Welcome to the Duck House

Welcome to the website of Chip the Duck. No part of this site has been the subject of an expense claim from the taxpayer, unlike the duck house pictured here.   

On these pages you’ll find information and links relating to my favourite interests and activities. In no particular order these are Sir Peter Viggers’ Duck House purchased with UK taxpayers’ money, Geocaching, Portsmouth FC, Golf, Setting & Solving Puzzles, Sea Fishing, Photography, Ducks in general, all things Portuguese plus some other stuff.


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Ecco Shoes Fall Apart

suedesI try to prevent my blog from becoming overly serious, although I do throw in a bit of light politics now and then. But today I want to warn you against a poor quality product on the high street so that you don’t get ripped off like me.

And if you think that I’m alone, just Google “Ecco shoes fall apart” and you will see that thousands have lost out. God knows how many others there are who have not complained.

The problem is that many of their shoes suffer from a fault in the composition of their soles which they have described to me as being of “a polyurethane material” which degrades through “hydrolysis”. In emails to me they say the problem is caused by “certain chemical stabilizers used in the production process to slow this degradation eventually being consumed”.

sandalsIronically the problem comes when they aren’t being worn. If you leave them in a cupboard for a while the soles will start to break down so that, when you next want to wear them, they disintegrate in your hand or as you walk.

Three pairs have gone this way, my men’s sandals and casual shoes and my other half has just handed me her suede shoes where the heels have suffered the same fate.

They will not give a refund or replace them no matter how hard you press them, they will just offer a discount on a replacement, so at best you get a pair with the same inherent fault at cost whilst they get away with selling crap. Great!


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Thank you Scotland – from the rest of the United Kingdom

teapotLast Thursday the Scots voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom rather than split off as a separate country, and I as an Englishman am greatly in their debt.

I rarely go to Scotland, sharing my time between England and Portugal, so the effect of the vote on Scotland itself was of little interest. However, the effect on the rest of the UK could have been very much worse.

For those unfamiliar with UK politics there are two main parties, left-ish Labour (incompetent) and right-ish Conservative (self-serving). But Scotland is almost entirely Labour under our electoral system (which only pays lip service to democracy) and their departure from the UK would mean that the Conservatives would have no real opposition in future. A dictatorship – and we have plenty of evidence of the misery they cause.

I won’t vote for either party anyway. I will vote for UKIP, a growing minority party that wants us to leave the European Union, because the irony is that the above is more or less irrelevant. You see, we are all actually ruled from Brussels by people we didn’t elect at all.

No wonder so many don’t bother to vote.

who runs the uk

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London’s Street Entertainers

I’m currently in the UK and took the opportunity to watch the street entertainers

street entertainers

Click here for more…

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Street Art

I think most of us agree that scrawled “tags” are an eyesore. The product of juvenile half wits with nothing better to do.

But now and again I spot a really clever piece of street art, like this one in Lagos in the Algarve. Watch out Banksy – there’s another artist around who also has a head for heights!


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Pirates Battle It Out In The Algarve

pirates ah aaarrrrghThe Algarve Pirates got a bit of a bashing on Saturday (8 March) near Alcantarilha in the Western Algarve at the hands of the Maximinos Warriors, who had travelled from Braga in northern Portugal.

No, it’s not civil war in Portugal – it’s American Football which is fast gaining popularity here in the sunshine.

Thanks to a post in the excellent Algarve Daily News, the essential English online daily publication that keeps expats in touch with Algarvian news and events, we discovered that the Algarve’s recently formed grid iron team were playing this afternoon at the Amendoeira Resort, so we toddled along. It was totally free of charge and a turned out to be a thoroughly entertaining afternoon in the sunshine.

The only downside was that the Pirates got to walk the plank with a score which I reckoned to be 34-6, although there were a number of different scorelines according to members of the crowd of about 100 people.

Don’t be put off by the disappointingly small crowd – this was thoroughly entertaining stuff. The commitment of the two teams and the noisy enthusiasm of the crowd would put most larger sporting occasions to shame.

It’s a rough game and unfortunately the Pirates’ Wide Receiver, apparently a key member of the team, was stretchered off and taken by our long suffering Bombeiros to the local hospital.

It is 30 years since I last attended American Football games, watching the London Monarchs at Wembley, and I was rusty on the rules and the scoring, but this is a game which is at least as enjoyable as rugby and, in my view, more tactical. Sadly on my two visits to the USA there were no games in my vicinity – I’d love to watch a top class game live.

its hereOn occasions I lost sight of the ball in the mass of heavily armoured bodies – and so did the players!!

The visitors showed that they had been playing together for longer than the Pirates, as the scoreline suggests, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd, especially when the home team managed an impressive attack.

The Pirates (in black) did manage one or two good attacks…

Pirates on the rampage

…but the Warriors were no slouches as their kicker showed…

warriors kicker

More pictures here including attractions on and off the field:

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New Photographs Added

Some new images of Portugal have been added to the photo library:

Peace and Light – Redolent of the 1960s

peace and light

Almond Blossom Season – January/February:

almond blossom

Distinguished Local Residents:



More images here

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Major Crime Wave Sweeps Algarve

Crime Reporter Chip the Duck brings the latest news – 6 February 2014.

Reports are being received of multiple burglaries across the Algarve during the course of last night targeting the British expat population. Victims woke this morning to find that their homes had been broken into and all BBC channels removed from their televisions.

A victim support team has been set up providing access to an extensive library of DVDs available on loan.

Local police in Lagos, Western Algarve, who have been criticised for their lack of activity, said that the thefts had been widely exaggerated and advised those affected to clean their houses. Substantial fines will be imposed on those failing to remove all evidence of the thefts.

Meanwhile the senior officer in charge of the investigation across the region said that he believed that expats were deliberately removing the channels themselves and concealing them at a secret location inland.

However, rumours are now being received that an international crime syndicate based at White City in London may be behind the spate of thefts.

With uncharacteristic urgency, following instructions from Brussels, David Cameron announced that £50 million of British taxpayers money will be ringfenced to allow a crack team of officers from the Metropolitan police to visit Algarve beaches to look for evidence. They have already reported that they are interested in interviewing three known burglars in the Lagos area, although it is expected that these will become employees of local businesses by tomorrow morning.

Residents are advised to be on the alert after rumours were received that further thefts may take place imminently as the perpetrators develop a taste for ITV.


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