The adventures of Pugnacious Antonym

For Christmas 2004 I received the following present with attached note:


Merry Christmas Rob,

Our gift to you great one, PROOF that there are chickens even on Mars!

From all the grateful chickens around the globe, who so much appreciate your dedication and the respect gained from your publicising efforts on our behalf.

Before we were unrecognised, now we are a known world force.

May the chicken Gods smile on you and yours, feather your nest and egg you on to greater goals.

With our greatest admiration,

Chief Peck-A-Peck Leghorn

I notice that they are keeping quiet about anywhere they may not yet have infiltrated but probably because they understand as much as anyone about the importance of a good challenge.

Anyway I have decided to call him Pugnacious (no connection to his temperament, it appears in the dictionary definition of rooster and I liked the sound of it. He's lovely really). In Fact I think his surname will be Antonym
Straight away I could tell this was no ordinary Gallus Domesticus, this was Gallus Viator (any Latin bods think I have this wrong then let me know, possibly Peripateticus).
On the first night out since he arrived I had a feeling that he was itching to come along and so have decided to chronicle his exploits here. He is starting small but I have a feeling he could be getting up to all sorts in no time at all.

Pugnacious world tour merchandise is now available. There are 2 shops where you can buy. operates out of the US but ships anywhere and has much lower base prices once the exchange rate is figured. Not really any choice of colour though. only ships to Europe but has more choice in clothing colours and even the option for the customer to specify their own text.

07 Jan 2005: 19th Hole

Pugs's first trip was a short one to the pub. Not just any pub though. According to the Scottish Golf History web site The Golf Tavern is the worlds oldest golf clubhouse. We were all for the upstairs due to the comfy seats and sofas.

The staff there are friendly and helpful even to the extent of posing for photos. Actually I am not sure they would do this for just anybody but who wouldn't want to be snapped with such a fine and outgoing chicken as Pugs.

Well, isn't this a turn up for the books. His first night out and some really famous people already. Well, not in the flesh but we all know about American president's propensity for golf and with Scotland being the home of the game it is not surprising that many of them come here. It seems that the Golf Tavern has golf balls signed by many of them although only three fitted in frame.

Proof again that people will flock to be seen with this soon to be famous. Here is a couple we met briefly. Unfortunately so briefly that I completely forget their names for which I apologise.

19 Jan 2005: Gambia

Well Pugs is over in Gambia with Barbara just now. He doesn't like phones so I have no updates as yet but he is back soon and we shall see what he is up to then.

25 Jan 2005: Framed

Whilst this may look like undisputable photographic evidence to the untrained eye it should be noted that there has been technological tampering involved. What the intrepid reporter, Ian Chappel, didn't realise is that just inside the igloo is a polar bear with a holograph generator causing it to appear as if one of the line-up was indeed our cuddly friend.
In any case he got it wrong. It's obvious it was number two. You can tell by the eyes.

31 Jan 2005: Return From Gambia

OK, so he returned to the UK on Saturday but not to me until the Monday and I still had to get hold of the pics. Well here they are. (More pictures coming soon.)

"Ahh, arrival. Now to wait for my ride. Not that I mind waiting around. The air is clear, the sun is shining. Hang on though, is this him?"

"Well, Looks like I have found someone to give me a lift so to speak. Careful where you put that thumb though.."

News of Pugs's arrival has preceded him and there is already a welcoming committee.

In the game of hide and seek this would have been an excellent hiding place behind the tree had it not been for the mirrored window.

Ahhh, this is the life. Need I say more?

Pugs finds an internet cafe and decides to say hello. But hang on. He doesn't have his own email address yet and, come to that, even know how to use a computer. There's only one thing for it.. Get someone else to start up ZooKeeper

As news of Pugs's visit spreads his new fans flock daily to greet him. Autographs all round and still they cry for more.

01 Feb 2005: Pugs's First Bath

It's a tad sandy over in Gambia and being the little scamp that he is Pugnacious managed to get himself quite dirty so I thought it was time for his first bath. He was a little nervous at first but came out loving it and can't wait to compare it to some of the more active fairground rides.

05 Feb 2005: North, way North

Louise went up north for her fathers birthday and Pugs was all too happy to tag along. And when I say north, it is very difficult to get a lot further north without there being a lot of water involved. He was off to Thurso.

"Yum! Birthday cake. Lovely, lovely birthday cake."

Oh well. It is wet, miserable, cold and windy. I think for now it would be best to stay in the warm and admire the view from here.

This is Mel. Possibly a future friend if she can get over her initial awe at Pugs's potential for celebrity.

Finally out and about and what a marvelous view.

Renewable resources for energy. Marvelous! We really do want a planet that is still around in a few hundred years. This is the wind farm at Caithness

Up above the streets and houses... OK, there is a slight shortage of houses here looking over the Moray Forth.

Stopping at Aviemore, Pugs got to play in the snow for the first time.

It's always good to learn new skills and, being a traveller, refuelling could be a useful one. Unfortunately this is the fill-up for the homeward journey.

11 Feb 2005: All Bar One

Pugs has decided that his local outings should have a purpose and so has decided to do an edinburgh pub review in between his global jaunts. All bar One was the fist since this descision.

To summarise, All bar one is very centrally located just off Lothian road and a short walk from the west end of Princes Street. It would have been a spacious pub from the outset had it not been first thing on a friday night and indeed all 15 of us were able to get seats before too long. There was a good choice of beer and a visibly large wine selecetion. The staff were friendly even though very rushed and were all to happy to help with the review once things had calmed down. The seating was comfortable but to get a really high chair rating then sofas are needed. All in all a good night was had by everyone. Even Barry despite the unfortunate chair incident.

Beer choice: 7
Wine choice: 8
Comfy chairs: 6
Staff freindliness: 7
Food: unsampled

Here we have the Manager and one of the staff during a friendly chat about the various adventures and the purpous of the review (as I say, something to do really).

Demonstrating the range of beers at just one of the tap stations.

Sampling one of the beers. This was Pugs's first time actually drinking so it is not surprising that he got a bit forward in introducing himself later.

Don't ask. Really, don't ask.

Meeting the many and varied people attending this particular establishement at the same time. May I appologise for my poor attempts to get rid of the redeye. I'll have another go when I get more time.

16 Feb 2005: The Legend of Bert's

Bert's Bar on William street has been a favourite of ours for a wednesday lunchtime pie and so was an obvious choice to place here and spread the word.

It is a relly nice pub on the cobblestone road known as william street not far from the west end of Princes Street. It has a regular rotation of guest ales chosen from among the finest available. Seating is in various areas with many a comfy, padded leather wall couches around tables suited for earing or drinking. There is a wide range of pies on offer but if pies are not to your taste for some obscure reason then other meals are on offer such as fish or baguettes. There are often also specials such as chicken lasagne, chille con carne or Irish stew. The staff are always freindly and it is a delight to lunch there on a regular basis. So much so that there is now almost a cult pie following in the office.

Beer choice: 7
Wine choice: you know, i really should have checked that
Comfy chairs: 8
Staff freindliness: 9
Food: 8 (nothing can get a 10 without there being steak on the menu)

Many great Scotish real ales are to be had here as you can see.

Lisa seems a relatively new addition although this may just because she has not done Wdnesday Lunchtimes before.

Louise has made us feel welcome ever since I was introduced to the phenomenon of Bert's pies. Here you can also see todays selection of pies.

22 Feb 2005: Carribbean Connection

After a brief detour via the South of England to stand in for me at Al and Lu's wedding, Pugs was of to Jamaica

Pugs gets ready to burn some rubber in Cantebury, If he can just overcome his light reach disadvantage.

At the wedding the father of the groom joins in Pugsmania.

Hi Amanda, you finally get to meet Pugs. Looks like a good time is being had by all down there.

At Heathrow airport and raring to go. Jamaica here we come!!

What!?! A 6 hour delay? Best find something to read then

Heare At last. A wee slurp of the old grasshopper then before headding out to the beach

And then relaxing on this comfy catameran that someone has kindly left on the beach.

After a hard day's relaxing there is nothing like relaxing by the pool but that would involve just too many stairs so here will do for now.

02 Apr 2005: Test For Echo

Pugs tries out hi musical talents with a band down south called Test For Echo

A few pointers from Ian on how it's done

Bring in the bass. I am sure the banner has always been there and this is not a blatent advertising ploy.

And who can forget the drummer. OK so Ian never told me the names of any other band members and pugs has a memory like his head was full of stuffing so...

After a few minutes of expert tuition Pugs is ready to give it a try. Looking good but more practice needed.

15 Jul 2005: A great night out but a sad loss of photos

A marvelous night was had. Starting at The Office on Lothian Road and then moving to The Pear Tree on West Nicholson Street.
Both are great pubs but unfortunately I am too upset about the loss of all of the photos to put the full evaluation up just now. I shall just have to organise other sessions at these wonderful establishements.

Now, after the pub we went back to a flat and though I have almost no memory of being there, apparently due to dropping off for a while, this was the only photo remaining on the camera and I can only assume that this is some act of contrition or a punnishement doled out by someone less asleep but possibly only marginally less inebriated than myself.

Fantastic! Thankyou very much Emmanuelle for this photo of Iris and yourself with Pugs at the Pear Tree. It has brightened my day.

13 Aug 2006: Pugs's first night at the edinburgh festival

Followers of the adventures may have been wondering where Pugs has been for over a year. Well, he had a little bit of a break and then was offered the opportunity for a trip to Thailand.
Unfortunately there was mass panic when it came time to get to the airport and he was left behind. He's been stuck in a cupboard in darkest Leicester since.
Emilie to the rescue though and after browbeating his captors into relinquishing (OK haveing a good hunt for him) flew him up here with her for the delights of the Edinburgh festival.

First order of business was the food so off it was to Phoenicia, a great little North African restaurant on West Nicholson Street. Great selection of delicious food and BYOB. Unfortunatly we were very hungry and so ate up all the food before I thought of capturing the fare so here is one of the freindly staff members.

Next stop, of course, a show. This one was Dr. Adam Kay of Amateur Transplants. I would highly recommend this unless you have had your sense of humour surgically removed (although if you are now regretting this then perhaps Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin will help).

Beer! The logical follow-on from food and a show. In this case Kronenberg Blanc by the Udderbelly which, for those not in the know, is a giant, blue, upside-down cow. Anyway, of course while there pug's wanted his photo taken with people at neaby tables and some random bloke just because he liked the hat.

16 Aug 2006: Pugs's 4th night at the edinburgh festival

He hasn't been idle in the mean time it's just there hasn't been much in the way of photo opportunities or there has been lapses of thought on part of the photographer.
Monday involved a long walk around Edinburgh, partly due to bad navigation. Thi sdid lead to a quiet night in that night. Tuesday there was carting, food and then a trip to Frankenstein's where there was a great midnight performance as the giant monster was released but again a failure to photograph.

Here we have Pugs's rescuer herself, Emilie by the floral clock at Princes Street Gardens and, yes, it does really tell the time.

We also climbed to the top of the Scott Monument and the regular crushes as you try to pass people coming the other way on a spiral stair case barely wide enough for yourself were well worth it for the view. More evidence of the photographer's lack of thought. Pugs isn't actually in any of them but I had to share the view.

One of the shows we had seen that day was the Kransky Sisters. Another absolutely fantasic show. Words escape me. We bumped into them later that night after coming out of and Ed Byrne show which we also really enjoyed and so of course Pugs just had to get his photo with them.

20 Aug 2006: Sunday night and boy am I glad I had the day off.

OK, after a long delay due to days off and my main comp being out of ation and lots of work while I was there these have been a bit late but here they are. It was a long night starting outside the Udderbelly, moving to the Pleasance and finally Teviot. A good night with Pugs's first real celeb meeting, a few people from the shows, OYSTER GUY and many friendly punters from all locations.

The office is a UK comedy set, bizarely enough, in an office and there abouts. Pugs spotted Ewen, who plays Keith, on his way to the burger van and just begged me to take him over for a photo. Those burgers did smell good.

A great thing in favour of the Pleasance as somewhere to drink is the Oyster Guy and his cousin. Wandering round selling fresh oysters. If you see him just yell "OYSTER GUY" and he'll wander over and trade you one of these delicacies for only one shiny pound. They are extremely tasty as is (I especially tried the one basic to check) but with a squeeze of lemon and one drop of tobasco they are marvelous.

Another show performer, Yay. Lucy Porter was at the Pleasance too. Things started out looking innocent enough but she seemed quite taken with Pugs and they took a worrying turn. Now unfortunately I have not seen the show yet but have heard good things. If I can get there before the close looming end of the festival I will.

And what long night out would be the same without photos of all the other folks around and having a great time. From the people with the pints to the people with the fliers to the people with the wee earpeices and the right to throw you out at closing, or before if you are being a complete arse. Many apologies for those that thought they were going to be immortalised here and are not but some of the photos went a bit mung