Save Us All From The Pigeons Against Temptation
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.