Thursday, 11 April 2013

A weiro and his man cave

My wife sent me a link to this article by Tom Cox who writes for The Guardian. 'My dad and the toad that lives in his shoe' is such a great read that I had to recommend it to Freo Doctor blog readers.

Speaking of toads living in shoes, Tom Cox's article got me thinking about our little boy weiro, Spiro, who has set up his own man cave at the top of our pantry. Freo Doctor Blog readers will remember Spiro from his starring role in such posts as 'What my weiros, Pearl and Spiro, have taught me about placemaking,' where I revealed his fetish for playing with my wife's makeup.

Well, he's back, but this time he's discovered his weiro masculinity. For the last fortnight, Spiro has been on a bout of antibiotics twice daily to sort out an eye infection. How do you administer medicine to a bird, you have probably never had to wonder? Basically it involves snaffling him at unsuspecting moments and then, as he opens his mouth to sink his beak into the tender flesh of your finger (or, if you've been doing it for more than a day, one of the many bandaids now covering your hand), you squirt the antibiotic cocktail down his throat.

Our success in giving him his medicine lasted a couple days before Spiro developed telepathic powers. The thought that it might be a good time to give him a dose need only flutter across my consciousness, and he would snap into high alert mode and place himself somewhere unreachable. I don't think that I need to explain that no amount of placemaking skills will help with nabbing a wily weiro who can read minds. So, I did what any self-respecting 36 year old male would do: Walk around with a tea towel draped over my head (for camoflage), resolutely thinking about my latest town planning/placemaking fad and definitely not about grabbing birds. When that failed, Band of Brothers got a couple of viewings. Freo Doctor Blog readers will be relieved to find out that my wife did not issue the go ahead for my 3am
shock and thunder raids.

Although we managed to keep up his medicine routine at great cost to both finger and Spiro's amour propre, Spiro wasn't finished with yet. About five days ago, I sauntered into the kitchen Hobbit style for my second breakfast when something spiky swooped down from the pantry and attached itself to my scalp with what felt like little grappling hooks. The little bugger had been watching Band of Brothers! He had set up his own stronghold and was now implementing a classic ambush of his unsuspecting enemy.

He banged on my head woodpecker style before retreating to the pantry and higher ground. Scratching my scalp, thinking that Spiro surprisingly gave a pretty good head massage, I looked up to see him watching me with a glint in his eye. To cap off his victory he let fly with a machine gun rat atat atat whistle and then disappeared back into the recesses of the pantry's top shelf. At that point, I didn't know whether to laugh or to be truly scared (I resolved to sleep with all of our bedroom doors closed that night just to be sure).

Since then, the little guy has been flying off each day for some Spiro time in his man cave, emerging with a look of rejuvenation and renewed confidence. The girl weiros, Pearl and Ramona, aren't allowed in. No one is quite sure exactly what he gets up to in there - my wife reports that during the day she often hears him whistling songs to himself and banging on something, while at other times the cave becomes mysteriously silent. 

Thankfully, his fortnight of antibiotics came to an end the other day and the little guy (with a healthy eye) is sitting on my shoulder enjoying a preen as I type this post. I'm tempted to check out Spiro's man cave but I'm a little worried about what a mind reading, Band of Brothers-watching weiro might be constructing. Plus even boy weiros need their space. Well, there goes the story of the little weiro who lives (part-time) in our pantry...inspired by the toad who lives in a shoe.

And seriously, check out the article by Tom Cox. It's friggin kick ass.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Placemaking power salute: Market Lane, Fremantle Markets

For some time now the good folk at the Fremantle Markets have been quietly kicking some placemaking goals.

With their improvements to Market Lane they’ve taken their placemaking efforts to a new level. The lane has been transformed from a drab entrance into an attractive, interesting part of the markets. Much needed seating with accompanying shade (very important for chronic sweaters such as yours truly) means that people can enjoy their food. Artificial turf combines with new greenery to soften the laneway, making for a more people-friendly place. Regular activities for the kids located in the lane attracts the crowds and cranks up the interest levels.

All of these new initiatives add up to a very earnest placemaking power salute being issued to the Fremantle Markets.