George used to work as a communications officer for a large business in Ghent, until the business scaled back and he took a big decision: George decided to become a freelance journalist. But not on his own...
"I had a good network so it was relatively easy for me to get my first assignments. Once the ball was rolling, I could work from my office at home, surrounded by all my books, away from the pressures of big city life. The only thing was, I felt a bit lonely during the daytime. Then I had an idea: why not get a parakeet?"
"Whenever I am stuck for inspiration, I spend five minutes just quietly watching Jacobus, or giving him fresh water and food. That always helps me to come up with a new idea or a better way of expressing what I want to say. It might sound a bit strange, but Jacobus has helped me get through writing some particularly difficult articles."
"Budgerigars usually live for around five to eight years, but Jacobus made it to the age of fifteen. What was our secret? Throughout his life, we gave him egg food. I found it hard to let go of my dear friend and I wanted to feel close to him. That's why I got in touch with the organisation Rainbowbridge and arranged to have him cremated. Stijn Van Den Bossche, a pioneer of his trade, made a personalised urn for Jacobus's ashes. That way I still feel Jacobus's presence here in the house with us. Sometimes I even hear him whistling..."