Friday, 30 September 2011

Just bits'n' pieces

From Martin James

Good day everyone this Thursday evening 29th September at 7-o'clock there is a programme on BBC Radio Lancashire recorded at Redmire Pool. The programme can be heard for 7 days via the internet. 

This is the link.Kind regards Martin click on listen again, then click on the day of the programme on the on screen calendar then scroll through to At The Water's Edge

Would you believe it?

Wandered into Staples the other day to find a replacement for my old friend the office chair, hydraulics packed up a while a go  and now the wheels keep falling off. Found one Ok so off to the checkout.

Lady in front has just bought herself a shredder.
Checkout Girl "Would you like our sooper dooper special guarantee ?"
Customer. "No thanks"
Checkout Girl " Would you like some sheets?"
Customer  "Sorry"
Checkout Girl  "Would you like some paper?"
Customer " What for a  shredder ?"
Floor manager holding my boxed chair  "No she wouldn't"
Checkout Girl  sarky like "Ah, he said you don't"

I suppose she can read the script at least !!

Self assembly chair self assembled, no parts left!!

Not wishing to copy a feature


Ben ?

Fished today

Up at 4am and took a trip over to Droitwich today to meet up with 14 others( there should have been 22) for an Cannon versus Fodder  fish-in at a muddy puddle complex.
This is an annual event that started with the guys on Fishing Magic, but is now arranged by a private website ( set up to keep the multi name riffraff out).
After breakfast of the works, we had the draw and a fiver in the pot and started fishing at 10am
Well, we let the Fodder (younguns) win this time, they have never won before.
They weighed in something like 170lbs to the Cannon (olduns) 140 odd lbs.
Christ it was hot, so I managed to top the tan up and caught a mixed bag of fish too.

A great day out meeting old and new friends for  a 5 hour match, looking forward to next years already


Rest in peace Auntie Betty

I had a few things lined up for here, and just a couple of words for one or two of the usual suspects, but decided to have a lunchtime drink in the White Hart.

Arriving back after a quick few pints, I was quickly sobered up by a telephone message from my cousin Stephen. Not somebody I speak to on a regular basis, at best at weddings and funerals, so my thoughts were the worst.

I called him back, and he was at the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in Camden, and he had to tell me that his Mum, and my Aunt Betty, Mum's youngest sister at 84, had died suddenly this morning.

This on the eldest sister Maggies 91st birthday, and the need to tell Mum.

So I took the bull by the horns and called Mum.
At 62, this is the first time I have had to spread bad family tidings. My Dad's news was passed on by my youngest brother
It was hard, I have to say it appeared to affect me more than my mum, apart from saying "that's the start, everything comes in 3's in my family", she then went on to ask how my next door neighbour was, and me and Pauline.
She was sorry I had to tell her !
What can you say ?
I had to get off the'phone quick while I was still almost sensible.
Anyway a bit composed, I called my brother who is local to mum,to tell him the news. He'll be the watching eyes.
A short time later call from Maggies daughter Joyce, confirmed that the news was doing the rounds and as long as both mum's, the remaining sisters, had been advised at least they could talk to each other.
Betty on the left, Maggie & Mum

Down for a some fishing in Droitwich tomorrow, but can't make up my mind whether to head there or Harold Hill !
I'll wait and see.
Just another family get together to come!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

All quiet on the eastern front


New Book
Received my personal copy of Phil Smith's book in the post today Targets set and Achieved, looks quite good production wise, although I'll ignore that there is a  duff reproduction of the colour photo in "grey & white"  of Phil and his Teme barbel on the end sheet

Some cracking photo's, particularly his BIG tench picture which I first saw when Phil showed it to me at the Barbel Show, and I guessed at 12lb. He was justifiably proud of what I personally  think is his best fish, at my first glance through the book.

Time to find some peace and quiet to try and read the almost 180 pages in one go.

You can buy the book direct from Phil  see

Chelsea - Fulham

After a cracking game at the weekend to draw against Man City, I'm sort of half glad that Fulham lost on penalties tonight in the League Cup. Too many games to play otherwise, so perhaps a chance for another adventure in Europe!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Well done


How remiss of me, congratulations on yet another charity fish-in which has raised over £900.
Funds going to the Barnsley Hospice, the type of set up close to my own heart at this time.

Just one personal question for you ABF officials though.
How on earth can you expect to gain any credibility, when you rely on one certain individuals whims to such an extent ?
Having just looked at your site, it appears as a result of his backing (HPS/HK), you accept his spreading of clueless innuendo and lies,and allow his blog link on your front page.
Surely an embarrassing situation to allow yourselves to get into!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Autumn is upon us

Didn't finish my last entry!


The swallows and martins now appear to have left the Lincolnshire Wolds.
I was surprised to still see so many about, only  last week.
They now have headed off on their way down to Africa.

The pheasants are now appearing in the garden after a few months missing off wandering the fields, and decorating the roads! Perhaps they are after sanctuary?
Do I hear shotguns!
Sitting on the banks of the Kennet earlier in the week, apart from the constant flight and cheeee cheeee of the kingfishers up and down the river, and the grumpy wren in the snowberry bush next to me. .

The chattering in the surrounding bushes and trees was endless,  the tits are  flocking up, mainly long tailed, but plenty of the great,coal and blue varieties have joined them.    Long-tailed tit
Oh yes, I was still accompanied by my friendly "rail", but it wasn't at all happy to have a brown rat feeding on its the spilled hempseed.

Thursday, 15 September 2011 last!

A proper guiding experience !

Wednesday last week, 'phone call to Peter of Casterline Tackle Louth, can you do me a gallon of casters by next Monday.....silence..........err....err..... it'll be a struggle, won't have enough older white maggots,but I'll have a go. Never mind Peter whatever you can do, I'll be in Monday.
Come Monday at 9am a call, " it's Peter Casterline, your casters, it's going to be a struggle, not enough damp in the air, I will struggle to do a gallon"  That's ok Peter, I'll call in later, "make it late, but before 5:30"
Anyway, I turn up just after 5, he's looking glum outside the shop, I'm the only customer he's seen since lunchtime, "only done about 6 pints!" Ok mate that'll be alright, my guide will have plenty.
"It's about six and a half Fred, how do you want them packed. Two bags will do I say, what's the damage.
"£16 "
Blimey,that won't pay the rent will it I said "knowhere near he say's"
At this point I make a mental note, must spend more money with Casterline, because with out this little tackle,model and wickerware shop, I'm stuffed with a journey to Lincoln or Grimsby to get maggots/casters.

9pm time for bed, need to get up about 4am to drive about 4 hours down to the Kennet.
I'm 62 , and do you think I could get to sleep?
 No! I still get that anticipation on occasions!
Eventually I do, and then at one o'clock I'm awake, think maybe 3/4 hours sleep, must need a pee. Probably not, a dribble later and I'm back in the folds!
That's it, drift off, wake up drift off, wake up.
Sod it, I'll wake her up in a minute tossing and turning, I'm up.
Leave the house at 3.22am.
7am arrive at destination, a car already in the parking area, so I 'phone Steve my guide, I'm here.
 " Great, ok I'll come and meet you"
You stay there,your getting old, I'll get my stuff together and see you down there.

My guide is Steve Pope, I bought a day with him via the Barbel Society Research & Conservation Auction, not the last one but the one before! (The next one will start on the 17th November.)
 I just haven't been able to tie up a date since then, with all that's been going on.
Which reminds me, I still have a day with Martin James to sort out.
This trip is for two days, one of which is guided, the other me fishing on my own.
The Swim

To cut a long story short, Steve acted in much the same way as the old boy's must have done, in the Victorian day for their masters, he continuously bait droppered all day long, even baited my hook.
My bunch of banana's are not built to glue 4 casters to a fine hair without everything getting stuck!! But, I got there with practice!!
Steve worked like a Trojan, and this is what he always does for his paying customers.
Far exceeding my only other experience of "guiding".
The result?
My first
... Five barbel, my very first from the Kennet at 6lb3ozs, two around the 4/5lb mark, an 8lb 4oz and the best at 9lb6ozs
I did hope to beat my pb, as the fishery is well capable of doing this,but it was not be this time around.
Maybe another time.

This truly was a different experience, and can be highly recommended by me to anybody who wants to gain that little edge on a small river.

I also met Fred Crouch, he drove down for a chat, we chatted for a while, he tells me he is planning an article for me for Barbel Fisher.
He will be giving his, probably controversial, but logically thought view, on why there are a good few years of young barbel missing in some of our rivers.
It relates to the consequences of the method some anglers have used to attract their fish, but I'm saying no more!

Stopped off at Mum's last night on my way back, for B&B, she's good at the moment, but suffering the funny colours with Ibuprofen as well!
I told her keep taking the tablets, it probably the old stuff still in the system!

Visitor to the garden

Noted to feed on fuscia, but I needed my book to identify not one but two larvae, they were of the elephant hawk moth

Elephant hawk moth in the making

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


I've not been out fishing, had some days with mum and a visit to her Oncologist.
He laid it on the line in a very good way, I have to say I'm very much impressed with this side of the Romford NHS.
Despite her near deafness, my mum, I think, as I do, fully understands the position.
The back pain she has been suffering from over the last few months, is likely to be the spread of cancer to the bones.
They could put her through a bone scan, but if the cancer has spread, it can only be treated by radio therapy, and they agree with my thoughts, that would not serve her well at this time of her life and general health.
So with nothing more they can do, the oncologist has kept her on his list but doesn't need her to visit the hospital unless she wants to.
After some experiences on the pain killers she has been taking in various forms, (paracetamol, fentoyl and percocet )" bright colours and funny shapes" in her eyes,she's now going onto something potentially less of a problem to her eyes, but potentially to her kidneys, but less of a problem for her, iboprofen at the Oncologists off the record approval
The Oncologist has recommended more palliative care, either at home or preferably in a home/hospice.
She doesn't like the idea of the later, but is happier that they are not looked at as places to go to die, but places for care and comfort.
She "celebrated" with a gin and tonic that evening
We shall see, an appointment with specialist nurses is being made through her doctor as I write.
In the meantime, I have some thinking to do on how much time I need to spend with her, not for her benefit but for mine!

My next door neighbour June, after 20 odd weeks in hospital, has an operation  lined up for this Friday.
Jim the wasp dodger, finally saw his oncologist, and has been put on call back in 4 months, so he's happier now.
And Al, has had his new hip fitted, he was out of hospital nearly as fast as he went in, and  looking forward to his regular pub visit.
So all could be well in St Peter's Close.....for the moment!

I'm not in the right frame of mind for fishing and haven't been for sometime, but I have a two day trip booked next week to try my hand at pb improvement...... again.