Budgie Smugglers

Why is a bloke, known for his blogs about first aid and wilderness stuff, suddenly talking about the illegal export/import of small Australian parrots?

If you've been paying attention, you'll know that I used to work in a school for kids with special needs, but I’ll talk about needs in a minute.
It all boils down to the lack of floating objects really, and the lack of funds. Hang in there, this gets good and it'll be as clear as mud in no time at all.
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start or so I’m told…
The Budgerigar, Common Pet Parakeet, Shell Parakeet or just good old Budgie, is a small, seed-eating parrot, and the only species in the Australian genus Melopsittacus. That's one of the little feathered beauties up above. 
A Smuggler is a person involved in the clandestine transportation of goods or persons past a point where prohibited, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border. There are various motivations to smuggle, but most of them involve money.
So what do Budgie Smugglers (people who import small parrots illegally) have to do with needs, other than their own need to raise a quick buck? Like I said, these are special needs, and this is no ordinary Budgie, believe me.
There’s this bloke called Justin Miles, nice bloke, does stuff for charity sometimes bit like myself. Anyway, Justin had a bang on the bonce* a while back, messed his day up big time. Actually it was quite a bit longer than a day but he’s all fixed now. He knows how hard it can be to recover from a bang on the noggin* as it’s not just about bruises and broken bones (Is this the first aid bit? No not yet). It can be so much more than that. It can screw up every aspect of your life because inside that hard shell called a skull is a very sensitive bit of kit called a brain. It’s the hard drive if you like. It tells you to breath, makes you sleep, wake up, lets you know how to communicate with others, and even tells muscles in your legs to move in the right order so that you can walk, clever eh? So imagine if its wiring gets damaged. You might have some of those needs I mentioned earlier. You might need someone to help feed you. Maybe you find it hard to walk, not because you’ve hurt your legs but because there’s nobody telling the muscles what to do, a hard enough time for anyone, even a strong adult like Justin. Now imagine you have all those needs and some more on top, now imagine you’re a child. It’s just got a whole lot harder.
“But that’s what Mums and Dads are for” Really? You think? OK they will do everything in their power to help their child, but it’s tough times like this when the experts come in handy. Experts like The Children’s Trust.
The Children’s Trust provides care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to children with multiple disabilities, complex health needs and acquired brain injury. Justin is doing his bit to raise awareness and maybe a few quid to help them do what they do best, help kids. He is going to get in his Kayak in the Bristol Channel and start paddling. He will be pointing East, and won’t stop until he get’s to the English Channel. Now that’s some paddle. I’m going to do my bit to help support Justin. I’ve sponsored him here, go on don’t be shy, click on it and sponsor him too. I’m also going to support him in person. As he gets near Reading, Berkshire, I’m going to hopefully get in the water with him. With a bit of luck there will be loads of people in the water by then so it’ll be a good laugh. Now I’m having trouble finding a suitable floatation device, or kayak, or canoe, or even a large inner tube. So I may have to resort to the afore mentioned ‘Budgie Smuggling’
STOP! I hear you say, the poor little feathered thing will drown.
Now you know as well as the next person, Budgies are not the only thing to come out of Australia, but the land down under is also famous for a few other legal exports. Fosters larger, coal, iron ores, wool, beef, barley, raw sugar and Speedos! So if I can’t find a boat of some description by Wednesday at the latest, it’s down to these…
Oh! Like that!

I was just starting to panic about getting afloat through the murky waters of Reading when the very nice people at Decathlon in Reading came to the rescue with a shiny new pair of goggles and a snug little red number, so it's action stations and watch out Reading, here we come!


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