The Anonymous Widower

A Rather Forlorn, Cold And Manky Fox

I walked through De Beauvoir Town about five o’clock tonight.

I thought at first it was a bit of an overweight moggy, but my path in the square was crossed by a fox, who definitely looked the worst for wear and absolutely freezing in this cold night, judging by his gait.

The life of the urban fox is not as comfortable as many would like to think.

December 4, 2012 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

What Do You Do With Urban Foxes?

There’s a story in the Standard about foxes plaguing a smart part of London.  Here’s what Brent Council said.

When contacted by residents, Brent council said it did not have the funding to deal with foxes but hoped to serve a legal notice on the owner of the property to remove the vegetation.

The council claimed it could leave itself open to prosecution if it moved the animals.

Craig Johnstone, of the council’s Public and Animal Health Team, wrote in an email: “Dealing with foxes is quite a specialist field. It’s not that simple to just trap and relocate them.

“Doing this could leave us open to prosecution as releasing a fox into another area (countryside) could cause the fox unnecessary suffering.”

A farmer friend of mind has had urban foxes dumped on his land. As they have never had to hunt and have just scavenged, they are rather lost and get very hungry.  He’s even seen them begging round his tractor, whilst he sits there eating his sandwiches for lunch.

They should be humanely destroyed.

June 8, 2012 Posted by | World | , , | 4 Comments

Twickenham Previews a New Sport

It hasn’t actually been named yet, but at Twickenham today, there was a mix of rugby and fox chasing, as the fox on the pitch was so obvious, it didn’t need to hunted.

So if they pick the spots for their scrums with care, the players will come off the field more fragrant that usual.

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

The Not-So-Quick Brown Fox

I went to Sainsbury’s in the Essex Road this morning and on the zebra crossing, close to where my mate, Sid, used to live was a dead fox.  He was rather a small and mangy individual and had probably been hit by a vehicle.

I’ve seen a couple in my road, but at least they keep quiet at night and I haven’t smelled one yet.  Once smelled, you never forget the pungent odour.

January 10, 2011 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

The Kettleburgh Chequers

Yesterday, we went for a trip to East Suffolk, an area I know well, as I used to live at Debach.  It was also an area, in which I followed hounds for seventeen seasons with The Easton Harriers. If you want to read more about those days in the 1970s and 1980s, read Tony Harvey’s book, Not a Penny in  the Post. Hunting in that part of Suffolk, was as much about the community as it was about the hunting. Everybody, and I do mean everybody was totally welcome.  It has to said that in those yeas, I learned more about the countryside, famring and wildlife, than at any other time in my life.

We passed the Kettleburgh Chequers.

The Kettleburgh Chequers

On the 10th of February in 1981, we held a gentlemen’s day in this pub to raise money for hunt funds.  We met at the Kettleburgh Chequers at eleven and started hunting at about three, after quite a few drinks. C had dropped me and my horse at the meet and in the end, I hacked home to Debach, so there was no danger of drinking and driving. But when you hunted, it wasn’t always like that, but I can’t ever remember anyone getting into trouble, except from falling off a horse.

That day for a bet before hunting, Jimmy Wickham, the kennel-huntsman, actually brought the hounds into the bar.

As Tony says in the book, it wasn’t the best days hunting, but after a meal at Snape in the evening, it will be one of those days I’ll always remember.

For those who criticise hunting remember this. The hunts in those days used to collect and often humanely destroy all those animals that had died or needed to be put down in the countryside.  We all come to our time in the end.

I always remember Tony Harvey once saying after a day, when we had hunted three packs of hare hounds in one day; harriers on horseback before breakfast, bassets in the morning on foot and beagles, again on foot, in the afternoon, the following. “We’ve had a very good day, but we haven’t caught anything.  Ask a shooting man, if he’s had a good day, when he hasn’t shot anything.” That is the difference between hunting and shooting. I am passionately anti-anything to do with guns, as they kill people.  It needs skill and in some cases courage to ride to hounds.

The last epitaph on hunting, is that on my stud since the hunting ban, I never see or even smell a fox. The ban has done nothing for the fox.  All sorts of things can be postulated, but remember our foxes are rabies free, so have they been trapped by those who don’t value the countryside for their fur. I don’t know, but they have all disappeared. Or perhaps they’ve all gone to London, where they are a true menace.

Note that in Suffolk, you always name a pub with both the village and it’s actual name.  This avoids mistakes, as there are numerous White Horses for example.

June 25, 2010 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Fox at the Oval

I was just watching the preview from the Oval of the Fifth Test, when a fox-like dog trotted across the screen behind the presenter.

It has since been confirmed it was a fox.  My foxes must all be in London, as I never see many these days.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Sport | , | 2 Comments