The 11 month old marriage between 21 year old Gillian Aprettyboy and a Cockatiel parrot is over. The cockatiel flew the nest last Sunday.
"I have no idea where my so-called husband is now." Gillian says, "But Good riddance. It was the biggest mistake of my life marrying a bird."
Questions had been raised about the sense of the marriage by Gillian's family and friends from the first moment their plan to marry had been revealed. Worse was to come when the tabloid press got hold of the story. One of them even carried a front page picture of the couple saying 'The one with the feathers is the pretty bird!'
Gillian's parents opposed the marriage simply on the grounds that they felt it to be wrong in principle for a woman to marry a parrot.
"They're from an older generation and are a bit old fashioned in their ways" says Gillian. "And naturally they were hoping for grandchildren which of course was never going to be possible when married to a parrot. But they came to accept the situation. They could see how happy we were together, and the courtship was so romantic. There wasn't any bad romance signs at all. My parrot would never take any chocolates from the boxes of them I'd buy. Daddy was there on the big day standing beside me. He even let the Cockatiel perch on his shoulder during the registry office ceremony.
"The actual ceremony went fine" she says, "with both of us saying 'I do' and 'I will' in the right places - we'd rehearsed that many times of course - and I finally took the name of my so-called husband who'd told me it was the surname of Aprettyboy.
"To think I let that feathered fiend place a ring on my finger" said a now older and wiser Gillian. "And to think I allowed that awful creature to give me the customary peck on my sweet young innocent lips. I assumed it was just an accidental mistake, you know, because of all the nerves and excitement of our special day."
Gillian is referring to the badly cut top lip she received.
"That was when the violence started" she says. "Up until then there'd been a few playful scratches, but I naturally just put that down to frustration. I was determined to hold on to my virginity until we were married. But it wasn't frustration. I married a nutter."
Violence continued on the very first night of the honeymoon. Gillian explains what happened,
"I took a shower while my parrot husband had a splash about in a birdbath then I said to give me a few minutes in the bedroom before joining me for a night of wedded passion. I'd just finished splashing some of my new perfume over my body when 'he' flew in, in a rage.
"Sharp claws were scratching all over my innocent young body. And the language I was forced to listen to. It was like listening to one of those Frank Skinner chat show programs on the telly. Filthy language. We did not make love.
"It wasn't like that for the whole 10 months of our marriage though. George - that was my pet name for 'him' - George could be so sweet and romantic and would call out to me 'I love you' from 'his' cage. But it wasn't sincere. I realise that now. I think it was just something 'he' picked up from one of the romantic movies I'd watch on TV in our flat, just repeating it parrot fashion like. I was married to a Jekyll and Hyde. There'd be no sign of violence until bedtime. Bad sex? What sex?
"As soon as I'd splash a dollop of my perfume on my body the violent rages would return. Night after night I'd be attacked. I finally ran out of the perfume so didn't bother to replace it. Things got better then. The violence did admittedly stop, but apart from the odd peck on my cheeks there was nothing physical between us. Then last Sunday I found out why. We'd been sleeping in different rooms for over a month, me in the bedroom, the parrot in a cage in the living room. I got out of bed last Sunday morning and went into the living room to get my packet of cigarettes from a table. Then I saw it at the bottom of the cage. A bloody egg! My husband was female. George was a Georgina. I'm no lesbian.
"So I borrowed the cat from the man in the flat above. One look at the cat and Georgina was out through the window like lightning."
The man in the flat above? Gillian says he doesn't live in that flat anymore. He's moved in with the cat - and with Gillian.
"Albert's his name" says Gillian. "He's about 90, but the age difference doesn't bother me or him. He's not romantic, he'll grab the last chocolate like, but I don't mind that so long as there's plenty of action between the sheets. And he's brilliant in that department. He reckons his older brother Alf who lives in Worthing is the same - must be in the genes I s'pose. He won't tell me what his surname is though which is a bit strange. He says he's afraid it might put me off of him after having been through a bad marriage with a Cockatiel!"