After a much needed Waitrose and Starbucks stop off Hin and I continue our epic drive to the land that draws us back for a weekend getaway. Portland is a self-confessed strange place. It markets itself on the eerie and displaced atmosphere of a tiny island dull of nothing but prisons and quarries. Pumped full of caffeine we arrive at our lodge and greet 2 men also checking in. Small chit chat revels that after breakfast they are due to release thousands of pigeons from the hill opposite- of course they are - we are in Portland. Hin and I knowingly chuckle and ask to join. Enthused they agree but warn there will be all sorts of press in attendance and promise to fully educate us on the world of pigeons. Needless to say we sleep well knowing that our stay here has started with an expectedly random itinerary.
The wind howls as we head over to the hill opposite our B&B where Hin eagerly prays the 'Gourmet' Pizza truck will be open for business.... alas it has relocated.
The 'pigeon men' proudly stand marking their territory in front of their recently polished pigeon trucks, eagerly checking their watches for the launch. They talk with the mayor and discuss pigeon politics and how they are fighting hard to educate children in schools on the importance of this great fowl. I take a portrait of one owner who dresses to compliment his breed and the group insists I capture an image with the plaque to mark a brave and noble pigeon that sadly passed. I remain as attentive as I think of tea and warmth and eventually the time for the launch arrives. It's a beautiful. The deafening sound of flapping wings mirrors the chaotic bundle of birds shooting from their pods.
What a lovely way to start the adventure...OAO xx