Friday, 11 April 2014

A big day out (for 2 baby pigeons)

Before I start I should give you a bit of an explanation here, so you know that I'm not completely barking mad....My brother has racing pigeons, and so does John - the bloke with the allotment next to mine. Last year my brother and John met and agreed to breed each other 2 birds for each other, the pigeons my brother bred for John we're delivered (by car) about 3 weeks ago. Early last week my brother got the nod that the 2 birds John bred were ready. John offered to drive half way to meet my brother, but my brother knew that I was visiting at the weekend and thought it would be easier if I took them.

I did explain to my brother that I would be coming on the train, they'll be fine (he said), I'll be taking them to work I said, they'll be fine (he said). And so it was agreed.
I picked the birds up on Thursday after work, I popped to the supermarket (left the birds in the car) and brought them home. They stayed in their box in the porch all night.

In the morning they came to work, I put the box in a bag, mainly because I can carry a bag with 1hand and also not to draw attention to myself. I did get a few funny looks, but no one asked "what's in the box". I got to work okay and put the box in a large cupboard.

I sent an email around the team so no one got a fright when they went into the cupboard, a few people wanted to "have a look" or take photos, because "you never see baby pigeons" I put some water in a dish I took, and put it in the box for them.
On the metro

I left the lid off the box and stretched a hair net over, so they had some light, could see out but couldn't escape (they couldn't fly).

We had a long chat at coffee about pigeon racing, testing my knowledge of how I think/remember my brother and dad doing it and how pigeons race, the younger ones race on their stomachs and older ones back to a mate. I must have sounded like a geek, but my dad and brother have been doing this for over 15years, it's hard not to notice.

On the train
It reminded me of school, when you had to talk about "My interest" and you could take something in to show (a sticker album, a rubber collection, a pet) people in your class could ask you about it and then you'd do a write-up afterwards.

I left work earlier and headed to the station, back on the escalator, on the metro and settled them onto the train to Kings Cross and we enjoyed the train ride to Northallerton (about 50mins).

My brother in law picked me (& the birds) up from the station and dropped me at my mums.

I think they enjoyed the adventure, I think I did too.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Before I've even seen it "The Great British Allotmenteer"

I haven't seen the show, I've seen the trailer & the entry information, but here's my thoughts on Great British Allotmenteer. I may end up watching it and love it....

I have an allotment, about 1mile from the north sea coast, near Earsdon (North Tyneside).

Mr Lisa tells me about a new "Great British" TV show/amateur competition for people, they get a plot of land (somewhere down south) and over about 8 weeks have to grow veg/flowers and make stuff.

Do I want to enter the show?
Certainly not.

And here's why:
1. I have an allotment, I can't just leave it for 8weeks to take on a new plot for a competition and I can't give it up for the sake of a competition (there's over 100 people waiting for plots on our site).
2. I have about 10yrs allotment experience from growing veg in a northern climate, all those competitors who live nearer to the site would have an unfair advantage.
3. As well as having an allotment to continue to maintain, I have a full time job, so popping down to the competition site (100+ mile drive) isn't my kind of fun.

I've enjoyed the other "Great British" shows, bake off and sewing bee, but with allotment - you're going a bit too far. Nice concept but you're alienating anyone who manages an allotment (on their own) and lives 100+ miles of the competition site.