To escape from the stress and the weather we had a very pleasant stay in Devon where we relaxed in front of the fire and read a lot. Coming home you soon realise that such holidays are temporary affairs and the search begins for a boost, that quick fix that helps you through this miserable time of year. So we went to an auction.
I really shouldn't be allowed in these places as they are an exciting Aladdin's Cave of treasure that titivates the senses whilst reducing the common sense. I am always fascinated by the taxidermy even though I have nowhere to display a large fish, bird or antelope's head. The tiger skin along with the photographic account of its demise, the boar lance (great to dissuade poachers) the ski's, the saddles and, especially attractive to Nicky, the fur coats. Oh no, you could never wear them without a tin helmet but they are beautifully made, look wonderful and are extremely warm, what is more coats that cost over £1000 many years ago are now going for around £100 - tempted? There was one made of pony skin - I'd love to announce that in certain company, light blue touch paper......
But the main reason for being there was of course the fishing tackle. Last time there was a plethora of goodies but this time considerably less and, to be blunt, the quality was much lower. However, a pearl amongst swine shone through and I put a cane rod together and swooned at its beauty. Neil was with me and agreed that it was a bit special, I left a bid.
At home I discovered that the rod was indeed special and rare, an Allcocks New Superb which is designed to tame barbel and carp - I figured my bid was too low and knew that I simply positively absolutely had to have it. I went back to the auction room to bid in person. The bidding was frenetic and shot past my first estimate, I joined in the fray and found I was up against John Farey a dealer and the owner of the highly recommended Fisherman's Emporium. I figured that if he wanted it that badly it was worth the effort so I dug in and eventually the hammer fell in my favour. I breathed a sigh and went to speak to John who said "If I'd known it was you bidding I'd have backed off", now he tells me!
Not to worry, I got a centre pin for a song and a box of books for £25 and found in it an unread copy of Ultimate Pike worth up to £100.
This tale has no moral, it is an account of retail therapy and a fortunate find or two. I won't recommend any of you going to sporting auctions as I don't want the competition should I spot another gem. So maybe there is the moral, stay away from auctions, unless its ebay and you want to buy a very good pike book.