‘Autumn Alderton Weekend’ – Langley Hill Saturday

Old Tree

Or Duck TV, Fox Ribs and ‘More Ducks than you can Shake a Stick at’…

We wake to the sound of gusty wind and ducks and look out over the water as the dawn breaks. Millie peers out and then growls – at the scary orange life preserver. Honour satisfied and now clad in her pink polka dot pants she sighs deeply and goes back to sleep.

We lie in bed, drinking tea and watching a gang of ducks squabble loudly as they cruise round the lake.

We set off from the campsite and pick up the Winchcombe Way that runs alongside it. As we walk along the edge of fields below Langley Hill, Millie finds a long dead fox and has a crafty crunch on its ribs as we pass by.

Flocks of starlings and larks flutter up from the bare earth. We go through Gretton and pick up the Wychavon Way that leads uphill through a sheep field. Further on just below the ridge Millie splashes through mud in hot pursuit of several pheasants, none of whom are in any danger at any time.

We head back down towards the village through a wood where Millie chases sticks, peers down holes and gobbles down the very last blackberries of the year. As we kick up the dry leaves we decide that we are indeed seriously happy. Millie agrees and leaps up at us in sheer joy, a huge grin on her face.

Back in camp we throw out the food ‘Millie the Princess’ can’t bring herself to eat and suddenly twenty six extremely vocal ducks swirl round the van. Millie is horrified and lies in her bed watching them with ‘kill all birds (but especially ducks and pigeons ) slitted death eyes’. The competition principle works though and she eats today’s dinner without a moment’s hesitation – and that has to be a first.

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