Monday, December 17, 2007

The Christmas budgies - 1950

Ann with Bubbles, the budgie

On a recent visit to Wales to set up the Children of Craig-y-nos exhibition in Brecon library I was reminded how difficult it often is in a rural community to purchase some items which if you live within reach of a big city you take for granted.

And it made me think of my mother over 50 years ago buying a pair of budgies to bring me for Christmas in Craig-y-nos.
Even today the purchase of these feathery creatures would have taken some sourcing.
But 1950? where on earth did she find them and whose idea was it?

Now she is long dead and there is no-one to ask but that day in Brecon made me think. Where would I start to look for a pair of budgies?

I remember the arrival of my Christmas budgies.

All that long dark winter of 1950 I snuggled under the bedclothes having been brought back in from the balcony. I had lost my best friend, Joan in a plaster bed. She too had been moved elsewhere.

Now I was amongst teenagers again who talked of things I knew nothing about and mocked my ignorance.

My bed had been taken off its blocks and the world seemed topsy-turvy. If I sat up I felt as if I was going to slide out of the bottom of the bed. And it made me feel giddy.

Also, it had been placed opposite the glass door so Dr Huppert and Sister Morgan could keep an eye on me.

I did not like it.
They would hassle me.

Sister Morgan and Dr Huppert shouted at me at regular intervals to “sit up” .

Once they were out of sight I would slide down into the comfort of the bed.

I didn't want to sit up. It was cold. I just wanted to read.Under the bed-clothes.

And on the December visiting mother walked in swinging a cage with a pair of budgies, one blue one green, one male one female.

I burst out crying.

“Take them away quick!” I sob to mother ‘I will get the most awful row from Sister Morgan and Dr Huppert.”

She kept “ssshhh..” me to stop crying assuring me that it’s all right that Sister Morgan knew all about it. I was not convinced.

Later Dr Huppert came along and named them “Bubble and Squeak” .

The arrival of these tiny brightly coloured feathery creatures, little bits of life, marked the turning point in my life in Craig-y-nos.

For I was 10 years of age and the birds had given me a reason to live.

I thought of this as I walked through Brecon a few weeks ago trying to buy a piece of card to mount the photos for the Children of Craig-y-nos exhibition.

Where on earth did mother find budgies in Brecon over 50 years ago?

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