Sunday, 30 May 2010

Ol' boy's

I bet some of you thought I'd had enough already and packed this lark in!
Well, I've been down to my mum's place near Romford,primarily to visit her, but also for some B&B, for a trip across the Channel with some ol' boys I've know since, in one case 1965, to celebrate his 65th birthday.
My first job on leaving school with the promise of 8 o' levels, was with a company called Kearley & Tonge (K&T), better known to some as International Tea Company's Stores, or International Stores. At that time they ran grocery shops, about 1000 of them, in England & Wales. K&T was the food manufacturing/wholesale buying operation. Anyway, straight from school at 16 1/2, following an interview in Mitre Square London EC3 I turned up for the job, not particularly concerned at what the job was, as long as I didn't go to the Midland Bank Chelmsford to work with a bank manager mate of my dad's.
I should say, at the age of 15 I had no idea of what I wanted to do. I did know that, I didn't want to work in a factory or a shop! So I stayed on for o'levels.
Back to my first day 3rd August 1965. Mitre Square had old Victorian brick built buildings on 3 sides of a square, all old tea warehouses, "converted" into offices.
I was escorted into a large room, which eventually held about twenty people. As I found out, also new job starters.
One by one, all but two were herded off to our new jobs, leaving me and another young fella on our own.
We were told , " There's the Grocery saleroom, or the Company Secretary's office, what would you like to do?"
We looked at each other, and shrugged unknowingly in response!!
So off we went, he to the sale room, and me to the Secretary's Department, as I later learned THE OFFICE. My potential 8 o'levels must have impressed. I never did admit to getting only Art & Craft.....just about. But, that's possibly another Blog entry story.
This is where I met Ivan, a 21 year old , now the 65 year old, but who to anybody who asks, is still 21, although it is noticeable he's moved on to 40 in some instances. My job was general dogs body, filing clerk and tea boy.
Very shortly after joining the A Team, I was to find that there was an International Drinking Society, to which I was invited, never having drunk anything stronger than a ginger wine or a lemonade shandy, let alone been in a pub.
The IDS was up to 20 of us at times, we would go on pub crawls around London, all pre-planned as to location, the pubs we found on the crawl, as it were.We would have a half pint in each and quickly, at first, move on.
I still remember feeling sorry for those first couple of pub landlords, as we swarmed in downed our half pint and moved to the next.
We even had minutes drawn up of the events, I wish I knew what happened to them, they would have made a great book.
There was also in one year, a competition between some of us to get to every pub in the alphabet within walking distance of our lunch hour. One made it, others of us decided it was just too much like hard work walking for 55 minutes for a half pint!!
Once a year we would hold an AGM in one pub, and have a competition on the number of pints downed in the evening from 5pm 'til closing. 13 pints I think, not by me I hasten to add!!
Many tales to tell, including the time we were thrown out of a pub, then an Indian restaurant in one night because of Ivan, and ended up in a Wimpy Bar next door to Liverpool Street station, and he got us thrown out of there too!
I have to say, because there are one or two who think that most of my forum posts were done under the influence of drink, that my training was first class. I can still hold my drink, and have never been in a position where I didn't know what had happened the night before!!
It lasted perhaps 7 or 8 years with many changes of personnel, mainly due to travel problems, kids & marriage, not necessarily in that order!
There are 4, sometimes 5 of us, who still carry on 40 odd years later, but only 4,5 or 6 times a year on birthdays and at Christmas. Just a bit less drink consumed, more of a good food trip .

So anyway about the last few day's.
My old friend Ivan, who admitted during the trip,he may be 55, paid for 4 of us to have an over nighter to Lille. As it happens one of us , didn't arrive. He's suffering the old man's problem unfortunately!!
Which reminds me, it's about time I had the finger test!!
We met at St Pancras, got on the train, and were in Lille in 80 minutes, having checked in 30minutes minutes before the train left,with only a cursory glance made at our passports on the way out.
For those close to London this is the way to travel to France,or come to that Belgium and all places beyond.
So quick and so comfortable.
We arrived in Lille,found ourselves a bar to get our bearings, shared a carafe of red and wandered off the the Hotel, close to The Opera. Not bad at all, a two star and we were on the 6th floor in two rooms with two single beds in each.Quite comfortable.
To cut a long story short, we had two very good meals, dinner and lunch,in different restaurants and good quantities of , mainly wine but, also some of that lager stuff as we sat in the main square watching the girls go by, and roasting in 30c.
We arrived back home at 8pm the following day, all a bit knackered.
Once again I found out what it is to have good long term friends , compared to some of those passing acquaintances we get ourselves caught up with from time to time.
I'll have to start saving for my turn, although the other ol'boy will be celebrating his 70th in October, as it stands so far, a trip to the equally exotic...Petersfield!

Kids inheritance

The kids I was really hinting about earlier, are those who sponge of their parents from working age, and seem to think they are entitled to some windfall, even before the death off their parents.
I've seen and heard of a few I don't need my own kids to know that either.
"Dad, buy me a car". "Dad bale me out, my credit card is over spent" "Dad I want .....I want"
They are better off than you ever were at their age, mostly thanks to you. They want everything on a plate so you are doing them no favours,giving them your hard earned.
Go on, spend it on yourselves, have some nice holidays, a better car, have fun while you can..
Leave them the house if you want.
Those kids that have got on with life will tell you, they don't want your money.

Travel & things


I've decide not to post for the sake of it but, I thought I would add a bit about our travels since retirement on my 52nd birthday.
We've made a decision, to try and spend all we can,before we can't, or before we croak it!
Still not certain why people won't spend their hard earned and miss out, just to leave something for the kids.Most of whom are better off than they are anyway.
Still it's their choice.
Our early days were spent in Europe, visiting the non-touristy locations of Spain, Portugal and France, we also spent a number of holidays, on various Mediterranean islands. We dodged the Red Barrel and fish & chip places.
After the Europe trips we visited Kenya,Cuba, Ecuador and the Galapagos, China,Sri Lanka, moving on to Australia and the USA , then on to South Africa last year, and India this.
We still have to go back to Australia and the States, and maybe China again,but Pauline likes the idea of a visit to Russia by river first. I fancy the idea of some foreign fishing trips!
We are both nature fans, so the Kenya, Galapagos and India trips were primarily to see the wildlife, the remainder just to see what they were like, and to see some flora & fauna was a bonus.
I may do a Blog on our visits each country at some time.

Bloody Cats
Well, four o'clock this morning awakened by unusual bird noises, one of our two fledgling blackbirds snaffled by a bloody cat. Now if there is something that wants to culled if you ask me it's cats.
"The most recent figures are from the Mammal Society, which estimates that the UK's cats catch up to 275 million prey items a year, of which 55 million are birds. This is the number of prey items that were known to have been caught; we don't know how many more the cats caught, but didn't bring home, or how many escaped but subsequently died."
Anglers, well some, think otter are a problem what chance is there of a cull of them?
Especially as the RSPB say
Despite the large numbers of birds killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide. This may be surprising, but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation. There is evidence that cats tend to take weak or sickly birds.
It is likely that most of the birds killed by cats would have died anyway from other causes before the next breeding season
We also know that of the millions of baby birds hatched each year, most will die before they reach breeding age. This is also quite natural, and each pair needs only to rear two young that survive to breeding age to replace themselves and maintain the population.
Doesn't the same apply to fish?
08:40 31.5.10
Update: The female is already collecting nesting material for the next brood, looks like a re-lining of the "old" nest.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


Follower since late 50's, proud season this year, better than the 1975 West Ham FA cup final

Rain at last!
We have quite large corner plot with a front and back garden. I do not water from the tap, but we had 3 dry water butts, so were in need of refreshment.
The front garden faces south. We've shrubbed with firethorn,hawthorn, blackthorn the SW border overlooking the field, it's constant battle against wind blown "weed" seeds, but the hedge is thickening up nicely and attracting nesting birds.The rest we have grassed and graveled and planted a few trees, crab apple, Amanogawa(ornamental cherry), a common pear,along with the usual lilac, forsythia, magnolia, holly and buddliea, to name a few.
The back garden was fenced all around prior to the close season, but we have opened up the WSW side, mainly because the old close panelled fence , separating the field from the garden,was in need of replacement, well it collapsed!
We've planted a "wild" hedge of about 40 feet along that fence line, blackthorn,whitethorn,hawthorn, hazel, beech, and others that don't immediately come to mind. I had to clear a 3 foot strip in the field to give them some chance, glad I did too. It now needs a further treatment, I've just not made up my mind on the method yet.
The rear fence which shelters us from the A631 is being held up by an old hawthorn and elder roadside hedge, also mine. I've planted a hedge on the garden side of beech with a few hawthorn to create a bit of low level security when I remove the supported fence. It'll stay there at least until next close season!!
The rest of the garden is arranged as a woodland area (field side) a fruit garden with 2 apple, a pear and a plum trees, blueberries,gooseberries and raspberries. We had a lemon and an orange in pot's but this last winter just proved too much for them. There is a lawn(well grass) and a natural pond containing rudd and we're having a go at some veggies, salad potatoes ,red onions and carrots in a small patch tucked in front of an expanding mahonia.The garden is then separated into two areas by fenced supported honeysuckle. There we have an enclosed patio and an open(ish) patio.
The enclosed area is a suntrap for the very early morning and most of the day until the sun moves around behind the rear hedge. We've put some salad veg and herbs in that area, as well as some container spuds, and a rhubarb plant.We also hide our recycling bins around there.
The open patio is separated from the enclosed patio by another( fence supported) honeysuckle and is paved to support our table and chairs, and BBQ. This is covered with a tent type gazebo.
We then move towards to back gate and brick wall, before which we have created a sort of wet area and stream garden, the gunnera got hit bad this winter but is recovering.
That's it nearly all done, roll on the 16th June, I need a rest.

Long live "The Pope"


Why did I start start this Blog lark?
After many years, probably getting on for 10, I have been quite happy being part of angling Forum (or is it Fora?)
I've come to the conclusion that doing battle with those who think their views out weigh anybody else's, and who group my personal opinion with the organisation I belong to in everything I write, is not really the thing I want to carry on doing. Although I know I will.
There are a certain few, and the aim of this few, is to spoil the enjoyment of others, and we mustn't let them take over! In fact I'm sure we are winning, their outlets are becoming fewer, as the owners of the boards have come to realise, these few will take over if given half a chance, and that the numbers participating dwindle.
So what if individuals ask, what line? What reel ? What...whatever, it doesn't hurt to respond, or steer them to previous answers. We all need to seek advice at sometime.
So if any reader wants an answer, or queries anything I put in this Blog, please feel free to ask. I will not respond to the anonymous, but will keep you anonymous if you wish,this system allows that to be so.
Perhaps, I thought it's time to put my views and opinions into what is effectively an open diary.
That way I can get my own views across, to one or two who maybe interested to start with, and hopefully long term more, without allowing the spoilers to make me think twice before putting into words, any opinion I have. I will then have no need to worry that what I write will have an effect on perfectly normal individuals enjoyment of their interests. If it does have an effect, I hope it is positive. Too much negativity in this world of ours.
So, if my brain is up to it, I shall be trying to give my views about fishing, life in this country, and indeed life and my interests in general.

My location
Our village, is on top of the Lincolnshire(Wold) Hills, and is effectivly a ribbon development, on the main A631 through road from Gainsborough via Market Rasen & Louth, to the east coast routes.
It has no shop or post office, no school, it closed recently as there were only 40 odd primary age kids in the village.
It has two pubs, well one, a proper real ale pub, and one aiming to be a restaurant.
On a clear day I can see the Trent( and it's power station chimneys) and all along the Trent valley.The River Bain starts in our village and winds it's way down through Horncastle to join the River Witham.
Our house is a modern detached bungalow which is part of a development built 12 years ago,backing onto the A631 and off the ribbon.
We have a good size unworked field next door, currently 3 feet high in Cow Parsley and nettle, but after it annual mowing, and until the next"wildflower" growing season, it is the haunt of a pair of Barn Owl, often seen quartering the field, at the moment they are elsewhere, kestrel and sparrowhawk often patrol too!!
Our garden has visits from, sparrowhawk, pheasant,partridge,woodies, collar doves,chaffinch,greenfinch, loads of sparra's, the occasional pied wagtail, robin, wren,dunnock, blue, great, coal and long tailed tits, all the thrushes at various times of the year, and rather aggressive pair of blackbirds.We've had mallards nesting too. Currently we have 2 nests of blackbird, two fledged this week from one, 4 have just hatched in the other.The song thrush built and was "moved on" , two dunnock nested but abandoned, in one of our 3 boxes great tits, the first and only time I looked in there were 7 eggs. The activity at the moment indicates some have hatched succesfully,although I've seen one dead chick removed by a parent and dumped away in the field.
More to come:-

I was part of a group of fishing friends most of whom, I'm sure still are. But the leader of the little group is a bit of a Napoleon, something to do with his height no doubt.
Anyway he took great umbridge because I left his little empire to do other things, and to stay away from the some of the "two faced" shites he had recently invited into his gang. Since then he has started a vendetta, pulling apart my words with petty one liners.Part of my reasoning as stated above for easing away from forum life. I have no wish to encourage the likes of him.
In fact he assumes every photograph of fish I show are from his little 400yard stretch of the mighty Trent, he even thinks despite efforts to shield locations,that anybody who is the slightest bit interested will spot the location.
Well they will from now on, they will assume they know where they are caught, because he has told them!!
What a petty little man he is, and to think he's the first to state that the internet isn't the real world, well to him it certainly appears to be.
Good ridance I say, he joined the race of the "two faced" in my book, although I'm certain he already was a member.I mean, would you have somebody working for you for some years and not tell them they were up to the job, and then palm them off to another manager in your organisation?
By the way the sparrowhawk and the mallard were from my garden,so no need to look for them at a certain middle Trent fishery!
I certainly haven't caught fish on the internet either, had a few big bites though.
Ah, I can feel the freedom already!!!

Friday, 28 May 2010

I don't beleeeeeeeeeeive it!!!

Beer lovers playing an ancient pub game have been advised to stay on the wagon in case they breach a new law designed to curb binge drinking.
Competitors taking part in a "dwile flonking" contest at a pub in Ludham, Norfolk, on Saturday had been looking forward to downing pots of ale at speed as tradition dictates.
But a council has warned bosses at the Dog Inn that they could be in breach of the the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010 if they stick to the age-old rules of the game.
Dwile flonking traditionally involves players using a pole to hurl beer-soaked cloths at opponents then downing beer quickly as a penalty for missing.
North Norfolk District Council said the legislation, which came into effect in April, "It is now against the law to promote 'speed drinking', which is one of the elements of dwile flonking," said Chris Cawley, the council's environmental health manager.
"These new conditions on liquor licences ban games that encourage drinking alcohol in such a manner."
He added: "We try to do all we can to help licensed premises run successful businesses, not hinder them, but at the same time we and they have a duty to uphold the law."
The landlady, Mrs Clinch said players would adapt: "They'll drink squash and we'll give them tokens so they can drink the beer slowly afterwards. I suppose it will be the first non-alcoholic dwile flonking contest."

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Fishing, food.......and drink

Trent chub 6:12

Did a bit of bank work last Sunday on the Swale at Topcliffe, met up with 13 other Barbel Society members of the work party, on what must have been the hottest day so far. Plenty of tea, bacon rolls and surprise home made vegi samosa's .
Talk about hard work, but great company and a few swim accesses improved.
Loads and loads of fry.
My permanent tan is topping up nicely.
Had a day out at a SPAC's new water yesterday, rumoured to hold roach in excess of 2lb. What I found was roach, rudd & hybrids ( probably of the two.)
For the moment, the 2lb roach are looking suspect!
Bite a chuck, but the best fish was a hybrid of just over the 1lb mark.
The place is full of Three spined stickleback, not seen them for years.
Maggots were quickly replaced by sweet corn to overcome the stickle, and as result also a better stamp of fish appeared.
Waggler fished in about 2foot of water,with my 15footer.Needs a bit more exploration, preferably when the kids go back after half term.
This is a place where the dad's will take their kids.I'm quite happy to let them get on with it. The benefit of retiring at 52( 9 years ago) is that I can leave these periods, and the weekends to those that have no other time.
Talking of roach, if you have any interest in the Hampshire Avon, have a look at this
I'm not in a rush to get to the big river on the 16th, so I shall probably do a bit of drain fishing, although a pal of mine has some nice tench to tempt out of a mature reed lined pond near the coast, so I could be tempted to use my first ever cane rod, (matched with my Youngs Heritage) made for me by Paul Johnson, a hobby for him that appears to be taking over.

Last night we visited the Taal in Market Rasen, probably the best "Indian" around these parts.They do a dish called Shadur Lau, which has pumpkin mixed in with the lamb or chicken, but, also has those surprise whole spices included which give a terrific flavour burst.
Their beer is one of the less gasey lagers that I can just about put up with, good flavour though, it's called Lal Toofan. If your still on Cobra, or even Kingfisher, get your regular Bangla/Indian place to get some in..


My local The White Hart, has just got from the Louth Camra District, The Town & Country Pub of the Year Award for 2010.
They always have 4 real ales running, constantly changing brews. No fruit machines and no music. One lager for the less tasteful amongst us, but even that is a good one(apparently)
I only visit the pub once in a blue moon now,and every other thursday for the quiz . We've given up the weekly darts, not a team game anymore, with most of the team disappearing outside for a fag.
Shame, but after given the weed up 7 years ago, I can no longer stand the smell of stale smoke breaths.
You don't notice that when you smoke, do you?.


TESTING.......TESTING.....right off we go

Thought I would have a go at this, if some of those I've seen can get away with it, I'm sure I can too!
I may do this daily or when the mood takes me.

Anyway I'll explain the comments in my Profile first, then go from there.
Sense of Humour.
There are some who think a sense of humour is "what I like",what they never seem to think about is, what they like may not be what their kids, or come to that what other kids may like. So to publish their "sense of humour" in places other than their own domain, where they are not aware of who is viewing is just plain ignorant.Having done it though they go away and giggle inanely with the little gangs they are part of.
Two Faced.
Simple really ,those that will be all smiley smiley to your face, but behind your back exactly the opposite.
What the two faced do not seem to realise is that other people see their two faced approach, and very soon all their "friends" will either slip away quietly, or as often happens, they get used by those "friends" until their usefulness comes to an end.
Simple to explain again, they are the ones lead by the nose by the two faced and join in the little gangs they set up.
Those that give the impression they know it all and have done it all, but are really only kidding themselves as the lies eventually shine through.

Oh yes, I like Brook Benton too!

Kisses on a Postcard by Terence Frisby
Bloomsbury Publishing £7.99 (209 pages)
A tale of his wartime childhood and evacuation with his elder brother from [ London] Kent to Cornwall .
A warmhearted and often moving read, a vivid and intimate portrait of our wartime history.

READING NOW: The Nature of Barbel by Nick Giles