A Spring Chicken Called Frieda
So, you might wonder where I’ve been the past few weeks. Slough. Kid you not. For those of you who have never heard of it, if you look at the link you’ll see why. Its biggest claim to fame is a massive industrial estate. It’s a pretty dreadful place, but Mart and me used to hang out there back in the day so we thought it would be nice to take a fly down the memory highway, otherwise known as the M4. Turned out to be a total shlep from Brighton, and then still a right shithole when we got there. Okay, so they’ve done a bit of urban regeneration, but it hasn’t made much difference. It’s still as grey and concrete as it always was, just with a massive Tescos where the bus station used to be. One of the best things about Slough back in the day was the Greyhound stadium, and even that’s gone. I remember playing Shit or Miss on the racing greyhounds like it was yesterday.
Course we ticked all the tourist boxes. We visited the Jubilee River, walked around a bit on the turrets of Windsor Castle, tucked into some splendid throwaway at the back of Akash Tandori on Burnham High Street, as good as ever. Check out the reviews if you don’t believe me. Best bit of peshwari I’ve ever had.
Sadly, one of the hightlights was going to be a beer festival at the The Royal Standard in Woburn Green, so we went up there only to find out it’s this weekend. Real shame too as beer festivals are always a winner. Just wander about under the barrels with the beak open. Carnage guaranteed. Oh well.
Then Mart suggested visiting Dorney Court’s recently re-furbed outdoor eating area, so we headed over in the sunshine, and suddenly our holiday took a whole new turn for the better. Soon as we got there, the crumbs were flying with seemingly little objection coming from any of the punters, mainly because we remained at ground level. I don’t get why any pigeon would go straight for the table. It’s always going to end in tears.
Then, to top it all, we met Frieda. Frieda is a chicken, which is unfortunate as I have to confess I found her rather attractive. She was also one of the funniest chickens I’d ever met. In fact I’d go as far as to say one of the funniest birds I’ve ever met, and I’ve met some funny birds.
This is Frieda:
Our first conversation was on the more serious note of life behind wire. I’d always wondered what chickens made of it, so I asked her.
“Know what?” She said, “It’s how it’s always been, and if it means I’m not going to be ending my days in some fox’s gob, I’m happy!” I got her point.
“What do you call a fox with a carrot in each ear? Whatever you like. He can’t hear you!” She said.
It wasn’t a particularly funny joke, but it was the way she told it. Everyone fell apart.
Then I asked her if she’d ever consider escaping and maybe paying Brighton a visit..?
“Not fucking likely. Not sure I can even remember how to fly!” She said.
Oh well. I’ll take that as a no then. I’ll definitely pay her another visit if ever I head out to Slough again. So – we’re back in Brighton now in time for the festival to kick off. The sun is shining and the tourists are pouring in. Bring on the summer. The throwaways, Shit or Miss on the seafront, National Pigeon Day celebrations – yes, there will be one, even if it’s just for the party. Any pigeons out there thinking of coming down to the seaside, now’s the time to do it.