Ahhh, the Vintners Company - that explains the smile, he's been sampling the goods to get up courage to get up close and personal with those swans - they are big beggars and can turn nasty, especially if you are looking to cut notches in their beaks.
????? · 2008-10-24: 16:32
PS. I like his fly-swap - it that for all the mosquitoes and midges along the river?
For those that want to know what "Swan Upping" is all about, have a look at this site. It's Ye Olde Tradition to do with who owns the swans on the Thames, (basically, the Queen and a couple of post guilds or something).
Swan Upping i the annual "round up" to "brand" the young livestock according to momma and poppa swan's "brands". Brands are actually notches cut in the swans beak.
If momma and poppa swan belong to different "owners" I have no idea how they resolve the issue, maybe according to the sex of the cygnets but I don't want to know how you tell the sex of cygnets.
Like many "Ye Olde Tradition" in the UK, there's probably a lot of pomp, ceremony and fancy dress involved, ad probably the swigging of the odd fine wine or spirit.
I don't think it's a big spectator event, and there's nothing like "swan rodeos" and no "Champion Uppers" or anything.
????? · 2008-10-24: 17:44
NOTE: "post guilds" should be "posh guilds" - my typing sucks.