Dates and Milestones

It would be pointless to imagine you could ever hope to equal my achievements, particularly if you are a budgie yourself.

Nevertheless, they are worth chronicling. If you are really determined to make a hopeless attempt at a pale imitation of my success story, you may find the technical advice in the relevant section quite useful.

(This section is a kind of trial effort for a biographer I may be employing shortly. What follows may not reflect the views of the management; in fact I don't know where he got some of the information.)

1993 - 1995 Early crude attempts at writing, using toilet paper scraps. Main subjects at this time were food, pop music and saucepans, all submitted (unsuccessfully) to the letters page of a well-known TV guide and intended to feature as handy hints and amusing stories about her "pets". It is interesting to note that some of the ideas later surfacing in The Drayning Board may have originated during this period.

December 1995 DB realises that manual dexterity is not her strong point and begins to develop an interest in telecommunications, spurred on by the purchase of a modem by one of her "pets". She instinctively knows that she can go one better.

January - February 1996 Discovering that she has a natural ability to communicate in fax-language, DB constructs the "Twitter Transmitter" from millet stems, seed shells and dropping-solder. Using her cage as an aerial, this remarkable device allows her to break into local telephone communications, which she is then able to use for fax transmission.

June 1996 Communicating with her agent and publisher only by fax, DB completes her first publication, the romantic novel Once Boiled, Twice Shy.

June 1996 - May 1997 To the astonishment of all concerned, DB knocks out a further twenty five identical romantic novels, with minor changes of title.

May 1997 DB learns how to use her increasingly complex electronic setup to turn the television on. She soon develops an interest in politics and, by hacking into a private email attachment, manages to insert a motion to ban all saucepans in New Labour's conference agenda. (The motion was subsequently narrowly defeated.)

June 1997 - present DB hacks into the local public library system and begins her extensive "research" by arranging home deliveries of various novels and other works on the grounds of a spurious disability. None are ever returned.

July 1997 DB publishes Angular, a chilling supernatural tale.

August 1997 DB unwittingly consumes a consignment of hemp seeds concealed in a shipment of budgie food, and inevitably finds herself in the music business. Before the effects have worn off, DB has written two of the Spice Girls' later, more sophisticated hit songs and made a disastrous attempt at poetry.

October 1997 DB publishes The Fall, a philosophical work based on her own most harrowing experience.

January 1998 DB publishes It's Grim Down South, immediately reissued as Doz, a hard-hitting tale, high in gritty realism, of a middle-class administrator in the London suburbs whose only friend is a budgie.

February 1998 DB publishes The Budgerigar, a fairytale about a budgerigar who enchants an empress with her malicious gossip.

March 1998 A TV documentary reports on a spate of "ghost fines"; a phemomenon whereby individuals are being charged occasional fines on books which are currently missing from public library shelves, but which they claim never to have borrowed. The individual amounts are small, but the documentary team estimates the total to be in the region of 130 000 and still rising.

April 1998 DB encounters her first major legal difficulties over the originality of her work. An out-of-court settlement includes an agreement not to divulge details of the case.

June 1998 DB arouses herself from a state of depression to publish her web site. The first attempt gets a universal "thumbs-down", both for its content (self-indulgent and pompous) and for its format (very basic).

July 1998 DB publishes her first true horror novel: The Drayning Board to almost universal revulsion. All copies are immediately withdrawn from outlets in the UK, but the publicity creates a demand for imported copies from Lichtenstein, her most enduring market to date.

September 1998 The Doreen Bird (deceased) Academy of Arts Technology and Witchcraft opens for business, on that basis that it is the duty of those who cannot do to teach. Applications are invited for courses in an unlimited range of subjects and levels.

January 1999 Following unprecedented numbers of enrolments in her Academy, Doreen Bird (deceased) becomes convinced that teaching is her true vocation. She immediately forgets this in her delightfully scatterbrained way, and the Academy begins advertising for tutors.

August 1999 Having decided that she has not been getting enough attention lately, Doreen Bird (deceased) rectifies this situation by announcing to the world that she is withdrawing from public life.

Soon afterwards, she begins referring to herself as both "The People's Budgie" and "Three of Hearts". Some commentators unkindly suggest that she has misunderstood some of the examples she is trying to follow.

September 1999 Doreen Bird (deceased) disappears mysteriously on what is assumed to be an extended fishing trip.

October 1999 Doreen Bird (deceased) reappears, claiming to have been carrying out missionary work in deprived areas.

At the same time, rumours begin to emerge of a long-running feud with Santa Claus. There is speculation of some kind of association between them several years earlier.

December 1999 Doreen Bird (deceased) establishes DozBank, which she claims is the world's first Internet banking service.

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