Boris and the swanling

It appears that murky foreign powers may not be getting the plans to a fully operational Death Star after all.

Elderly power walking oriental lady with neat hair, whom I had previously suspected of nefarious intentions today finally acknowledged me after a month or more of me grinning at her, saying ‘hi’ and nodding as we met each other in the park.

Hello she said (and nodded!) as she walked past me, lifting her hands in sweeping motions to chest height with each stride as she passed.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

It was a victory for persistence as far as I was concerned. The power of smiling had finally won the day, and I must now conclude that she probably is not spying after all on our communal recreational spaces to determine their offensive military capabilities.

She was gone almost immediately – for a moment leaving in her wake the usual faint sound of loud Oriental music from her headphones – but she couldn’t take it back. I had scored my vital ‘hello’ and given her a big grin in return.

Tick in the win column!

Today my park walk was unusual. Up until now I’ve been very much running my own race – and have been more than a bit self conscious about the frequency of my breaks or being out of breath, so my laps have been a solo activity.

Now though things are easier. I can talk and walk (slowly) at the same time – and as such a social element is now becoming possible.

My good friend and his hound (Boris – a French bulldog that some may recognise from previous blogs) joined me today a short way into my walk. It was REALLY nice to have the company, and watch his pooch sniffing flower beds and checking out the other canine honeys as they trotted past.

Boris is absolutely stuffed with personality and has the most expressive little ears!

As we all strolled my usual route I commented that the park was full of what I now see as ‘the usual faces’, and mentioned that the familiarity of meeting these people almost adds a family feel to my activities, even though so far I’ve been alone.

The pink Lycra wearing ladies with dumbbells arrived half way through our second lap and were (as usual) loud, proud and delightfully enthusiastic as they strode briskly past us – saying hello, noting we hadn’t seen eachother for a while (they need to get up earlier!) and enquiring what was in my flask.

‘Coffee!!’ I replied with a big twitching caffeinated grin. ‘What else would I have?!’

However – the absolute cherry on the cake today was a sighting of the final remaining swanling – which followed us as we walked along the river at exactly the same pace. It was gliding in and out of the lilly pads and reeds by the bank looking for food and occasionally ducking under the water to forage on the river bed.

He/she is getting REALLY big now and isn’t that far off being as large as its parents.


This remaining swanling appears to have become something of a tiny phenomenon amongst my small readership – and (quite rightly) people who regularly follow my tubby exploits do not refer to these delightful creatures as cygnets any more.

Subscribers to my blog have reported sightings of others in Stratford, further down the river in Warwick and even waaaaay further afield in the south of England. One nice fellow even sent me a picture of his local swanlings after following them with his son in a boat!

They’re so cute!!! Fingers crossed that these survive!

Today the solitary heron in the park was also out and about. As usual it wasn’t particularly keen on me getting too close – and (maybe because of Boris) took flight as soon as I moved into its comfort zone. Thankfully I had just started slow motion video in time on my phone and got a really cool little shot again of it taking flight.

It’s got really majestic wings and flies so low across the water its almost like there’s a wire or rail underneath it!

After a couple of laps we headed off for a drink, and sat chatting for a while about life and writing (I am toying with the idea of trying to put together a book) as my friend ate a rather delicious looking melted cheese baguette.

Boris looked very interested in what I had to say on the subject, and I’m sure was about to interject and discuss with us some insightful thoughts about character and plot development, as well as sharing his own detailed experiences of constructing a compelling narrative.

Sadly he instead became intensely preoccupied with his master’s sandwich before he was able to impart what I’m sure would have been some incredible literary revelations.

Maybe next time Boris…

Shortly after he and my friend left I sat writing for a while and going through the photos and videos on my phone, deciding which to use on my blog and wondering what to do with the rest of the day.

Then, the phone rang. It was the charity that I’d applied to do some work with a few weeks ago informing me that they might have found an appropriate situation that I could help with. They would like to hook up with me early next week to discuss some health and safety info and then get me started.


I’ve been really looking forward to this – and although it’s not many hours a week I am hoping it will enable me to do something good in the local community, and make people happy in the process.

Who knows internet – if I like it (and if they like me) maybe there’s more I can do – and it might even spark some thoughts about what will come next in life.

Only time will tell!



    1. Hahaha – I think she’d kick my ass lol!

      She’s fitter than a butcher’s dog! Every day she’s there she does about 6-7 laps.

      If I started anything I’d be picking up my teeth 😄


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