Seven swans a-swimming…

July 21, 2009

Blog Guy, I can count and I like birds. What would be a good career for me?

Those are pretty strong qualifications in today’s job market. I would suggest a career in Swan Upping.

Swan what?

Swan Uppers count swans in the river Thames, over in England. For five days every July they put on red jackets and count swans for the Queen. The Queen watches, I guess to make sure she’s not getting screwed out of any swans.

Why do they want to know how many swans the queen has?

According to the official Website, Swan Upping began in the 12th century, because, and I quote, “At that time swans were regarded as a delicious dish at banquets and feasts.”

You’re just making that up.

No, you can read it here. I suppose it tastes like chicken.

What do Swan Uppers do the other 51 weeks a year?

Nothing, as far as I know.

Count me in! I’ll bring you back some neck meat!

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Above: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth poses with her team of Swan Uppers before watching the annual Swan Upping census on the river Thames, near Windsor, southern England July 20, 2009.

Right: The queen watches as Swan Uppers release swans back into the river.

REUTERS photos by Sang Tan/Pool

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7 comments

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Mr Robby Dude,

I was over im England for awhile, around 2002 and 2003.

I noticed that every once in awhile, swans were carried off for dinner by some people that thought they were delicious.

This was written up by The Sun. And who wants to question The Sun, in all its newsy glory?

So?

The reason for the swan count continues!

Oh yes. Since the British People like to boil their meat products…

And they really don’t like to barbecue nearly as much as we do…

And since it would have been pretty hard to fit a swan into a hibachi…

And their ovens are smaller, for the most of them…

And how I failed to convince my girl friend at the time, that cooking a swan was just like cookiing a turkey, cooking wise…

So, anyway, I found that cooking a very legal swan, by means of a swan flying into the backyard with directions for boiling a swan, written in Latin in a capsule found tied to its leg, written by some guy named Alfred the Great, thereby making it in time for Christmas…

Boiled swan is NOT my favorite.

This swan made it into our Council House backyard with its giblets intact, even!

I won’t go into the time my gal Pauline thought that the bottle of single malted whiskey, (which I paid for dearly, being 50 years old and probably very tasty,) which I was going to take back as a gift to the nearby Aeolderman (Mayor of this town) was just as good as white wine for cooking reasons…

Oh. I DID mention that.

I think that if I had consumed the whisky before eating the swan, the swan would have been muchly more tasty.

Eh wot?

No more using single malted whisky for cooking, you hear, Pauline?

Posted by tim | Report as abusive

[...] Oku:  Oddly Enough » Blog Archive » Seven swans a-swimming… | Blogs | Tags: barack-obama, britain, entertainment, job, mobile, news, photography, [...]

Well, you probably know that English cuisine is rife with medieval holdovers, eating things like swans, peacocks and herons. I understand they’re slowly catching up with the rest of the culinary world, even though they persist in watching cricket rather than grass growing or paint drying.

Posted by gwmc | Report as abusive

Ridiculous, expensive & totally unnecessary! I know the U.K. loves their royals, but this waste of resources & manpower constitutes my definition of obscenity. Swan Uppers being an actual job is an offense to all the folks who work to make ends meet.

Posted by E. Collins | Report as abusive

And the reason she has her Swan Uppers is because the Queen actually owns all of the swans in the United Kingdom. Some archaic piece of legislation states that all swans are the property of the Queen, which is why she has to send people out to count them.

Do you think that maybe she turned around one day and said ‘What the f- are we going to do with all these swans?’

[...] easy.  Queen Elizabeth II has counted the royal swans.  They’re all [...]

On NPR radio it was stated that they track the birds, check for diseases and monitor their health.

Posted by some guy | Report as abusive

Yeah, I never get the humor in that NPR stuff….

Posted by Robert Basler | Report as abusive

I just thought I would share that NPR stuff with ya.

My radio got stuck on a West Virginia public radio station….I don’t even live in West Virginia.

Posted by some guy | Report as abusive