Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Tails of the Unexpected

OK I promise this is the last bird-related post for a while.

This morning they started massing even before I'd got the bread out of the bag.  By the end of the week I expect they will be sitting at little tables with bowls of soup, waiting patiently. 

Crossing a flat stone bridge between two lakes I became aware of a kerfuffle to my right.  A Canada goose was chasing a swan out of the water.  Not just chasing but holding the swan's tail feathers in its beak as they flapped through the water.  Somehow I got caught in the middle of all the water and feathers and was beaten by the panicking swan's wings.  The goose kept hold of the swan's tail until another swan appeared and gave it some.  No doubt Ted Hughes would have made a song and dance about this but I'll just say: swans - not quite as hard as they'd like to think.

Oh, and to the person who thought it would be a splendid idea to let their dog do a huge gloppy poo in the middle of the footpath in the park - hanging is too good for you.  However, I might consider you for an experiment in human leather tanning...

Tonight I had to do the thing that frits me more than most things - make a phone call in French.  My communications to Electrabel seem to have hit a wall and I've got a letter that says "Errrk do something or you might get cut off".  So I had no option but to phone.  I gave it my best shot, creating a language that sounded somewhat like French.  And they kindly offered to get someone to phone me back in English.  So...partial victory.  I think.


  1. I'm enjoying the bird tales....no problem for me if you want to continue with them. Agree with you about the phone calling, somehow not having sight of the person not understanding you makes it all seem more scary. So, I hope you still have electricity.

  2. I think the logical conclusion would be a heartening story about me having roast swan for Sunday lunch, so perhaps I shoud leave it there.

    Yes, the phone call was a pivotal moment. I understood and could make myself understood...sort of.

  3. I just need to tell you that dogs shouldn't be allowed to poo on footpaths - it's horridly foul. I always carry plastic bags with me just in case Darwin is taken short. However, personally, I would prefer to run away very quickly than try and pick up a gloopy one... it is impossible.
    I DO NOT CONDONE IT - I am merely providing a different way of thinking about dog poo - not excusing it.

    (OK, I have run away in the past but we have not been in Belgium recently or ever - promise.)
    And I think swans take a long time to roast, so make sure you get the electric sorted out first.