Introducing ‘The George Report’

Post alert: This is a long one!

First off, Happy New Year! Can you still say that in Feb? Secondly, if you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me in ages (again), here’s why.

From the minute I arrived in Cornwall, the weather has sucked arse. If it’s not raining, it’s windy. If it’s not windy, it’s foggy. There’s also a weather state down here the locals like to call ‘mizzle’. That really is the pits. It’s a misty drizzle combo that generally stays all day. The worst of all worlds. At least in London there are decent bridges to get under. Down here it’s in your face from the minute you wake up. So I found myself a bush, and hunkered down. Literally. Apart from the odd waddle over to the lake for a leg stretch, I’ve barely left its cover since I arrived! Kid you not.

Mart, on the other hand, was immediately bursting with excitement and didn’t give a shit about the relentless wet. He got bang on it making friends and seeing the sights. How the tables turn! I’m sure everyone down here thought I was one miserable pigeon, and they weren’t wrong. I didn’t talk to anyone and steered well clear of any group activity. The local beach tour, Dairyland, Newquay Airport. Couldn’t be arsed with any of it. Mart, however, did it all. He went on for hours about the Dairyland Bull Pen. Best thing he’s ever seen, apparently.

Even though I knew it was good for me to be here, I didn’t see the point of it. For starters there weren’t enough pigeons around, or none worth hanging out with anyway. Certainly none that dug poetry or gave a shit about rising crime levels amongst the squirrel population. Most of them I’ve met have come here in search of the quiet life and seem to be quite content to just ‘pick at the pavements and watch the world go by’. Don’t understand that at all. Why would you want to watch it all ‘go by’ without getting involved??

The truth is, I think I was determined the whole thing just wasn’t for me. I sulked. I missed London and I missed my mates. I missed the dust and the noise. The cut and thrust of City life. The sweaty edginess. I also missed the partying, which meant deep down I also knew I was in the right place… Bit by bit, despite being generally pissed off most of the time, I started to feel my brain piecing itself back together again, and by November I could even make it through a whole day without thinking about sticking my head in a pile of fermenting beery foam. Clearly a good thing! Smells started to mean something, and I could actually taste what my beak was stuck into. A blessed relief after more recent errors of judgement than I care to mention…

Unlike me, Mart seems to have settled here better than anywhere else we’ve lived. He told me the best bit was the fact all the birds have learned to speak eachother’s lingo. Initially this sounded like my idea of hell, until I thought about it. Unlike London where there are so many pigeons no-one gives a shit about communicating with any other bird, down here that isn’t an option. Birds need to talk to each other, simple as, and with that comes a whole new level of integration. Swans talk to ducks. Ducks talk to seagulls. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, the fact that a sparrow can be friends with a chicken (yep – it’s true), but that’s how it is. So much for multicultural London. What I’ve learned since being here is big Cities can be the least culturally mixed places on earth. Okay, so there are loads of different versions of bird, but everyone sticks to their own, and with that comes a lack of trust and understanding. I’m sure if the pelicans in Hyde Park had got to know the pigeons a bit better there would never have been that horrible mix up where Derek got swallowed (click here for the full story).

Anyway, Christmas soon arrived. I swerved the group lunch in Newquay town centre in favour of some more solo bush-time, and that’s when Mart said he’d had enough. He got back from his festive jolly-up, suggested we go off and do my Christmas Pigeon Blog post wishing you lot a Happy Holiday, and when I said I couldn’t be arsed, he went mental. Lost the plot. Said I needed to pull myself together. I was shocked to the core! Mart has put up with so much over the years. He’s dragged his feathery arse all over the shop for me in the name of Pigeon Blog, and he’s never moaned about it. Not once.

He said I couldn’t just say, “Hi, everyone, I’m back!” only to disappear again. The thing is, I knew he was right; I just didn’t have the energy for it. Then he said he’d had an idea, and it turns out it was the first idea of his that might actually work!

He said that during the lunch he got talking to a seagull called George. Talking to seagulls isn’t something I’ve ever enjoyed before, but he said I should give George a shot. Turns out George has always fancied himself as a bit of an investigative journalist. Mart told him about Pigeon Blog and how, back in the day, I’d been the voice for pigeons everywhere on a wide range of pertinent issues. How I organised protest fly-bys and Pigeon Olympic events back in 2012  and have been speaking out for the persecuted and misunderstood since 2006.

George suggested he could do some reports for Pigeon Blog, maybe even a weekly one. Call it ‘The George Report’. Not a bad idea at all, so I told Mart to tell George to come see me.

The three of us ended up spending New Year together. They even got me to leave my bush. So, with fireworks banging off all around us as we perched on the harbour wall, we hatched a plan. Pigeon Blog should cover a wider range of subjects outside of the pigeon world, and down here where all birds are equal is the perfect place to make that happen. He said he knew others who would be up for contributing, and suddenly the thought that I could stop the running around and just be Editor in Chief or At Large or whatever sounded rather appealing. Let the younger generation do the wing work. Perfect. Nice one, Mart!

I told him I’d need a photo, so Mart took this. George said he wanted to show his more serious side:

IMG_7418

Hilarious.

The only snag with all this was I had no idea if he was any good… He could string a sentence together verbally, but could he piece it into a whole story in written form? Figured if he was any good though, there I’d be, legs up, sucking on choc chip ice cream under my bush while George was out and about writing shit about Cornish stuff.

So, here we go. This is what he sent me as his first report:

The George Report – Bringing you the stories that matter most in the South West and other places, by George S. Gull.

Many birds in Cornwall are becoming increasingly concerned by the amount of rain that is falling from the sky. Large black clouds have been looming above us for what seems like a very long time now. Possibly even since last August.

“It’s relentless. Never stops. I think everyone has had enough.” Said Thomas. As a duck, he’s born for the wet, so the fact even the ducks are saying enough already speaks volumes.

He’s right. According to weather.com, the average in February should be 110mm over 25 days. I reckon we had all that in the first two. The puddles are often so large they are mistaken for small lakes with groups of birds gathering at the edge looking for fish.

But the real concern down here is when is it going to stop, and what can be done about it?

“We need to be careful the ocean doesn’t overflow. Look at it. It’s filing up.” Said a Newquay Harbour resident, who wanted to remain anonymous.

It turns out the sea overflowing is now a major concern, not that it would bother us, or indeed any water-based bird, but touch on the subject with a pigeon and you get a whole different reaction.

I asked Lisa what she thought, and she just looked at me like a crazy bird and flew off. Maybe those who can swim should be teaching those who can’t? Just a thought.

In the meantime, watch this space for further updates on the rising waters, or will someone get to the plug in time and let some out?

(We had some serious rain a few years ago in London and wondered if building an ark might be an option? – Ed.)

And that was that. He left if there. A cliff hanger. Not bad for a first go, and nicely re-enforced my feelings about the climate down here. Fair play to him, and the fact the sea might overflow is clearly a genuine worry. I told him more pics were needed, so Mart said he’d lend a hand. We’ll see how that one pans out!

I had to ask him what the ‘S’ stood for. He told me his name was really Steven, but he got sick of the Steven Seagal joke and decided to call himself by his second name, George. Fair enough.

So, there it is. Where I’m at. Brian Pigeon, Editor in Chief. I’m liking the sound of that one. And now the sun has come out, it’s nearly spring; things seem to be looking up down here.

George is sending in another report next week. We’re thinking every weekend might work? The bottom line is George and Mart have come to the rescue and I’m feeling more motivated than I have done since I got here. I can still do the odd piece on the things that matter to me, while others can go out and about and fill in the rest.

Needless to say, if any of you want to send in a story, feel free! Mail it to me – brianpigeon AT gmail DOT com. Couple of simple rules – you have to provide a picture, at least based part time in the bird world, and not be advertising Viagra.

Right – I’m off for some food now. Thinking I may even wing it to Bodmin. Get me out from under by bush. Mart said he’d join me if I could wait until after he’d had his Editorial Strategy Meeting with George. Love it.

February 17, 2018. Uncategorized.

7 Comments

  1. Becci replied:

    We are always happy when you do post and this was a particularly good one, I think…getting a weekly report from George S. Gull would indeed be lovely!

  2. Lain Renoire replied:

    Great story and happy 2018 too!

  3. Jan Boyes replied:

    So good to find another Brian Pigeon blog in my inbox ……I was getting worried we hadn’t heard from you for a bit. All the best for 2018.

  4. Joseph Finn replied:

    Hey, sounds great. I like the idea of Brian Pigeon, Editor in Chief. It’s about time you gave that ole beak a rest before you give yourself brain damage like a diving gannet and invest your great skills and experience in new talent. George looks like he’s got it in him. He writes well. Long as he doesn’t get jaded and addicted to chips like so many. A newsletter with a bunch of dedicated keyboard tappers could be the go. Just what you need so life doesn’t pass you by while you hide yourself, and your light, under a bushel!

  5. Anne Guy replied:

    George will make a great reporter! So good to hear from you Brian stick with Cornwall…climate is warmer even when wet and just think of all the dropped pasties there will be come the summer!

  6. Lucas replied:

    Wonderful story.
    Please tak al look at: http://golebie.yum.pl/

  7. Pigeon type replied:

    Great story and happy 2018

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