I touched on this one years ago. The myth that single magpies are unlucky. The truth is they’re absolutely not. In fact most of them are confirmed bachelors, and proud of it, as I discovered when I went to talk to a magpie I met last week called Charles.
Charles lives alone in Sheepcote Valley, and he wouldn’t have it any other way:
I asked him what made him decide to go it alone.
“Well, I had a couple of somewhat awkward experiences with females.” He said. “One called Lucy who liked to do things. Unpleasant things that I often found painful. I put up with it for two years until I finally decided I didn’t want to be sore anymore. Then the next one, Sarah. She was totally the opposite. She just followed me around all day. Everywhere I went, there she’d be just staring at me not saying anything. We really didn’t have much in common either, so now I’m on my own and it suits me down to the ground. I can do what I want. Go where I want. If sitting up there and staring out to sea is the order of the day…” He gestures with his slightly grubby beak to a tall lamp post behind us. “No-one is going to stop me. It’s a way of life that works, for me anyway. Of course it’s not for everyone, but there are a few of us happy singles living up here.”
I didn’t quite know how to frame the next question, so I asked him as politely as possible whether he’d ever tempted to ‘fly for the other side’?
“Good God no. That’s not for me at all. I mean there’s nothing wrong with it of course. Each to their own, and I have plenty of friends who do that kind of thing, but no. I’m really very happy on my own and intend absolutely for it to stay that way.”
Then he told me that every Wednesday a group of them meet up near the racecourse, and invited me to join him at the next one.
“Sometimes we fly about a bit, or we just sit and chat. Depends on the weather. A couple of them are into chess, but that’s not me either. Clearly not everyone is as content with the single life as I am, like David. He’s nice enough, but I’m not sure he’s single out of choice, if you know what I mean.”
So, that’s that. Single magpies are unlucky and a bad omen is a load of old bollocks. They’re on their own out of choice. Fact, and those that aren’t are probably best left alone, as I’m sure I’ll find out when I meet David on Wednesday!
I happened to be in Shoreham today, so I asked a seagull what he thought about the the vote for Scottish independence. He said he had no opinion either way. Typical. The only thing he was interested in was how it was going to be cut off if the vote was in favour. I said I didn’t think the plan was to physically slice it off so it could set sail for the North Pole. Twat. Then I asked a pigeon on the street who replied, “What’s Scotland?”
So there you go. Ignorance all round in the Brighton bird world, then again I guess it is quite far away. Personally I’m very interested in what will happen to the pigeons of Scotland if they chose to go it alone. Will they need passports to cross the border? Do they even get a vote? Course not. We never do.
I did try to get in touch with my old pal, Murray, but apparently he went underground after Andy Murray lost at Wimbledon and hasn’t been seen since.
Thankfully, another Scots pigeon got in touch. A reporter based in Glasgow called Neil. Not only did he go out on the streets to see what the pigeons of Glasgow thought, he sent me a report including a hilarious conversation he overheard between two pigeons.
This is Neil working undercover. Genius:
Good work. Nice one, Neil!
This is what he sent me:
“Hi Brian – quick wee note from the North. Thought you might be interested in the crack from George Square over the wee vote on Thursday. Wee vote … aye that’ll be right. Great big huge fuckin’ disruptive vote would be more like it. For those of us who spend our lives waddling round George Square posing for the tourists and generally keeping the traffic going, it has been quite a summer. First, the place was full of tourists for the Commonwealth Games – noisy or what! Not a seat to be had in the whole City – found a peaceful spot on the top of Walter Scott and just watched the world go round … and round … and round. Turned out it was the cycling speed trials! Still, life got a bit quieter when the tent went down and the big G was moved. Big G? Yeah, that was the big logo for the Games – actually it was quite nice. Loads of kids came to have their photos taken, dropping loads of chips. Became quite a meeting place for us pigeons – dinner at Gs! Then after they left the whole Indyref thing got going. Once again the peace of George Square was shattered by a load of flag waving demonstrators with Yes and No flapping in the wind in equal measure. What’s the chat? Well I was happily dozing on Queen Vic’s crown yesterday when I overheard this. I had to send it to you. Kind of says it all:
“You awrite Davey boy?”
“Alright, Wullie? Aye, man, I’m good. How about yourself?”
“Just nabbed some sucker’s fries right out his hand, so, yeah, I’m good.”
“’Ere, have you heard of the Indyref stuff?”
“Who hasny? It’s all over the bloody place. TV, post, even just doon the road in George Square. I’ve got a friend who went down there. Said the whole place was fucking packed with people watching some bloke called Cameron pulling his hair out over the fact that we’re splitting. Said the bald patch looked would have made a great target if only he could have got close enough.”
“We might be splitting, we don’t know. We’ll just have to wait an’ see what the vote says.”
“Aye, we will. Either way, I’m all for Scotland being independent. What about you, mate? Which way would you vote if we got a say in it?”
“Oh, aye, I’d vote Naw for sure.”
“Oh, aye? Why’s that?”
“Well, to be completely honest, man, I just don’t see Scotland surviving on its own. Apparently, we aren’t even gonna get our own currants!”
“Whit? Scotland will no be allowed our own currants?”
“Nope. All the currants get sent up from England, so it’s the English currant.”
“I dunnae get it. We make oor own currants too!”
“Yeah, but the factory’s gonna move South if we break up…”
“Why would it do that?”
“Aw whit do you know? Youse are fae Paisley!”
So as you see Brian, the Nation appears to be as split as the currants! Just hoping we get one final demonstration on Friday cos the pickings are always great afterwards. Will let you know whose flag is flapping on that day!!! I’ll fly around the city tomorrow when the vote is on and see what’s going down. Could be carnage. I did a ledge to ledge the other day and noticed ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ stickers stuck to loads of windows, some even on the same house!”
Cheers Neil. Top job. Look forward to an update and maybe some more pics if you get a chance.
Watch this space.
Ever wondered what it’s like to date a pigeon? Wonder no more. Hatoful Boyfriend is here, and it’s about to go big, or should I say huge? The best bit is I’m in it. Kid you not. Ages ago I was asked by a dude in Japan if I minded having my pic in a pigeon dating game. Of course, my answer was yes. Initially I thought it might help me with my own dating strategy. Sadly that didn’t happen, but I was well chuffed to be in it, and now it’s over here.
And just in case you miss me, here I am in the game:
‘The world’s most famous blogger.’ Love it. Cheers Moa!
Anyway, for those of you new to the blog you’ll notice my love life has been somewhat lacking for quite some time. Some would say non-existent, so you’ll understand my excitement when I spotted a rather lovely thing the other day.
Her name was Salli. She’d flown all the way from Tunbridge Wells on a day trip:
Okay so it’s not the best picture, but there was a certain something about her and those big eyes.
We chatted for a while about the ins and outs of pigeon life in Brighton, including the recently discovered rampant gay gull scene – see last post. She talked about Tunbridge Wells and how the best thing about it is the Farmer’s Market, particularly the one on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month outside the Town Hall.
“Bloody great bread.” She said, and that was enough for me. I told her I’d check it out soon as I find out where the hell Tunbridge Wells is. She even said I could share her ledge if I was stuck. Not sure if that was a come on, but it’s worth a shot I reckon, even if all I get out of it is some decent crumbage.
So big up to all you new Pigeon Bloggers. I’ve been telling it how it is for pigeons everywhere since 2006. Surely that has to make me the oldest blogging pigeon out there? Occasional foot and beak strain aside, I’m still going strong.
As you’ll see, I’m always up for getting your pigeon pics. You can email them to brianpigeon at gmail dot com. Right now I’m particularly interested in any pigeons in Scotland. I bumped into one yesterday called Scots Gerald. He said there was some shit going down that may result in Scotland floating away and becoming an island. Interesting times.