From The Chair By Chris Williams
I was going to title this article “Prozac, Pigeons and Fake News “but went up the loft sat with the pigeons and counted to ten, something which the modern fancier needs to do more of today than ever before, because if we don’t take time away from the monotony of modernity then we can lose sight of what is the most important thing in the sport and what its really about, the love of the racing pigeon. If you can hold that fact in your mind and heart when all about you are losing theirs the birds will thank you for it in the end. It’s better channelling your energy into something productive to focus and clear the mind.
This made me think of something a fellow scribe said to me just the other day. “Your attitude always brightens me up. Positivity only for Mr Williams in a relaxed manner Love it mate.” I almost fell out of my wheelchair laughing, you see, I honestly do not think of myself as having a relaxed manner, maybe it is an impression you give off in a permanently sedentary position but remember Swans on a lake, on the surface they look a picture of serenity however under the water their legs are working like crazy to keep them afloat, so sometimes you need to take a breath, step back and think, after all “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare”, W.H Davies who penned those beautiful poetic words did so to warn against the hectic pace of modern life and how it has detrimental effect on the human spirit, as this was in the 1900’s I shudder to think what he would have written about 2021?
The 21st century is an age in which we are bombarded with huge amounts of information, newspapers, online subscriptions, 24-hour news channels, twitter Facebook you name it the quantity is endless, if only we could trust it all. The children’s game of Chinese whispers is no way to gather sensible or more importantly accurate information and the same applies in the pigeon world. Being honest dear reader at times I am starting to wonder if social media when it comes to pigeon sport should come with a free subscription for Prozac? If it is not full of doom and gloom and misinformation, there is someone falling out with fancier X or Y because they cannot take a joke which sometimes means pulling the plug out the computer and gong to the loft is best for all, not to mention the pigeons! Now please do not get me wrong I use social media a lot, it is a lifeline for many with disabilities to the outside world, but it is all about how you use it. After all there some particularly good sites for pigeons and they should be commended for bringing fanciers together in a way which paints a positive picture of the sport as this is vital if we want to attract more public interest as we need to remember pigeon fanciers are not the only ones who view the internet’s social media platforms!
It is a phrase made infamous by a former American president that has now slipped into common parlance but there is no getting away from the dreaded “Fake news” which is so often taken as gospel truth. The RPRA has an excellent email Bulletin called “Pigeon post” which provides fanciers with all the important updates straight from the horses or should I say pigeons mouth concisely which immediately clears up any miss understanding. For my own piece of mind, I now think of it like this “if not from RPRA then stay the hell away”. Trust me it works and I’m not a doctor, but I have known a few in my “walk” of life, well you have to laugh don’t you.
A friend of mine from Tipton in the west Midlands who believe me when I say knows what it takes to makes a great story, gave me some sound advice about writing: write what you know and what’s real, that is why I am a stickler for facts and why I try and write about fanciers who I call real people because you immediately know where you stand and what or whom your working with and it makes it much more enjoyable. You see in life and in pigeon racing we need to enjoy what we do but the sad thing is many have forgotten this. You often hear it said in relation to the English football
premier league that years ago people played for the love and enjoyment of the game, unlike many of today’s multimillion pound players who many would argue fall over at the slightest touch. There are those who also say the same of the pigeon racing, although perhaps it is foolish to keep talking about pigeons and money because it has always been a factor to one degree or another and people have the right to spend when, where and how they choose to.
Most importantly we must not forget enjoyment and sportsmanship because without this you have nothing, and the game is over. What is it they say do not take life too seriously because you will not get out alive, well in pigeon racing forget to have fun and you have already lost!
In Hamlet Shakespeare tells us: Tis an un -weeded garden that grows to seed. The inhabitants of a pigeon loft must be treated in the same manner because as all fanciers know it is important to have quality pigeons, but this is exceptionally important for the small team flyer when space within is at a premium. From my own perspective this is exceedingly difficult part of the sport because when you have limited movement you must be “extra critical” when evaluating the birds because the last thing you need is to bog yourself down with more birds than you can manage, yes I know Dad and I race together and he does the lion share of physical tasks but that doesn’t mean we want large numbers because that’s too much hard work for us and pigeon sport must be fun because if you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life! Take it one day at a time, one race at a time and enjoy the simple life with pigeons because it isn’t what you do but how you do it that matters and life’s better when you’re having fun.
Until next time I wish you Happy Easter and as always enjoy your pigeons.