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[ducks on tour] ducklings. real ones!

Just a quick one today, as the Fling was yesterday, and today holds horse riding, Ink Drops and a knicker making workshop with the very talented Contrariety Rose. More on all of that later!

You may have seen this on various social media feeds – but I couldn’t resist posting again!

Arrived at work the other day to this – Mummy duck was extremely unimpressed that we were stopping her from taking her babies down to the lake. But help was at hand, a man from Estates came along with a little wagon and drove them safely over.



Gorgeous start to the day!

[experiences] Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty (part 2 of my magical weekend)

Following the Night Circus (and a very entertaining impromptu photoshoot in the car park, pics to follow), I fell into bed and dreamed of fire breathers and running away to the circus.

Saturday morning saw me fairly leap out of bed and head for the station (London three times in a week, it felt most odd after six months of barely seeing the inside of a train!) to meet the lovely Hannah for lunch and (squeee, squeee, SQUEEEEE…) Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty.

Look how close to the stage we were!!

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As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, I love all types of dance, but ballet has always held a special place in my heart… and when I rediscovered the fact that I can in fact stand en pointe I nearly melted with excitement.

So when Hannah told me she’d managed to secure tickets, I squealed out loud! Pity whoever was in hearing distance at the time – H was clever enough to break the news via text!

So off we went – we had tickets in the stalls for the matinee, which started at 2.30, giving us time for a gentle amble around Wimbledon first. Only I was too excited to focus on anything (even TK Maxx… lol) so we had lunch and then went in.

Here’s the trailer, to give you an idea of the gorgeousness of it all…

I don’t really have words for how magical it was – Kate said it was ‘astonishing’ and that she had tears of joy… and I think that’s probably the best description I’ve heard. I just adored every single second… and didn’t want to step out of the theatre and back into real life.*

After tea and cake…

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…we then made our way to Southbank in the rain and had dinner at Strada, before heading our separate ways home (after walking in entirely the wrong direction to Waterloo – yippee, I’m officially a tourist again, with no sense of direction!) and lovely Hannah is coming to stay for a bit later this week. So we can wax lyrical about the ballet all over again.

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It was her first ballet – I can’t decide if I’m wildly envious that her first experience was a Bourne, or whether it’ll make future ballets seem, not dull, but perhaps less colourful, by comparison…

And of course, a duck came with me, as one does everywhere… he was eyeing up the teapots, and then I told him that three really was quite enough…

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Oh, and just to top off my excitement, Matthew Bourne favourited one of my tweets about it!

matthew bourne tweet fave

*Disclaimer – It must be said that I absolutely love my real life at the moment, but the weekend was host to two of the most magical events of my life so far.  So you’ll forgive me for wanting to stay in them. Expect similar behaviour after the Fling – it happens every time!

Putting the duck into Ducking Fabulous

A very few of you will remember that back in 2006, when I was first blogging, I had a pair of tiny rubber ducks (one green, one yellow) given to me for my birthday. Being students, we took them out drinking with us, and came back with a whole stash of photos of them on the bar, in drinks, stuck to people’s faces and occasionally in someone’s cleavage.

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Frankie and Freddie having a chat on my (then cutting-edge) mobile, sometime in 2006

We named them Frankie and Freddie, and they accompanied me all over the place for most of my first and second year at university. They had their own blog, their own MySpace page and they spawned the collection I currently have – I now receive at least one or two ducks every single birthday and Christmas 🙂 A chance encounter with a very fuzzy picture of a duck on a bottle in the students’ union confirms that the green one is Freddie, so the yellow one is Frankie.

duck on beer bottle

I don’t know if the fuzziness is bad light, old camera or drunkenness. Taken in Loughborough Students’ Union, so probably the latter.

Friends took photos of ducks they owned in odd places and sent them to me, and my parents even bought a duck (“Texan Cousin Duck”) on a road trip and proceeded to take photos of him everywhere – even on a police car!

I still have Frankie and Freddie, though their online homes are long gone, and while I did manage to take a few photos on my own USA road trip last year (in Tennessee and at the EYC)I’ve slacked off terribly on the travelling ducks front .

A recent conversation with a group of friends made me decide to resurrect the ducks on tour section of Ducking Fabulous – after all, what is a blog with a name like this doing without a duck or ten as mascots?!

So  you’ll see I’ve added a “Ducks on Tour” tab to the navigation – which will be a nice convenient way to pull together all duck-related posts. Which will all appear in my usual blogging too 🙂

Feel free to send me your own – I’d love to see fellow adventurous ducks and what they get up to!

Ducks on Tour: a culinary tour of London

When you have to spend a day in London to get your passport done in a hurry, you can’t stray too far from the Passport Office. So Rainbow here decided that the best thing to do would be to avoid the rain and eat as much as possible during the day 🙂

Rainbow duck in the Merchant |

Breakfast before we went in search of the Passport Office. Looking confused at needing codes for the loos, but delighted at the tiny pot of ketchup | The Merchant, Liverpool Street Station

Rainbow duck with Giraffe sauce box |

Reminding ourselves of where we are… | Giraffe, Victoria

Rainbow duck at Giraffe |

Gammon and sweet potato chips – boring for some, but just how I like it | Giraffe, Victoria

Rainbow duck with chocolate mousse |

Tucking into chocolate mousse crunch. Well, the day’s not complete without dessert, is it?! | Giraffe, Victoria

We pinched the Diet Coke bottle for an upcoming photoshoot, too 🙂

“My beloved Tennessee” – 17 February 2012

… as Dad put it when we crossed the border, which I thought was lovely! I had cake for breakfast in honour of Sophia’s birthday, and then today was mostly about driving – I drove across an entire state (Arkansas) in a day! It was good experience, but not the most inspiring of landscapes –but we entertained ourselves by trying to find a Cracker Barrel to have brunch at – the one we saw a sign for in Texas appears to have been stolen, but we found several after that 🙂


I found the signs for Memphis and Nashville weirdly evocative.IMG_7496

Took a photo of Daisy near an empty truck. The trucker behind said he’d be upset if I didn’t take one of her with him in his truck. So I did. Spot the duck!


 Daisy with our food when we eventually found a Cracker Barrel (this was hugely entertaining at the time, but I realise probably lacks the humour in a blog post…)IMG_7481

Entering Tennessee, over the bridge. 


Even with The Great Cracker Barrel Hunt, as it will ever after be known, we arrived in Memphis in good time in the evening. Our hotel, rather wonderfully, was right behind Beale Street, so we were able to park the car and mooch round the corner to Beale Street to have dinner at BB King’s 😀

Dad pointed out, when I was trying to decide which boots to wear out, that it is not a cowboy town, and he’s right – Memphis has a feel all its own, and it’s fantastic. It’s vibrant and noisy and full of people, and reminded me a little of Covent Garden at night, if Covent Garden had neon lights and really good blues music. And we had endless fun with Daisy lol…


DSCF0301DSCF0297DSCF0323DSCF0310    DSCF0311 DSCF0318 DSCF0320  And then, slightly randomly, we went into Hooters – and I found the poster telling the girls how to dress bizarre – hair must be “down and styled glamorously”, and tattoos must be covered with opaque makeup and there’s quite a lot of instruction about how the tank top and hotpants should be worn…


Next post – Stax Soul Museum and on to Nashville 😀

The Euless Yacht Club

Deliberately excluded from previous posts so I could give it its own, the EYC is somewhat of an institution – it’s a bar in Euless, near Fort Worth, and it’s wonderful – understated, full of friendly people and they serve proper Coors beer. You can only get Coors light in the vast majority of everywhere else, and according to Dad, Coors is much better than the light version. I don’t drink beer so couldn’t tell you! It’s a bit legendary to me, in an always-been-talked-about but I’ve always been too young to go kind of a way.

So here’s a proper Coors bottle. Complete with Daisy Duck (see what I did there? She’ll have her own post at some stage too. Maybe even a category of her own…)


A Texas-sized beer cooler. On a trailer. With Rusty’s name on the side, so Daisy insisted on having a picture (I cannot believe I didn’t take a duck rallying with me. Epic, epic fail).

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Dad and Ronnie Mac, an old and wonderful friend on the deck


Me with Ronnie’s barbecue – now I have to go back just to taste some. Dad was an honorary judge one year (this is a big deal in Texas, and he’s an Englishman so it was an even bigger deal!) and I feel I should continue the tradition! Plus Ronnie wins a lot of barbecue competitions and I’d hate to miss out on tasty food 🙂SNV36662

They have a bar cat called Wilbur. Who is a beautiful cat and who brought us a lizard. We rescued him and put him on a tree – he was perfectly ok, just a bit startled.

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And this is the outside of the EYC as we left for the last time. It’s not in the slightest bit posh, but it’s genuine, friendly and a lovely place to while away an afternoon. Kind of like your favourite pub back home!