Growing up, my family would often trek north to visit my grandparents for holidays.
My nana lived in a small village called “Chillingham” in Northern NSW. Nan collected strays. At the height of her menagerie, she had,
a dog, 6 cats, a horse, a goose that flew in one year and befriended the horse and never left, some platypus that lived in the creek at the bottom of her property, and a peacock called “Andrew”. Aptly named after our Australian Prime Minister of the time – Andrew Peacock.
I don’t recall how Andrew stumbled upon the jackpot of living at Nan’s place. I was a pre teen the first time I met him, Nan, non chalantly introducing my sister and I to the morning routine of feeding everyone on one of our school holiday stays. Gritties for the cats, canned food for the dog, hay for the horse, grain for the goose, “oh yeah, this is Andrew, he likes the cat gritties too”.
And he was magnificent. His splendid tail would develop seasonally, Nan would collect the amazing feathers as they were loosed from him. Standing in a jar inside the house by the log burner.
He also loved to dance for Nan. My most vivid memories of Andrew and his spectacular plummage are of him dancing around Nan, displaying his amazing tail feathers as she hung out the washing in her backyard. He’d hop from spot to spot, impeding Nan from pegging out the sheets, his tail shimmering as he performed.
He was an amazing bit of gear.
This piece, is named “Harriet” and was made as a special commission piece for a friend. In the bird world, it is usually the male of the species that is bestowed with the majorit of the ‘bling’. Peacocks are no different. However on completion of this piece, my friend and I both agreed, she was simply to pretty to be a boy and thus her name is ‘Harriet’, not ‘Harry’.