February 01, 2013

When you simply positively absolutely have to....

I'll be honest 2013 started the way 2012 finished - badly! A family member taken to hospital on Christmas day, worry for a while then, after a brief respite, a death on Nicky's side. To exacerbate the situation we were unable to get to the funeral due to the snow.

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.


  1. Auctions,well they are deadly.Six years or so ago I fancied an Avocet.Went along to Chiswick and ducked out at £350.You still had to add on the VAT and Auctioneers cost after that.The money I did not use went towards my Barder deposit.

    I ended up getting an Avocet at a decent price.Glad you got the rod.I am now waiting for the Spaniard to sell up,good pickings me thinks ;-0

    Twickenham tomorrow for me,god bless corporate hospitality ;-0

    1. The Spaniard may have to sell up soon to pay off all his libel cases :o) Enjoy your day out lover, swing low and all that.

    2. "Aladdin's Cave of treasure that titivates the senses whilst reducing the common sense"
      And the pocket too!
      Still I think you will get away with it this time ;o)
      Nice early Speedia for me today, wanted a nice one and waited for a while to get the right one. Chap only selling because he sold the barder it was married to.
      Have a mental picture of you patrolling the banks of the Wye in a pony skin fur coat....I think perhaps a donkey jacket more befitting ;op x

    3. 2013 has finished? Jeez! Where did that go? ;o)

    4. Well done Rich, wondered who'd spot that one first - ahem!

      Well done on the Speedia, long may it's ratchet rasp.

  2. Very sorry to hear about the losses and endings. January has been a rather dark month, eh? Fittingly I suppose. Here's hoping the year gets better. But my, that's a fine looking rod! Just in time for spring! Cheers to better times, my friend. And fewer auctions, perhaps. ;-)

    1. Life's about how you deal with the bits between the crap and a new rod always helps. Thanks for your words Erin.

  3. Nice looking rod that Mr Burr, well done for holding your nerve and getting want you want.