The Cormorant and the Turtle

Drawing of an Australian pied cormorant on a branch next to a green turtle.
Pied Cormorant and Turtle

I finished this yesterday so here’s an Australian Pied Cormorant and a Turtle. As you can see, Australian cormorants are black and white – hence their name, pied. My friend suggested that the title sounded like an Edward Lear poem. I really liked that the turtles share a branch with the cormorants basking in the sunshine. The turtle is a bit lacking in detail but I wanted him/her to be part of the drawing.

We had our Covid vaccines on Saturday. We both received text messages on the previous Thursday with a link to a quick booking system. We were booked into a medical centre a couple of miles away for Saturday morning. 

We were met with a model of efficient crowd control. There were marshals for cars, and even more marshals for people. I had taken my book, as I always do in case of delay but it was totally unnecessary. There were about 20 treatment rooms in use. I don’t think we waited more than a minute before we were waved in. A few questions were answered and the deed was done, as our records were updated there and then. And no, we didn’t take a selfie.

It wasn’t quite as efficient as our vaccination process in my RAF Officer training days. All Officer cadets were given a full course of every vaccination regime. In the first weeks of our 6 month training, Tuesday was the day and we would all line up after lunch as the message was passed down the line from the medics,  ‘Upper left arm’, ‘Lower right arm’ or something similar as we ensured that the relevant bit of anatomy was exposed. It was a quick no nonsense process. The staff took great delight in telling us ‘war stories’ of how ill we were likely to be after each one. Yellow Fever was the one that had the most tall tales associated with it and as gullible young people we took the advice to heart that ‘you’ll be fine provided you keep the arm moving’. We realised that we had possibly been duped as we sat in the bar that evening all waving our left arms about as the staff stood at the door falling about laughing.  

As part of the process on Saturday, we were given a leaflet on the vaccine and any possible side effects.  These include slight fever, headache and a temperature. As a veteran of some significant vaccination programmes, I hardly bothered to read all these. That was till later that evening when I really started to feel pretty grim. I had most of the possible symptoms and almost certainly had a raised temperature as I started to shake. This was my immune system’s response to the stimulus of the vaccine. I did as advised and took paracetamol and went to bed. It worked and I was feeling much better by Sunday morning so was able to complete ‘The Cormorant and the Turtle’. Perhaps I need to write a poem to accompany it?


  1. Good news about your vaccines…and the paracetamol too! I doubt we’ll be having our shots here in Cordova before June. Sounds like you had an interesting time in your RAF Officer training days, and I do like your cormorant and turtle. We have had a lot of rain here these last few days so the stream at the bottom of our hill is gushing — I can hear the loud chirruping of the frogs and I know that soon, when the sun makes its appearance once more, I’ll be able to spy the terrapins and turtles perched on fallen branches by the river, basking in the sun. (Lucky for some!)


    • Hi Gilly, Officer Training was a blast. I loved it. The sound of the frogs and terrapins sounds wonderful. The beck near us is a raging torrent with al the snow melt as well as the rain. The tree branches hanging over the weir have icicles on them. I’m sure it will get warm eventually but it seems a very long way off right now.


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