Part 4a. I’ve been sidetracked by the peacock. Again.

And then we moved to Yorkshire…North Yorkshire, to be more precise. My lovely husband changed his job role and location to the North East of England, and given that I wasn’t working and the (step) kids were young adults who didn’t live with us…off we went. We live in a lovely area, complete with wandering peacock. This is where I get a little sidetracked!

Seriously, the first time I saw the peacock – or Alex as my nephew named him, because why not? – I was making a coffee, and looking out my kitchen window into the back garden. And lo! There is a magnificently plumaged peacock wandering about the lawn. We’d only been there a few days, so not aware that Alex was a regular visitor, I phoned the local petting zoo.

“Hello, have you lost a peacock?”

“No, we don’t keep peacocks” ( Yes, in retrospect, I realise that they are NOT pettable. At all), “but you’re not the first person to phone us. Why don’t you try the RSPB?”

So I did. And when the bloke on the other end of the phone had finished laughing, he kindly advised me that they could only help if the peacock was injured. Didn’t look injured to me, so I did what anyone would do in this situation: I phoned my mum.

My mother knows more about things than she lets on. Claims she doesn’t understand modern technology, but still managed to install Netflix on her mobile phone so that she can watch Call the Midwife in the car whilst she’s waiting for my nephew. That’s just one example – she does that all the time. Gives you a blank look, but secretly knows exactly what she’s doing. And I’ve just realised that I do exactly the same thing…ANYWAY. Could she solve the peacock issue? Well, reader, on this occasion…No. No, she could not. Perhaps I expected slightly too much from a youthful pensioner in the south side of Glasgow. She advised me to call the police. I did ask her how exactly she thought that conversation might go…’999 Emergency – Hello, there’s a peacock in my garden’. Perhaps not. I would have ended up in the papers as an example of a complete time waster, like those eejits who go up Ben Nevis in flipflops. Why would you even do that? Think of the blisters…!

Photograph of peacock in my back garden.
My introduction to Alex the Peacock. “Hello, is that the police? There’s a peacock in my back garden…”

I did email the local police though, as a responsible citizen. Perhaps someone had misplaced it, and was, at that very moment, crying into their cuppa about their lost pet peacock. And with that, I had done my good deed for the day, and went back to my unpacking.

This story doesn’t have an ending. 2 years later, Alex the Peacock is still a frequent visitor. Turns out that he belongs to a local farmer, and goes wandering frequently. He can even fly, because he’s not had the relevant feathers clipped. He seems to like my street – possibly because there are very few cars, but more likely because there are a few residents who feed him (I’m looking at YOU, Mrs Across-the-road-and-up-a-bit). He is often to be found on the roof of a neighbouring house, usually up at the window. Imagine opening your curtains in the morning and finding that Disco Turkey staring at you! He is incredibly beautiful – the colours are sublime – but he is incredibly noisy. Peacocks don’t chirrup sweetly, oh no. They honk like a goose. Loudly. I think they might be a bit daft or are secretly longing for the Antarctic, given the number of times I’ve seen Alex out in the snow and rain. He brings colour and a talking point to the street…and that’s just lovely.

Photographic image of peacock looking through patio doors
Nosy, isn’t he! One December day, whilst sitting beside my patio doors, I had a visitor. No, I did not let him in!

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