Before I get going with news on the first weekend of the 2012 Pigeon Olympics, I had to post this.
It seems that with all the excitement, someone somewhere has managed to slip eating pigeons under the radar. There I was thinking it was all a thing of the past. Check this out: Great British Chef’s list of pigeon recipes. Jesus. Outraged. It goes on and on too. Pigeon with beetroot, pigeon with butter beans, pigeon with salad, and there are photos.
Photos like this one:
It’s all happening today. The 2012 Pigeon Olympics are kicking off big style. Starting in St James’s Park and ending up in Hyde park it’s already kicking it hard, and it’s only 4. Can’t wait. Hoping for the party to end all parties. Can’t promise much on the posting front tomorrow. Saying that, in my official capacity as Olympic commentator for Time Out magazine, I’ve got to hit the other Opening Ceremony too at some point. Looking forward to clinging to the roof for ten hours, not. May make an appearance. You never know. Possibly around the time the birds with wings on bikes come out. WTF? And there I was thinking birds weren’t allowed.
Weather pending, watch this space for some video coverage of our very own opening ceremony. Exciting stuff.
I went backstage yesterday to check out the score. Managed to grab a couple of interviews.
Here’s Mike, Head of Security, St James’s Park:
He said he was preparing for some carnage.
And here’s Phil, Head of Backstage, Catering sussing out the throwaway situation:
“Loads of bins, and no one bothers to empty them. If you have allergies I suggest you eat before you arrive. Can’t say there’s much in the way of variety. Mainly chips and white bread.”
It’s hard work for everyone now as the finishing touches are made to the greatest show on earth. The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Pigeon Olympics. Bring it on.
Let’s hope it doesn’t piss it down. A bit of light rain, fine. Monsoon, no thanks.
So far, so good…
Klaus Bergman, otherwise known as ‘The Birdman’, has been thrown out of the London 2012 Pigeon Olympics for drinking Red Bull. It enhances the performance, apparently. The star of the 5m cross-country was caught sprinting erratically around Sainsbury’s car park in Chiswick.
Klaus declined to comment. Not because he didn’t want to, he couldn’t speak:
Klaus flew home to Durham earlier today.
Went down to Richmond yesterday in the boiling hot sunshine and managed to see one of the ladies beach volleyball teams in full swing, literally in some cases.
One word: corrr. Never seen so many hot birds in one place, and I’m not talking temperature wise.
Some of them were so hot it hurt:
On the flip side, why is it the umpires tend to be the polar opposite? Don’t think I’ve ever seen a hot umpire, ever.
Take this one from yesterday. ‘She’s’ called Olga and she comes from Watford:
No offense Olga, but I think you might be male. You’re built like a male and those noises you were making sounded pretty male to me. In fact, there’s nothing female about you whatsoever.
Weather pending, the 2012 Pigeon Olympics beach volleyball event takes place in Richmond next Wednesday, if anyone fancies coming down. Like me, I suspect most pigeons who do will be there purely for the visuals.
Now it’s boiling hot, the 2012 Pigeon Olympics practicing has returned to the streets of London, big time. With so much time lost due to the monsoon, the pressure is on. Suddenly, almost overnight, the vibe in town’s gone full on festival. Love it. Off to check out the throwaway situation later. Must be plenty knocking about now London’s heaving.
Yesterday I managed to grab five minutes with a true sporting great. Poussain Bolt from Tunbridge Wells. Poussain is on good form at the moment and a firm favorite to win the 1m sprint.
Here he is in training outside Charing Cross Station.
So fast I nearly missed him:
Practically a blur.
I asked him if he was excited about the start of the games. “Can’t wait, man.” He said, not sounding a bit like I’d imagined. “Beat dem pigeon’s arses and see me bro, Usaine. Usaine da man. We both gonna win gold. We is made up to be here.”
I presumed he was talking about Usain Bolt, the famous sprinter. I’m guessing they’ve never met. I’m also guessing Poussain doesn’t know his name is almost the French word for a young chicken. Still, he’s a good runner and that’s what counts.
Hoping to meet some more stars tomorrow. Possibly even Ling Ho, the karate king from Maida Vale. You never know.
Unbelievable. Hardly know what to do with myself. The sun has finally come out. Not only am I dry, I’m hot. It’s a fucking miracle, and all just in time for the Olympics. Bring it on. I’m finally back on my ledge too which is great. No more bridges for me for a while. There’s moss here now after all that rain. Lots of it, but it’s a bit like someone came along and laid me a carpet as a surprise. Very comfortable indeed. Had a random pigeon turn up asking if there was space for him to live there too. Word about the new flooring had clearly spread. I had to say no. It’s hard enough with just me and Mart. Throw a total stranger into the mix and it could get weird.
Anyway, hit Trafalgar Square yesterday. Going there again today. Best place in the world when it’s sunny, apart from the tourists. They really are everywhere. Pigeons from all over. Could hardly understand a word anyone was saying. Still, least the sunshine means the mood is good.
Another thing the sunshine means is the 2012 Pigeon Olympics is going to happen afterall. Kicking off on Friday night with the Opening Ceremony. Of course it won’t be quite the do happening in Stratford, but still worth going to. Details to follow but the rumor is it’s in St James’s Park. I’ll have to join it later though. Being the Olympic commentator for Time Out magazine means I need to put in some sort of an appearance over in East London. Quick butchers at the cows and sheep and fuck off.
Also, just to be clear, and for those of you with a shortage of brain, the 2012 Pigeon Olympics has no connection whatsoever with the shooting, racing or eating of pigeons. Someone actually thought it might and raised an objection to it. WTF? As if. It’s a proper celebration of pigeons who do sport featuring events like Chip Tossing, Bread Tug and Synchronised Landing, you idiot.
Yesterday though, pigeons everywhere stopped stretching, running and throwing chips in the air, and just relaxed.
It was all about kicking back and enjoying the sunshine:
I think I can speak for anything that breathes when I say we’ve all had enough of this relentless weather. Really. I know I’ve been accused of banging on about the weather in the past, but what we’ve got now warrants more than a bit of banging. Jesus. Me and Mart have been stuck under Waterloo Bridge for what feels like an eternity. Last night a bunch of sparrows from Wandsworth decided to have a sing along. Fucking irritating and highly inappropriate. They sang various hits from the musicals. The final straw was ‘The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music’. If they try it tonight I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop myself from sticking their annoying little beaks together with sellotape.
I reckon we might even end up postponing the Pigeon Olympics. Kid you not. There’s no point whatsoever when it’s pissing down. No fun at all.
There are depressed pigeons everywhere. Kid you not. It’s what happens when you don’t get any sunlight.
Found this lot yesterday. They’d flown all the way down from Aberdeen last week for the Pigeon Olympics:
Was about to interview them when one of them said: “Didne hink th’ weaither woods be as bad doon haur as it is up thaur” WTF? It was like he was from a different planet.
Thankfully, another one spotted me struggling and stepped in to translate. I’d already asked him to repeat it twice. Apparently it means: “Didn’t think the weather would be as bad down here as it is up there.”
Then he goes, “Wa woods anyain want tae bide haur?” meaning “Why would anyone want to live here?” and that’s coming from a pigeon from Aberdeen. Fair play though when we find ourselves up to our knees in July.
Hopefully the sun will come out soon and all this will all seem like a bad dream.
Don’t ask me why I was out and about in the pissing rain yesterday, but I was.
Came across these two from Lewisham practicing a bit of Nut Volley for the 2012 Pigeon Olympics:
That’s dedication for you. Only snag is, Nut Volley isn’t an approved sport in the Pigeon Olympics.
Didn’t have the heart to tell them though.
Not done one of these in a long time, but reckon this permed up freak deserved a right proper outing:
Feel free to shoot me if I ever stroll out looking like this.
This weather really does suck arse, big time. Will it ever stop, that’s the question? Mart and me are now living permanently under Waterloo Bridge for the foreseeable. It’s like a refugee camp under here. Pigeons from all over squeezing onto what little ledge space there is with more arriving every day. I got stuck next to a couple from Liverpool last night. Wanged on for hours. Didn’t stop. Hardly slept a wink.
As for the Pigeon Olympics, seeing as the whole thing’s looking like a total wash out, indoor locations are being investigated as alternative venues. Indoor locations like stations, for example. The only snag with stations is the floor tends to be shiny and can get slippery when wet, which makes certain sports like Chip Toss a bit of a nightmare, even for the hardened professional.
Here’s the Brighton team giving it a go:
See what I mean? Just a simple pass can send you arse over tit.
Also, seeing as the London Pigeon Olympics need to be based in London, we’re talking stations like Waterloo and London Bridge which are going to be heaving.
Playable chips are hard to come by too, as we discovered yesterday:
Flat as you like. Couldn’t even peel it off never mind chuck it in the air.
Anyway, hopefully we won’t need stations, or anywhere under cover. The sun has to come out sometime, surely?
In case you haven’t already, and are able to, go buy this week’s issue of Time Out and turn to page six to see what I think of Danny Boyle’s exclusion of pigeons from the Olympic Ceremony. Outrageous.
The front cover looks like this:
*Update: You can now read it online too.
Would have been even better if the Barclays logo was covered in shit.
For more of these genius pics go to IanVisits. Nice one, @ianvisits.
So, that’s that. Rufus is back on Centre Court, and so is the rain. Jesus. Relentless. I’m back under Waterloo bridge for the foreseeable trying to crack on with my new Time Out job. Tough work when it’s pissing down. Who wants to stop for a chat about the Olympics when it’s raining? Seeing as they’re probably expecting more than just interviews with damp bored pigeons from Manchester with nothing to do, I’d better get out there.
A pal called Linda brought these to my attention. Socks, for pigeons. Genius. I’ve asked her to see if they might do me a pair with a rubber sole. Could really help when trying to cling to the stadium roof when it’s shitting it down, as it inevitably will.
Check them out:
I’m thinking red could work? Of course, Mart wants black. Bit more ‘Ninja-like’, he said. Cheers for thinking of us, Linda.
In the meantime, at least I managed to catch some Chip Tossing practice on Trafalgar Square on Sunday. It was the north Londoners chance to show what they could do, and they ended up showing us quite a lot including some great solo handling skill here from Cricklewood Paddy:
Despite being faced with three attackers, he still managed to keep possession. Good work.
One of the biggest problems with Chip Tossing is keeping focus when more than one chip appears, often a dirty tactic used by the opposing team, but not for this lot. Even when Mart – left – paraded around with one hanging out of his beak asking if anyone wanted him to pass it to them, they totally ignored it:
I had pointed out to Mart that they’d probably know he wasn’t on any real Chip Tossing team and would just think he was some random twat trying to join in, but he wanted to give it a go anyway.
So, onwards and upwards. Literally. Just been back to The Square to check on the latest there. Nothing. Not a pigeon in sight. Just puddles. Worrying stuff with only twenty four days to go. I’m off to check out the train stations. The pressure’s on so they’ve got to be practicing somewhere, surely?