Paulie’s Perfect New Home & My Lovely Houseguest
Paulie has found her perfect home with Helen and Eddie Laycock. She is as happy as the day is long, and apparently fallen in love with (the very handsome) Jack – she follows him around and walks into his bedroom, looking for him.
I mean, there’s three men in the house – Paulie’s thrilled! Flirty thing. If she had eyelashes she’d be batting them. Eddie and Helen are so lovely – felt I knew them already when we met. And they’ve forgotten more than I ever knew about parrots: they have been breeding birds (and rescuing all other sorts of animals) for years.
How it came about was so serendipitous: talking to my colleague Jack Gaynor who says ‘I know a guy who used to breed greys. I’ll have a word…’ he phoned him that evening and put us together.
On the day of the ‘big move’ Paulie – behaving beautifully all the time – said ‘bye’ and ‘see you later’ when I was leaving, and when I turned to have another little look at her, she was already grooming herself, looking smug – had forgotten all about me. I didn’t feel one bit sad, not even a tiny bit. How could I be when it all fell into place so smoothly. I could feel the click, if you know what I mean.
I can visit her any time I want, and Jack helped out so much – he drove my car to their house so that I’d know how to get there, and we brought the cage up. It was really good of him.
The peace and quiet in the apartment is soothing. Poor Paulie had been squeaking quite a bit – likely because she was bored and not getting enough interaction – but it became maddening eventually! When I played music, or tried to watch tv – or when I was on the phone (‘please excuse the whistling in the backround, Mr XXX, it’s my very bold African grey’ … and the poor man is trying to arrange a funeral with me!) – she’d do that loud slow ‘oooooo’, going up in the middle like a ‘Carry On’ actor.
I did have great company recently, the best in fact. My mate Val came to stay with me for a while and it was like a holiday. We see eye-to-eye on lots of things and our friendship is enhanced by our different personalities. She’s my best friend and has been for a long time.
We were a bit, eh, giddy at times though – particularly one night. It’s very funny but I feel a bit shame-faced as it was all my fault.
Val was out with Paddy celebrating their wedding anniversary and I was in The Purty with my mate Sophie, her sister Cathy and Ali, their friend. We had a marvellous time – the band ‘The Dions’ were great and the food was grand.
About half-twelve Val phones to say she can’t get into the apartment, and when I arrived it became obvious that I hadn’t given her the three keys we needed to get in, only two, and had left the rest of my keys at home. We had to spend the night in the waiting room in the chapel corridor of the funeral home.
With horror I realised that we wouldn’t get into the apartment until ten in the morning when the Director on Duty arrived (it being Sunday). Val almost screamed when I told her: she’d been dreaming of her pyjamas and tea and bed, poor child.
Then she was giving out about being cold so I tucked my jacket around her. The little wagon had bought a cardigan that day but ‘didn’t want to get it creased’ so nicked my jacket. She even thought about stealing my socks!
At about 5am she got a cramp in her toe and was hopping up and down the corridor, hoping to God nobody saw her. I didn’t because I was asleep – wearing her cardigan – but she re-enacted it for me the next morning and I have never in my life seen anything so hilarious.
When the Director on Duty did arrive, Val heard his key in the lock, woke me and we said ‘good morning’ to a very baffled Robert Fanagan. Val’s beehive had slid over to one side and we must have looked like mad things.
However, it was the best laugh I’d had in ages and the time she and I spent together was full of good humour, love and understanding. I’m grateful to Paddy for letting me kidnap her and will make it up to him sometime with a big dinner.