I made bread yesterday, for the first time ever. It was fun and I will definitely be doing it again. Whilst making the bread I got to thinking about the time I missed out on making bread at school because I was ill. I also missed dissecting a fish that day. I was seven years old.
My best friend at the time was a girl called Sara. We were really close and Sara knew and understood me like no one else, she therefore knew how much I was looking forward to dissecting that fish and how disappointed I was to miss out. Two days later I went for a sleep over at Saras house. She was really excited because she had a suprise for me and I couldn’t wait to find out what it was. We had to hide the suprise from her mother and so went to the bathroom together with the mystery bag holding the treat. I opened the brown paper bag to find a very stiff, slightly crispy and a little whiffy, dead fish! Sara had taken a fish from school that was meant for dissecting and brought it home for me. I was thrilled. Truly, I was so touched that she had done that for me. How kind. Sara had risked the wrath of the teacher by stealing one of the fish for me, then hidden it and kept it a secret until I was able to visit. Even to this day it fills me with warmth that a friend had been so kind. Sara was disappointed that the fish wasn’t in perfect condition but I was over the moon with it. She then helped me to dissect it by showing me what she did during the lesson at school and I was able to participate in what was one of the school highlights for me.
As I have grown older, true friendship has been shown in many different ways but I don’t think there has ever been so selfless an act as that one. I will never forget how much my friend loved me at that time. Nor do I know of anyone who has been so happy to receive a dead and decomposing fish as I was.
This story does not include an explanation for the intriguing title, more of that later. I wish to share with you a little tale of how, as a ‘mother’, I was shocked to the core last night.
I am the proud owner of two beautiful rescue parrots, one of whom is a Black Headed South American Caique, a truly charismatic fellow called Wally. Wally came to live with me after I met his owner at 3am during a music festival last June. His wonderful owner (extraordinary handlebar moustache) confided to me how worried he was about Wally since Wallys partner had died. Wally had gotten very depressed and had plucked all his feathers out, plus he hates men so his male owner was struggling. Since I already had a parrot, we decided that I would meet Wally the next day and if all went well I would take him home. Which of course I duly did. My boyfriend was horrified (by that, read: almost dumped me). My other parrot was not amused (also horrified and extremely jealous). Nevertheless, Wally and I were in love so he stayed.
He is a busy and sociable parrot with a seemingly insatiable appetite for hating my boyfriend. We think he has several personalities and is very much like the Mad Scientist Hugo-A-Go-Go from the eighties cartoon BatFink. Last night after I had put Wally to bed (he gets grumpy if he does not have his full twelve hours of darkness for rest), I could hear him going busily about his business and suspected that he was up to something (building a nuclear missile perhaps? Or plotting the kidnap and selling to the slave trade of my boyfriend?), so I went over and lifted the curtain of his cage.
Imagine the total shock and disbelief I experienced when I saw my beloved little boy masturbating on one of his toys. His head was thrown back in ecstasy, one wing outstretched and going hell for leather against his spinning puzzle ball. It was a couple of seconds before Wally spotted me staring at him, then he screamed at me. I imagined him shouting something like Uncle Frank did in the bathroom scene of Home Alone 2: Lost In New York when Kevin recorded his uncle yelling “get out of here you nosey little pervert or I’m gonna slap you silly”. I quickly closed his curtain, switched off all the lights and went to bed, somewhat dazed. I did actually feel like a nosey little pervert. No mother/ pet owner should ever be witness to such private times.
About the title of this blog; my sister gave birth to a baby on New Years Day. There were some complications after the actual birth (which was at home) so the ambulance was called. When walking from the room out to the ambulance, she suddenly felt faint and so uttered that immortal line; “I’m going to faint, get me a cherry tomato”. I find that hilarious, why a cherry tomato? Why a tomato of any sort? Why not a chair? She’s ok by the way, her and baby are doing fine and I am so thrilled to have a new nephew.