Not a lot going on since the Pigeon Olympics came and went, along with the summer, so I thought I’d give you a classic Freeeeeeeak of the Weeeeeeeeeeeek. Found it the other day. Unbelievable.
Surely this can’t fly?:
Sorry for the lack of posts. Decided to take a last minute mini-break with Mart. Went down to Brighton for a few days. To be honest, the day after the Closing Ceremony I knew I needed a bit of time out. Jesus it was messy. Woke up under a bush in Soho Square at nine in the morning. Massive shoes crashing around my head. No clue where I was. Mart said he’d tried to get me back to the ledge but I was having none of it. Time to get away. Thankfully, the weather was alright too.
Straight down the A23 on some great thermals. Got there in under three hours including a stop off. Soon as we’d found a place to kip under the pier, we were all set.
Best thing I could have done. Wandered up and down the sea front everyday. Even went paddling near Hove. Of course, Mart wanted to try surfing till I reminded him that he couldn’t swim and the last time he’d tried it, it hadn’t ended well. Suddenly, paddling became the best thing ever.
Best bit was meeting a reasonably okay Sea Gull. That’s never happened before. Her name was Harriet.
Yes, believe it or not, she is female, not that you’d know it:
Talked like a fella, ate like a fella, looked like a fella, and preferred to be called Harry. Anyway, she turned out to be a really good laugh.
We hooked up a couple of times in the end.
Here we are again hanging out near Charles Street:
The reason we went back to the same place was that was where ‘Harry’ performed her stand-up. It was fucking brilliant. If anyone is around the Charles Street area at 4pm most days, unless it’s raining, it’s free and well worth a look.
She told me she loved doing it here because of the ridiculous window behind listing everything that can possibly go wrong. She’d refer to them in her set. Genius. Think this was her frozen shoulder routine. When she got to ‘and many more’, she could go on for hours, and she always closed by picking up the fag butt and smoking it. Pissed ourselves, every time.
Anyway, back on the London ledge and feeling refreshed. Time to crack on with the rest of the year.
What’s coming up? No idea, but that’s the fun of it. Cant’ get any better than hanging out with a stand-up Sea Gull, can it?
Firm favorite, Olga, went on to win Gold for Team London in the final event in the 2012 Pigeon Olympics, the Wing Stretch. It was an amazing performance and no-one came anywhere near.
Here she is with her penultimate stretch:
And this was the final move that got her the Gold she so deserved:
So, that’s it. All over for another four years, and it’s been brilliant. Every minute of it. I was on my way to Stratford when I thought I had to post this. London ended up top of the medals table in the Pigeon Olympics. Total genius. Talk about inspiring a generation.
Right. Off to party. Don’t hold your breath for a post tomorrow.
Well, that’s it, nearly. Party time over. Thank fuck the sun’s come out or I reckon London would have the biggest come down ever next week.
The appearance of the sunshine has also meant the Pigeon Olympics have been kicking it too, at last.
The Synchronised Fly-By was great. They moved the venue to Hyde Park in the end. Amazing atmosphere. Surprisingly, London, firm favorites to win, were beaten by Cardiff. It was close but we couldn’t quite pull it off.
Here’s Team Cardiff passing the finishing flags:
Have to admit, they were pretty good.
And here’s a great shot of Team London’s Bread Tug squad discussing their strategy just before this afternoon’s final:
I managed to grab a quick word with team captain, Bill (centre). He said he was thrilled to have got as far as they have. “The home crowd has been fantastic.” He said. “We’d never have done it without their support.”
It turned out to be an gripping match. Manchester were on great form and looked like they were going to clinch it, that was until Archie from Kentish Town was brought on as a substitute. He was on fire. Almost literally in this heat. He hammered them and went on to win another Gold for London.
This is Archie just after he won the final tug:
Nice one, Arch. Celebrations all round.
Tomorrow it’s time for the Wing Stretch with another London favourite, Olga, ready to defeat her world title. Can’t wait.
In the meantime, we’ve finally decided on a venue for the Closing Ceremony. Seeing as most places in London are likely to be pretty packed on Sunday, we’re going for Soho Square. Any pigeons around, come on down.
Bring it on.
Unlike the ‘other’ Olympics with its warm and toasty venues, the London Pigeon Olympics is all outside. In most countries holding something outside when it’s summer is fine, but not here. Not somewhere where there is no fucking summer. Apparently the sun is coming out this weekend but I’m not holding my breath.
As a consequence, the Pigeon Olympics have been a bit all over the place. Some events have had to be cancelled whilst others have gone on for days.
Here’s Simon, Captain of the North London Chip Toss team, celebrating winning gold after a final that went on for a record breaking three days:
One event that did manage to take place without a hitch was the Single Leg Balance.
This is Yolanda who went on to win gold for managing an incredible seven hours standing on one leg:
Providing we stay rain free we’re hoping that today will see the conclusion of the Synchronised Take Off and Landing events. More on that later.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the closing ceremony on Sunday. There’s going to be a few parties kicking off but seeing as the biggest one is likely to be over Stratford way, that’s probably where I’ll end up. Bring on the beer. It’s time to party hard and celebrate two of the best weeks in London ever.
More Pigeon Olympics news to follow. In the meantime, had to post this. Could be either a Freeeeak Of The Weeeeeek or A Pigeon That Looks Like…
Seeing as my role as Time Out mag’s Olympic commentator has meant I’ve had to split my days between the Pigeon Olympics and the ‘other’ Olympics, I haven’t been able to cover it as much as I would have liked. Not selling out, just been too busy flying backwards and forwards to bloody Stratford. Jesus. I’ve already racked up enough air miles to fly me first class to Rio.
Hyde Park’s a laugh though. If you haven’t been, you should go. There’s wood chip all over the floor and more throwaway than you can shake a stick at. Every sort of food under the sun, if there was any sun, but don’t get me started on that one.
There are loads of big screens too so you get to see all sorts of sports you’ve never heard of, like trampolining. Going there later unless the fucking rain comes back again.
Anyway, back to the 2012 Pigeon Olympics. Of course all games have had to be suspended when it rains so it’s been a bit of a stop start affair. It’s also not been as well attended as we’d hoped. However, it looks like North London may beat Birmingham to win gold in the Chip Toss happening later today. Exciting stuff. In the meantime, some shocking news about Poussain Bolt, the sporting legend I interviewed the other day. He lost out on gold in the 1m sprint to an unknown pigeon called Jimmy from Southend in what turned out to be a heart stopping final.
Despite having led for the majority of the race, Poussain was overtaken by Jimmy in a breathtaking last 7cm:.
And here’s Poussain afterwards, gutted:
He didn’t want to talk to me, which was no bad thing after my last experience.
Hoping to catch the Chip Toss final in Trafalgar Square this afternoon, sunshine pending.