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Musings (04-02-24)

Sometimes a person hears statements that are so true that he keeps them in mind for a long time. For example, the late Stan Raymaeckers told me that you have to be careful when giving pigeons to club or village members. And selling to them is even riskier. If so you had to know them very well, thought amiable Stan.

Stan: 'The point is that we all breed more bad birds than good. So there is a real chance that the other will fail with your pigeons. And they may think, or possibly openly say, that you gave them junk.
And such a man who has no confidence in you (anymore) is better off living far away from you than that you meet him every week in the clubhouse.
Of course, it often happens that pigeons do not come out well with the other because he is a poor handler.  
But who admits that about themselves? Who has so much self-knowledge?
The man who fails usually looks for a cause, but rarely where to look for it: In himself.
Stan also: 'I've had my lessons. I still donate pigeons, but I know to whom.'

You can love a sport as much as you like, annoyances are inevitable. For me, especially in football, these are the 'eternal' return and passing the ball around, 'sticking the wheel' in cycling, in pigeon sport there are several.  
Take the weekly liberations.
It must be admitted; The persons who are responsible are sometimes faced with extremely difficult tasks, and of course mistakes are made.
What annoys me enormously is not letting the birds go when it could have been. ‘Because of the weather.’ Always the weather. The Dutch make that mistake more often than Belgians, it seems. Don't those people realize how discouraging it is for the fancier not to be able to race their well-cared for pigeons, while provinces/provinces that did release had a nice race?
If flying is no longer possible with some clouds or showers, it is better to find another hobby. Or move to another country.
Not taking any risks, so cancelling when in doubt, also means that we are creating salon pigeons and better organize indoor races from now on. By playing it safe, you will indeed make fewer mistakes. But in pigeon sport it's not about who makes the fewest release mistakes.
Can you hear the chairman in the autumn meeting? 'Not a single release that went wrong.' The fact that his club could play four times less than others is not mentioned.

The heat protocol is another thing. More than once it happened that in hot weather there was no racing in the Netherlands, while in Belgium races did take place 'normally'. Well, 'just': They were sometimes (drastically) shortened.
If birds can be released early and the pigeons are home at 10.00 am or (much) earlier, a lot is possible. Also 30 Celsius.
And why not basket them later in the evening  
The Dutch are far too scared with releasing, according to border residents, Belgians sometimes reckless.

It has been a few years since I received a visit from a group of Easterners. They wanted to buy pigeons, the intermediary had said.
So I put some in the basket plus my best old ones. The latter out of pride.
Poor me: The pigeons were not even looked at, they were not given a glance. They wanted to see pedigree cards.
I still remember how one of those guys suddenly got very excited. "Wow, Wouwel," he cried triumphantly. "He means van d Wouwer," said the interpreter.
And how crushing the irony of fate can be: It was the same man who asked for pigeons a few years earlier, but there should not be unknown names in the pedigree. Like that of... v d Wouwer.

I still have two contacts left from my student days. One of them, 'Jan', came to visit again. He inquired about the theft of my pigeons ('no news'), we chatted about 'the good old days' and then he said that 'Piet' (again not the real name) had also quit'. "Piet?" Who was that again?
Jan: 'Don't you remember? Together we once visited you. Then he pulled out his phone and found what he was looking for. A picture of Piet. I got it.

How could I have forgotten it? He was someone with bright red hair with a bun on the back of his head to compensate for all he had lost in the front.
He was reminiscent of the many women in their 40s who desperately try to look like their daughters.
Jan: Piet made it. Several apartments in Gran Canaria, a few very expensive cars, a VIP card for Ajax. And he has contacts with a renowned escort agency. 'All equally beautiful, well-shaped and sweet.' Piet didn't say anything, just sat there looking ahead like a fool. Why had he come with me, I wondered.
That soon became apparent. He didn't race well, wanted to buy some youngsters and asked me to make a list of the medicines he had to give his pigeons.
Phew. A list of 'all necessary medicines?' For the first time in a long time, I felt the need for two things. A cigarette and another cigarette.

Then he showed a video. From his wife who was taking care of the pigeons. The animals barely moved. Not because they were so tame, they were clearly far from healthy. Not tight, not vital.
Screwed with antibiotics, I thought.
'You shouldn't give healthy pigeons medicine', I said.
He never did, he said, but I was 100% sure he was lying.
Then I'll lie back, I thought and said I couldn't miss a pigeon. After all, I was pretty sure that they were going to look like these. Hopelessly poor.

Beginners in particular would do better to learn how to keep pigeons healthy before introducing new species, let alone spending money on them. Even the best pigeons will not perform well in the midst of a bunch of unhealthy loft mates !!