Therapist: So you’ve been having some problems.
Norma says you don’t talk to her.
Cyril: That’s because I’m a mute swan.
Norma: Mute, my arse. You’ve got plenty to say in mating season.
Cyril: Just as well, Dear, if you care to keep breeding like a rabbit.
Norma: Oh, you’ve noticed we’ve got cygnets, have you?
Didn’t think there were just a bunch of ugly ducklings hanging around?
Cyril: Let me see…
I defend our patch from intruders.
I don’t bugger off to avoid my tail-feather freezing in the crappy weather.
I incubate our eggs, like a blithering stay-at-home Dad.
But I’m still not sticking my beak in enough?
Therapist: You seem to be feeling under a lot of pressure, Cyril.
Cyril: Damn straight. I’m up to my neck in domesticity. And that’s a lot of domesticity, if you can see what I’m saying?
One minute I’m cruising the lake, ruffling a few feathers, checking out the birds.
Next thing, I’m perpetually building nests, like a riverside property developer.
Then, day in day out, during tourist season, that’s all you ever hear: ‘Aren’t they beautiful? They mate for life, you know?…’
Flaming well feels like it too.
Norma: Why don’t you just sod off, if that’s how you feel?
Go and shack up with a mallard- see if I care.
Cyril: Yes, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? Leave you to the Russian?
Norma: What Russian?
Cyril: That effeminate goose you were after during migrating season.
Norma: Pinkfoot was Icelandic.
I liked his high-pitched honking call, that’s all.
Cyril: Yeah? Well, wrap yourself around a 747 and pay him a visit.
You can offer yourself to Bjork as a party frock, while you’re there.
Therapist: Let’s take a deep breath, for a moment.
Cyril, can you tell me how life would look in an ideal world?
Cyril: I’d like to go all the way on, ‘Who Wants To Win A Lifetime’s Supply Of Aquatic Plants?’, that’s what I’d like.
Or maybe do some work in films or the opera.
Norma: They’re ballerinas in costumes, you pillock.
Therapist: Norma, these are valid comments.
How would you like your life to look?
Norma: Much like it is, really.
More ‘me’ time. A trip to Teddington Lock.
I’d like to lose some weight.
Therapist: Tell me more about that.
Norma: Well, we moved to Windsor last year for a change of scene.
Cyril got a taste for the glamour and I got a taste for the bread.
I’m eating like a foie gras. If the Queen has a state banquet I’ll be first picked.
Cyril: Don’t say that, Norm. You’re still got what you had when we first met.
Therapist: And what was that?
Cyril: She was just different from the others even though she looked exactly the same.
She had this lovely long neck, for instance.
And feathers white as snow.
Therapist: And Cyril?
Norma: He was clumsy as hell. And rubbish at swimming. And he looked a bit dirty- I thought he was gorgeous.
I still do.
Therapist: That’s a great note to end on today.
Before you go, can you think of anything you would you like to say to each other?
Cyril: It may look to you like I’m floating, Love, but my feet are going like the clappers underneath.
Norma: I know, Ducky.
And I may look ready to sink but I’ve still got my head above water.