One wi’ the heid and twa wi’ the pigeon

(as they don’t quite say in Glasgow).

I have a problem with positioning. I can skim the white line for a left-hand curve, ready to sacrifice position for safety, but I can’t make myself adopt the IAM-approved, boot-so-close it’s dusted with pollen from the roadside poppies, verge-hugging position for right-handers.

My suspicions of the verdant verges were only confirmed today when a pigeon, happily minding its pigeon business beneath the long grass on the verge outside Newmarket, got startled by the triple beat of Hinckley’s finest and rose up, only to meet its maker courtesy of a size 9 1/2 Altberg Albion Classic. Being hit in the shin by a pigeon feels a lot like being hit in the shin by a spiky, hard football travelling at about 60 mph (honest, officer).

While I feel sorry for the pigeon, who clearly came off the worst from our encounter, I’m very grateful that he could only achieve an altitude of boot-height rather than head-height. The vicar at the christening to which I was headed was unpeturbed by the arrival of a congregant in motorcycle gear – I think she would have been less forgiving if my gear had been decorated in pigeon gore. The C of E may have built many of its churches on pagan sites but offerings of entrails, I believe, are now deprecated in favour of crispy fivers.

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