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 Winners have plans, losers an excuse…
message posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The national race from Bourges at the end of July had its course. Still it was a bad race. Everybody knew that on Saturday, the day of release, the weather wouldn’t be good in Belgium, all weather reports agreed about the bad weather conditions.  Still they released the pigeons, nothing against it but much too late. How many times didn’t I already tell that if they want to set the pigeons free with bad weather, they should do it as soon as possible. No, they waited till 9.30 to set the birds free. Conclusion…a bad race and many pigeons, which spend the night outside with all its consequences. Nevertheless, the weather was good and also the visibility was good, which we could see on television. Why didn’t they release the pigeons at 7.00 a.m.? Consulting and consulting about what to do.  Wait till tomorrow or set them free anyway? Finally they came to a decision, but two and an half hour too late…It’s a disgrace. But it’s always easy to give critics on the companions and the organisers. Don’t we do the same when we take our pigeons away ourselves? Some weeks ago, it happened… nice weather when we took of at home for a training flight of 80 km. When we almost arrived, we got a phone call. Our daughter Linda was taking driving lessons when we left, so she didn’t know that we were gone but she could guess…and she didn’t call just like that. “You’re not on your way to release the pigeons, are you?” she asked, “There’s lightening and it rains very hard.” And yes, when we drove aside, we saw the dark clouds, which came closer very fast. And what happened then? Discussion.  My wife, as always, very calm in such situations, said :”It’s up to you!” I choose to release them anyway because it still was clear in the northern direction. A few minutes later, we opened the baskets and they were gone…But what do you think? They flew straight towards the thunderstorm instead of choosing the direction where it still was clear. May be this was optical illusion? When we drove back home, we had to stay about 10 minutes at the side of the road because it rained very hard and we saw less than a couple of meters ahead of us. It was too late to consult…and we weren’t in the mood to have sex and in fact my wife doesn’t like bis-numbers. But as always, after rain there’s sunshine, that’s what we thought and hoped. When we arrived back home, I knew immediately. Not one living soul to see. Usually there are some pigeons that fly from one side to the other but now nothing… My wife advised me to go and see, she would wait for news.  When I went inside the lofts and opened the doors one by one, I go tan ice cold feeling. Only our three “baits” were on the loft. Not one feather had returned. I ran downstairs, into our house without looking at my wife, who remained outside to wait for the birds to come home. That’s what you have with women, they are ambitious. And we have to be carful because a recent study proved that the resemblances between men and women on the working floor are bigger than the differences. It seems that women experience more feelings of stress and guilt than men. But isn’t all of this not the result of a happy marriage, which is a case of give and take: the man gives and the woman takes… Ten minutes later…a first group of 15 pigeons arrived, a bit later another 20…and the none by one. Finally there were no lost. It could have turned out otherwise. I felt guilty…I wanted to set them free because I didn’t want to change anything in my program.  Rarely my wife didn’t call me names. She was there when I set the birds free. She watched without saying anything.  May be it’s true that love turns you blind but once you get married, your eyes will open up.... With the arrival from Bourges, we started to use eye-drops in the eyes and the nose.  It disinfects and soften the eyes. We think it to be useful before the pigeons leave and after they get back home. Those that use drops more than once a week will think it to be a good idea at the beginning. The eyes become dry and the edges become very white. Still, by experience, we learned that by using those drops a lot, it also has disadvantages. The feathers, that cover the ears, will soon show signs of wear and their ears will slowly become nude. For the biggest part of the fanciers the season with the old and yearling birds ends with the national race from Bourges. We, who put in our birds every week till the last national race from Gueret (September 10th), can easily miss that fault. So we prefer to do all of this without exaggerating. Still,  Willem de Bruijn , a friend from Reeuwijk (Holland) told us last year: “They don’t fly with their ears!” And yes, last year we continued playing these birds with that handicap. They remained scoring but not at the top… This is something to remember.

BLUE HEAVEN LOFT :  Was Bourges National an irregular race and we also had lost but not that many.  On Monday evening, all birds already were back on the rails. They had to because we anted to play Blois (454 Km) that weekend and this with all birds. Also Blois was a tough race. Personally we don’t complain but all races that are open too long, have many lost. To try out, we also played the national race from Tulle (637km.). We had 5 old hens, which stayed among the youngsters and which also did the national race from Bourges.  We prepared them as good as possible. Tulle was heavy too, and again, according to many fanciers, a bad release. We won 4 prizes out of 5 we put in. Not bad because these birds had to race every week the heavy middle distance from the beginning of May. For a few days now, we found out here on BLUE HEAVEN LOFT, that we own some night-flyers. Our second bird from Tulle was clocked at 23h55m44s. Around 23.00 p.m., I went upstairs to check out and to see that may be there wasn’t another Tulle-racer on the loft.  Our first pigeon was clocked at 21h01m34s, good for a 11th place on the result of Obrafo Tienen. Normally no bird could arrive any longer because it rained very hard and it was dark as hell. So I was very much surprised when the next morning at 6 o’clock, I noticed that the 2068082/09 was clocked a few minutes before midnight. It still surprises me that she could get home in that weather and in that darkness. This is another prove that we don’t know all about our feathered friends. To us, it’s a prove now that night racers do exist. When you don’t put in pigeons, you never can get the experience.

“Ik ben echt  gelukkig...
met zo’n meubel in huis...”

The idea of my wife now: “May be next year we can put in some for Barcelona?” When you don’t go your own way, nobody can get in front of you.  And my wife…she still surprises me every day, inconstant as she is, but Handy with problems you don’t expect, which always happen in every days life. And me, from my side, I’m still trying to convince her that the ideal husband never drinks, never smokes, never flirts and… that he doesn’t exist… Now up to the national race from Argenton… BLUE HEAVEN LOFT will be ready. Although these are worries for tomorrow. We’ll see…To all readers, a lot of success.


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© 2004 Michel Vanlint
Michel Vanlint
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