Hello all

I have come to see that husbands provide wonderful fodder for blogging, proving that life is really simple isn’t it?

You see, I was listening to a ring-in on pets on the radio earlier in the night when Geoff said to me in a thoughtful way: “I was wondering what I could do to improve Georgie’s (the budgie) quality of life.”  Who else but Geoff would think about something like this? He is such an animal lover that nothing surprises me that comes out of his mouth.

Many years ago, when the children were small, we were sitting around the table having our tea when, out of the blue, he came out with this one: “You know I have an affinity with chooks?” All of us nearly choked on our food we laughed so much. At the time, we had laying chickens and every time they saw him they went berserk, running up and down the length of the chook pen. When they saw me they hardly moved a muscle. I never had the ‘chutzpah’ that he had!

It is so hard playing second fiddle to the animal lover in the house, someone who has this affinity with chooks, birds and especially cats. I have been known to say that if I started purring like the cat, I may get more attention. And I have been known to purr too…in jest.

Shasandra the cat (‘Sandy for short’ is her nickname) sees Geoff sit down on his TV chair with his feet up and she arrives within minutes, purring to be let up on his lap. Who can compete with this? (Photo of  ‘Sandy for short,’ part Himalayan Persian with her summer haircut, ready for some TV viewing with Geoff).

Next minute, she is on his lap. If Geoff is not there, she looks at me as if to say: “Well, what have you done to him? Where is he?!” I am sure she sees me as the wicked stepmother who does all the disciplining and treats me accordingly.

I think Geoff has taught me a lot about loving animals. I grew up with a mother who did not like animals (mind you, she had six children so she didn’t need anything extra when my father was always away!)  I have come to love birds, cats and dogs but I haven’t quite got an affinity with chooks yet (or with recalcitrant chickens either).

I think my mother was like this because she learned it from her own parents who were not animal lovers. My grandmother, who lived with us for a number of years, was an invalid who sat in bed or in her chair by the bed, all day every day.  It was a boring life for sure.

Anyway, a neighbour had a pet bird – a crow – who they hand feed and who could say a few words. The crow loved to come and sit on the garden wall outside my grandmother’s window and squawk ‘ark, ark, ark’ just to annoy her. It knew!

Grandma would yell out in her broken English “Shaddup!” and the crow would repeat: ‘shaddup’. It was quite hilarious! The more Grandma yelled at the crow, the more it kept squawking and repeating ‘shaddup’.  The thing was, the bird sounded like my grandmother!

Geoff and I were discussing all this over a cup of tea in bed this morning. It reminded me of a bird we heard while we were travelling around Queensland so I got out my Travel Journal to find what I had written. Here is the entry:

2nd September 2005

We have a bird here (in Cairns) that says “cook, cook-a-cook” and it is with another bird (probably it’s wife) which says “shudup!” They work in conjunction with each other. One says “cook, cook-a-cook and without missing a beat, the second one says “shudup!” And so it begins again…”

Life on the road was always interesting one way or another. In fact, I read the last entry in my Travel Journal  after reading about the birds, and it was a wrap-up of our month touring around Queensland in our camper-trailer and it was so interesting and funny (well, I thought so anyway) that I thought I would share it with you tomorrow.

Now, Geoff did explain to me what he had in mind to improve the quality of life for Georgie-girl the bird. It involved chicken wire and some sort of arrangement that the bird could get out of its cage and fly around a bit. My brain could not grasp his description of this contraption. So here is a drawing which Geoff has put together especially for the blog! I hope it is clear enough. So funny…

In finishing, Geoff would like to know what ‘chutzpah’ means? The dictionary says” Yiddish: unbelievable gall, cheekiness, insolence, freshness, audacity”.This is not a really good description but you get the idea? It’s a bit like the word “Twee” you have to place it in context to understand.  I would say that Geoff is a bit ‘twee’ and he has the gall and the cheekiness that the chooks loved!

Yes, life  is really simple, isn’t it? It is often the little things that make life interesting on a day-to-day basis. Sure, it is nice to have a change and go on trips or have a big trip overseas now and again, but it is the ordinary every day things of life that make our day. Like sunsets. Family. Friends. Food. Laughter. Pets. And don’t forget music to stir your soul either…

Until tomorrow.