodpecker, surely a missed opportunity there!)
Definitely a favourite – a growing seed? Tree? Flames of a fire? Whatever it is, I like it.
Finally, a rather surreal disembodied horse.
Thank you, Cambridge, for giving me a chance to return to the subject (aka pad out a blog that was rather thin on content, you decide…)