Ducklings and Mothers…

Hello, did you have a good week? I hope so. I thought I’d give you a quick update on life in my crazy bit of the world.

First, ducklings. Now, it doesn’t matter how often I tell myself that I shouldn’t interfere, if I see a mother behaving badly, I just can’t stop myself. And some ducks are truly terrible mothers (so are some humans, actually, but that’s another story). At the moment, I have a couple of duck families living in the aviary. The mother with the first clutch is proving to be a good mother – she has 5 ducklings, all healthy, and stays with them at all times. She is loose in the aviary, and finds somewhere sheltered to settle with them at night or on cold days, keeping them warm.

Then there is the other mother. The other mother managed to hatch 2 ducklings : one yellow, one black. She was sitting on a whole heap of different eggs; I’m not sure if any were actually hers, but none of the other ducks were interested, so I guess she should take some credit for trying. Now, however, she is awful. She does not like being in a cage, and is on a mission to escape back to the pond. Which means she is completely ignoring her ducklings, even to the point of stepping on them if they get in her way. I did try letting her have the run of the aviary, but that didn’t work at all. She flew onto a log, where the ducklings couldn’t reach her and sat there, hissing at the other mother. The yellow duckling decided it would join the other family, even though they’re all much bigger, so just followed them around and snuggled under their mother when it was cold. The black duckling wanted to stay with its own mum. Whenever I went to check, it was running round after her, or sitting as near to her as it could when she was up high. Poor little thing. We had one really cold damp day, and it stood shivering all alone. I didn’t rate its chances. So I shut negligent mother duck into the dog cage, with hay, water and food. She’s extremely angry. But the ducklings fit through the bars, so when they’re cold, they can go under her and she can’t escape. (I am not sure of the morality of this – or if sometimes we ought to do this with human mothers – but it did save the life of the ducklings.)

I have also tried to be a good mother this week. The boys are back in town. My fridge is empty. My house is full of music, and laughter, and strong political views, and extremely long discussions about physics. Some of those things are excellent.

Son 1 had an interview (he wants to do marketing in the non-profit sector, which is not easy to get into). It was an online interview, so was filmed. Obviously, for marketing, it’s important to stand out. So I figured he should do the interview, completely seriously, but with a cockerel in the room. He could ignore it, and concentrate on the interviewers questions, but in the background, would be a cockerel, flying around, and crowing. Definitely would make him memorable. He wasn’t keen though. Shame, my children never seem to take my advice these days…

Other son has decided to apply for a Masters, so needs to find his certificates. Always a fun game. We do have a ‘system’ (I am married to an accountant, remember?) We keep all the education certificates in a section of the filing cabinet, where they’ll be safe. Except, sometimes people forget to put them in there. I do remember one child searching desperately prior to applying to uni, and all he could find was his GCSE Spoken English and 900 of his brother’s music certificates. It was not a stress free event.

I did hear of a job opportunity this week. It involved digging holes. A chap in the area runs his own business, and has more work than he can cope with, so is looking for help with digging holes. He will then plant trees. (Under the trees will be dead bodies, but we can concentrate on the ‘holes for trees’ aspect). None of my family were interested. Shame – it would’ve been kinda cool to have a grave-digger in the family.

At the time of writing this, I have just spent a ridiculous amount of money on a haircut. I was rather pleased with it. Both boys inform me it looks no different at all. Am hoping my daughter will be more encouraging – if not, I shall ask my mother. My mother will tell me it looks lovely whatever it looks like. Now she’s a good mother….


Thank you for reading.

I have been thinking about mothers a lot lately – not just due to the ducks. My latest book, Joanna, examines how a mother feels when her child ‘goes wrong’. An easy read novel, it’s available from bookshops and Amazon. The link is below. It’s always nice when you write a book to receive feedback – these are some of the comments people have made:

“I couldn’t stop reading it once I’d started”

“Anyone who enjoyed ‘The Girl on the Train’ is going to love this book!”

“I bought it for my friend but then I couldn’t stop reading. Please can I buy another 4 copies” (That might be my favourite comment so far!)


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