wings and things

“C’mon, Mum, have a laugh!”

One of things Ming says to me most often these days is “C’mon, Mum, have a laugh!” So today I will tell a funny story.

Gutsy9, the baby peacock, is now two weeks old and is quite happy to sleep in his box at night as long as he can spend the day on my shoulder. Well, when he was one day old, Ming and I had to go to town to do numerous things and I didn’t want to leave Gutsy9 alone for so long, so I took him tucked into my shirt. Ming had a gig to set up for, I had a lunch date with friends, then Ming had a counselling appointment and I was going to visit Ants (another reason I took Gutsy9 with me – I wanted to show him to Ants.)

Okay, so I dropped Ming off and went to the restaurant. Gutsy9 was asleep inside my shirt almost under my left arm so I kept my left hand on him through the shirt, sat down at the table with my friends and ordered. Gutsy9 was quiet to begin with but soon woke up and chirped, so I took him out and showed my friends who were rather aghast so I quickly chucked him back into my shirt and joined in the various conversations. A couple of hours later I picked Ming up to go to counselling and he’d forgotten I had Gutsy9 so said, “Oh that bloody bird – you’re the one who needs counselling.” He was quite nasty and I was hurt.

Anyway, the counsellor had asked me to come for the first bit of Ming’s session so I went in with him but said I couldn’t stay long because of the bird. I pulled Gutsy9 out of my shirt to show her and she looked, well, a bit surprised to say the least. Then we all sat down and she asked me how I was. It never ceases to amaze me how those three simple words ‘how are you?’ can reduce me to tears – which is what happened much to my horror. I said Ming and I had just had another altercation blah blah blah, and she suggested I stay for the whole session but I said no because I wanted to take Gutsy9 to show Anthony.

So I left and drove up the road to the nursing lodge and spent a very pleasant hour with Ants and Gutsy9 then went back to pick Ming up. By then, Ming was repentant but tentatively suggested that I should have some private counselling sessions of my own because he had been helped enormously. I told him I would think about it and we went home.

It was a few days later, when I was telling some other friends about the counselling experience, and they were laughing hysterically, that I realized how stark, raving mad I must have seemed to the counsellor and to my lunch companions!

Anthony, on the other hand, wasn’t the slightest bit nonplussed because he knows me, adores me and accepts me.

So, “C’mon, Ming, have a laugh!”

And guess what – we are both laughing today – yeeha!

Gutsy9 just hatched.

Gutsy9 just hatched.


Gutsy9 - 2 weeks old today!

Gutsy9 – 2 weeks old today!



Last Christmas

Last Christmas, my husband, Anthony, was still living here at home. This year, on Christmas day, he will be visiting for a few hours via a wheelchair taxi and then going back to the nursing lodge. I am having a very hard time accepting the reality of what has transpired over the year – Anthony’s deterioration with Parkinson’s disease, Ming’s spinal surgery, me having to resign from my job as a university lecturer, and a whole lot of other stuff.

Tonight, Ming (nearly 19) saw me struggling with my seemingly endless grief and told me that he was scared – scared that I was totally ‘losing it’. That made me cry even more until he said, “Mum, please just let me in, let me help, we only have each other.” Then he vacuumed the inside veranda, cleaned the microwave and refrigerator, hung out the washing and sang one of the songs he wrote this year – You and me, cup of tea – while he was doing all of this.

I have never understood the term ‘griefstricken’ until now – not just my own, but others’ of course. And now I have the flu and am feeling sorry for myself while parents are grieving beyond any grief imaginable. I can’t say any more about this because I don’t feel I have the right to intrude on the already-trampled privacy of the griefstricken.

This will probably be Anthony’s last Christmas.


“You have a pied peacock!”

Well guess what I found out yesterday? Gutsy9 is definitely a male and he is also pied which means he is half blue and half white. So I was probably right about King being the father and one of the white peahens being the mother. A friend who was doing some painting here took one look at him and said “You have a pied peacock!” He was so surprised. Apparently we may find a few more little Gutsys around in the next few weeks but, since I haven’t been able to find any nests, it seems unlikely.

Here is a link to a website that shows pictures of what a pied peacock looks like when it’s fully grown. I found this very interesting.

It's possible, of course,  that Prince might be the father.

It’s possible, of course, that Prince might be the father.

But all of the peahens tend to avoid Prince because he is so immature.

But all of the peahens tend to avoid Prince because he is so immature.

So this must be Mum.

So this must be Mum.

And this must be Dad!

And this must be Dad!

None of Gutsy9’s possible parents, however, will take him under their wings!


There is nothing like having a peacock on your shoulder!

Over the last few days I have derived an enormous amount of joy and comfort from an unexpected gift – Gutsy9 – the little peachick who mostly lives on my shoulder.

IMG_1836 IMG_1841


Little holiday

I am going to take a little holiday from the blogosphere for awhile.






Gutsy9  is now a week and a day old and he can already fly. He can fly from the floor up to my lap and from my lap up to my shoulder! And if he falls off my shoulder, while I am walking around, he simply uses his little wings for a soft landing.


The gobbling of grief

I cannot stand the media’s insatiable hunger for grief.

Misinformation and appalling inaccuracies are rife in the ruthless hunt for drama.

Tears are vultured into the camera and disseminated via a thousand sites.

This ghoulish gobbling of grief makes me sick, but I still watch and wait and wonder.


Peachick ponderings


I take Gutsy9 outside as often as I can but I can’t leave him alone because he’s nervous of the bigger birds.


This is King and Princess 1 wondering if Gutsy9 is theirs, but not willing to get too close.


Gutsy9 scurries back to me all the time!



I just heard this morning about the massacre at the school in Connecticut and, having now read the news reports, seen footage and also read the many blogposts about this tragedy, I don’t have adequate words to add to the millions already said and written. I only have inadequate words, but I can’t say nothing at all, so here goes.

My body feels hugely heavy with grief for the deaths of those children and teachers, and empathy for the families, friends and survivors. I’ve read numerous comments about the whys and wherefores but really there is no why or wherefore. The ‘big child’ who committed the crime is dead too so there will never be an answer as to why he did this and why his rage (what else could it be?) was directed against little children and those who care for them.

When our only child Ming was the age of the children killed, my greatest fear was that I would lose him to illness or accident or abduction even, but fear of a massacre like this never, ever, entered my head. Never.

I keep thinking of the Christmas presents the parents of those children may already have wrapped and hidden, or put under the tree, and no children to open them. This is unbearable.



Gutsy9: I love it here!

Gutsy9: I love it here!

Could I stay a bit longer? It's only early.

Could I stay a bit longer? It’s only early.

Yay - this is heaven!

Yay – this is heaven!