11 October 2009 (Sunday) - Duck Houses

A few weeks ago I mentioned about the bell in the church up the road. The thing was making its awful clanging again this morning at 9am. They’ve been banging that thing on three out of the last four Sunday mornings. I think I might just drop the vicar a line of complaint. Or I would if my printer was working.

To Staples for a colour ink cartridge. I got the large one, as it worked out to be better value. Mind you, for the price of two ink cartridges, I could have bought a whole new printer.

And then to the farm. Regular readers of this drivel may recall an entry from August 30th when we got a duck house out of the pond for repairs. Today the thing had completed its refit, and ready to be relaunched. The plan was to use it to replace another duck house which also needed to be refurbished. So, we loaded the smartened up duck house onto a trailer, tractored it to the pond, and we took a look at the one that needed to come out of the water. And then that’s where the fun started. Duck houses are heavy things. And when they’ve been floating in a pond for a year or so, they get waterlogged, and even heavier. You can’t pull them out of the pond. They are too heavy to pull. But you can push them. However pushing involves getting behind the duck house. And getting behind the duck house involves getting into the duck pond. I have known colder and smellier water, so I shouldn’t complain. Mind you the duck house itself was a bit whiffy with a year’s worth of accumulated duck poo. It was at this point that I lost my shoe in the pond.

With the old duck house onto dry land, we left it to drain for a bit. You’d be amazed how much water comes out of a duck house. Pausing only briefly to collect my shoe which was serenely sailing by, we then launched its replacement and tied it in place. Unless duck houses are firmly tied in place, they tend to drift to the shore where the foxes can get the ducks.

And then we put the duck float in place. A duck float is like a duck house, but without the house – it’s just a platform on which the ducks can stand and do whatever it is that ducks do. Duck floats are rather heavy – when I slipped in the mud and the thing landed on me, I was fully expecting my leg to break. Fortunately it landed on a tree stump rather than on me, and I lived to tell the tale. And to slip in more mud ten seconds later. Tying the duck float in place was tricky. As a new duck accessory, there was no rope in place to which to attach the thing, and provisional plans had me swimming the rope across the pond. However using “skill and expertise” I was able to use the duck float to sail the rope across the pond.

We then loaded the now drained old duck house onto the trailer and drove it back to the barn where someone else will hose out a year’s accumulation of duck poo. It’s amazing how much poo a duck generates. It’s also amazing how much maintenance a duck house needs. I’ve spent a bit of time both up to my goolies in duck ponds and up to my wrists in duck poo. If not an expert on the subject, I’d like to think I was more knowledgeable on the matter than the average fat bloke. I’m told that my new-found “skill and expertise” will be called on again in a few weeks time when not only will we re-float the old duck house, but we may even try our hands at a mallard house. If any of my loyal reader would care to be educated in the ancient lore of the duck house, I’m sure their help would be gratefully appreciated…..

1 comment:

  1. These adventures are right out of Last of The Summer Wine"