Monty the Penguin has got nothing on our Graeme.

Over the past few days, my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter News Feeds have been packed with the hashtag #MontyThePenguin – As cute as he is, we at Digital Minds have become quite attached to a lone swan that frequents the stretch of canal outside our Leeds office at Tower Works in Holbeck.

Graeme in all his glory

Graeme in all his glory

We’ve named him Graeme, after Graeme Swann, the ex-England cricketer. Our Graeme is an absolute legend. Most swans would be nervous around humans, and sometimes even aggressive. Not our Graeme. He’s there most mornings, a friendly face to greet the team as we all arrive at the office, having spent the night keeping Tower Works safe from baddies and wrong ‘uns. Or so I like to think.

We’ve always been concerned, however, that Graeme is lonely. He’s always all by himself, paddling about or just sitting on the bank of the canal, staring at the passing barges with a look of melancholy and sadness.

Perhaps he has hopes and ambitions like the rest of us. Perhaps he’s fallen from glory. Perhaps he fell in with the wrong crowd, a group of dodgy estate pigeons, who introduced him to the punk lifestyle, grew to be an Anarchist, and he was cast aside by the Queen, (who really does own all, or at least most of the swans in the UK) destined to paddle the waterways of England, without  a destination. A maverick, a nomad, a free agent.

We’ll never know Graeme’s true past, but I was delighted this week to find that Graeme has found a buddy! A duck, whom henceforth, we shall call Dickie, to stick with the cricket theme, named after Yorkshire treasure and legendary cricketer and umpire Dickie Bird OBE.

Graeme and Dickie

Graeme and Dickie

Graeme’s partner in crime has a lot to live up to. But with such a legend to take Dickie under his wing (literally) – Dickie Duck will be the Robin to Graeme’s Batman. The Laurel to his Hardy, the Bonnie to his Clyde, patrolling the canal outside Tower Works like a true pro in no time, keeping the waters of Holbeck safe, so we can all rest easy at night.

So, thanks to John Lewis, for helping Monty the Penguin find a tidy ‘bird’ to snuggle with this Christmas, but I reckon Graeme and Dickie are more deserving of our affections.

Workers of Leeds, if you happen to see Graeme and Dickie on your travels around Holbeck, I’m sure they’d be grateful of a slice of stale bread, or the leftover crusts from lunch, and a nod of appreciation.

Long live the great protectors of Holbeck Urban Village.


Liam Peacock : Technical Account Manager : Digital Minds Recruitment ltd

@DigitalLiam on Twitter


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