7 March 2010 (Sunday) - Hello Duckie

Whilst on the way to the corner shop for some fags (not for me!), as I walked past the vicarage, the vicar was standing on his doorstep, in all his finest vicaring costume, having a really blazing row with Mrs Vicar. I stood and watched for five minutes, trying not to laugh out loud.

And then to the farm, where I’d volunteered to help with the assorted waterfowl. First of all to feed the ducks. Whilst feeding the ducks I always make a point of letting some of the food get into the water so’s the carp come up. It’s probably still too early in the year to be feeding the fish, but the ducks tend to spray their feed everywhere and the fish are used to having it anyway. The fish in the duck pond are huge – regular readers of this drivel may recall an entry from August 2007 when over the course of a weekend I fished in a nearby pond and caught three hundred tiddlers which I transferred to this (at the time) recently dug pond. Over the intervening two and a half years the fish have grown really big. Two years ago I didn’t put in any fish that was more than six inches in length. Today I watched half a dozen which are well over a foot long.

Having fed the fish we set off for more ducks. Just off of one of the roads in the back of beyond was a scrap yard. Behind this scrap yard was what I can only describe as “duck heaven”. It’s actually an old chap’s hobby, which has rather got out of control over the years – two duck ponds and a series of paddocks and enclosures with (literally) hundreds of assorted ducks, swans and geese flapping all over the place. We’d pre-ordered two geese (of some ilk) which were in an enclosure waiting for us to collect them.

Watching the chap’s grandson put the geese into our carrying cage was quite entertaining, and once they were captured, Clive mentioned he quite fancied a pair of Muscovy ducks. Grandson was equipped with a net, and sent into a nearby small field. I wish I’d videoed the performance. There was honking and quacking, feathers flew everywhere and the young lad went quite red in the face charging after the birds. Interestingly enough, once he’d got the net over the ducks, they immediately stopped all their fuss, and meekly waited to be picked up. We carried the ducks to a waiting transport cage. And the ducks were as good as gold – almost as though the whole thing was a game of chase, and once they were caught, the game was over.

Back to the pond with the ducks and geese. The Egyptian geese couldn’t get out of the cage and onto the pond quick enough. The Muscovy ducks couldn’t care less, and took some poking and prodding to get them out of their cage. Within minutes, all the birds seemed to be happily mixing in with the pond’s established residents. They certainly all seemed happy enough.

To ensure their continued wellbeing we pulled the floating duck house into the side of the pond. Later in the year we will be lifting the duck houses out of the water for refurbishing, but today it was enough just to take out the old straw from inside and replace it with fresh stuff. And then we did the same with two other duck houses. Pausing only briefly to converse with the Moo-Bears and the Baas, we then made our way back to the farmhouse.

It was really good to get out and about – last week I commented about how it always rains on Sunday. Today was a lovely clear day. But I reserve the right to gripe about the weather. It was fine all the time there was no wind. But when the wind did blow – oh it was cold. After several hours by (and in) several ponds, we were all glad to get back to the farmhouse. We read the local magazine – on Easter Sunday there is a duck race in Smarden. For only a quid you get to sponsor a plastic duck on its race down the river, and the winner gets seventy five quid. Kick off is at 1pm, and it’s just down the road from the Flying Horse. I might just go along to see if my duck wins.

And then we settled down to a spot of scoff. You can’t beat a really good bit of dinner after you’ve been working all day.

It was either the Oyster Stout, or the fourth helping of apple crumble, but I do feel tired. I would have a crafty kip, but for the noise emanating from downstairs.

Daddies Little Angel TM ” has acquired a guitar. I shall have my revenge…


  1. Can I just point out, before your vengeful wrath comes down upon me, I was in no way involved with the aquisition of said guitar, I only got it out of the loft. hopefully the buck has been firmly passed. :o)

  2. No way you cheeky so n so as you got it out of the loft the buck is with you ! It is on indefinate loan so if you really do get fed up Manky you can send it back...............lol