30 July, 2006

Illius me paenitet dux

Conrad and his friends went to the Great London Duck Race today, the first of a proposed annual event, where 20 or 30 thousand unsuspecting rubber ducks are released onto the currents of the Thames at Battersea. We stood around for 90 minutes in the mild swelter, sucking ice-lollies and listening to a torturous cocktail of anatine children's songs—I will leave the exact choices to the reader's fertile imagination—before the master of ceremonies, a Scotsman in an impalpably garish novelty-suit, announced that due to setting-up problems, the race would not start for another half hour. Most of the assembled punters—one walking a spry and noble greyhound, perfectly attenuated—got up and left, and we followed, exasperated, but jovial enough to entertain ourselves by imagining tomorrow's tabloid headlines: 'DUCKING AWFUL' was my first suggestion.

It was soon decided that tonight's dinner should be roast duck, preferably bloody. We had it and all, with shredded cucumbers and delicious hoisin sauce.

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