Back in 2007 I raised the issue that every other animal has it’s own Chinese year, so why not a pigeon? I brought it up again in 2011 when it was the rabbit’s turn, and still no year. I mean we’re talking rat, ox, pig, rooster, the list goes on. 2014 is, I’ve just discovered, the year of the horse. A fucking horse? Since when has a horse been able to fly using hedges for navigation? Or carried messages for hundreds of miles whilst being shot at by enemy fire? And when was the last time a horse wrote a decent song or some poignant poetry? Thought so.
For a while I put it down to a dislike by the Chinese of pigeons generally. I won’t bore you with the gruesome details, but if you enter ‘Chinese cooked pigeon’ into any search engine, and check out the images, you’ll see what I mean.
However, I think with all this talk of emerging pigeon artists, we could be onto something. Surely creating successful cut-through statement art is enough to get any animal a year? Currently 2015 is year of the sheep. Pointless. Change it. Year of the Pigeon. It’s got to be done.
So, I’ve been head to the ground down here since my last communication with NYC artist, Gary Pigeon. Word is there’s a talented Brighton based pigeon called Gerald who’s been into his art for a while now. He’s a bit older, so doesn’t go out much these days. Kind of semi-retired. He’s also only got one leg thanks to an accident he had with a washing line and some chewing gum. I’ve been told not to mention it if we meet. On the case in tracking him down though. He sounds really interesting.
In the meantime, this made me laugh. Gary sent it last week. He went out with a mate to scope out a location for his next project, and nearly got busted.
“Po po all up in my grill!” Was the message from Gary, whatever the fuck that means.
Love the fact his mate hid his face, like he wasn’t already on CCTV. Total genius.
Good luck with the search, Gary. Let me know how you get on.
In the meantime, I’m thinking of hitting the skies of London on Friday to check out the welcoming in of Year of The Horse celebrations in Chinatown. See what kind of exposure we can expect when our time comes.
Last week I got word from Gary Pigeon over in NYC who is alive and well, despite the recent Arctic conditions. Have to say, it was a relief to hear from him. Joey hunted him down. Cheers Joey.
As always Gary’s typing skills were a bit lacking, so I had to spend a few minutes deciphering his email. Half an hour to be precise. In all fairness, I think it was probably worse this time because his feet were cold.
First thing he said was under absolutely no circumstances was he venturing into Central Park to do some ice sculpting. He reckons every pigeon in NYC who thinks he’s an artist heads there when it snows to roll up a ball of it and call it ‘art’.
“Everywhere you look there’s a pigeon standing back admiring his fucking snowball art. One even said to me that ‘the real art is in the melting’. It melts, dickwipe. Get over it.” A fair point well made, Gary.
He said that what he’s actually been working on is a continuation of his statement street art. Remember the quite brilliant ‘Flight Control’? Well check this out. I’m honored to be able to post it too as it’s the first time it’s been seen over here, or anywhere really.
He did it just before the snow hit. It’s called ‘One Step Beyond’:
It must have been really hard to keep that line going. Genius.
This is what he wrote in his email:
Greetings from the Big Crumb and a Happy New Year to all my feathered friends and their friends.
Been a busy few months. The holidays are a great time to get out and do street art.
My latest, “One Step Beyond” was created on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. You can maybe see 1 Hanson Place in the distance, a key Brooklyn landmark and one of my fave perches, although it can get very overcrowded with the fashionable set.
Problem with Brooklyn is it’s a bit too full of Pecksters. It’s what ‘people’ call ‘hipsters’, I believe. You know the sort; Asymmetric feather cut, silly ankle ring, the ironic stance. Mind you, some of the doves are quite hot and, as a single bird, I’m always on the look out for some beak-on-beak action.
Dating in this town is tough. You may have seen that pigeon show, “Pecks in the City”? Well it’s a lot like that. So wish me luck this year as I search of love, fame and fortune.
All the best,
Gary “Don’t call me Gazza” Pigeon.
Nice one, Gary. Love ‘One Step Beyond’, and really pleased you got in touch. All of us UK fans wish you a grand and happy 2014. May it bring you all the ‘beak-on-beak’ action you deserve. I’m not a fan of beak-on-beak, personally. Best will in the world, but you just don’t know where it’s been.
I love the name ‘Pecksters’ though. We’re not so polite over here and just call pigeons sporting an asymmetric feather cut, ankle ring and ironic stance ‘wankers’.
The news from land GB is the storms looks like they’re over. Pigeons everywhere are celebrating being able to leave the ledge at last.
So, it’s onwards and upwards in the art world. Really hoping Gary and myself can do some sort of collaboration this year. Maybe a cross-Atlantic art show, or something like that? I gather a few pieces over here. He does the same over there. Who knows.
In the meantime, just enjoy ‘One Step Beyond’.
First off, Happy New Year, and may 2014 give you all the seed you wish for.
So, finally I emerge after what seems like weeks of endless wind and rain, rain and wind. No. Wait. It is weeks. Would you believe the sun even made an appearance today? It was so bright I could have done with shades. A few of us headed down to The Meeting Place Cafe on the seafront. Really it was just to make sure it hadn’t been washed away. Thankfully, it was still there.
Here we are mopping up some bits from the pavement. Not even sure what they were, but it didn’t matter.
That’s me on the left with my arse in the air. Rather unflattering, but there you go. Desperate times:
As you can see, everyone was a bit manic too. Hardly surprising considering the length of time we’ve all been ledge-bound. Stuart to my right was beside himself.
Has to be said, there really is fuck all for a pigeon to do when the weather sucks this bad and it’s blowing a gale strong enough to blast you from here to Leeds. I’m not kidding. It happened to a pal of mine, and it wasn’t even Leeds he ended up in. It was Halifax. Stranded in Halifax over New Year. Jesus. Imagine.
Not being able to fly anywhere is a pain in the arse, but finding shelter down here is another whole issue. It’s not easy. There are loads of options in London what with all the bridges. Couple of years back I remember Waterloo Bridge became my home for a while, but Brighton? Not a cocking bridge in sight. So mainly I have been sitting with Mart in various car parks. Dull as shit but at least they’re dry. Mart invented a game the other day to pass the time called, ‘What Car am I?’
“It’s like charades, but with cars!” He said, excitedly. I should have known better.
Thankfully he gave up after two rounds realising it wasn’t going anywhere other than; “It’s big. It’s got four wheels, a roof and a windscreen…”
Even though this weather is tough, it’s not as tough as what’s going on in New York. They’ve got it bad over there. Real bad. I didn’t even know about it till I got online yesterday, but the City is well and truly freezing its massive nuts off. Proper cold, with snow. We’re talking minus thirteen. That’s five degrees off the recommended freezer temperature. Unbelievable.
I sent NYC Joey an email never thinking I’d get a reply, but I did, and it wasn’t good.
Here’s it is, word for word:
Good to hear from you. I can’t type very much though as my feet are too cold. I bound them in cotton wool on the way here, but it isn’t enough. My toe got stuck to a lamppost yesterday. I had to get a dog to lick it off. Imagine that?
I’ve never known it so cold. Minus 13? I mean really. Most pigeons have managed to survive by hanging out near subway vents and steam pipes, but that’s no way to live.
As you can imagine there isn’t much food around either. Who’s gonna eat a sandwich outside in this weather? As for the bins, just don’t go there. The little food we do find is frozen anyway. Gordon suggested we build a small microwave out of bits of old tin, but where the hell do we start with that one?
I hear you guys are having it rough too with the wind. It may be cold over here, and wing freeze is a real danger, but at least we can get up in the air if we have to! I don’t hold out much hope for our Chicago pals though. We’re talking minus 27. I mean that’s just not right. Colder than the Arctic. I sincerely hope they’ve found themselves some penguin suits!
Here’s hoping it warms up a bit soon, or a lot would be good!
So, there you go. He’s alive and well. I must ask him about Gary too. He’s probably off chipping at ice sculptures in Central Park as I type.
Be safe all you pigeons out there. In the meantime, it’s back to the ledge I go.
Well. We made it through another year. Amazing considering the weather. Never seen a storm like it. Unbelievable. Puddles the size of lakes, and the most mental winds ever. Flying anywhere was absolutely out of the question, as Ed found out to his peril.
This was Ed a few days ago:
Unfortunately Ed had no idea the wind was as strong as it was. He took off just before a massive gust hit and was last seen hurtling towards the French coast. Looks like it’s Christmas in Calais for Ed. Good luck with that one, mate.
So today, seeing as the sun’s out, I will mainly be hanging out with Mart trying to find something half decent to eat. Not holding my breath though seeing as everywhere is closed, so it’ll probably end up being a bin day. That’s the downside of being a pigeon at Christmas. Anyone out there fancy popping out a few festive leftovers, I’m sure they would be much appreciated.
In the meantime, Happy Christmas.
I heard from Gary Pigeon yesterday – see previous posts. He says he’s hard at work on his new piece. Interestingly he also says he’s taking more of an ‘inclusive’ approach to this one by exploring the medium of ‘living art’, possibly involving a number of other pigeons who have either had foot issues themselves, or know a pigeon who has. He’s hoping to have it ready by Christmas. Nice one, Gary. Watch this space.
When I emailed him last I also asked about living and working conditions in New York. It sounds like it’s pretty much the same as it is here. A mixture of ledges, window sills, and derelict shitholes. He said he’d rather not publicise where he lives now as he’s managed to bag himself a rather choice hole near Brooklyn Bridge. The reason he wants to keep it quiet is squatting can be a real issue for any urban pigeon who lands on his feet. I know from experience. There’s nothing worse than coming home after a busy day to find some other fucker sitting there going, “So, what you gonna do about it?”
Normally the squatting pigeon wins. More hassle than it’s worth. I was lucky though. It happened to me twice when I was living on Beak Street. All I did was stick my camera up their beak and say I’d name and shame unless they fucked off, which they did on both occasions.
Even though Gary wouldn’t tell me where he lived, he did email me a picture of his studio:
That’s Gary’s on the far right. The rest are all artists too.
It’s located under The Highline, a recently tarted up disused railway in the meat-packing district.
The reason Gary chose to work there is he used to live there back in the day. Said it rocked before the hotels moved in. Parties every night. Pigeons from all over NY would hit the Highline on a Friday night, and most of them would still be there on Monday morning.
“Now it’s just a load of designer frontages, and not a bloody ledge in sight!” He said. “I prefer to live in Brooklyn these days. Most of the pigeons who work here are sound though, which is why I work here. It’s a good scene. We all get on and help each other. Last year Michael was working on an Origami piece involving a paper napkin. It took three of us to sort the final folds. It’s team work here, and that’s why I like it.”
Looking forward to the new piece, Gary.
Following the massive response to NYC Gary’s street art – see previous post – I’ve had loads of emails from him. As his typing skills leave a bit to be desired some of them are quite hard to work out, like this one:
‘deeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrr briiiiiiiiiiiiiannnnn hhhhhhoooooowweeee aattttttteeee uuuuuu?’
In fact, most of them are like this. Clearly hasn’t quite got the tap and lift technique down yet. How long one stands on a letter has to be perfectly timed, or this is what happens. Slipping off the letter is also easy to do. Believe me, it’s a skill I’ve had to practice, a lot. Still, what he lacks in the typing department doesn’t detract from his artistic genius.
He says he’s working hard on his next piece having been hugely inspired by his new found UK fanbase. He promises not to disappoint and will send a photo when he’s finished. He asked if I wanted to come to the private view. I said I wished I could, but hiding in the fuselage of a jumbo jet didn’t really appeal. This was his suggestion as it was how he unintentionally ended up in New York in the first place. Brilliant. Looking forward to that story, although it will probably take me a year to decipher.
He also sent me this picture of himself on a bollard just near Central Park. He says this particular one is where he goes to reflect. He also mentioned the view is normally a bit better than it is here:
“Sometimes I just need to have some time on my own.” He said. “Even though the rest of the world around me is very busy, I find this spot both peaceful and conducive to creative thought. I think the shackles attached to the post help me to feel grounded.”
I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more from Gary.
Having launched the pigeons doing art theme, I’ve had emails from a couple over here too. I found this one particularly impressive. Stephen ‘Pigasso’ Pigeon works with canvass, and he doesn’t just use his feet. The wings are involved too. Brave stuff. Apparently he wipes them in the paint and then drags them across the canvass to create, as he puts it, “A visual effect that reflects the subtle texture of reality.”
Not sure I got this, but the fact he’d done one of our very own NYC Joey Peroni blew me away. He painted it from Joey’s photo. Kid you not. Clever stuff. Here it is:
He said he works alongside another Stephen who has helped him realise his dream after he was discovered painting peanuts on a windowsill in Peterborough.
Nice one, Pigasso. Cheers for painting it. I sent it to Joey earlier and he’s already been in touch to say he loves it. He also wonders if he can get a framed thumbnail for his ledge?
So, Brighton being the creative hub that it is, there’s got to be pigeons down here doing stuff. I’m on a mission. Pigeons who do art is an untapped movement, and I think I could be onto something if Gary and Pigasso are anything to go by.
Bring it on.
This is it. Finally. The moment you’ve all been waiting for, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been worth it.
Ex-pat NYC street artist Gary Pigeon’s work, ‘Flight Control’:
He apologised for the length of time it took to send it through but said he wanted to make sure the photograph captured the piece in a way that maximised the poignancy of the statement. He also said he struggled with the camera as photography isn’t really his thing.
His inspiration came from wanting to highlight the hardship experienced by the millions of pigeons suffering from foot issues. It’s not something we like to talk about.
Initially he was going to scratch a small foot onto a drainpipe, until he had the brilliant idea of using wet concrete. However, having decided on the medium he wanted to use to express himself, he had to wait two years for a suitable patch of wet cement to come up. Eventually, it did. That’s dedication for you.
“I wanted it to be out in the open. Right there. On the street for everyone to see.” He said.
What he’s hoping, now he’s revealed himself as the artist responsible, is that some New York art mag might be interested in doing a piece. They should. It’s not often a pigeon’s art gets recognised never mind written about.
Nice one, Gary. He’s going to keep in touch and let me know what he’s working on next. He’s also going to tell me the full story of how the he ended up in New York in the first place. Joey told me it had something to do with getting hammered near Heathrow and falling asleep in the under-carriage of a plane about to take off for JFK. Slept through the whole thing, apparently.
So, having recovered from my incarceration in Eastbourne stuck under a bridge with the world’s dullest pigeon, I’m back to business.
Had a couple of emails from Joey in NYC. He says life in New York is calming down a bit now Banksy has nearly finished. It’s also the reason why Gary, Joey’s ex-pat street artist pal – see last post, has been so hard to get hold of. He’s a massive fan, apparently, and has been trying to follow Banksy around to see what he looks like.
Unfortunately, same as everyone, he missed him every time. However he did manage to leave his own artistic mark near his favourite piece in TriBeCa, which even got a mention in the New York Times in the form of a quote by a local chef called Mr Mears:
‘…some of Banksy’s pieces were “poignant,” but [Mears] expressed disdain for Banksy’s followers, some of whom he said sat in pigeon droppings to pose for photos alongside the TriBeCa piece…’
New York Times, Oct 28th 2013
Apparently Gary was disappointed it didn’t get more of a mention as he’d worked hard on the placing and distance from the piece. He was also disappointed someone had sat in it.
He clearly knows his stuff though.
Joey sent me this. It’s a picture of him and Gary on the ‘Pigeons Do Art March’ back in September. It’s where pigeons from all over New York get together to discuss and practice art.
Gary (right) was running a workshop called, ‘Graffiti Matters’:
Yesterday Gary sent me a brief email. He’s obviously not as adept as Joey on the tablet. Typing was all over the place. Guess you can’t be good at everything. Still, I worked it out in the end. He says he’s going to send me a picture of a piece he did a few years ago called ‘Flight Control’. He also said it was his first departure from using his own shit. Exciting stuff.
Nice one, Gary. Look forward to seeing it.
Last week I mentioned that a pigeon from New York got in touch. His name is Joey Peroni, as in the beer. His family were also originally from the Italian quarter in Chicago, which is how he knows Rocco (see last post).
Anyway, we’ve had a few emails backwards and forwards. Top pigeon. Seriously. Great sense of humour and likes a drink, unlike most other American pigeons, according to Joey.
Here he is:
It’s a good look, pose aside.
Turns out Joey has always wanted to come to London. He even tried to kick off a Pigeon Exchange Programme a few years back, but there weren’t enough takers. Not surprising seeing as I was one of the only pigeons online at the time. I’d have done it if I’d known you back then, Joey.
I’ve learnt loads about NYC. It does sound like the dog’s bollox of a place to be. I told him I’d had dealings with the people over there that organise National Pigeon Appreciation Day. Said I’d tried to get the ball rolling on one in London, but didn’t get very far, largely due to pigeons not being appreciated by anyone, not even the weirdos.
I told him about all the anti-pigeon activity that’s been going on over here the past few years. The feeding ban, increase in the use of spikes, serial killer hawks etc. I also told him that there was a huge protest fly-by back in 2009. It was genius.
Pigeons from as far afield as Northampton and Bedford.
Click on the link below for more, and work your way up from the bottom for the full story.
It was also round about the time I had my Operation Stop The Squirrel going on, but that’s another story.
He replied saying it’s the same over there with the rise of the anti-pigeon vibe, and sent me a photo of a sign:
He said nearly all the squares have them now.
So, me and Joey are going to keep in touch. Also, knowing I’m a bit of an art fan, he’s going to hook me up with another pigeon. A ex-pat street artist called Gary. Looking forward to that one.
Another interesting bit of lowdown is that Joey uses a tablet. Much easier than a keyboard, apparently. I’ve never given one a shot. All he has to do is tap his toes on the letters on the screen. He said it’s the way to go, apart from the scrolling which can be a pain in the arse, literally.
May have to give it a go.
In the meantime, big up to my new American pals.
Email really is a genius invention, especially for pigeons. In the old days it was us that transported messages. Millions of them. The day to day life of a pigeon was nothing but carrying around small bits of paper with writing on. We were the original Internet.
Nowadays, we don’t need to go anywhere near the message. In fact, I haven’t seen an actual message for years. The messages come to us, online. What’s even better is we get to send them too, providing the whole jumping around on a keyboard thing has been mastered of course (see previous post).
The story I’m about to tell you is the perfect example of how well this works. A pigeon got in touch from Chicago recently. Kid you not. All the way from across the pond in Chicago. The name’s Rocco. He actually called himself ‘Big’ Rocco. Not sure why. He doesn’t look very big in the picture.
He’s the one on the left with the slightly odd neckerchief going on:
He said he’d been reading Pigeon Blog for a while and thought he’d send me an email. How simple is that? There’s no way I’d have got that message before the Internet came along.
Have to say, Chicago sounds like my kind of town. Big history of gangster pigeons back in the day, apparently. One in particular, weirdly also called Rocco.
Rocco discovered how to make alcohol out of cat piss. He had a thing going on in the Italian quarter where he’d kidnap pigeons from other parts of town and offer them up to the local cats in return for their piss, which he’d then turn into alcohol. Total genius. Apparently it’s where the term ‘get pissed’ comes from.
This is where he lived. It’s also where Rocco and most of the other uptown pigeons live now. Plenty of ledges and pretty central:
He’s not wrong there. Never seen so many ledges. Unfortunately he did say that most of the buildings these days are ledge-free. I’ve told him the same thing is happening in London. Ledges are a thing of the past.
Anyway, Rocco and me are going to stay in contact, and he’s also going to put me in touch with a couple of pals of his in New York.
Good times. Here’s to the Internet.
Loads of you have been asking where I’ve been. In fact, it’s so long since I did a post, WordPress have even gone and changed their user interface, including the ability to ‘add a poll’. So now I might add a poll just for the hell of it. No idea what about. Maybe a poll asking whether you like polls? Who knows. It also has a button that says ‘distraction free writing mode’. WTF? I just pressed it and nothing happened. Mart’s still wanging on and the sun’s still shining. Oh well.
Unfortunately the basic typing method hasn’t changed. It’s still me jumping about on letter keys no bigger than my toe. Occasionally one gets stuck. Happened the other day on the letter P. It’s a tricky business. Always has been. The whole typing effort is also the reason I’ve been absent from the longer form post. I sprained my foot. Twitter’s 140 characters was all I could bloody manage. There. I said it. I sprained my fucking foot. Jesus it hurt. How, you might ask? Let’s just say a puddle of beer was involved followed by an embarrassing incident at The Clock Tower.
So, I’m still in Brighton and it’s been a rocking summer, injury aside. Wall-to-wall hotness, and it’s still going on. A far cry from last summer that’s for sure. In fact, had we had this summer last summer, I may have stayed in London. A long stretch of sustained sunshine is always a winner. I bet even Coventry looked alright this summer. Then again, maybe not.
This is mainly where I’ve been spending my days. It’s a cafe called The Meeting Place down on the seafront. It’s the best place by miles for some decent throwaway, and is a great place to meet new pigeons:
And, as you’ll see from this next pic, it’s got a great view too.
This is Bill, or I think his name was Bill. Can’t really remember as he didn’t say much:
Only snag with The Meeting Place, as it’s bang on the seafront, is it does tend to attract the tourists. Not that I’m exactly a local, but you know what I mean.
Tourists like this total twat in a hat. A hat that he’d fashioned out of his own arse feathers:
All the rage in Swansea, apparently. Knob.
We all ignored him and he went away in the end.
So, what next? Summer’s coming to an end. The autumn then, I guess. Let’s hope it’s a nice gentle one. Bit of sunshine gradually easing us towards Christmas. Jesus. Christmas. Did I just say that?
I’ve got no clue what Brighton will be like at Christmas. Word on the street is there’s loads of parties. Sounds good to me, so long as I stay away from that fucking Clock Tower.
There are two major factors influencing the content of this post: The current bin man strike in Brighton, and the resultant angry seagulls.
So, first off, there’s been zero bin emptying down here for three days and already it looks like this:
Basically a town-sized free-for-all:
Yesterday I managed a warm pepperoni pizza slice and an egg mayonnaise roll piece washed down with a bit of cappuccino. This morning I found myself several beaks of trifle. Sweet as, literally. It was only Morrison’s, but I couldn’t fault it.
Basically, whatever you fancy, it’s out there, which means it’s going to get busy when the rest of the UK pigeon population find out (like now, for example). Carnage. Apparently the strike is on till Friday so, as you read this, pigeons everywhere will be hitting the skies, and why wouldn’t they? Brighton needs to be prepared though so I’ve already warned the Pigeon Refuge, and anyone out there with space on their ledge or balcony, you may need to share.
However, despite the fact we should be partying right now, be warned. There are the a few other not-so-nice fuckers tucking into the piles that you need to be wary of. The rats have already appeared, armed and dangerous. Then there are the seagulls. The angry big white seagulls claiming their turf. Those great big fuck-off birds that I thought I’d got to know. Not a bit of it. Every single one of them has gone mental. Off their nut after too much sugar thinking they own it all. Considering most of them have just had kids too, over-feeding on top of a lack of sleep is never a good combination for a seagull. Be warned, and be on your guard. A rat carrying a stick is nothing compared to an angry deranged gull.
A couple of final tips: When going into one of the larger piles, hold your breath. The smell isn’t pleasant and NEVER stick your beak into the small black plastic bags tied together at the top. They’ve got dog shit in them.
Apart from all that, enjoy, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a long one like this. Basically, what with all the Tweeting, twitting and twatting about, I haven’t had time. Nor, to be honest, have I had the connections to facilitate it. Despite doing it for as many years as I have, being a pigeon that blogs isn’t always easy. Not every fucker appreciates a random pigeon flying through the window and jumping all over their laptop, unless they’re expecting one of course, so negotiating those kind of arrangements can be problematic. Someone told me there’s a pigeon-friendly public library down here. Is there fuck. It doesn’t even have ledges. How am I supposed to find the PCs without ledges? I’m pretty sure the windows don’t open either.
Anyway, problem solved. I now have a couple of sources down here happy to help, providing I clean up after myself. Of course as usual, their identities have to remain anonymous in case they get done for encouraging free speech of the pigeon. It wouldn’t be the first time.
So, what have I been up to? I won’t bore you with the throwaway stories but, safe to say, getting something half decent to eat down here is a load easier than in London. It’s smaller for a start and, for some reason, more people tend to drop their food. Don’t know why. Come Friday and Saturday nights getting our beaks round some casual spillage is a piece of piss, especially round the the pier, and even better when the weather’s good. The best is when one of us spots a big group all wearing the same clothes. Think it’s called a hen party. Not sure why though seeing as none of them ever dress like hens. Once we’ve clocked one, we follow them around and just eat whatever gets dropped on the way. Usually starts out with crisps and peanuts, includes lager and sometimes fizzy wine, and always ends up with chips and kebabs. Genius. For those of us who manage to stay the distance, it’s a right result and a great night out, providing you don’t tuck into the puke later like Mart did. Not pleasant.
So, just in case anyone’s wondering what happened between myself and the sweet lady I saw in Queen’s Park? The vision of beauty who lived in a window box in Hove? Turns out to be a right nutter, and not in a good way. Her name’s Alice.
I decided I’d meet her in Queen’s Park in the end. Figured if it turned out to be a disaster, I had a getaway. I knew that soon as I’d sat in her box there’d be no escaping. Call me cynical, but it’s happened before. I thought this way we could keep it casual, hang out a bit, and see if it clicked…
Jesus. Total waste of time. She had nothing to say. Nothing at all. She just did this giggle shit whenever I asked her a question, and I mean banal questions like: ‘How long did it take you to fly here?’, ‘How long have you been in Brighton?’ and ‘What’s your favorite nest padding?’. Questions that were in no way funny. Not even slightly.
This was all I got. Truly dire:
After I’d decided to call it a day, I also happened to notice none of the other pigeons were talking to her either. Funny that. I’ve seen her up there since then. Thankfully she doesn’t seem to know who I am. Total result and a lucky escape.
Other news is we had to move from the first ledge. Not sheltered enough when the winds were kicking in. I didn’t fancy a dusty cliff hole or a dodgy plank under the pier, so went for this instead:
Nice area, solidly built and it’s got a roof. Unfortunately we have to share, but you can’t have everything.
So here’s to summer. Hopefully that wasn’t it last week or I will be pissed.
At last, life is starting to sort itself out down here. Met some great new mates including a number of sea gulls. Hate to say it but I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about them. Far from dull, a fair few of them have been hilarious with a surprisingly dry wit. Clive who we met the other day wants to teach me to swim. Could be interesting. Of course Mart asked him if he taught surfing too. Said he was planning to make himself a surfboard out of tooth picks. Jesus.
Best bit is we’ve managed to sort ourselves a half decent ledge in the better end of a place called Kemp Town. Near enough to the action for warm chips, but far enough away to get some sleep on a Friday night, and it’s also only a five minute fly to the middle. Genius.
The pigeon refuge was fun for a while – see last post, and it was great to meet pigeons like Tony, but it can get a bit much. Everywhere you turn there’s a pigeon wanting to chat. You just want to tell them to fuck off, but you can’t.
Now we’ve finally got our own pad, we can start to kick back. The shit clearing rule stays though.
At the weekend, during a classic game of Shit or Miss over the Brighton Marathon, the sun even managed to come out. At long fucking last it seems the longest winter ever is coming to an end. Surely a hot summer is in order to make up for it?
All in all, life is good, and it’s possibly about to get a whole lot better…
Today, I met the pigeon of my dreams. She reminded me a bit of a pigeon I was into years ago called Mary. Something I won’t be mentioning.
Clive had invited Mart and me to Gull Fest. Gull Fest is an annual event for the local sea gulls held in a place called Queen’s Park.
He told us that not many pigeons get the nod. He wasn’t wasn’t wrong:
Even though it was banging, we did feel a bit awkward at first.
Think the ducks were feeling it too:
Turned out to be a right laugh in the end.
A highlight for me was when one of the funniest gulls I’ve ever seen did a routine about swans and sparrows. Last time I saw her was on a mini-break in Brighton last year.
She’s called Harriet but likes to be known as Harry.
Yes, It is a female:
She was fucking funny. Mart and me pissed ourselves.
Anyway, there I was hanging out chatting away to a pigeon called Andy who talked a lot when, suddenly, a vision walked in front of me. Nearly spat out my own tongue. Never seen anything so lovely:
She was drop dead gorgeous. I asked Andy to see if he could find out any detail on the whereabouts of her ledge.
She totally ignored him. Hilarious:
Then I found out what he was saying: “Excuse me. My friend over there. See him. Over there. He wants to know where you live.”
Jesus. No wonder. Probably thought he was some fruitcake stalker.
But then, thankfully, she changed her mind:
She told him she lived in a window-box in Hove. Think we might be hooking up at the weekend.
Wish me luck. Not been on a date for years. May even have a wash.
We’re here, finally, having done one of the hardest flys ever including an emergency stop-over in Crawley after battling gale force winds down the M23. Nightmare and totally knackering. Then, pretty much soon as we get to Brighton, it turns into the Arctic fucking Tundra. Kid you not. WTF? Nearly April and it’s chucking down freezing snow. This time last year we were boiling our arses off.
Not on. Ended up spending our first night here. It’s a refuge for homeless pigeons:
Couldn’t be arsed to go hunting for a dream ledge in this weather.
It’s actually turned out to be be quite a laugh in the end. We even managed a bit of a sing along yesterday to keep warm. Genius, until one of them suggested the soundtrack from Mama Mia.
We’re thinking we might stay here for a bit, or at least till the weather get’s better. The others don’t seem to mind and there’s plenty of room. In fact, it turns out one of them called Tony has been staying here for two and a half years.
This is Tony (right) on the window ledge:
Said he’d flown away from Worthing one day because he was bored, and landed in Brighton. He’d planned to settle on a nice ledge but ended up here and just stayed on. He was reluctant to say why, so I didn’t push it.
“We look out for eachother and help to keep the place clean.” He said. “It’s more of a commune than a refuge.” Nice one, and definitely the place to be for now.
Come on Spring. Get your shit together.