24 January 2011

Blithe as a bird

Bluey is ready for his close-up
I've now settled in and organised my new life in Wimbledon, having moved into a new flat at the start of the year.  It's been great having a place of my own, even though the boiler broke down after only a fortnight and I had to endure four days with no heating or hot water.  The apartment has the added bonus of a Sky TV connection which will last for a few more days, so I've been able to watch the cricket from New Zealand in HD, which has been a real treat - I've not seen much cricket since moving to London in 2007. 

Despite having the place to myself, it's not a totally solitary existence.  The couple I'm subletting from will be away in Australia for about six months and have left their budgie in my care.  This is quite a responsibility for someone who knows next to nothing about avians.  I've not even seen Hitchcock's The Birds, which, given the subject matter, is perhaps for the best.  

Bluey the budgie is actually a peach-faced lovebird, and I'm getting used to the mechanics of taking care of him.  He spends most of the day in his cage of course, gnawing on seeds and squeaking at his reflection in his little mirror.  As I'm at home most of the time I also try to let him out to fly around the apartment, during which time he flits between the various windows and 'chats' to other birds outside.  He also gazes lovingly at his own reflection in the large upstairs mirror, or perhaps he's just admiring the handsomeness of that fine-looking yellow fellow who's standing opposite.  

My sister, a professional vet, has provided some useful advice for novice budgie carers, but I'm still puzzled by the suggestion that his cage should be covered from dusk onwards to allow him to sleep.  Presumably the advice was written in New Zealand rather than England, where today the sun will set at 4.33pm.  It's an inexact science.  I tend to put his cover on around late evening, or if someone is using bad words on the telly that might damage his impressionable little gnat-sized brain.

He does not exhibit a complex personality, and there's not much in the way of two-way communication going on in the relationship.  I'm not sure when he's hungry, so I just presume that it's most of the time.  This has worked out so far, and on reflection it would probably suffice with most humans too.    
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