There were peaceful scenes across London today as pigeons flocked to join the G20 fly-by gathering. They came from all over, landing sweaty and out of breath from as far afield as Kidderminster, Uxbridge and Dudley. Most had never been to London before. The atmosphere was electric.
Eddie, professional as ever, took to his post pointing lost pigeons in the direction of Trafalgar Square:
Caught this shot of him at the end of what had been rather a long day.
Took these earlier in St James’s Park:
Quite some turnout. This lot were from Southampton and were protesting about the introduction of a Hawk named Gerry to the town’s historically pigeon friendly centre.
And this lot, they were mainly from Harlow and Braintree and some other places in Essex I’d never heard of:
Mostly, they seemed to be protesting about food shortages, although I think they’d probably do it about anything even vaguely pigeon related given half the chance. They were from a group called PigeonAid.
“PigeonAid. It’s about aidin’ da pigeon. Givin’ da pigeon da aid. Power to da pigeon. Know what I’s sayin’?”
Power to the pigeon, bro. Bring it on. Thinking I might tell them about Operation Stop The Squirrel. Sure they’d be right up for adding that one to their list…
Talking Operation Stop The Squirrel – must get on the case first thing. Can’t do another late one. Got a load of boys rocking in from Dulwich, Brixton, Kensal Rise, Hampstead, Kensington, and the list goes on. Anywhere in London with a park, I got me a posse.
Tell you what tho, it sent a shiver down my spine today seeing that many pigeons full of the passion. Don’t see much of that these days. Not anywhere. Nice one.
I happened to notice a larger than usual number of pigeons hanging out in Hyde Park today, so I Twittered about it. Ian from Ian Visits suggested it might have something to do with the G20 summit. On the button, Ian. Spot on.
I managed to catch-up with a couple of splinter flocks from Wales and the North East, and spoke to a representative from a group called the Pro-Pigeon Alliance, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals:
He said, “We’re here to protest against the rampant overuse of spikes in Northampton. Pigeons deserve the right to demonstrate. We are hoping it will remain peaceful.”
More pigeons are expected to arrive in the Capital tomorrow from groups including PigeonAid, Pigeons of the Earth and Help The Pigeon. So far, witnesses have described the atmosphere as ‘reasonably upbeat’.
As London’s premier blogging pigeon, I’ll be reporting on the action as it happens. Bringing you the latest on what is promising to be the lagest gathering of pigeons ever seen in London.
Bring it on.
Gonna break away momentarily from the whole squirrel issue to bring you this.
Funny for the onlooker, not so funny for the couple involved, Jemima and Lionel.
There they were, getting it on in the park. Enjoying a moment of togetherness away from the hustle and bustle of it all. Some call it ‘cute’, I call it vomit-inducing and best left on a ledge, but there you go. Each to their own.
Anyway, there they were sucking on the contents of each other’s throats when suddenly, up strolls this dude:
Clearly having a right old good look.
Then he moves in for the close up:
And then, it starts to go all a bit odd:
He gets right up next to them, and just stands there, staring.
“I could smell his breath he was that close. It wasn’t good. We tried to ignore him, but then he started making this really weird noise,” said Jemima, “and then he asked us if he could join in! Just like that. Asked us if we fancied a threesome! Bloody cheek. Who does he think we are?”
Needless to say, Lionel was quick to react telling the intruder to “Fuck right off”, which he duly did leaving them both somewhat taken aback by the incident:
Lionel said afterwards, “I mean it’s just not what you expect from any pigeon. If threesomes were our thing, which they most certainly are not, we would have invited him to get involved, surely? Damn rude if you ask me. It also put a bit of a dampener on the moment. We tried to pick up where we left off but it just wasn’t the same.”
This week, I returned to the same spot in St James’s Park where I saw the walking squirrel – see this link, and found this guy. Not sure if it was the same one. Hard to tell, but it was clearly a squirrel fully immersed in some serious training programme.
Check these out. Be warned, you may find some of the images disturbing.
One minute, a perfectly innocent shiny-eyed puffy looking squirrel out enjoying a peaceful nut in the sunshine:
The next, a testosterone fueled killing machine.
Don’t tell me that’s not a kung fu move.
Charles Pigeon mentioned motivational posters to get Operation Stop The Squirrel off the ground. Great idea. How about using these as the pics?
Tag line: ‘Think you know the squirrel? Think again’.
‘Be afraid. Be very afraid’.
Anyone got anything better, let me know in the comments.
Kid you not.
Check this guy out:
A squirrel up and at ’em balancing on his tiny feet, taught thigh muscles rippling under fur. A few small steps one minute, the next it’s an army of the fuckers running at us wielding sharpened matchsticks. Doesn’t bear thinking about.
I’ve decided to do something. Something big. Something positive. Put Operation Stop The Squirrel on the map. I’ve decided to organise the largest demonstration of pigeons ever seen in London. Bring it on.
Gonna put the word out all over, and even encourage out of towners including pigeons from places like Slough and Watford.
Also decided I need a bit of a team behind me to do this. Out and about in St James’s Park on Saturday, I came across this chap. The name’s Eddie.
Eddie spends most weekends pointing lost pigeons, usually those on a day trip or city mini-break, in the direction of Trafalgar Square.
This is Eddie:
When I spoke to him, needless to say Eddie got quite excited about the whole prospect:
“I take my role in assisting pigeons very seriously and would love the opportunity to take part in something meaningful,” he said.
This shocking footage clearly demonstrates the all too familiar challenge facing pigeons around the country.
Not on. Not even slightly.
Rebecca sent me these.
Seems it’s not just Vancouver where the pigeons got it good, check out the muscle pigeons of Miami beach:
Talk about strutting your stuff.
Then there’s these two.
I know hot weather has the uncanny knack of, how shall I put it; ‘getting one going’, but really:
Get a ledge. Jesus.
Even got the gull looking the other way.
Tell you what though, that’s proper sunshine that is. None of this namby pamby warm one minute cold the next.
Bring it on.
Cheers for sending them, Rebecca. Great pics!
Ian sent me this. Cheers, Ian!
Some dude was spotted in Brixton sporting a fine example of a splendid bagel necklace.
Clearly a skilled graduate of the King’s Cross school of jewellry making…
You can read the full story here.
Personally, I think it could have done with the addition of a couple of decorative touches. Break up the orange a bit. Some chewing gum and a chocolate button, maybe? Or a Smartie? Maybe several, in different colours? Just a thought.
Fat Jesus. Not having a good day. Not even slightly, despite the apparent arrival of summer.
First off, I must have slept funny coz I woke up with a stiff neck. Then Mart only goes and tucks into something that looked like it had been stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe for quite some time. No idea what it was, but watching him made me feel positively ill. I told him to leave it alone. He wouldn’t. Needless to say he threw up shortly afterwards, which only made me feel worse. Then, to top it all, there we were out and about looking for a shady spot when Brixton Del challenges us to a race. Mart rapidly recovers from the breakfast debacle and goes, “Yes please”, and before I know it, we’re off.
Del’s clearly been upping the fitness levels in private. He cleaned up. Out of order. Kid you not. Brixton Del. Couldn’t believe it. Gutted.
Here we are in the early stages. Me nearest the cam, Mart in the middle panting like a twat, and Del pulling a crafty winner on the outside:
What pissed me off the most was his post-win strut shouting, “Eh, el champione, el champione” in some fake and frankly shit Italian accent.
Probably won’t be seeing him for a while.
As well as focusing on my personal fitness issues, I’m also thinking of changing my look. So not up for the ‘Ooooh, don’t you two look alike, you boys. Are you related?’
Related, my arse.
There I was, hanging out in a bit of park in Clerkenwell getting me a few quality rays when suddenly, out of the blue, this brown pigeon comes flying along giving it large:
Throwing all the moves he was. Like this:
Clearly on the pull. Thankfully, he failed miserably. Just circled about the place a couple of times and fucked off looking somewhat sheepish.
Some pigeons. Jesus.
Ever since my experience with the shop sign dude I’ve been looking into why it is Kings Cross sucks, and why any pigeon in their right mind would want to live there. As it happens, turns out most of them aren’t, which is why they do.
I met Jim a while back. This is Jim:
Jim suffered terribly from depression until a few years ago when he found happiness with Janet. He also spent a brief spell living in ‘The Cross’ as he calls it. I asked him how he ended up there in the first place, and why he stayed as long as he did…
“Dunno. Life just went from bad to worse. Everything happened at once. Lost a ledge in Covent Garden to a couple from Penge. Really got me down, ya know? I’d been there for years. They just turned up one day. He was bigger than me. A lot bigger. So was she. Anyway, before I knew it, I was ledgeless wandering around Kings Cross with nowhere to go sniffing up leftovers and chewing on fag butts. Some of my darkest moments were on the pavements of Kings Cross.”
So, what it was like?
“Rough, man. Really rough. I’d say most pigeons who live there are at the end of their string, if you get my drift. Had enough of it all. Every one of them’s got some sort of mental shit going on. Depression. Confusion. All sorts. One time, I remember I’d found a dry spot just outside St Pancras Station, pissing down with rain it was. Some pigeon comes up to me. Right in me face. Thought he was a mountain lion. Just opening his beak going ‘roar’ over and over again. Well sad. That was a bit of a turning point for me.”
How did you escape?
“I met Janet. Simple as that. Dunno why she picked me, but she did, and everyday I say ‘Thank you for that’. Something she really wants me to stop doing as it goes.”
How did you meet?
“I flew into her. Literally. Bang. It was love at first sight.”
How long after that did you leave?
“Almost straight away. Janet was with the MPB. Sorted me right out, in loads of ways. Ways I never thought possible, or legal!” It was good to see him laugh, even though I had no idea why.
Janet – who wanted to remain anonymous – is part of a group called Make Pigeons Better. The MPB, based in Camden, another haven for the mentally ill, specialise in helping pigeons with ‘issues’.
Nuts Nora is another now in the care of the MPB.
This is Nuts Nora threatening to jump. Course she never did:
So, Jim, how’s it going now you’re out?
“Magic, mate. Never felt better. Still do the odd fag butt. Apart from that, life is sweet.”
A happy ending indeed, but what I don’t know is: Why Kings Cross? Why not Stoke Newington or Battersea or Dulwich? I guess this is a question that can only be answered by talking to a few more pigeons, maybe even some existing Kings Cross residents, if I can find any able to string a sentence… We’ll see.
The sun was shining again this weekend, so I decided to pick up on something I started last year. A guide by a pigeon for the pigeon to all the best ledges in London, called London’s Best Ledges, part of Brian Pigeon’s Guide to London. Any pigeon visiting the City on either a long or short stay basis after a decent ledge, look no further, or that was the general idea anyway.
So Mart and me set off, cam at the ready, and decided to go check out the ledges of Kings Cross. Mistake. Never seen such a dire collection in my life. Most unpleasant. Some of them didn’t even qualify as ledges, like this, for example:
I asked the dude why it was he insisted on living somewhere like that when there were far better ledges to be found just up the road in Islington. Ledges like this:
Nice sunny aspect. South facing. Plenty of room.
Or how about this, The British Library:
It’s nothing but one big ledge, and it’s only about 2 minutes fly time from the soiled shop sign our friend called home.
Anyway, he wasn’t having any of it. Not even slightly:
Said it was none of my business, that he was quite happy where he was, and told me to fuck off, which I thought was a bit unnecessary. Last time I try giving any one on one ledge advice. Jesus. Forget it.
The whole event got me thinking tho… Why is it some pigeons are happy to spend their lives staggering about in their own shit? Personally, I don’t get it. Ok, so I drop the odd one here and there. Who doesn’t? But to wantonly reject decent nearby stone based sheltered ledges in favour of something like that? Just plain baffling, and definitely worthy of further investigation.