Snaffled By A Swan


Playing Bookworm with Malachi commenced at 6.30 a.m. today. Thus the morning was whiled away.

This afternoon Jackie drove me and the children to Hatchet Pond to feed the birds on prawn crackers.

Rain on windscreen

We just had time to disembark from the car before the sky darkened, severe winds blew, and rain pelted down. This was the view we had of the lake through the windscreen.


The rain eased up a bit and the black-headed gulls fought against the gusts.

Malachi and Orlaith feeding birds 1Malachi and Orlaith feeding birds 2

Malachi and Orlaith feeding birds 3Malachi and Orlaith feeding birds 4Malachi and Orlaith feeding birds 6

Soon the children could attempt to feed the gulls and the ducks. This was made somewhat difficult by the wind tossing their offerings this way and that.

Gull grabbing prawn cracker

Only the sharpest birds managed to catch a cracker.

Swan and cygnets

Eventually the sun returned and a stately swan steered her cygnets sailing across the now smoother surface of the water.

Swans, cygnets, gulls, ducks 1

She was set on joining her cob who had gone ahead at the sight of a gentleman who now felt it safe enough to brave the elements and feed them.

Swans, cygnets, gulls, ducks 3

Father swan had his eye on a large slice of bread bobbing in the water.

Swans, cygnets, gulls, ducks 4Swans, cygnets, gulls, ducks 5

Thrusting all competition aside he snaffled the bread, ready to distribute it among his offspring.

Thatched roof 1Thatched roof 3Thatched roof 2

Returning via East End, we admired the completed work of New Forest Master Thatchers.

This evening we all dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, followed by vanilla ice cream. Holly and I drank Ring Bolt Margaret River cabernet sauvignon 2014, and Sam drank Guinness.


  1. I think the roof needs some final touches. A bit of weathering, some teasing and selected trimming by birds perhaps. A few insects needs to borrow in it and their predators need to forage in there. Looks too neat to be homely.

      1. The word ‘chic’ is not in my vocabulary, shabby or otherwise but perfect neatness does make me nervous. That roof will improve yet – I see the marks around the chimney ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That view was certainly obscured!
    Prawn crackers? I must remember that. We had always thought that bread was the proper thing, but rude notices in Romsey taught us otherwise.
    The thatching certainly looks good for another 100 years or so.

  3. I thought it was summer in your bit of the globe……. the opening photos reminds me of our last one! Mr Cob was doing a sterling job of providing for his family ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the thatching – it is chocolate box perfect! I think an annual follow up photo might be in order, so we can view the subtle effects of weathering over time.

  4. The shots with the darkened skies are truly enchanting! Also, I find the one with the view of the lake through the windscreen especially artistic!

  5. I seem to remember similar photos of Matthew and ? Louisa? at a similar age, similarly employed. A timeless activity. Brave of you to go out in the elements, and yet the sky is so blue by the time of the thatching photos. Great job, couldn’t imagine that house with a tile roof. Probably not permitted anyway if it is heritage listed.

  6. That gull making away with a bit of cracker is priceless. And the roof is indeed a masterpiece. It looks like a piece of modern art. I imagine it cost nearly as much as well. Thanks for showing it in stages!

  7. It was as if I was watching the passing turbulence, and children feeding the water birds thereafter. The thatched mansion looks like an abode of fairies.

  8. Would you agree with this Derick?

    “Quality Margaret River Cabernet at an affordable price! Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon has rich fruit with overtones of mulberries, chocolate and a hint of violets. It is well balanced with subtle oak, some cedary, herbal notes and fine tannins on the finish”
    That’s the Dan Murphy’s review

    That thatched roof looks really good now it’s finished,how long did it take?

    Has winter returned to England?

  9. Oh how that carries me back both to my own enfance and that of my girls …. the very soul of British stoicism! That thatch makes me pine for Britain …. there is nothing more beautiful in architecture in my eyes. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

  10. So fun to see pictures of the grandchildren feeding the birds. And that roof! It really is a work of art.

  11. I loved the children (grandies) feeding the water fowl, Derrick! Against the wind and outlasting the rain!
    The thatching photographs are gorgeous, as is their handicraft and awesome time spent completing this project.
    A fine choice of meals and dessert for the group you had as guests. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. The photos remind me of the old Korean houses. Some decades ago most of Koreans lived in houses with straw-thatched-roofs. Nowadays, we seldom see one in South Korea, but I believe there are many still in North Korea.

  13. That is a perfect description of the roof from Brenda!

    Your weather looks a bit like ours at the moment. Today we are getting sun, rain and wind, all taking their turns as the day progresses.

  14. The bird feeding looks like it will live forever in the memory of the kids. In years to come they will gather together and say: “Do you remember the time Grandad Derrick took us to feed the birds with Chinese food in the middle of a gale.”

    Then they will smile fondly and tap their heads meaningfully.


  15. The stills of the birds on the water are gorgeous and I love those English thatched roof houses. Just wonder sometimes how they withstand the rains ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. So beautiful! I can’t believe in the two months I spent driving around the UK that I never saw thatching like this!!! O would have one made in a minute if I ever had a house there. A real art form.

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