So what's this obsession with birds I hear you ask? Hollybird Beads? And today's blog title too... Well, it's all because of a certain little fella who went by the name of Pip.
Pip was a small, green, 6 week-old budgerigar, and arrived in our household just after my 10th birthday. For some reason I had decided I wanted a budgie as a pet, and I think my parents were relieved I wasn't asking for a puppy and so they agreed. I don't think any of us knew quite what we were letting ourselves in for!
Pip was already handtame when he arrived and grew quickly accustomed to his new surroundings. He learnt to talk, and was bold and inquisitive, and quite the trouble maker at times. His favourite thing was toast - we would often leave his cage door open for him to come and go as he pleased if we were in the house (provided no windows were open) and if free to do so, the instant he heard the toaster being taken out of the cupboard he would fly into the kitchen and sit on the toast-making-person's head, chirruping loudly, until it was done and no peace would be had until you had broken off a chunk for him to eat. He was a small bird with a big personality, and when he passed away after 10 years with us, although we were upset to lose a member of the family, I knew that at some point another little feathered friend would occupy out house in the future.
Our second feathery companion, Smudge, only stayed with us for 6 months, due to a sudden and upsetting illness which left me dazed - it is a horrible thing to see an animal so obviously sick, but to be unable to do anything as you wait for antibiotics to kick in and fight the infection. The Smudge experience didn't mean that I turned away from budgies, but I wasn't sure when I'd want to take another one on.
Well...a few months after the loss of Smudge, I was in the local pet shop (as an animal lover I tend to treat pet shops as minature zoos and go in just to look!) and spotted a white budgie in amongst a cage of youngsters singing its little heart out. I remarked on having seen this bird to my family but nothing more happened...until the next week when I returned to the pet shop where little white one was still there and still singing away. I asked mum and dad to come in and "just have a look"...and then 15 minutes later he was coming home with us!
Holly, who is a boy despite his name, is not like Pip or Smudge, he is his own little person. He adores having his head and under his chin scratched for him and has proven himself to be my best student talking-wise, counting amongst his repertoire "pretty bird," "bye bye bird," "whatcha doing?" as well as a host of sound effects including blowing kisses, whistling and the telephone. Hollybird, is one of his many nicknames. My birds have had their own nicknames...some of Holly's other aliases include Puffin, Squeaks, Beeps and Stink (all terms of affection I hasten to add!)
There are tonnes of books about cats and dogs, but few about these "little clowns with wings" as I have heard them referred to. So this is my shout out to the humble budgerigar...and with it comes my latest piece of jewellery. When I saw this PMC budgie beads set on Etsy I just had to have them and with a few bits of spiral rope and a beaded clasp I fashioned myself a budgie necklace - just to promote their cause a bit more!