It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and that’s not because I haven’t been busy, I have. In fact I’ve hardly had a moment to catch my breath it’s been that much fun. Okay, so that’s not strictly true. You see, for a pigeon, this time of year really is dull as fuck. The tourists have gone, the weather is rubbish (or it is over here), and there’s shit all to do apart from hang around on grassy corners waiting for a half decent hand out.
In January pigeons tend to suffer from a general sense of humour bypass largely due to prolonged periods of extreme boredom:
Then, even when something interesting does happen like a mad woman turning up with loads of free seed to give away, the chavs arrive. By chavs I mean the greedy fuckers that don’t have any manners. The ones that stick their dirty wings in your face and expect you to leave them there. FFS. I thought it was bad in London, but it’s rude down here, probably because most of them don’t really know what getting it tough is all about. Coming from London, and having lived through the seed ban, I know what scrabbling around for a sesame feels like. I even organised a campaign about it back in 2006 called Give Pigeons A Chance around the time it was also discovered pigeons couldn’t get bird flu.
This is the mad lady that turned up in Queen’s Park ready to hand out a few bits and pieces. Within seconds she was surrounded. Couldn’t get anywhere near so we gave up in the end:
Unbelievable. Coming in from all angles they were.
Talking unbelievable, next year I’ll have been telling it how it is for pigeons everywhere for ten whole years. Ten fucking years, would you believe? How time flies, literally.
Have to say, the internet is the best thing that ever happened to pigeons, I’m just surprised more haven’t given it a go. It’s so much easier now too what with touchscreen and the like. Back in the day there was no such thing, and it’s not that long ago. I had to hammer out each key with my fucking toes. If you’ve seen that film Whiplash, from all accounts you’ll know what I mean. I’m talking blood, sores and welts that lasted for days. That’s how hard it was. Imagine the effort involved in a capital letter? Took me months to get anywhere near, and now it happens automatically. Start of a sentence and, bang, there it is. Perfect. One touch of the beak and it’s there.
So, back to now and here’s hoping something proper interesting happens soon. Maybe snow?
Brilliant laugh, and I bet Brighton’s got some neat sledging spots. Mart’ll be made up. He even came up with an idea for a sledge a couple of years back. One of the few good ideas he’s ever had. May even go get us one so we can have it standing by.
New Year’s Eve turned out to be exactly the mellow affair we’d been after. Good company and a quiet night courtesy of Nigel and Maureen on their roof – see post below. They’d even managed to score some cheese. Hadn’t had cheese in ages, so we did all that and then watched the fireworks go off from what is probably the best view in Brighton. It even stayed dry for once. The only snag with cheese before sleep is the dreams. Jesus. I’d forgotten about the cheesy dreams! Of course Mart’s included some sort of superhero action where he saved a Llama in distress from a cliff top in Peru. Mine, on the other hand, was just fucking weird. It included riding a sausage dog on Brighton beach and living in a large wholemeal baguette called Simon. WTF? I can still smell its doughy interior. Mental.
After that Mart and me spent the weekend lugging our Christmas decoration to the bin. We had to do it in several stages due to its awkward shape and size. On the odd year we have managed to find one, it’s always sad when we take it away. One minute there it is on our ledge all shiny and proud, the next it’s sat next to a dirty old bin. I’ve never honoured one with a photo, but somehow, colour aside, this one was kind of special:
So, onto 2015. Forget the Year of the Goat, this year, apparently, is the year of austerity. The year when no-one has anything at all. Scary stuff, especially for us pigeons who don’t have much to start off with. Less food to go round equals less food getting chucked equals less decent throwaway. Not good. I’ve been interviewing a few locals this week to see what they think about the whole austerity thing. One of them told me to get down to Jubilee Square, so I did, and this is what I found. Some dude standing very still in front of a sign saying ‘Temptation @ Jubilee Library’:
Eh? I’ve no idea what the sign is doing there, but what I did find out is the local pigeon community has decided to use it as a frontage for what they’re calling ‘The Brighton Austerity Meditation Centre’. I asked one of them what their name was and what it was all about.
He said his name was Pigeon Purna:
“My name is Pigeon Purna. Purna means full and complete, because I am full and complete. That is what lies at the heart of the Brighton Austerity Meditation Centre.” I instantly regretted asking him, but he went on anyway. “The Meditation Centre is a place where pigeons can come to learn, and practice, the art of saying ‘No thank you. I don’t need it right now’. Most pigeons find it hard to resist anything they see on the ground. We’re trying to teach them to stand aside and perhaps let another pigeon who needs it more have whatever it is. It’s really about learning to share, and that food is not everything.”
Yeah, right, and that’s coming from a pigeon whose name sounds like an Indian takeaway dish. Try telling your average pigeon food isn’t everything. I asked him how it worked.
“It works through a simple meditation. Sometimes we do a chant, but more often it’s just standing still in front of The Instruction, focusing on the breathing, clearing the mind and taking ourselves to a place where food means nothing at all.”
This group were at it when I was speaking to him:
That said, I do get it in principle. Not jumping on every piece of shit you see would be a useful tool. I could certainly have done with it the day I ate the first piece of shit I saw only to discover it was actual shit. The thought of it still makes me gag. I think meditating on it might be a bit over the top though. Not sure I could do it. Standing still for even thirty seconds make me queasy. Don’t think I could do five if I was hungry, but I guess it if works for them, although clearly not for everyone. I caught this dude waddling away after giving it a go:
There’s no denying 2015 is going to be tough, but we’re ready. Even Mart and me have stockpiled a few emergency crispy crusts that are maturing nicely in a secret store ‘somewhere near Shoreham’.
Happy New Year again, everyone, and a big up to 2015.