Bird Blues and Fan Fiction

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My poor blog has grown cobwebs during this last rotten week. My parrot is better than he was, but still not nearly right yet. I had to give him the medication that I really didn’t want to. I honestly thought he was close to death, and sometimes even if a cure is hard, you still have to try. I couldn’t get to my computer though. He refused to be left alone, and insisted on trying to follow. Then because he was so weak, he kept falling down, so I gave up and went to the lounge where there was no chance of the poor guy hitting the deck. The rest of the horde were strangely silent, all just hanging around him, with no tail pulling at all. I think they knew just how bad things were.

Apart from having to boil everything that the birds sit on or sleep in, in vinegar water every day – realistically the whole house is their oyster, I’ve had about twelve hours sleep all week, trying to make sure that he didn’t rip his wounds open at night. Now I feel like I’ve gone a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson, and keep on nodding off. He’s had a couple of small bleeds, but now he’s definitely out of the woods, and I’ve got bags of other drugs to treat the rest of the horde, so hopefully disaster’s been averted. I must say, it feels good to be back here, and thank you to my lovely friends for your well wishes and concern! I really appreciate it so much that you care.

On the scribbling front, I spotted a press release from Amazon in my inbox. I’ve never tried writing fan-fiction before, but after reading this, it seems kind of exciting, so when I’m up to date (in around 2019 I would imagine), I’m going to have a go. A couple of years ago I thought that this sort of thing was really just plagiarism, but I’m thinking that it really can’t be with the original author’s blessing, and it sounds like a bit of fun. Not to mention sharing the royalties with the big wigs. You could name drop too. “My co-writer Barbra Annino says….”, sort of thing. After reading a few different takes on some of the old classics, I’ve warmed to this a little also. I enjoyed the modern sequel to Gone With The Wind, and some of the old fairy tales have been reworked brilliantly. Others not so much, but never mind, that’s not the point of the day.

The stories that are in the game so far are:
Pretty Little Liars: Stained by Barbra Annino
The Vampire Diaries: The Arrival by Lauren Barnholdt & Aaron Gorvine
Shadowman: Salvation Sally by Tom King
The Foreworld Saga: The Qian by Aric Davis
X-O Manowar: Noughts and Crosses by Stuart Moore

I haven’t seen or read any of these yet, so I’ll lurk around and see what else pops up, but I thought some of you might want to have a bash at legally sharing dollars with the rich and famous. Sounds like a win win situation to me.

Till next time friends.


Feathers and Quivers

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One of my parrots has been quite sick for the last two weeks. Now I’ve figured out what’s wrong with him, I’m hoping he’ll get totally better quickly. He has two sores, one under each wing, and apart from dosing him with antibiotics, and loads of oregano (until tomorrow when I’ll finally get the right medication), he’s been needing round the clock looking after. At least he’s eating now, and judging from the amount of yelling he’s doing, I’m hoping to start getting some proper writing done again, and we can all breathe sighs of relief.

After my chat about anxiety disorders and panic attacks yesterday, it occurred to me that one of my previous posts touched on the subject of finding help. So instead of repeating myself, I’ll send anyone who is looking for new avenues of relief here. Before I read this book, and did what the man said I should do, I tried just about everything, including drinking water upside down. That one worked for a bit for the minutes I was concentrating on the water in my nostrils, but nothing else did. This book more than fixed me. Even if you think life’s just peachy, it’s still an amazing little book.

Right now, it’s parrot fixing time again, before more zooming down my emails. The last one I opened was a recommendation to buy a book on how to write. I won’t mention the actual title, but I will tell you that “write” was spelled “wrti” in the actual blurb on Amazon. Well done that man!

Till next time friends.


A Bird In The Hand Shouldn’t Be

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I read that after the Harry Potter phenomenon, children all over wanted owls as pets. This had me remembering how I cringed when the movie Paulie came out. It’s story about a parrot that talks and thinks like a human, and finds his way home after all sorts of tribulations – blah blah blah, and so on. The reason for my cringing was because I knew that parents all over the world would be off to the nearest pet shop to buy the most expensive parrot they could afford for their little darling. I also knew that ninety nine percent of those birds would spend the rest of their lives locked in cages in dingy corners, being given crap to eat – if they were lucky, and probably covered every time they fancied a shout. Parrots love a good shout – they think it sounds cool. I understand that people don’t just suddenly decide that they like the idea of abusing and neglecting some poor creature for the rest of its days. They just don’t realise what they’re taking on. These movies give unrealistic impressions of these animals, and parents cater to the whims of the children that they love. There are also some people that really couldn’t give a damn, but those sad sacks are another story altogether and generally a waste of oxygen only. Now it occurs to me that my sharing of my feathered flock’s antics might encourage someone to sally forth to buy themselves a parrot, or worse still, go and hoik some wild baby out of a tree somewhere. I wouldn’t want that sort of thing earning me black crosses on my karma. So…

My parrots are eighteen and sixteen years old respectively. They could very easily expect to live another fifty years failing some horrible accident. They are therefore a major consideration in my will. Personally, though I love them with all my heart, having had them for so long has taught me that I really shouldn’t have them at all. Nobody should purposely set out to have any sort of bird live anywhere other than in their natural environment. The weavers being here came from a choice between them being dead or having a life indoors with me. They have a very good life, so my choice was fine. I’m at home pretty much all the time, I try and make sure that nothing can hurt them, and they get on with their crazy little existences just fine. None of my birds has ever been caged for a minute of their lives, and they eat rather better than most humans, so while not ideal, this is alright. My birds do exactly what they want and have the run of the house. They yell, chew, play, and zoom around. They get three fresh meals a day, have piles of assorted seeds, nuts, fruit, salads, veggies, dry dog food, bowls of cereal, water to drink and to bath in, and marshmallows all over the place. They’re particularly fond of marshmallows and cheese. They also eat meat – bacon and sausages being favourites. In the wild they wouldn’t eat these things. I know that it sounds excessive, but in the wild they would get to choose what they want to eat, and those choices would include protein in the forms of bugs and worms as well as seeds, fruit and greenery. Parrots in the wild don’t perch on sticks when they sleep. They generally sleep in hollows in trees. They’re pretty heavy birds so it makes sense that they wouldn’t want to be on their feet twenty four hours a day forever. They need somewhere comfy to sleep. They mate for life and are the most caring of parents too. Such social guys should never be kept alone in a cage for their lives. It’s cruel. I doubt that there are too many people that treat birds as I do, although I’m sure there are a couple. They make a mess, a noise, chew holes in pretty much everything, and need as much love and attention as your average three year old human, if not more. I don’t mind these things, but that’s just me, and I do rather love my feathered flock.

Jelly Sunshine

Please don’t buy a live creature unless you really have its best interests at heart, and are sure that you can give it the best possible care. If you find a wild creature that you think is really cute, but know you don’t have the time to care for, take it to a sanctuary, or if necessary a vet to be put down. If you’ve already made the mistake of buying a bird that proved a little more difficult to care for than you realised, again, take it to a sanctuary, or find it a home with someone who knows how to care for it – and wants to. Remember that a parrot is very likely to outlive you. And if you do have any sort of bird as a pet, try and remember that of all the creatures on this planet they were specifically designed to fly. Why take that away from them? Would you cage your cat or dog? No? Why cage a bird then just because you can? Please don’t ever lock a bird in a cage just to look at or say “Hello Pretty Polly” to now and then. He’s alive, far from stupid, and not an ornament. Don’t feed him irregularly on only seeds or expect him to drink stale water. He deserves fresh food as often as you would have, in a variety that he would have access to if he was not behind bars. That cockatiel that scampers madly up and down is exhibiting the results of mental disturbance from being locked up all his life, not cuteness. And don’t ever expect a child to understand any of these things. It’s your responsibility. If you bought it, you make sure that it has the life that it deserves. Or as close to anyway. Otherwise take it to someone who could do better.

Jelly Wing