Sunday, 23 November 2014

No, I've not been fishing

More pressing things to deal with unfortunately.

Brother Pete, the youngest of us at 55, was visiting Southend hospital early last week, after being directed by his doctor to attend following a few days of continuous headaches and high blood pressure.

Fortunately brother Bill's wife, Denise was with him and noticed he was dribbling and he didn't know he was, so she called for the young female doctor. 
in the pink!

She asked a few questions, and very soon had him straight in for an emergency scan, they found a brain aneurysm.Effectively a brain bleed!
He was operated on within 24 hours after being taken to the specialist unit at Romford Queens.

The treatment was what is called

Endovascular coiling

Endovascular coiling is also usually carried out using general anaesthetic. The procedure involves inserting a thin tube called a catheter into an artery in your leg or groin. The tube is guided through the network of blood vessels into your head and finally into the aneurysm.
Tiny platinum coils are then passed through the tube into the aneurysm. Once the aneurysm is full of coils, blood cannot enter it. This means the aneurysm is sealed off from the main artery, which prevents it from growing or rupturing.
He apparently had 5 of these introduced via his groin and 'phoned me within an hour of coming to!!
Right place right time, the NHS at it's best!
He sounded ok but drowsy.
They have still got him under observation, after he was shown to be dragging a leg and his blood pressure needs to come down.
We've spoken a couple of times and I'm happy,as he gets lots of visitors, to save my visit for a week or so.Not a great deal I can do at present and I'm happy with the care he's getting.
My regular readers will recall, Pete's wife Dawn died a few months ago. I know he hasn't recovered from that, and has immersed  himself into work. 
He's not taken any bereavement therapy. So who knows what pressure he was putting on himself?
We're off to Boston (Mass) tomorrow for a few days,so on our return we'll try and persuade him to let us bring him up here for some rehab.... and quiet chats, maybe by the farmers pond.... if allowed!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

It's been a little while.

The last of the line...
of Metcalfe ladies, my aunt Maggie passed away on the 21st October at her nursing home in Bognor Regis at the ripe old age of 94.
Leaving just Jim of the 14 children born to John and Clara Metcalfe, my mum's parents from the Edgware Road West London.
Always the fun at a family party, I can still picture her dancing at her 90th birthday celebrations.

She will also be remembered by me as the "rich"Aunty.Her occasional surprise food and sweets parcels from the shop/post office she and her husband Harry owned in Epsom, were always welcome in our house when the five of us were growing up in the 50's & 60's.

Rest in Peace  Margaret Maud Lowman.  30th September 1920 - 21st October 2014

As we were attending the service for Maggie, we decided to have a couple of nights in Chichester, just down the road from the crematorium. So Sussex got another visit from us, neither of us having visited the town before.
So we stayed at The Vestry in the town centre, very good rooms and breakfast, but I slipped up in my usual search for a pub with rooms with good beer. The beer was the usual fizzie stuff, mostly lag ..ergh, so we only had one drink in there, and moved around the town for some better beer service and our evening meals.
We had one meal in Carluccios, which was just about ok, but seriously let down by the way they overcooked Pauline's squid....rubber bands would have been easier to eat, but in fairness they took them back and just about improved them with the next batch, which we got knocked off the bill.

I've started my river season with three trips to the middle Trent and one yesterday to the tiny Hertfordshire river Rib.
My first session already reported on, ended with the one chub at last knockings, the other two trips to the Trent didn't even get the knocks!
Yesterdays outing was for a guided day with Rob Lancaster, a day I bid for in a charity auction organised by Baz Fisher for the Soldiers Charity back in April.
It had taken a bit of time to organise mainly because we both wanted to chub fish later in the autumn...and it hasn't arrived yet!
So, I decided to make an afternoon of it,setting out at 9am to get to Ware by Noon and fish until dusk.
The morning traffic news nearly put pay to my outing, I heard just before 8 o'clock that there had been a five vehicle pile up at Newark and the southbound carriageway of the A1 had been closed. It wasn't clear if it was above or below the the Newark junction!
My options were to go via Sleaford on the A15 dropping down to Peterborough, or stick to the A1.
I chose the A1, the other road is so slow.
All the way down to Newark I was  listening to the traffic news, which was indicating that the northbound had also been closed to allow for an air ambulance to land.
The A46 was clear all the way down, even up to Newark where the A1 slip was closed for access.
I drove onto the next roundabout and around the western outskirts of the town, hoping that the next junction down was open.
It was!
Northbound was shut and backing down south, the traffic coming south was stopped just before the Newark junction.So I had a clear road quite a way down and arrived in Ware at around time,and Rob was waitng in the car park.
I learned later that the road was close for some hours for an investigation, this I read as somebody died in the crash. In fact even later I learned it was a women with two others critically injured.
So off we go to Rob's private stretch of the river Rib, a tiny river with plenty of bankside tree growth and the occasional opening and with many shallows leading to deeper pools.
One problem was my landing net, Rob wasn't fishing,so he had no gear with him. I had fitted a Prologic quick release fitment to the pole and the net, but the pole end had become jammed, despite some attempted diy, it just wouldn't shift. This gave a fairly unstable grip to the net, which first of all dumped all the stale bread in the river when Rob tried  dampening it down.
Anyway, this was overcome and the first two fish, weren't heavy enough to pull the net from the pole the third however was, but I'll come to that.
My first fish was a brown trout of a couple of pound, it took the ledgered flake straight down.
Now, I could hear Pauline saying, "why didn't you bring it home" as I snapped the line at the lips and let the trout go with my size 6, deep down inside.
The swim was somewhat disturbed by this marauder, so we moved down stream testing out other open swims, without more than a twitch before I got my second fish, a nice chub approaching, I would guestimate, at about 3lb..

As the afternoon drew on,a surprise fish turned up.Rob had never caught one, or seen one, in this little river.
It felt a very good fish at first, we were thinking a very nice chub on the end, but it turned out to be a tad over 9lb mirror carp.
Landing the fish proved difficult, as already hinted at..the net head fell off once the weight of the fish was in it. This took a bit of maneuvering by me for a while, then I handed the rod to Rob who held the rod with the fish, already under control in the bankside weed, with and me, using just the net head to land the fish from a somewhat precarious angle

That was about it, I'd caught some fish, it was getting dark,especially with Polaroid's on, my others were in the car, so we decided to take the long walk back, and off back to Ware for a pint.
I'd had my exercise for the day anyway!
The journey home took an age, with an accident at Stevenage junction seven on the A1, my re-entry point.

Oh yes, I did get the question on arriving home, and "that would have made a nice dinner"
Ah well maybe next time.

All in all a great trip to meet an ol'boy I have known for some time from the Fishing Magic days, but we had never met.
I may well be journeying down again soon to renew my acquaintance with the River Lea, but will include an overnight stay, if I can find a pub with decent beer and with rooms!


I've not had enough time to put the books mentioned in my earlier blog on ebay. I've sold about 20 mostly from the Coarse Fishing top list.
Post a message if interested in any and I'll get back to you.