Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ants, birds and probably alcohol

Alexandra the anteater has been back and forth between homes and has finally come back to roost at our place. Jerry spends 3 or 4 hours a day in the bush with her, which is inordinately peaceful for me. We also have some super friends who think it’s fun to bring termite nests into our downstairs bathroom where Alexandra lives, and we now have several nests full of termites who are happily exploring our block wall cavities. I sense that 2010 could be the year that the Bug Man cometh.

We had a new bird delivered a few weeks ago: Pepperito the Red Lored. He’s a charmer and toddles into the bedroom in the morning, shimmies up the bedspread and really, really ticks Chili off. I feel like a parent trying to referee the classic combination of ‘jealous child’ vs ‘cheeky wind-up-the-sibling’ child.’ Does anyone know what happens when you bang parrots’ heads together??

The baddest saddest news is that Penelope has been relocated. I wasn’t going to talk about its because I’m not happy about the result, but when she ripped out someone's earring, tearing a new piercing, and ran off down the road trying to remove a small child’s eyes, I figured she was not going to be a good rehab candidate. She is currently holidaying in the zoo: not the ideal choice for her life (no disrespect) but she loved to fly and she enjoyed her freedom – a little too much as it happens… Anyhow, I shan’t dwell on it, it’s better than being in a cooking pot I suppose, which would surely have happened if she had flowed the wrong pair of eyes down the road one day. To appease our guilt, we shall be visiting her with scrambled eggs next week, despite what the signs say about feeding the animals.

We’re also in the process of getting rid of a few horses: we have a friend (who also happens to be the most superb horseman I know) who is short of good riding horses for his trekking company, so Jack and Houdini have gone for a touring holiday for a while. By the way – if you ever want a safe, fascinating horse-trek to Barton Creek Caves or around Pine Ridge, I know just the guy.

It’s been party season in case you hadn’t noticed: my pathetic excuse for having done very little with the birds. Instead, I’ve done my share of “on the bank, in the river”, piƱatas and musical chairs. I even persuaded some poor sap to dress in the Independence sweaty parrot suit for the Humane Society Christmas Afternoon which sacred the life out of some kids to the point where they never want to see a parrot again, let alone own one. Good job!

I have to say, introducing Belizean children to pass-the-parcel (which I find out is a very British game and hasn’t ever really crossed the pond) was not easy: they couldn’t believe the gift was theirs, they kept trying to give the parcel away to their younger siblings, and as for “rip the paper off, quick” - forget it. I suspect they were trying to save the wrapping paper for next year, something I vaguely remember doing before consumerism and a disposable society swept the UK.

So, there endeth the decade. New Year’s Eve afternoon and only a few short hours from the first hangover of the year. In my foolish youth, I recall scoffing at self-employed farmers, bakers, newsagents, milkmen: all those professions I would list as “jobs I would never do” because of the early starts and lack of sick leave. Well, I shall no doubt be up my ladders at stupid-o’-clock tomorrow morning with the rest of the self-employed idiots, feeding my ungrateful charges and wondering how on earth I ended up here.
Happy New Year!


  1. Hey Nikki! Great to read about the goin ons at the BBR! Here in San Antonio we have quite an active Audobon Society and they donate quite a bit to our bat preserve. Do you have anything specific you need in the early part of the new year? Looks like I will be coming down in March and wouldn't mind begging for donations before I come.


  2. Hi there Joe,
    Sounds like a plan - I shall start on a list immediately. You'll be sorry!
    Bless you, and hope the new year is treating you well up there so far. Regards to all

  3. Hiya Nikki, Jerry, Joan, and all the animals! Sounds like lots going on as usual. Where you find the energy from... We all still talk about our very special time with you and can't believe it was nearly 7 months ago. Will have to start planning our next visit out there, since the last one only took about 10 years to materialise! Your anteater looks very cute and cuddly. Oh dear, poor Chilli. How did the Brown family parrots get on? Did they get released yet? Love to you all, Jenny x

  4. Hey Miss Jenny- didn't see you there!
    Your family is doing well - still waiting for those wings to grow. Poor Katy gets picked on, but she has a new friend called Pepperito that seems to help defend her when necessary. We strongly suspect that Pippa is a boy - hope she's not too offended. Release is a way off yet - maybe you'll see them around with their own families on your next visit! Hope all is well for you in sunny UK! Hugs to everyone. xxx