Film tip: If you get a chance to see The House of Flying Daggers, GO! We went this evening and I came out of the theatre completely lost in another world. Visually stunning, emotionally engrossing, incredibly moving, completely enchanting. A bit like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, only more subtle and yet more powerful. I loved it.

Came home and decided it was time to clip our Polly’s wing feathers. This is a task that needs to be performed on a regular basis, every couple of months or so, as her flight feathers always grow back. And she’s been getting a bit too high for her own good lately – soaring to the tops of kitchen cupboards and perching there, refusing to come down, that sort of thing.

So I grabbed her and EPI grabbed the scissors and snip snip. Then we decided that, while we were at it, we might as well clip her nails as well, snip snip.

And then there was a lot of blood.

Which sent YT into a mild panic. “Go get the flour!” I said [urgently] to EPI because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you cut into their veins [well actually you’re supposed to apply silver nitrate, but we don’t have any of that in the house]. So EPI ran and got the flour and Polly wriggled and screeched and tried to bite my finger, and then EPI returned and applied the flour and I noticed that there was far too much blood to just be coming from her nail.

Which was bad news. Because that could only mean one thing: it was coming from her wing.

What we’d inadvertently done [despite trying to be exceedingly careful] was cut into a blood feather. This means that the blood comes flowing out unhindered, as if through a tube, and it DOES NOT STOP. And even if it does stop, it always has the potential of starting up again, say if Polly gnaws at it or even if she hits it against the bars of her cage. And supposing that happened in the middle of the night, she’d simply and quietly bleed to death while we were sleeping.

And the blood was not stopping. It was all over the wall and running down the side of her wing and oh, how awful!

Gathering my wits [which were all aflutter], I frantically called the vet’s emergency number. Her instruction: hold the bird, get a pair of pliers or tongs, and pull – not yank – the damaged feather out. There would be resistance, but the important thing was to keep pulling. Until it came out.

Whokay. Deep breath, grabbed hold of Polly again, and the surgery commenced. Pull out the wing, examine, wipe off the blood, try to locate the feather, ah! there it is, pull gently but steadily, trying to hold her steady but not too harshly so as not to break her delicate little bones…

… And, success. Whew!

Poor Polly. She’s a little dishevelled right now and looks positively exhausted. Plus her wing is all caked with blood. But the bleeding has stopped which means she’s out of danger. Which in turn means that YT has a shot at restful sleep.

Absolutely gorgeous. Came out of the movie theatre and it was twilight at 10.15 pm, a blue sort of haze over the bay and the mountains across the way. Temps 10°C. Daybreak was at 04.14 and nightfall at 22.41.