Thursday, 29 August 2013

We shall see !

Anybody want some courgettes?

We knew we may have problems, but planted courgettes from seed late, along with plants for something called turks turban!!
The turks turban, is a squash it may have some taste.
Before we headed up to the Scottish mists, there were signs that they were being eaten before they had even set, the slugs love them. The courgettes they were leaving alone.
The flowers are also attracting some bloody great bees, so we were loath to give them up as a bad job and pull them out.
On return from the mists, whilst hunting for the courgettes, I found a whole untouched turban, looked up the recipes and decided... decoration may well be the answer!
So the problems expected?
A surfeit of the small marrow, and indeed we have, so I have to think what to do with the damn things. I've still got courgette chutney in the cupboard dated 11/10/11! Good stuff it is too.
Turks turban

So one exceptionally large specimen weighing 14ozs, which had eluded an earlier harvesting of fingerlings, ended up thinly sliced and "spaghettied" to go with my special bolognese sauce.
Unfortunately the 'phone rang, it was Jim, the old boy across from us, he needed me urgently.(more later)
On returning, after giving specific instructions to my sois-chef, "keep an eye on that it's nearly done," I came back to an almost mush.
She left it in the simmering water,when she should have drained it.
Can't get the staff nowadays!
Mixed with the sauce though it wasn't bad, but not as expected dente!
Tomorrow we go and get the pickling stuff, and some other veggies for some..err... pickle/chutney making.
I have a great mustard piccalilli recipe!

We shall see!!

The reason for the urgent 'phone call?
For some time Jim ( the old fella who broke is leg being chased by a wasp swarm a few years ago) has been not wanting to go out , not wanting to eat, and worst of all not wanting to go to the pub, in fact he's wasting away, and was now hallucinating!
He's been under the doctors care for sometime for various old man's ailments, but in recent weeks has given us, and all his friends, the impression that he's giving up.
Despite all our goading, things hadn't got any better.
So yesterday the doctor got called round, and to cut a long story short, Jim is back in Lincoln Hospital, for observation, feeding up and, I think, some convalescence.
We're not certain exactly what is wrong, but he is now somewhere he can be given a good checkout.
Meanwhile, I've got his house and car keys, emptied the foetid celery and cucumbers,cream and milk from his fridge, and disposed of other bits and pieces well past their sell by.....
I also found some hidden washing up by following my nose to something like N-Butyric Acid.
Encrusted Weetabix in soured milk, is tough to handle and get off damp stacked dirty dishes even after a long hot soak!

We shall see!

I've not mentioned this for sometime, but so far so good, thank you, although I have a couple that are showing a loss, a couple of my holdings (oil and biotech) are due to break out any time now, and I don't want to miss out on that.
The trouble is I've been topping up and cash flow is tight, so this week is crunch time.
Will I have to sell some at a loss?
 " This time next week Rodney......".

We shall see!

Just listening to Radio two breakfast, they're plugging the old man's latest single.
If it was anybody else it wouldn't get air time, how does this man get away with it ?
At least the Stones sound like they are still with it.

"Mountain View" California
I hope you enjoy your regular reads of my blog.

By the way any comments will be kept private ..if prefered

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Rest in peace Simon King

Ah well
  1. The following I received this morning, on a comment on here, it refers to my post on Fishing Magic yesterday advising of the death of Simon King a well known contributor to FM and specimen angler.

    Did you think to ask Simons family or true friends if they wanted that posted yet. No. You are a true nasty thoughtless idiot. Only wanted to show how clever you are. 

    As it clearly states at the top of the thread, I got the detail from facebook, where Simon's death from cancer was posted by a "very good friend" and word had already spread around facebook.

    Just thought I would show you guys that the little yorkshire troll is still about, still reading my every word.
    My guess is he didn't know Simon, or his "true friends" and thought he could get to me.
    He just will not learn!!

    No doubt a tad miffed that his statement on BFW about the Barbel Challenge was way off target!

    Good cause, no chance, not a realistic target, be lucky to get a couple.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Away days


We have friends who live just ten miles outside Stirling and seven from Loch Lomond and this last week we have been up to sit in the Scotch mist for 5 days.
It's a part of Scotland,I've never really seen,although business took me to Glasgow and Edinburgh on many occasions.
What a beautiful part of the country it is, it would have been even better if we had a bit of sun, no midges and there weren't so many tourists about!

We had planned to visit the castle but couldn't get close to it for tourist buses and cars.
Stirling Castle from the West
We had planned to have a trip around Loch Katrine,on the steamship Sir Walter Scott but it was drizzling and the midges were clouding the air.Steamer SS Sir Walter Scott at Loch Katrine pier

Having said that the drives around the Trossachs, and the loch's, a visit to my first distillery and very good company made up for the minor disadvantages experienced.
We had a taster of the Malt at the Glengoyne Distillery and of course the tour,which I have to say taught me a good deal about the methods used to create a single malt.

Glengoyne Distillery
I bought a bottle too!thumbnailThe Teapot Dram

Another trip beckons but with the rods and a loch-side cottage perhaps!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Barbel Challenge

Late update

Sorry I'm late with this I've been up to Scotland all week visiting.

Final count, of the 14 rivers fished they had success with just 9 rivers.

The only river they didn't latch onto a barbel was the (lower) Severn.

All in all 15 doubles were caught and several of their smaller brethren.

Donations are still being welcomed

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Fishing ??

Clattercote fish-in.

The annual get together of friends, most of whom are former members of Fishing Magic, an angling website, took place yesterday.
The origin of this meet up/fish-in was an annual "match" to remember a fellow poster and friend who sadly died.
A trophy for the winner of the Keith Culley Memorial Match, is presented in an hostelry close by.
The match itself started as pole only but as developed into an any method.
As far as I can recall it has always taken place at the Clattercote reservoir, which is about 22 acres and built in the late 1700's to supply the Oxford Canal. Close to Banbury in Oxfordshire.

Never having match fished I usually go along for the ride, as it was, and usually end up fishing with generally no idea, it was much the same on this occasion..
So after a 7:30 full English at the Brasenose Arms in Colpreddy we set off for the fishery.Fairport Nine
The reservoir was noticeably lower than I can ever recall, some five or so feet below the jetty style pegs, in good times it is lapping at the base of the jetty. The 20 odd of us fished the north bank towards the western end.
As usual for Clattercote,it's open to wind problems and we were treated to a gusting westerly all day long which wouldn't have helped with presentation for my preferred float fishing method
So, the match itself was dominated, by methods such as baggin' waggler and sinking baggin' waggler!!!
I have no idea how to use these tactics, and didn't have the floats anyway, so stuck to a distance ledgering approach.Sometimes open end feeder and most of the time with the method feeder.

Andy Nellist was on the peg next to me and chose for the first time ever to try out the sinking baggin' waggler.
It appears to be quite a technical piece of kit ,as it needs some finite adjustment of weight to ensure that the float, with a "cage feeder" attached at it's base and filled with ground bait, sinks following the splash down and releases  the ground bait, the hook bait  drops down through the cloud of groundbait, the float then rises when the ground bait is released! It's a constant casting method.
After a few curses Andy almost yelled eureka, as his adjustments seemed to show some sign, to him, of being perfect, and low and behold, every time he made this exclamation, and he had to adjust the weighting after every fish, he was into a carp within seconds of splash down, and was catching fish that weighed about 6lb on average.
Andy's view and I have to say mine also, is that the carp are effectively trained to the dinner gong, possibly at the expense of most other methods. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid.
Nigel get's the trophy from GrahamMarsden
Anyway, Andy got second place with about 80lb of carp, but it was won by the organiser Nigel Connor with in excess of 90lb.
After the weigh in, it was back to the pub for a couple of pints and sausages and chips and the presentation.
Once again a great day out meeting old friends.

Barbel Challenge update
After a blank,barbel double wise on the Loddon , 8 rivers catching off 6.
The team moved onto the Kennet, for three doubles
The score is now 13 doubles off 9 rivers,  fish of 11lb 9ozs, 10lb 11ozs and 10lb10 ozs  were caught before they moved off to their current venue the Colne.
Just for clarification, one double per river was the basis of the sponsorship,although donors can pay for each double if they wish.
Donations will still be gratefully

Friday, 16 August 2013

More beer!

A new experience

Our regular meeting of the International Drinking Society, this time to celebrate Brian's 72nd birthday at the end of the month, was at  The Pilot Inn a Fullers pub just down from the O2 across the wasteland of North Greenwich,which is the car parking for the arena and a strip of parkland.
About 10 minutes walk from the Jubilee line.

We arrived at noon to find Brian already settled into his first cider, which is a change because he is nearly always late.We settled for London Pride and I can say that for the five hours we were there, it was near as damn it a perfect pint..or was it 6! A very good garden at the rear too.
Food wasn't bad, and the German barmaid was very nice on the eyes and had a great smile for us old'uns!!

Brian decided that rather than catch the train back into central London we should take the river taxi, The Thames Clipper, from the pierhead just away from the arena.
Just a few of us on board, as it starts here, our destination the Embankment, by the time we arrived at the Embankment jetty the boat was chocker block.
 I have to say,apart from the occasional office riverboat disco trip at night, this was the first time I had ever seen the river from this angle in all the years I worked in the Big City.Header image
Obviously substantial changes have taken place over recent years, with the building or conversions of many riverside dwellings.
I wonder what the rent would be, as I'm quite tempted when we consider our relocating to have a serious look for something by the river.It was a new experience and something I will have to take Pauline down to see, just in case a primer is needed!
On arriving at the Embankment we decided to have just another pint,which ended up as three and fell into a pub in the Charing Cross arches called The Ship and Shovel, I can't remember ever having been in the pub, it is on two sides of the street with the cellar linking the two sides below.  On the north side is a large traditional  London Victorian pub whilst across the way the snug bars and alcoves this is where we found room to drink the Badger Breweries wares in relative peace, whilst most of the office workers were out on the pavements

So another enjoyable afternoon and evening spent in the company of old long term friends and off back to Woodford Green to spend the night at Ivan's place. Sleep was eased into by a couple of glasses of red whilst sitting in the garden,which backs on to Epping Forest, listening to the little owl and star gazeing.
The spoiler had to come this morning, after having a good full English in the Turkish cafe around the corner,I set off up the M11 only to ground to a halt at the top where it meets the A14 for the regular accident spot.
90 odd minutes later, on my way for a relatively trouble free easy ride home.

Off  to Clattercote at 5:30 in the morning to meet up with Graham Marsden and a good few of the ex Fishing Magic contributors for friendly fish-in after another full English in the Brasenose Arms Cropredy at 7:30 and sausage and chips and a beer or two after the "match" at 7pm.
Must go now and sort my tackle and bait out.

Barbel Challenge

I'll update on this tomorrow evening or Sunday.
The Lower Severn didn't show any barbel for the team,they are currently trying out their luck on the Loddon, the first of their "southern rivers"

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Ten from Six!

Barbel Challenge update

Two more doubles, from the River Soar  bringing the doubles caught to 10 from 6 rivers.

10lb 3ozs and 12lb 10ozs

The minimum target is to get one double from each of 14 rivers

A double from each river counts to the funds at the last count each double is worth £90, on top of the donations so far received of £1048.  Donate here:

Next stop the Lower Severn

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Eight from five!

Barbel Challenge update

Three more doubles, from the Trent in Leicestershire, bringing the doubles caught to 8 from 5 rivers..

12lb 8ozs, 11lb 1oz and 11lb 4ozs.

Next stop the Soar!

On a lesser note
We had a weekend away in Milton Keynes for a get together with some of my ex colleagues from Abbey National, all of whom I first met in May 1976  in George Street London W1.
I've not seen most of them for probably 10 years, reunions have always been in London around my birth date,so I'm usually away celebrating,or meeting the International Drinking Society boys!
Milton Keynes was chosen because we all moved up from Baker Street, via an Abbey National relocation package, to our new head office in 1983.Things were already changing at the Abbey and they were not to my liking. I moved on, most if not all of them stayed.
So seven couples met at the Holiday Inn,on Friday evening for a dinner.
We talked about old times and experiences, friends lost, and new partners met, the state of the hair on our heads and waist measurements.
It was good to see them all again, they haven't changed from the guys I knew, and who enhanced my drinking and good food experiences over the 8 years or so,in the late 70's early 80's.
Our next get together could well be in Leeds!

Red Lion Hotel

We took the advantage of an overnight stay at the Red Lion Salford, to pop down to see my old boss and his wife on the Saturday, they have lived, since the move up to MK, in Heath & Reach  Leighton Buzzard.
We see them fairly regularly, so updated them on the old crowd gossip, and they updated us on all their goings on.
Both avid ramblers and looking, I must say, rather jealously, very fit.  They are both over 10 years senior to us.
Our five hour stay with them went by very fast,with many subjects discussed.

The coming week
Busy this week or so, with a trip down to London on Thursday and an overnighter, with the I.D.S boys for one of our regular meetings and drink in a pub somewhere south of the river, close to the O2.
On Saturday I'm joining a fish-in at Clattercote Reservoir, driving there and back, and from Monday we shall be seeing friends from Scotland for the week.

I'll update The Challenge when I can.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Five from four!

Barbel Challenge update

Dove 11lb 3ozs

Derwent  11lb 4ozs and 11lb7ozs

Tally so far:
18 barbel
23 chub
1 bream
1 eel and a suicidal perch

Just a brief note of thanks to those who have gone from here to donate to

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Two out of two

Barbel Challenge update

Two days, two rivers, two doubles!!

Ribble 10lb 8ozs

Goyt 10lb  4ozs

Onto the Dove now.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

They're off!

The Challenge   <<< PLEASE Click here to donate

A Ribble fish, not a double yet, but the first of many we hope

Friday, 2 August 2013

Fruits of the season

No Fishing!

I've not been out fishing at all,although I had lined up a trip to the middle Trent with a fellow blogger for this afternoon into dusk.
We decided against it, as it was thundering around his town this morning and when I checked the forecast for the Newark area it showed thunderstorms heading up for about 7pm, just about the time we would have settled in for the session up to dusk..
It's 6:30, I've just checked the weather chart and if anything the radar looks worse!
Neither of us fancied setting up in rain and certainly not sitting in a thunderstorm.

Fruits of the season
So I've been out in the garden, just cut the front lawn, leaving the back until the sun is off the grass,we face North, so it's really hot out there.
Cheese out of the fridge, a couple of bottles of red getting to room temperature in the garage.

In the meantime,I've been inspecting the fruit trees,which apart from the plums that look a bit tatty, are going very well compared to last year.

Last year I made must, this year it's looking like something else

We've also got some cabbages, but they are being really torn apart by slugs and snails, and did I say that we hadn't seen butterflies, hoards and hoards of large and small whites busy laying their yellow patches of eggs on the undersides of the leaves.
Squashing them will I hope stop any further damage, but trying to keep the slugs and snails off is becoming like too much of a job.
I will not put poison down, too much chance of a knock on effect on the birds.
Even a 11:15pm stomping session after a bottle of wine each on the patio last night, although getting through a few, made us feel that the giggling may wake up the neighbours, or make the locals wonder what we were up to on their way past from the pub. So we stopped.

Not just whites

Fruit? Well it's got my name on it!

 Now off to prime myself for some late night stomping.....if the rain, which I have to say doesn't look like it will, doesn't reach us!