Dittisham Village Voice  May 26, 2012

The tranquil beauty of Dittisham Mill Creek is greatly  enhanced by the   presence of two mute swans who live there year round and who often breed there, too. A few weeks ago a lone, black male  swan  turned up presumably from Dawlish Warren and not Australia. That would be a long swim.    People had  witnessed  mighty battles between the white swan and our beautiful black creature.  He e  was beaten and banished and disappeared for some weeks.  The symbolism of black moving into white territory and black  being ousted  springs to mind.  As we celebrate the lessening of mankind’s racism  we can now  rejoice in The Return of the  Black Swan.  He looks glossy and healthy and so far there has been  no more fighting.  As W B Yeats wrote:

(click to see photo)

now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;

Everyone knows that swans mate for life but ‘divorce’ does happen and  black swans have been recorded as producing hybridised young with mute swans.  We are all on tenterhooks to see how the next brood of   cygnets turn out.  Our resident seal, nicknamed Sammie, has also been causing delight. Last weekend he spent about 48 hours dozing in an inflatable dinghy off Garrow Point (see picture)  He wasn’t even fazed by the big wedding party in a marquee out on the point or by    the Sunday Sailing Club races which whizzed by his snoozing spot . 

A brother and sister, David and Louise Fletcher have been enjoying activities at  the Dartmouth Young Farmers.  They, Tom Gordon from Blackawton and Amy Tope from Newstone just  up the road,  recently took part in county level pool and  came second. David  did brilliantly in  Dairy stock judging and took  first prize for individual and   David Fletcher and Jane Pengelly won the group team cup which has only been won by Dartmouth Young Farmers twice, in 1993 and 1994.  It is lucky David drives now as they seem to go all over Devon for these fun events. The Rileys at  Coombe  Farm Studios in Dittisham have been busy. There is a solo exhibition by Paul Riley of vessels on  two rivers,  the river Vltava in Prague where Tina comes from and  the river Dart. The evening opening is at Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth on Friday, June 1st.  Then an exhibition of Paul Riley’s water colours is on at Coombe Gallery, Dittisham from June 2 to mid August.  Rehearsals of the fashion show with music over the 60’s years are going on apace.  The choir Director, Jonathan Watts, is trying, like Gareth, to turn our motley choir into something splendid in time for the Sunday programme of music ranging from Candle in the Wind to There’ll always be an England..  We still need male voices.  Please contact me.  May the sunshine last.