Mart told me last week there was a Big Bird’s Club happening down in Devon at the weekend. Wasn’t sure I could be arsed at first, especially when it meant going over Swindon. Not a big fan of Swindon. Never have been. Don’t ask why, but then I saw Devon was going to be sunny. No fucking brainer. Didn’t have anything planned anyway.
So we set off, and it turns out Dawlish was way further than we thought. M4 went on forever. Mart suggested we go cross country. As if. Last time we did that, and he was navigating, we ended up back right where we started. Actually back on our actual ledge. Unbelievable. Said he wanted a more ‘scenic’ view. Never again.
Anyway, finally we got there, and turns out it wasn’t a Big Bird’s bash, it was a fucking trainspotter’s event. A Welsh trainspotter’s event at that. A load had traveled all the way from Cardiff, following the trains, of course. Freaks. Mart just looked at me. Fuck’s sake. My idea of hell.
This was the first lot we bumped into. ‘A marvelous spot for the Dawlish slow train’, apparently:
Way too close for my liking. One went past. Nearly had a heart attack.
This is all they do all day:
Sit there, watch trains, take notes, and then spend all night discussing which ones they’ve seen before. Jesus.
Then we bumped into ‘Chris’, who wanted to remain anonymous.
This is Chris:
Chris was down there on a stag weekend visiting a local knocking shop.
Not really my scene, but definitely more interesting than the trainspotters.
Here’s one of the so-called ‘staff’.
“Fancy a good time? Give you good morning price…”:
Er, no thanks love, whatever the fuck a ‘morning price’ is.
And here’s another:
Oh. Go on then.
There was even a queue for one of them:
Then I saw why:
Tried to get an interview with the punter, but he said he didn’t want to discuss it. Don’t blame him
Glad to get back to the ledge as it goes. Suddenly London seems like the sanest place on the planet.
I know I’m always banging on about the weather, but really, what’s going on at the moment is fucking ridiculous. Is really is. Toilet needs aside, this is only the second or third time time I’ve left the ledge in days there’s been that much rain. Blew out the weekender. Not enough cover down there, unless you’re happy with a bush. Bushes don’t cut it for me, apart from the low ones with massive leaves. Probably not many of those along the A316.
So we spent the weekend in the West End, ledge-bound for most of it. Bumped into a load of pigeons on Leicester Square who had just moved down from Scotland. Frankly all a bit rank after the long flight, and definitely half cut.
Couldn’t understand a word they were saying at first. Not a word. :
Then I asked one of them why they’d moved here in the first place? The wettest place on earth. Surprise, surprise, turns out to be the weather. Douglas, the fat one on the right, reckons all it does in Glasgow is rain. Literally. No sunshine. Just rain. Rains all summer, and then rains or snows in the winter.
“Och, think you’ve got it bad, Jimmy. Nothing but rain up there. Big wet rain.” Said Douglas, or I think that’s what he said. That wasn’t the last time he called me Jimmy either. Not sure why. Come to think of it, quite a few of them seemed to be called Jimmy…
This was funny. Here’s Douglas daring one of the Jimmies to sit on a spike. It’s was most out of towners do when they get here. Go sit on a spike. Believe me, they only do it once:
Stays with you for fucking days.
Tried to talk to another one of them called Angus, the one in the middle. Total nutter. Absolute mentalist:
He stood like that for ages. Check out the dude on his left desperately looking for an escape.
I asked him what he thought of London so far, but all I got was “Och.. Och.. Naw. Och. Naw.”
Then it started to piss it down, not that it seemed to bother Angus. Me and Mart couldn’t be arsed with it though, so we headed back to Beak Street, hit the ledge for the rest of the afternoon and haven’t moved much since.
We’re off to another Big Bird’s Weekender this weekend, which would have been quite exciting had I not accidentally caught the weather report outside the Sanyo shop on Tottenham Court Road. Jesus. Thinking of taking a small boat. Looks like we’re in for a right old soaking.
Worst case scenario, we can always stay here:
But only if there is absolutely no alternative.
Top day out on Saturday. Word on the street was, “Let’s do something posh”, so we did.
Me and Mart and some of the Richmond posse winged it down to Kingston Regatta. Okay, so it’s not much more than the odd long-ish canoe going up and down the river being watched by people in hats, but at least it was different, and definitely posher than tucking into some ancient throwaway on Brick Lane, which was what we’d originally planned.
Heron Alan was supposed to come but, typically, he chose to stay put.
Alan, staying put, looking as socially awkward as always:
Alan, mate, you really should get out and about a bit more.
Anyway, got down there. Bit of rain, bit of sun. Perfect.
Within seconds, Maria spotted a scattering of what looked like breadcrumbs.
Sadly, it turned out to be just pavement:
Should’ve known not to trust ‘Where-the-fuck-am-I?’ Maria!
It was all pretty relaxed after that. Just us, some boats, and the river:
Feeling a bit peckish, I chanced it with a visit to a nearby French restaurant:
Needless to say, I didn’t get very far.
Having given up on the food front, we soon got into the action.
Quite entertaining in the end as it goes discussing the form of the rowers, size of their boats, fitness levels etc.:
No idea really what was going on, but then again, not sure anyone else had much of a clue either, particularly not Mart:
“Boat? What boat?”