December 31, 2011


I picked the lock and snuck out of my prison cell yesterday - I actually went fishing! For the first time in a month I felt able to have a dabble and seized the moment. The river seemed a tad daunting so I went to my syndicate lake for a spot of spinning - well, it seemed appropriate.

I'd love to report on the excellent fighting qualities of the large perch or the dramatic lunges of the angry pike but I failed to move a single fin. I didn't really mind, I only fished for an hour or so when you deduct the time spent cutting out the biggest bird's nest I've ever had on a multiplier.

Catching something would have been nice but just getting out was enough really, I won't pretend that I felt as good at the end of the session as I did at the start but I was fishing rather than staring at my own four walls and I'll be out again very soon.

December 29, 2011

How was it for you?

Christmas is a bit like sex. All that build up and anticipation then pop! In a very short time its over.

(At this point I would just like to dig myself out of my analogy. Obviously, I could have written "its over for another year..." but that may imply a certain lack of energy or ambition on my behalf and I would also like to take issue with the "short time" element of that sentence, again, it is not meant as an accurate description of yours truly .... Shall I start again.)

Anyway, there is was - gone!

As I sit here in the post coital lull between Christmas Day and the effort to get excited about changing the date on the calendar that is the New Year, it is time to reflect on the holiday period. How was yours? Mine was just great. Giddiness aside I had a really good Christmas day with my lovely lady and favourite (only :-) ) son. Neil had spent the night with his girlfriend and her little boy and tasted for the first time the joy of spoiling a youngster on this special day. It was a revelation for him and he knows that it will be the norm for him from now on. Nicky and I also realised that it will be our last Christmas with Neil - singular, it will be the family hereafter.

We spoiled him rotten of course. We do like giving gifts and to see Neil's face when we dumped a sack full of goodies before him was a treat. I'd been to a tackle show and got a tremendous deal on a magazine subscription with £400 worth of gear for a mere pittance, it was just what he wanted Santa to drop by for him, that plus books booze and a pile of odds and ends and the set of Delkims that Santa also brought his dad - joy!

I even surprised Nicky and bought her some things that she wanted - result.

Star of the day was a poor waif that needed some Christmas compassion and was welcomed into our humble abode where he was given food and shelter. It was a juvenile hedgehog, the one we had fed all summer in an attempt to get it up to hibernation weight. It seems we fell short as it weighed a mere 12oz about half what is needed to get it through the winter. We've 'rescued' a few hedgehogs in the past but usually, by the time you find them in distress, they seem to thrive for a couple of days then succumb to the dreaded lung worm or some other parasitical invasion. Branston (Branston Prickle), ate its way through countless mealworms which it would happily take from my hand along with meat, fruit, cat food, cereal and cheese but alas, it has not increased in weight. Yesterday we made the 100 mile round trip to a rescue centre where Branston will join the other 160 rescued hogs and hopefully we shall collect it in the spring and release it back into the garden. Fingers crossed.

You may recall from a previous blog entry that my neighbour found a Manx Shearwater in her garden back in back in September. Well yesterday I learned what the animal rescue hospital staff did to repatriate them. It would seem that, after a good rest and a bit of a feed they were taken to the Severn Bridge where they were thrown off the side! It may sound drastic but Shearwaters cannot take off from land, they take flight from water where they can paddle up some speed into the wind or the drop in from a cliff edge so 300' of bridge is just like home to them. Makes my stomach go over just thinking about it. I've been over, inside, under and up the towers of that bridge, I don't relish the thought of the quick way down though. Incidentally, of those that were taken to the Beckford animal hospital all but one survived.

And finally, my giddiness is on the wane and I even drove for a while yesterday so I shall be up to my old tricks again very soon. About bloody time too.

Happy New Year to everybody that stops by.

December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Weeble

Remember the Weebles? They wobble but they won't fall down - that's me still. As you can guess, I haven't fished for a few weeks and shan't be out for a while yet :-(

I did accompany Neil on a short and unsuccessful pike trip the other day and on the way back to the car I stopped and looked at our footprints across the field. There were Neil's in a direct line and mine veering left and right like a drunk's course home from the pub. Still, it was nice to be out.

Enough of my woe's, I trust that you will all have a great Christmas and hope that 2012 brings you success and contentment. Thank you for looking in and I'll see you again soon.

December 01, 2011


No, not throwing bits of flashing metal at pike and perch, something more akin to your youth.

Do you recall those days when you and your friends would stretch out your arms and spin around and around until the world distorted and you fell into a hilarious mess on the floor and enjoyed the sensation that everything around you was animated and wobbly? Or maybe, as an adult, usually at a barbecue, you have played the 'broom game'; spinning - head down- ten times around a broom stick before attempting to run back to a given point only to end up off to the side and led - giggling - in a flower bed.

Yes, the Theme Park in our heads can be great fun and it can cause more hilarity if somebody else has succumbed to its imbalance as a result of alcohol. But, what if you have an involuntary bout of this loss of equilibrium? That's what has happened to me. Its called Labrynthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear canals that effect your balance and what's more, its bloody awful!

It hit me the other day with a bout of mild giddiness as I left the excellent Carp Society show at Sandown Park and I at first assumed it was the effect of having my wallet lightened so rapidly such were the bargains on offer. Within a couple of days I was unable to walk in a straight line, drive or focus on reading matter. I had a day of severe vomiting and felt like death warmed up. The good Doctor brought me some pills but their effect so far, is minimal.

I bring you this news not to ask for sympathy but to explain the lack of current angling tales. Following on from back troubles, a bout of flu and now this, I have been a right 'sick note' of late and I am gagging for a spot of fishy action but I know that I have to be patient. I have booked to fish two particularly wonderful chalk streams at the end of next week, I just hope that I can get around in straight lines as opposed to the stumbling gate of a drunk in a train corridor.

I leave you with my current theme song ;-)