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Dear Parrots magazine,

A wonderful day at THINK PARROTS 2013

After weeks of waiting and preparing, the day of Think Parrots finally arrived. As I had no idea what to expect I was quite excited. I got up at 03:30 hrs to get ready and at 04:15 hrs the taxi arrived to pick me up for the one and a half hour drive to Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam).

As I didn’t have time for breakfast at home I ate some “poffertjes” (a Dutch delight) and had a cup of tea at the airport. My plane left at 08:20 hrs (local time) and arrived at London Heathrow at 08:40 hrs. A taxi driver was waiting to take me to the Leisure Centre at Woking, Surrey.

To my big surprise there was a long queue when I arrived, but I already had my ticket and was one of the first to go in. The first man I spoke to was the “Kakariki man.” As I have nine kakariki myself, and as there is very little information to be found on these lovely birds, it was very interesting to talk to him.

After this I did a quick tour of the hall to see what was there. I quickly found Rosemary Low and her bookstand. I think I was her first customer and it was very nice meeting her. I have read quite a few of her books and luckily for me she still had a copy of Cockatoos in Avian Culture. The book is out of print and I got the last copy. To be honest, I bought copies of almost all the books she had with her!

After that I made my way round the other stands. It didn’t take me long to have my suitcase packed with magazines, books and DVD’s up to a total of 20kg.

At 11:00 hrs I went to Eb Craven’s lecture. It lasted for 45 minutes but I could have listened to him all day. It was a delight hearing and seeing him talking about parrots and it was very obvious he has a lot of experience. After his lecture I went to talk to him about a problem I have with Sammy, my female African Grey. Sammy likes water but only for drinking, not bathing. Eb gave me a tip on how to solve this. I will soon try this out.

After that I went back to the hall and Val from Parrots Magazine introduced me to April, Eb’s wife. April is a very nice lady and I enjoyed talking to her. I also took a look at the free flight bird show which was very interesting as well. I then went to the lecture of David Woolcock, another gifted speaker. I could have listened to him all day as well!

After his lecture David Woolcock gave me advice on how to solve the problem of Sammy not wanting to go back into her cage and biting me if I tried to put her in. This advice has worked miracles! Only 36 hours later, Sammy stopped biting and goes voluntarily into her cage and is a much happier bird. During the day I also had a very nice and interesting conversation with Greg Glendell too.

After my final tour of the stands and having said goodbye to Val, I went outside at 16:45 hrs to enjoy the beautiful weather for a little bit while I waited for my taxi.

At approximately 18:00 hrs I was back at Heathrow. As I didn’t eat much during the day (I didn’t have the time for that) I had some dinner at the airport and walked around a little bit. At 20:00 hrs my plane took off for Amsterdam and I arrived at 22:15 hrs (local time). My husband picked me up and at 00:30 hrs the next day my head eventually touched the pillow.

Looking back, it was a long and tiring day, but it was worth it. I learned a lot of new things, met interesting people and had a lot of fun. To people outside the UK who are not sure if it is worth their while travelling a long way for THINK PARROTS, I can only say, “Go to THINK PARROTS 2014, you won’t regret it.” I hope I will be able to go again next year.

Heidy van Geffen, Erp, The Netherlands




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