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Racing Pigeon

Friday, January 1, 2010 8:57:12 AM Categories: Olney
We have had visitors, a Mr and Mrs Charles & Elizabeth Knight of Olney in Buckinghamshire. For the benefit of those to whom English is a second language, the pronunciation of Knight is Nite and the pronunciation of Olney is Oh Knee and the pronunciation of Cowper is Cooper. - And while we're about it the pronunciation of pronunciation is pronunciation. My children have had a succession of primary school teachers who insist on teaching them, actively teaching them, to say 'pronounciation', but they resisted, referring the relevant teachers to oh, just about any English dictionary at all in support of their insubordination. - I mention Cowper because Mr Bob Knight of the parish of Rangiora, once lived in Cowper's house in Olney. He kept hares amid bouts of insanity. Cowper, not Bob Knight. Bob Knight only keeps penny farthings.
 
Since Mr Knight Snr. is an engineer he spent most of the time fiddling with a certain Wotan shaper which he found behind the sheds, freeing off the ram and elucidating the function of all the knobs and levers with which it is festooned. - I hired a HIAB in the end, at the cost of $250, and it made the moving a painless experience. Mr Macdonald, who is the KiwiHPV newsletter editor, had wanted me to lift it with planks and ropes and pulley blocks and tow it home on a robust bicycle trailer and write it all up for him as an Adventure, but I'd had enough adventures in workshops recently and had no wish to add a squashed toe to my munted eyeball by way of gratifying his machine-tool-relocation fantasies.
 
As all the Knights were leaving we boxed up our racing pigeon - we don't keep hares - and they took it over the mountains so it would go home to Auckland. We didn't have a racing pigeon till recently. We found it a fortnight ago. It wasn't a terribly successful one. It was on its way to Auckland from Timaru and thought our scullery was part of the route, which it wasn't. Our scullery proved to be a cul-de-sac. The Internet revealed the owner and the owner requested grain and water and a cardboard box till there was a southerly to help it o'er the Cook Straits, but when after a couple of days there was a southerly the pigeon disobliged and remained, somewhat hazardly I imagine, exactly below where my wife's new bantam hens roost. I expect it spent the nights dodging. It certainly spent the days dodging because we daily chased it into Kay's garden, but ten minutes later there it was again, blinking innocently in the middle of the workshop. Anyway yesterday we boxed it up and handed it to Bob, who was as you may have guessed in charge of his parents, and they drove off and according to his subsequent email
 
released it at Denniston, just outside of Waimangaroa, right on the coast at about 3.00pm. This is 125km as the crow or rather pigeon flies. The pigeon was a bit carsick, I think, but very much alive and tried to get back into the car or at least under it. It looked a bit miffed when we drove off. It was not there when we drove back down the hill after looking at the incline. There was a very strong southerly blowing at the time. - Bob
 
I found it sitting in our scullery at 10 pm.
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