Right! The packing and Christmas. Well the packing was much as you would expect. Dad wanted to Minimalise and only take essentials! Mum had other ideas. This was somewhat surprising really as up until now, it was always Dad who was the hoarder. But No! Dad was very good. Many trips to local auction houses; many trips to Charity Shops; Many items on Freecycle and many trips to the tip. You see our new house doesn’t have an attic as it has been converted into Stacey and the small Fids suite! The garage was converted into a Birdroom and we have a small attic over that but that is all. That is probably why the spare bedroom is so full up. Dad wants to get in there and take everything except the bookcase and the spare bed to the tip but Mum won’t let him and it still causes arguments after 6 months! Anyway, enough of that. Through the kitchen is a small Utility Room with “Dad’s sink” in it. This is just SOLELY for use for doing us Fids and NOTHING else. Dad was so fed up of finding a dirty sink when he came to clean/feed and water us that he insisted! Does he keep it clean? YES! Spotless! Then you pass through a small storage area with the tools, Freezers and storage for all our food and bits and bobs! Through there is the birdroom. Now, it is sound insulated, thermo-insulated, double-glazed and lined with a coloured shower room UPVC Wall liner which is so much easier to wipe when we make a mess. The floor is tiled which is easy to keep clean (when we make a mess!). All our Bird lights are put on the walls around the room and there are 2 normal room lights for when those aren’t on. There are 3 doors out of this room:- Double French Doors which will just enable most of the cages to be taken outside for a power-wash. Then there is another inward opening single door with the Aviaries on the other side. This makes taking us Fids to the aviaries much safer. There are 3 all steel aviaries for us larger fids and 2 wooden ones for the smaller fids. We take it in turns going out as, sadly, we don’t all get on. We only ever go out for a max of 2 hours as we don’t have food as Dad doesn’t want to attract mice and rats; we only have water, so 2 hours is enough. Now we did have complaints from the neighbouring houses about our noise. It wasn’t too bad until Dad put Ollie & Dolly out and they were exceptionally noisy. Dad left them for 10 minutes to see if they would settle and he was just on his way to get them in when the doorbell rang and a neighbour complained about their noise. The complaints were made on something called Facebook. Dad says it is somewhere where cowards can complain when they haven’t got the decency to knock on the door like the one neighbour did. Still Adam went round and smoothed things over and now Dad is a bit more cautious when we go outside. He is also having metal shutters fitted over the doors and window so we can be kept dark in the early hours in summer to help things. Dad says, what people don’t realise is that if you live on a modern estate where the houses are packed in closer together, you have to expect noise. Dad (who doesn’t get up til 9:00) gets woken up before 7:30 by the kids at the end of the garden shouting and playing before school. Does he complain? No! It’s part of living on an estate. Still, Adam told them all clearly, IF they have a problem, to come and knock on the door and talk to us and, guess what? Not one person has! Still, that’s our facilities explained.
Christmas was a bit of a rest in the packing. Adam was there all the time but Stacey had to work most of the fortnight. Mum was obviously off work as well. We had our usual treats and plenty of wrapping paper to chew up. One funny story to tell you. Dad left Phoebe and Charlie on their stands in the conservatory one day. There was nothing unusual in this. But, the day before they had stacked a load of packed boxes in the Conservatory for storage. When Dad came down he found Phoebe and Charlie both sat on their perches as good as gold – BUT – they had both been chewing the packing boxes to such an extent that several needed re-packing!
Stacey and Mum have both made changes to their work. Mum still has the same job but only works 2 mornings a week. This means she and Dad can have more week-ends away. This is made even easier by the fact that the new house has safe parking for the caravan in the back garden, rather than in a storage compound. Stacey has made a major change. She was offered a job working with Neil Forbes (a leading Avian Vet) but it was only part time and not enough hours for her so she had to turn it down. Then Neil came back and said they would make her hours up to Full time in the Referral Centre so she agreed and moved to Swindon (which is nearer Calne than Bristol was). She did this for about 2 weeks and then found herself being transferred to Full time Avian and Exotics which is what she has always wanted since leaving school! This means that, although we are a pretty fit bunch of Fids, when we need a Vet, dad can take us to one of the leading Avian Vets and get Staff Discount!!!
Dad has been made a Rescue Manager within Birdline. Stacey has taken over the ACO role and they have just split it with Trish (who now looks after south Wiltshire). The idea is that each Manager has a number of ACOs and Dad has now got 4 (but a bigger area than he should have!). Because Dad and Stacey both live together it is impossible to separate the 2 roles so there is a bit of overlap.
Dad, sadly, is getting less mobile and uses a Mobility Scooter more and more for anything other than short distances. This is no bad thing from our point of view because me and Phoebe both LOVE riding on the handlebars! Currently Dad’s Charcot Joint has returned again which is basically the foot crumbling. He now has to wear a rigid boot probably for ever – and this means even more rides on the scooter!
Well that’s about all I want to say for now (and I’m sure, all you want to read!). Me and all the Fids are very happy in our new home and we all settled in so very quickly which was a huge relief for Dad. This was almost certainly because we all kept our own cages before and after. Next week I’ll try and write about our holidays. Me and Syd have spent a lot of time away, and even Phoebe has gone away more this year now that she has a Summer Vest.