From delicious birthday tea to evening egg watch ….. poignant reminders of the miracle of birth…. and during the 11th of August, in order of decreasing fluffiness, Allegro proudly produced 7 ducklings from her closely guarded batch of pale blue eggs. The first one is called Jenny because she nearly made it through on the 10th! The two boy ducks, Presto and Vivace, have been banned from walking straight over Allegro’s head now, so they have to get to their food by going round and not over!
Briar (enthusiastic Springer Spaniel) was hurtling around the garden, paying ecstatic visits and getting furious maternal hissings which simply resulted in a great chorus of “BRIAR” when she wouldn’t be warded off and we were all just mesmerised. It was with great discipline and Sheena’s thoughtful reminders ‘she’s a new mother and needs peace and quiet’ that we closed up the pen and left Allegro to her brood…. But not before the last and tiniest one had a little helping hand out of his shell… It was proving a little tricky with 6 siblings clambering over him and blocking the exit! We saw him weakly waggling a little webbed foot from the clutter, bringing back memories of Harry Secombe singing on the gorgeous children’s album ‘Captain Beaky’
The lyrics start
“With foxes abroad few ducks can afford to leave a new egg in a nest.
For if they do so they usually go for it’s duck eggs that foxes like best.
Now Desmond the duck had awfully bad luck, even before he was born.
With his nose on his leg and while still in his egg, a fox came and took him at dawn….. ” (it all ends very well because of Desmond’s indomitable innocence and the Fox’s wistful longing to have been a drake on a lake… )
You can imagine that we have been taking very great care to ensure their safety ever since, and they are already much bigger and paddling around in their shallow lake!
In the meantime, work continues on the exhibition. Yesterday being dry all day, I pretended that the hardstanding was the gallery, and staked it all out with a stick of chalk, flower pots and camp chairs. Most instructive!
The journey deepens and frustratingly, or perhaps, perfectly, I have just deleted the next draft paragraph that attempts to describe the core of the exhibition….. Clearly I need a little more time!
When I have something a bit more succinct, I will write again. How on earth did I find time and ‘writing space’ while on the bike? ….. must have been a much quieter life ……
Birthday tea and Irish ‘Jam’ :)))