Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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THE TERRIFYING TALE OF THE VICIOUS BUCKING DUCK.(not suitable for small children.)


The day before I left London I met my long-time friends, Kate and Bob, and we meandered alongSouthbank, just like all the other tourists. Certainly, I was very much a tourist, as so much has changed since I lived there.

Of course, there are still the familiar landmarks, buildings that survived the Great Fire (1666, in case you’ve forgotten), Hitler’s Blitz, the onslaught of modern machinery…things like Southwark Cathedral, now somewhat dwarfed-but-not-diminished-by The Shard,  Tower Bridge, The Tower of London.

The Tower. Thank you, William of Normandy.

HMS  Belfast and Tower Bridge.

But so many new (to me!) places.

Cruising around trendy boutiques, eateries, pubs, and other tourist traps, I was pulled up short by something called “The Navigators.” Closest description? Sort of steam punk. I would dearly love to see this contraption in action, but the hose-pipe ban was still in force so I had to be content with its static display. Ah, but I went straight to Youtube as soon as I got home! David Kemp is the artist and you can see more of his fun stuff if you Google his website. Here is the Navigators with water. There may be an irritating little advert, but you should be able to skip it

Finally tearing ourselves away from the wonderful contraption, we .next found ourselves in what looked like  a firewood merchant’s yard. Whopping great chunks of tree trunks. Why? Puzzled at first, it suddenly dawned on me that these trunk chunks had been (rather crudely) carved into animal shapes and were intended as toys. Think: rocking horse and you’ll get the idea. Of course, I had to try one, didn’t I?

And that was almost my undoing…

A placid-looking duck, I saw no harm in swinging a leg across and having a wee rock. Bloody hell! The nasty little bugger reared up and almost unseated me. I was lucky to come away with nothing more than a fright. Vicious bucking duck, indeed.

Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

30 thoughts on “THE TERRIFYING TALE OF THE VICIOUS BUCKING DUCK.(not suitable for small children.)

  1. Canardly believe it!


  2. Loved the Navigators. Thank you. And am appalled at the sneakiness of that duck. Pretending to be a safe little kiddies toy to lure you into its clutches…


  3. seeing no harm in swining a leg over has been the undoing of many a young woman abroad, and even aboard. I hope Peter hasn’t read this!


  4. “swining” like “swinging” but quicker


  5. Well the Navigator is a monster!! and only you would care to ride a duck……


  6. LOVE “The Navigators” — i’m a huge fan of “found” art, as well as kinetic sculpture, so this was a treat! Hope it’s still there for my next visit – which is (as yet) unscheduled…


    • oh, regarding that duck? if there were medical expenses incurred, you should send him the bill…


      • Bill? Ooh! You are now in the same league as Rog!
        I doubt the Navigators will go anywhere – that thing must weigh tons! If I still had several acres of garden I’d buy or make something like that. Seriously.


  7. Just love The Navigators. I’ve watched the video several times now and like you, I want my own. As for the bucking duck, that’ll larn you to thoughtlessly throw a leg over.


  8. When you mentioned vicious ducks, at first I thought you were going to say you went strolling in St. James’s Park or something. But the bucking wooden version…too much!


  9. What a great visit you had. Unbelievable sculpture! Very cool. How hysterical that the wooden duck almost bucked you off! It looks so innocent.


  10. Now I want to visit London again. I loved the flowers in the windows. I went when I was a teen. I remember ducking pigeon poo.


  11. My favorite city in the world. Thank you for the visit. You only make me yearn to go back. Oh, and with my perverse mind I misread your comment on the rocking at the end when you mentioned swinging your leg across and having a wee. I missed the ‘rock’ part so I had an image of you doing something quite different.


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