Cracking a Pigeon Code and Learning to Swim

In this day and age, considering the massive technological code breaking capabilities of now, no-one has been able to crack the note that was stuck to the leg of a dead pigeon from 70 years ago. Mental. Poor dude was found stuffed in a chimney in Surrey. Probably only ducked in there for a bit of shut eye. Hats off though. Daring stuff delivering messages over enemy lines. Not sure there’s many pigeons these days who’d stick a metal box to their foot and fly around Europe dodging bullets on the promise of a leg-over (which was the promise, apparently).

If you fancy giving it a go, here it is:

Really not worth the effort. Probably says something like: ‘If you’re flying over a chimney, don’t go down it if there’s smoke coming out’. Idiot.

Anyway, talking places to kip, it looks like we’re into a winter of sleeping under bridges again. Jesus. The rain has been SO bad I’m considering moving permanently into somewhere with a roof on it. The only snag is, and I know I’m always saying this, but where? Anywhere half decent undercover usually means dodging some sort of spiked obstacle course. Anyone know anywhere dry and risk-free, let me know. And, while we’re at it, can I add warm to the mix seeing as the temperature has dropped today by ten degrees? Cheers.

All this flooding has been bad for us pigeons though. Got talking to Sylvia at Clapham Junction yesterday who’d just evacuated herself from Somerset when conditions became ‘atrocious’.:

“There was no land for ages. Just water. It was everywhere. I’d be learning to swim right now if we didn’t sink. There’s got to be a way to deal with it, especially if water is the future. Ducks can do it. Why can’t we?”

She has a point. Maybe we should be putting some real effort into it instead of saying, ‘Oh. Shame we’re a bird that can’t swim. Never mind’.

It can’t be that hard, surely?

Off tomorrow to chat to some ducks, if I can find one who can string a sentence together that doesn’t send me to sleep.

November 29, 2012. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

The Thing About Getting Older

The thing about getting older isn’t just the occasional ache in the wing joints, it’s the rapidly fading memory. Honestly. Mine is so shot to pieces it’s embarrassing. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in there at all.

Yesterday, I bumped into this guy:

“Bri!” He said, straight in my face looking quite excited. “Bri Pigeon! Great to see you again!”

I had no clue who he was. Not a single one.

“Oh, hi.” I said, trying not to look too vague, “How are you?”

“Great. Great. Cheers. Bloody hell, that night, dude. Dude! Best night in years. Still laughing about it now!”

“Yeah. It was great, wasn’t it.” I had no idea what he was talking about.

“When you said that thing. What was it?” By this time he was laughing so hard his foot was slamming on the pavement. “You know? That thing? Hilarious!”

Time for a swift exit: “Listen, really sorry, man, but I can’t stop. I’m just on my way somewhere. Great to see you again though. Let’s not leave it so long next time.”

Then came the sting: “But it was only last week…”

Damn. Fucking typical. He shuffled off looking somewhat deflated despite my attempt to salvage the situation: “But last week feels like ages ago!”


That was the moment I decided something has to be done before it gets any worse and I’ll have to start referring to my blog as ‘the online diary of an aging pigeon who can’t remember very much any more’. Not good.

I figured food might be a good place to start. Turns out nuts can help by boosting my Vitamin E levels. Easy. So tomorrow I shall mainly be sitting under the nut stall on Berwick Sreet Market if anyone fancies joining me?

I’m also going to investigate some other more practical methods. Perhaps a few simple mental agility exercises? Mart suggested counting pavement cracks but that’s more likely to send me mental than anything else.

Any other pigeons out there suffering the same lack of recollection, watch this space (if you can remember that is).

November 1, 2012. Uncategorized. 13 comments.

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