A quiet morning ended with an event of wanton violence which forced Mary and me indoors, fearing for our personal safety. It all started so serenely with me finding 2 stale rolls in the cupboard just as Whitey and his family came waddling by. “Let’s feed the ducks” I quipped. “Wait until I’ve straightened my hair” came the reply. I felt it unlikely that Whitey & Co. would fall about laughing were they to glimpse my beloved with a less than perfect coiffure (although I have already told you earlier in our adventure that ducks do like a good laugh) but I bit my lip as usual and waited….. and waited….. and waited. When the tongs were finally consigned to the cupboard above my side of the bed we were ready to feed our friends.

5 minutes into the frenzy Mary let out a sudden “Ohh!” and took a step back just as a very big duck which was probably a goose ran past me in her direction. I of course freaked, as you all know of my particular difficulty with winged creatures, but found the route to the caravan now cut off by 2 very demanding geese putting Whitey and the other ducks to flight with a series of painful nips to the rear. Having seen off the opposition, they turned on us, possibly because we had large amounts of bread in our hands. We slowed them down with an initial scattering of crumbs and small pieces of crust, but unlike the ducks who just wait for the next bit and look at you kind of longingly, these foul fowl advanced hurriedly towards us, a look of hunger in their exaggeratedly large eyes and a certain menace in their extended beaks.

Not renowned for standing on ceremony, Mary and I dashed for the safety of the caravan, distracting our pursuers with 2 large ends of stale baguette. From within and with hearts pounding, we observed the geese cease their attack and concentrate on playing beak football with the piece of bread we had thrown at them. In my panic I started to nibble on the one remaining lump of stale bread I still had in my hand. Actually it wasn’t too bad.

We were prisoners in our own caravan for about 20 minutes while these feathered fiends stared us out through the front window. Mary eventually insisted I close the curtains so we could sneak out the door. What a stupid idea! So we did that and got away for our walk a wee bit earlier than we had planned, but I remembered to take the binoculars so we could do a reconnaissance of the campsite before we got back to the caravan lest the belligerent birds be based beside our abode.

Something evil this way walks.

We walked in the same woods as the other day, but only for 6 kms.  as my legs were still a bit sore from the previous trek up the hill. The weather was again very kind to us and various layers of protective clothing had to be removed at points throughout. Sensationally another first was achieved when Mary, Kindleless and therefore required to actually look at her surroundings, spotted a dead snake on the path. Closer examination revealed it to be 20 cm long, about 30 mm in diameter, green and grey on top with a brown underbelly. It was the first snake either of us had ever seen in the wild (if you don’t include Malcolm Rifkind).

At the viewpoint we had a long conversation with a German man who told us all about the Neckar, the Donau and the Rhine. It was riverting! He told us the sources of the Rhine and the Danube are only twenty km apart in Switzerland yet one flows north into the North Sea while the other swans off east to the Black Sea. Isn’t that interesting? He was also very, very surprised to meet 2 people from “The Island” who spoke good German (his opinion, not ours) and added that he had never met a Brit or a French person who would try to communicate with him in German. I explained to him that that was why Scots were so successful over the years throughout the entire world. Probably not the truth but it sounded quite convincing!

A well-earned rest at the foot of the hill

It would be wrong of me to finish today’s blog without a mention of Stirling Albion’s win over Sevco Rangers yesterday. It is incredible that a team of Albion’s amateur standing can only win 1-0 against a set of diddies like them! Sevco Rangers clearly don’t do winning away!

I really must stop grinning.

P.S. I’ve just seen Ben on Facebook taking his first steps pushing a wee trolley. Now that’s the kind of stuff that makes a granddad grin for real. Hopefully, Ben, you will read this for yourself in the not too distant future.

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