For Fox Sake

BIG NEWS that I almost missed from earlier this week when there was drama in a Swindon department store, after a fox fell through the ceiling.

Here’s the full story:

House of Fraser’s furriest customer* gained access via the store room overnight.
It was later seen walking around the shop on CCTV, and set alarms off throughout the building. When staff began to arrive at around 10.30am, they were unable to find the fox, so the store opened as usual.

Fair enough. If the fox sneaked in, it could also have sneaked back out, right?


Wrong! Because: Surprise MotherFoxer!

It wasn’t until the trapped fox crashed through the ceiling panel at around lunchtime that customers were evacuated, told it was a “matter of safety”.

It’s like something out of an action movie, like Mission Impossible, but with a fox instead of Tom Cruise. And with fewer cameras. Oh, and a rack of jeans:

The fox then hid itself behind a rack of jeans until the Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue was called to come and pick it up.

Yep. You can’t just Lee-v it there, so I Guess Diesel be the right people to have called, being fox Wranglers and all. (Sorry, not sorry.)

“It is an adult female; she looks very fit, well and healthy, but obviously being in House of Fraser is not where she wants to be.”

Expert opinion there. And based on sound observational evidence, as well. How many of us have ever seen House of Fraser packed out with foxes?
Exactly – none of us: adult females, yes. Foxes, no.
And yet, it stands to reason that if House of Fraser was where foxes did want to be, then they would surely have done something about it before now (notwithstanding that this one did dramatically crash through a ceiling just to get there).

The fox was released back into the wild later that evening, because:

“We didn’t want to release her into the centre of Swindon in the middle of the day.”

Well, having been to Swindon, I’m hardly bloody surprised. The middle of Swindon at any time is clearly another place where foxes don’t want to be.

* [citation needed]

Magic Roundabout

Stemming from a brief mention on twitter of it during the week, I thought it only fair to feature one of the craziest and most amazing road junctions I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving around: Swindon’s Magic Roundabout.

In truth, Swindon is a bit of a hole – the only thing really worth popping down the A420 (careful now) from Oxford for is when Sheffield United are playing at the County Ground. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you may well find yourself driving the Magic Roundabout:

The Magic Roundabout is an example of a counterflow roundabout, according to, who even describe a “pro” and “tourist” route around the junction.

The area had been a motorist’s nightmare which routinely failed to handle the volume of traffic which converged on it from five directions. The roundabout, built in 1972, was the work of the Road Research Laboratory (RRL) and their solution was brilliantly simple. All they did was combine two roundabouts in one – the first the conventional, clockwise variety and the second, which revolved inside the first, sending traffic anti-clockwise.

It’s actually nowhere near as scary as it looks and the amazing thing is that it actually works really well, as long as people obey the rules of the road. That said, T-shirts with an “I survived the Magic Roundabout” logo on them are available via for tourists who manage to make it through unscathed.

We’re heading back to Cape Town this afternoon, fortunately avoiding Swindon, but sadly still having to endure the misery of Somerset West.