THE Government's recently announced Christmas Covid-19 restrictions fell on the deaf ears of hundreds of ducks who went walkabout in the village of Coylton, in Ayrshire, last week.

Local farm contractor and co-owner of B and J Molepatrol, Graham Gardiner – the owner of said ducks – told The Raider that they decided to leave the nearby pond and pay a visit to the good folk of the village to bring some pre-Christmas cheer and a much-needed laugh.

The feathered ones even popped in for a visit to the local Spar shop. In their final act, the village was treated to a 'Pied Piper' display down its streets as 300 ducks formed a line to follow 'Rory the Keeper' and their trusted feed wagon – AKA the quad bike – home!

Methinks that, knowing the good burgers of Coylton, that a wee headcount would not have been out of order on the way home. Duck for Christmas dinner anyone?

One for the pond

THAT story of the quacks in Coylton reminded me of a David Leggat recollection from his days auctioneering at MacDonald Fraser (before it became United Auctions).

It was the annual poultry sale at about this time of year and there were a fine collection of live ducks up for sale ... there were lots of them (pardon the pun)! One potential buyer left a bid with David for a dozen ducks and said he'd collect them later in the day.

The ducks were duly sold and, of course, the auctioneer would never bid them up would he? At that time the yardsman took a particular delight in despatching the poultry as soon as they were sold. A kind of added value for the buyers.

However, there was a bit of a rammy when the buyer returned to find a bag of deid ducks: "I wanted them for my pond," he declared. Oops!

Pet hates

ONE of the festive press releases that tickled my fancy this week – and there were hunners of them – was one where it was claimed that many people spend more on their pets than they do on their partners.

The Raider can testify to that! In fact, I only moved up a peg in the home ratings when the cat died! So, with more than nine million dogs in the UK, it is no surprise that there's a vast market for pet products and pet gifts. investigated the trend and had already reported in 2017 that Brits spent £750m on their pets over the festive period. So, for this year, they surveyed another 3000 of the UK's finest asking what they spent on partners and pets, respectively, this latest festive period.

Highlight of the study included the little nugget that while only 9% of Brits intended to spend more than £100 on their partners for Christmas, 11% of them planned to spend more than £100 on their pets!

That might explain why I keep ending up in the dug hoose then!