Okay – I’m going to stop going on about Winston. No more Winston for a while. Right out of my head he goes. Nowhere to be seen. I’m also going to stop thinking about becoming a racer, coz that sure as shit isn’t going to happen. Fitness levels aside, I really can’t be arsed.
So, onwards and upwards and Winston free, had a top weekend in the sunshine. Better late than never, and a nice surprise. Decided to make the most of the sudden hotness and hit the London Pigeon Spa in Leicester Square. Not been there in ages.
All went really well. Loads turned up. Too many in the end as it goes. Great at first tho.
Check out Edd. Can’t believe Edd was there again.
Here he is giving himself a right ducking.
First, a dip of the beak the test the temperature:
Go on, Edd. Whole head. Whole fucking head. Dare you:
Get in there, pal!:
And fuck me, did he. Right in. Totally over his head. Well impressive.
Here he is coming out:
Soaked for hours he was. Bernie on the right as nonplussed as always.
I only ever paddle, really. Not a big fan of getting dry.
Top day all round, till Simon pushed Mart in.
Straight in beak first.
Mart wasn’t amused, not even slightly:
Go as far as to say, he lost it a bit.
We all laughed about it later tho, so it was all good.
And Simon even did a full body to apologise:
There’s loads more from the London Pigeon Spa, but I’ll save them till tomorrow.
Here’s to hoping the sun comes out again soon.
Remember Winston? The South African pigeon who flew faster than broadband? The one I’ve been trying to bag an interview with? Well – I did, and here it is. A Pigeon Blog exclusive.
What an total dude, and an inspiration to us all:
Why 4BG? Why not 2?
Life is about setting lofty goals. On a SD card the weight would be the same if it was 2 or 4 gig. I really wanted to go all out.
How did you carry it, and was it heavy?
Well, it was strapped to my leg using industrial strength insulation tape. I find the red one best for this sort of thing. Heavy, no not really. It did however change my profile a touch, and I lost a bit of streamlining.
How knackered were you, really?
It was actually a short flight, little training run actually. I did a much longer race the weekend after.
Did you fly all the way…?
No. I stopped on the way to see a lady friend for some seed, you know, and had a small nap in some trees while some hawks were about over Liberty Mall area. Then there was the rush back The Unlimited’s offices, which was in a car.
How long did you train for, and what did you have to do?
I have been training for a few weeks now, small training flights, a bit of gym work, and then mainly avoidance techniques. I am trained by an ex-Ghurkha half ninja and patisserie chef named Steve.
How do you feel now?
Nothing really to report.
Do you worry about your weight?
Only on race day, other wise I was blessed with an amazing metabolism.
What do you eat?
Seeds, the occasional McFlurry, and I do have a weakness for a pint after a long days flying.
How much sleep do you need?
As much as the next bird. I get up early and tuck in with the rest of the coop. I get about 8 hours per day.
Have you received any calls from Telkom’s advertising department?
No, they’ve not been in touch, bar race day when they tried to and couldn’t because our lines were down, which is exactly what we were pointing out!
Would you consider coming to the UK and taking on BT?
Yes, I am open to all challenges, but there would have to be some acclimatisation and training time.
Winston, weighing up the competition before the race.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, not so much as a tweet from BT.
Cheers to Mark at Unlimited for sorting the interview. Nice one.
Ham, clearly a dude well into his global travel, sent me these. Cheers, Ham.
Found this one in Shanghai Zoo in China:
That’s one freaky head dress going on.
No wonder he’s behind bars:
Then again, we all know the Chinese aren’t exactly fans of the pigeon…
That said, if all their pigeons look like this, I’m not surprised.
This is the sign stuck to his cage:
Otherwise translated as: ‘Zi Xiong Guan Jiu – freak of the pigeon world, shackled for his own good.’
As for the ‘Sheepmaker Crowned Pigeon’. Eh? Who the fuck makes sheep anymore, and who gave Sheepmakers the right to crown a pigeon in the first place?
China: A place I won’t be visiting in the near future.
Having a cold when you’re a pigeon is an absolute fucking nightmare. A clogged up beak is not pleasant. Not even slightly, and it’s everywhere these days.
Here’s a pal of Mart’s, called Ed.
Streaming he was:
Coughing his guts up. Couldn’t understand a word he said.
Still, now bird flu’s a thing of the past, who gives a shit?
Looks like it’s all on with an exclusive on Winston. Nice. Gonna get some questions together and mail them across to him, now I have his personal email address. Bring it on.
Apparently, he’s rested and is doing well. No response from BT tho. Clearly shitting themselves.
In the meantime, check this out for a pigeon from around the world in an everyday situation:
Taken in Bern, Switzerland, by a pal called Ham. Cheers for sending it, Ham!
Said to myself, “That’s the biggest piss I’ve ever seen. No wonder he’s freaked”, then I saw it was a fountain. Dude was just getting himself a little liquid refreshment. Nothing worse than being parched. Nightmare. Bits everywhere. Inside and out. Not good.
Dealing with heavy flows like that are tricky too. Positively dangerous sometimes, especially if the foot slips on the slime. Then there’s the noise the claws make on metal. Not pleasant. Gets the feathers right on edge. Prefer a gentle fountain, myself, but each to their own.
Watch this space. Terez Taylor, the mate of Winston’s who got him into it in the first place – see post – got in touch in the comments. Said Winston wasn’t injured by the USB stick, he’s just a little jaded by the media frenzy. Don’t blame him. He also said I might be able to get in there with an exclusive. Nice one. Anyone out there got anything you want me to ask, let me know.
In the meantime, I sent this to BT today. See if they might be up to the challenge:
Following the much publicized thrashing of a South Africa broadband provider called Telekom by a pigeon called Winston, I wondered if you might be interested in a similar challenge? It might even help improve your reputation for consistently slow speeds?
Let me know what you think, and I’ll go about finding a pigeon willing to give it a go.
We’ll see. Worst case scenario, if they come back to me, I’ll do it myself.
Tried to get an interview with Winston, but failed miserably. Said he was too fucked to speak to anyone. Turns out when he landed, one of the memory stick corners dug right into him. In all those celebration shots, he was winded. Nightmare.
I decided to leave him alone and let him recover a bit. Watch this space though, I’ll get in there somehow.
In the meantime, BobOHara from Twitter sent me a link to this – an ode to the pigeon himself.
It’s called Winston Pigeon, came from a site called Digital Cuttlefish, and this is the first verse:
Carrier pigeons are diligent workers,
And some have been honored as heroes
But, sadly, technology changed their careers,
With the messages, now, ones and zeroes.
Winston, if you’re out there, get better soon, pal.
It turns out the government has it all wrong. So much for their clearly misplaced focus on investment in broadband, it’s pigeons they should be putting their money into.
Those who check me on Twitter will have heard me Tweet about this already, but thanks to some scarily fit South African pigeon called Winston, there is proof at last that pigeons are faster than broadband. Nice one. Chuffed as. Pigeon power wins out after all. He thrashed their arses big time.
Winston managed to carry a 4GB memory stick across SA faster than they did, and they didn’t have to carry a memory stick. Kid you not. I’ve only ever managed a 2GB stick, and that was only to Richmond. A mate of his called Kevin Rolfe asked him to do it to prove to someone called Telkom that their broadband wasn’t as fast as they said they said it was. Fucking great idea. Top job, and in the meantime, he goes and shows we’ve been right all along.
Good on you, Winston. Gonna try to sort an interview soon as.
Loads of you sent me the story. Cheers, everyone. Linda came up with PDSL tho. Genius.
Next time you go into a shop that sells internet, ask for PDSL, and consider it an upgrade.
Give it up, for Winston. Oh, and excuse the mental patient in a pigeon suit. Jesus:
And there’s some good flying shit in this one.
Never been one for showing off, but these two have got it licked.
Makes me want to be a little but sick, frankly:
Cheers for Tweeting it Simon_Spread!
Ok – mental though this sounds, literally, but some scientists are saying that pigeons can make their wings whistle. Wtf? They reckon we’ve developed the technique as an alarm mechanism. Anyway, turns out they’re talking about the ‘crested’ pigeon.
One of these:
No wonder. Clearly nothing better to do with their time than preen their ridiculously poncy head wear whilst mastering the art of the whistle. Jesus.
Only pigeon I ever heard whistle was a pal named Monty, and the only reason he did it was to attract the attention of the ladies.
This is Monty:
Far as I know, he’s still single.
Cheers for sending it, Linda!
Now, unlike me though it is to ever sidle up to a woody, but this one caught my eye the other day:
Clearly lost with no clue whatsoever as to the basics of road safety. Off he went, without a care in the world. I tried to point out that striding the tarmac like that in London can be a risky business often leading to a right flattening, but he wasn’t having any of it. To be honest, I’m not sure he spoke much English.
So here’s a warning to woodies everywhere, if you’re thinking of hitting the Big City, don’t, unless you’ve grasped at least the basics of street management.
Ok – so it’s not the greatest performance of all time, putting it mildly.
Looks like they enjoyed themselves though:
Frankly, it more than I’ve had for quite some time.
Nowadays, trotting round Soho Square as I like to do is proving more than a little challenging. Nothing but one big building site thanks to Crossrail. Don’t know where it’s crossing from, or to, but wherever it’s going, it’s a fucking pain in the arse. Unbelievable, and likely to stay that way for quite some time. Come to think of it, what’s going on in London generally? Pavements shut down everywhere and, the truth is, the disarray is creating mass confusion for the majority of London pigeons.
Take Sidney, for example. Sidney, or Sid as he likes to be called, self-named after his screen hero Sid James, found himself in a spot of bother recently.
This is where I found him – wandering aimlessly behind the netting:
No idea what was going on. Looked like he’d been there for days. Far as I know, he still is.
In the meantime, I spotted this yesterday. A worrying fashion trend in pigeon wear. Really don’t get it – the wearing of a white chest feather. WTF? A pal told me it was a peace sign. Something to do with the dove.
Sad, that’s what I call it:
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘chest feather’. Twat.
What’s even more frightening is the wearer also appears to be dribbling profusely. Surely that’s not a fashion statement too? Worrying times.