Wednesday, 28 December 2011

This year

 River record

Well done to Jerry Gleeson on his 14lb 8oz barbel from the Goyt on the 23rd December.

In Yorkshire
But may be too expensive for them !

The Yorkshire branch of the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) are organising a one-day seminar, with the EA's support, to examine the issues of predators in greater depth.
The IFM is a non-profit organisation controlled by members sharing a common interest in the modern management of recreational and commercial fisheries.
 Topics for the day will be broadly organised into fish-eating birds, seals, otters and less acknowledged predators such as signal crayfish.
After each session there will be time for you to question the panel of presenters.
The venue is the conference centre at Goole Leisure Centre on Saturday 18 February 2012, between 09:00 and 17:00.
The IFM will be charging attendees a small fee (£10). Tea. coffee and a buffet lunch will be provided.
For more information contact the event organiser, Mike Lee


Just a bit to sort out still, but if the weather continues for the foreseeable future, I shall have some catching up to do on the river, maybe the Thames when I make my last trip to Harold Hill.
I'll try and squeeze at least one trip to the Trent before year end.

Game over
Last mention of the little man............ ever!
I see a certain obnoxious little Yorkshireman claims to have been given early retirement.
Rumour on the grapevine is, that it's not for the reason he gives!!

Last for the year

Unless I am able to get out for a fish, this will be my last blog for 2011.
Lots of memories to store for me and piles of old family photo's to organise, including this the first time I think I've seen it.   My Mum & Dad, 3rd May 1947.
Together again!

So to everybody, have a great 2012, may it be a fit and healthy one for you all, with plenty of fish to fill your net.
My 2012 is going to be the very best for a while I'm sure.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Another chapter closes


Mum's funeral yesterday at 11:00 and it all went very well, plenty of family in attendance and a very good service not too religious and a bit of music.
She came into the chapel with Nat King Cole's Unforgettable.

Her favourite song was played whilst we were having the "quiet" few minutes of reflection, I say quiet, it was Jennifer Rush's Power of love. 

I just about got through reading the following poem from the pulpit early on in the ceremony

  She's gone: David Harkins
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Finally Glen Miller's Moonlight serenade.  Rest in Peace Mum

Monday, 12 December 2011

Waiting over


  Kathleen Ella Boney 
10 January 1923 - 11 December 2011

A Single Rose

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Winter on the way?

Wide awake at 5:30 this morning very tempted  to  have a trip down to the Trent, in the end I lie there listening to the tawny owls calling and couldn't be arsed to stir myself for the 1 hour journey.
I think I'll write off the rest of this season, and hope my enthusiasm returns next season.
Need to keep an eye out in the tackle store though, another mouse trapped!

President Fred's bit

I have to say  reading Fred Crouch's piece a few times, what he has to say has some real merit, it would be good to see if anybody has a counter view.

In the garden
A rather neglected garden this year, although we had a good crop of lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, courgettes, radish and spuds. Some of the lettuces, and radish as big as golf balls are still in the ground, and a few peppers being slowly eaten by the insect life.The "orchard" was wiped out just after the fruit had set by a very sharp wind blown frost.
Bird life is beginning to return including  a good few male pheasants but not our regular Chinese one.....yet!
A rare visitor to the garden spotted this morning on a couple occasions already,  a female bullfinch, and a great tit inspecting a nest box, probably for spiders rather than for next years nest I'm sure. Four female blackbirds doing the territorial thing only one male to be seen.

Last Friday

Had a very good session with the International Drinking Society" boys" in a Fullers pub, The Telegraph, off Moorgate in the City of London. The Telegraph, London EC2R
Stuck to the "Pride" so I was good, had a very good lunch too, recommend their confit of duck leg.
All ol'boys relatively fit probably see at least most of them during next year!Got my first Christmas present too.


After some trepidation as I'm not on ounce of a handy man and after 37 years of home ownership took the leap into the unknown and changed for the first time a leaking washer in the bathroom hot tap, the furthest tap from the water cut off.!!
Total cost £11.12.
Good job I took the whole piece along to Travis Perkins, it wasn't just a rubber washer as it was ceramic! Phew no leaks to report.

Something for the weekend
A man and his wife were awoken at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door.
The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.
"Not a chance," says the husband, "it is 3:00 in the morning!"
He slams the door and returns to bed.
"Who was that?" asked his wife..
"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.
"Did you help him?" she asks.
"No, I did not, it is 3:00 in the morning and it is pouring rain out there!"
"Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us?
I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!"
The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pouring rain.
He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?"
"Yes," comes back the answer.
"Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband.
"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark.
"Where are you?" asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing," replied the drunk.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Ah well!


"It won't be this week or in the next fortnight,  it may not be until next year" the words of mum's consultant !!

Mum doesn't know the facts yet, not certain if she should be told, I'll wait for guidance.
The hint to her that she will have to move out of Whipps Cross to a "nursing home" got usual her stubborn reaction.
 "I'm not going into one of them places, you know what they do to the oldun's in those places, and anyway I don't want to be stuck with a lot of old'uns!
Bloody newspapers have a lot to answer for, frightening the lives out of our older folk with their sensationalist reporting of one off occasional misdemeanours!
So the next move, a family meeting to discuss what's  in mum's best interests.
We shall see!
So Harold Hill bound again, fishing takes a big back seat, glad I got the magazine finished though one less hassle.

Some light relief

Meeting up with the old boys of the International Drinking Society in a Fullers pub in the City on Friday starting at 11:30am for our pre Christmas do.I like a pint of Fullers, should I really let my hair down with ESB, or take it gently with Pride, choices..choices, I'll see how the mood takes me!!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Barbel Society and Angling Trust

Angling Trust Celebrates its 1,500th Member Organisation

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Two weeks later!

I've been back and forwards twice since my last report and apart from a promise of a full body scan and a doctor who hasn't the decency to return calls I have nothing to report.
Mum's comfortable, not certain if the break has started healing or if the cancer is spreading, so another trip this week to bend some ears at Whipps Cross.

Your nicked
Received my first ever speeding notice coming back from Mum's, 79mph on the A1 at around Grantham, I know the camera is there, I think my mind was on other matters!!


Did I tell you I had a day on a  muddy puddle with youngest brother?
Not a brilliant day one bloody goldfish, if I wanted to catch non natural fish I'd sit next my garden pond!!
No plans  for an outing yet,still finalising Barbel Fisher with the layout guys.

Had this one passed to me, so it 's here for you to share

For today

The European Union made it possible

 Some years ago, a small rural town in Spain twinned with a similar town in Greece.
The Mayor of the Greek town visited the Spanish town. When he saw the palatial mansion belonging to the Spanish mayor he wondered how he could afford such a house. The Spaniard said; "You see that bridge over there? The EU gave us a grant to build a four-lane bridge, but by building a single lane bridge with traffic lights at either end this house could be built".
The following year the Spaniard visited the Greek town. He was simply amazed at the Greek Mayor's house, gold taps, marble floors, it was marvellous. When he asked how this could be afforded the Greek said; "You see that bridge over there?"
The Spaniard replied; "No."

Sunday, 23 October 2011



Well, after returning home a week last Friday, I get a call from Mum to tell me that she was having trouble getting about, her arthritic left leg was "collapsing"!
Having just returned from a lunchtime pint or two in the White Hart, I didn't fancy the 3 hour journey down so said we'll be down tomorrow.
That was last Saturday, we arrived to find her unable or unwilling, to get out of her armchair to get herself a cup of tea so spent the weekend looking after her hand and foot,so to speak.
Come Monday we decided to get out of the house,primarily to top up the larder,but to have a look for a knee support bandage.Her community nurse being due any minute and effectively making her move from the chair
So we got one, like the rugby players seem to wear,the idea to give her confidence.
Anyway on arrival home we were greeted with an ambulance and the nurse, "your Mum has broken her arm"!!!
Apparently as the nurse was changing her bandage, Mum dropped her arm and it bashed the edge of the table and broke.Simple as that!
So we're still here, she's in Whipps Cross hospital  because Queens A&EU was closed for emergencies.
We must now await a relocation to a Rehabilitation Unit, in Hornchurch, so that they can assess her for future care. Possibly, but more likely probably not at home.

Typing this out on my  newly acquired Dell laptop and a wireless "dongle". Much needed as I'm in the middle of editing articles for Barbel Fisher.


Likely to be fishing an estate lake this week with my youngest brother, visiting time permitting etc!
So, c**p and b***m on the horizon although I'm told there are some nice perch in the lake.


Just managed to see the last 32 minutes of the match, if all that went before was as good, it was a terrific spectacle,well done to France for turning up and making a game of it.

Fishing Magic

My latest piece on the Barbel Society Research & Conservation day I had with  with Steve Pope

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Winter drawers on!


Sun just starting to show, and I've woken to the first frost of the autumn this morning.

Skoda 1.9tdi

Just flew through it's MOT . At 130,000 miles it looks like this motor has a year before the need to spend money.
Cam belt replacement will be due at the mileage rate I doing, 18,000 this year, brakes are on their  final adjustment, and the offside front suspension arm rubber bush is deteriorating....apparently!

Share buying

For the first time I've actively sought out and bought shares, through my bank, of a company I have been following for some time.I've had the give away's that the building Society's did when they became loss making banks and didn't keep them long.
 1000 shares in an AiM quoted company based in Manchester dealing with Construction & Materials.
This should be fun to watch and who knows may lead to another "hobby", not for dabbling with though, more long term pension investment, I think.


On hold for the time being !!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Busy Week

Not a lot to report

We went down to Mum's Saturday, to be close by following the sudden death of her sister on Friday.
So matter of fact, almost as if death is acceptable when you get old! I suppose it is ,but not to me ....yet!
She's now suffering the symptoms of a new pain killer drug Tramadol, this one makes her heave, better than "lost control of legs" or "coloured barbed wire moving across the floor, I suppose"!!
At least they are dealing with the pain, the other drugs weren't.
Stayed with her until Wednesday,as we had to get back for our 38th wedding anniversary night out and Pauline's 60th birthday on the 6th.
On arrival home a telephone message to say the funeral was on Friday.
Already !!
We had the Thursday night at the Forest Pines Hotel, near Brigg and just off the M180 and dinner in their 1857 restaurant
.We were very well looked after and an excellent meal. Highly recommended, but not for tight Yorkies or Yellow Bellies!
Up early next morning for the trip down to Hendon Crematorium close to the North Circular, for an 11:30 funeral.
Mum wasn't fit enough, but her elder sister Maggie, her with the broken leg, was determined to go.
So she spent the ceremony and the tea and sandwiches after, supported on both sides by two strapping lads!
Met up with some of the family, all of whom are getting old, we like most families only now seem to meet at weddings and funerals, so ageing  is noticeable!

Anyway back to Mum's via the chippy to take home skate and chips.
Up early to watch rugby, great game with the Irish & Welsh, the early morning spoilt only by watching the next performance by the English!!
Off home again straight after the match, Mum seems Ok.........for the moment.

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.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011



Well that put the kibosh on it, didn't it ?
The daft look of a pb triumph!!
A long journey taking me four hours before I wet my line, half expecting to up my pb on a river stretch noted for a run of good fish, and even hinting at it in my last blog, put me down for a 12 hour blanking session!!
I wasn't the only one blanking mind you, but there you go, no excuses.
I'll just have to wait a couple of weeks for another go.
Stopped for B&B at mum's place to help shorten what was already a very long day.
In the meantime maybe an evening trip to the middle Trent is needed. Tomorrow sounds good.

Is this a Water rail?

Accompanying me for part of my 12 hour stint was this little bird.
I've never seen one before, but I think it is a water rail. Too much of a beak for a moorhen ? Olive coloured feet, but the rest of the colouring doesn't look quite right from my books, so it could be in moult, or a juvenile.
Or....a juvenile moorhen!
Any views?

Daft Joke
An American fighter plane was flying over Afghanistan when the pilot noticed a flying carpet on each side of his plane, both armed with a machine gunner on board. 
Sensing danger he shot them down.
Back at base he got a right bollocking. 

Apparently they were Allied Carpets.

There are more but I keep them for my next blank.

Nothing like  a water rail!!!
A proper one

Thursday, 25 August 2011


Sorry for no updates things going on locally with aged neighbours,that needed a little input and time.
One of the old boys has been in agony with a need for a new hip, and at 80plus needs a little confidence boost as he expects "not to come out of a NHS hospital"
The other one in his mid 70's, he who I looked after when he broke his leg the other year, being chased around the garden by an angry swarm.Currently having radio therapy for the prostate problem and keeps putting off further tests because he wants to attend the Christening next month of his first grand child.
And poor old June from next door, now "celebrating" 20 weeks in hospital following operations around her stomach which have left her with festering wounds internally which just don't seem to want to heal.
Visited her yesterday in Nottingham, having been moved there after 17 weeks in Lincoln. Looking brighter and probably a better menu has helped.
No wonder my culdesac has a local name in the pub of St Peter's Close. Gods waiting room!!

Not been out but I have got myself something really special lined up for early next week.
I won't comment too much, but topping up a pb could be on the cards.

T... ...... nah!
Not really worth the effort, but he's even trying to taunt on his way down to Spain.
Laugh at his latest efforts?...We all are. Poor, poor man even on holiday he can't get away from it all!!

The other bloke still looks in on a twice daily basis too, I could almost set my watch by his visits, except I have no need for one!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Out again

Down South
A few days down to Harold Hill to see Mum and the ol'boys of the International Drinking Society.


No obvious change, though she was complaining most of the time about this that and the other.
So she's reasonably well!
Apparently jokingly(I think) she asked the visiting nurse if she could have euthanasia, too which the nurse said no, but wrote on the notes " Kathleen seems a little depressed at the moment"
Obviously doesn't know her well enough yet!!

Four of us
The meeting this time was to celebrate Brian's 70th later in the month, a few couldn't make it holidays etc.
Anyway, our port of call was the Captain Kidd in Wapping, a Samuel Smith pub by the side of the Thames.
Quite a busy pub eventually, although we were knocking on the door at noon to be let in.
A really grey wet day, and I have to say the Thames doesn't look its best in such conditions.
The only beers available are Sam Smith's own, the Old Brewery cask bitter was my choice, and whilst not a bad pint, it's not that exciting.
 It went down well during our 5 hour visit though, and at the fixed national price of £2.10 a pint, was probably. the cheapest beer I've had for a while, so, mustn't grumble.
A standard bar menu which wasn't bad for choice and quality. I recommend the risotto.
We finished the afternoon in the "beer garden" after the rain stopped and the second seat along dried out.
Our next meeting is in October, when Dave also celebrates his 70th.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Getting old

Wye Lea 

Had a pretty fitful night, it was either anticipation of meeting up with some new folk, or the home made rhubarb crumble I had after dinner on top of my 3 pints!!
Anyway got up a 4:30 made myself egg and bacon, and set of just after 5am
Arrived after a 3 hour drive, to find what looked like a silver haired gnome in a dressing gown, pointing a gnarled finger to the way the way down to the fishery. Well it wasn't it was the Trolley Dolly!
I waggled a thumb to my nose, and met Ray Thorpe, who the first to arrive.

Can't tell you much about the fishing, as it could spoil it for the website and chances of a future visit. Apparently the gnome has a very good relationship with the owner.

Save as to say, I didn't catch anything fishing the deeper area. Others did, fishing the shallow pacey stretch of the fishery.
I did get one decent good take and felt a good tug back, but it must have been an eel or a pike as it bit through just above the hook

Had an overnight in a pub with very cheap rooms and a good breakfast, about 15 minutes away from Ross on Wye.
 I drank 4 pints of a well kept Wye Valley Butty Batch( niiiiice) to wash down a chilli.
Followed by  another fitful night.
I think I have to start to be careful what I eat before I go to bed  now!!

So I decided to come home early for fear of falling asleep at the wheel later in the day. Nearly did too, that Red Bull stuff does nothing for me...well apart from repeating ever since.

Time to move west , methinks!!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Early doors

Lunch Session

Off to Ross on Wye  tomorrow at sparra's fart to spend the weekend on the Wye Lea fishery with a group from an angling website. Will report after.

Anyway, as a result of needing to get up at around 4am tomorrow, I decided to have a Friday beer session in the White Hart, our village real ale pub, at lunchtime.
No wanting to be driving for 3 hours plus under the influence of course.
What should I come across but an ale I have been  expecting, as Mick the landlord, lists his forthcoming brews.
I have to say that the Wold Top Brewery are very consistent with their ales, and I always look out for them. Anyway, if they are not on, I run along the 4 choices on offer to find the one that suits.
Sometimes, if one of the four goes "off" during my taste adventure, I have to try five, although once it did reach six, before settling for the favoured flavour!!

The one I was expecting was Anglers Reward, and it is exactly as it states on the brewers blurb.
A fine quafable ale and at £2:50 a pint
 I had a few pints, and thought that as I enjoyed them so much, that I would let my Blog friends have a hint of what to look for if they have decent real ale establishment close by, or are in the surrounding areas of Driffield Yorkshire.

Anglers Reward - August

One of our Winter Beers. The ultimate catch, a refreshing golden pale ale with a fruity bitterness & lingering aftertaste. Certainly a beer to help create those "one that got away" stories! 

Brewed with Wold grown malts and hopped with the fruity Cascade and Goldings hops.

*Please note, Angler's Reward is only available April to October.
It should be noted that Wold Top do sell their beers by the bottle 

The Wine Taster (Whilst on the subject)

At a wine merchant's, the regular taster died and the boss started looking for a new one to hire.

A drunkard with a ragged, dirty look came to apply for the position.
The boss of the warehouse wondered how to send him away.
 So he gave him a glass of wine to drink.
He tried it and said, "It's a muscat, three years old, grown on a north
 slope, matured in large old barrels. Low grade but acceptable."
  "That's correct", said the boss.
Another glass....
"It's a cabernet, eight years old, a south-western slope, new oak barrels,
matured at 8 degrees. Requires three more years for finest results".
 A third glass...
''It's a non-vintage pinot champagne, high grade and exclusive'' calmly said the drunk.
The boss was astonished. He winked at his secretary to suggest something.
She left the room and came back in with a glass of urine.
The alcoholic tried it.
"It's a blonde, 26 years old, three months pregnant and if you don't give me
the job, I'll name the father."

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Had a dabble!


Thought I would have a few hours on the middle Trent, it is very low and clear!
Left home at about 4pm
Started fishing close at to 6pm with plenty of hemp and casters and decided to use my cane rod acquired a year or so ago, but not used in anger.
Matched it with my Rolling Pin and found myself a swim with a bramble hedge down to the water edge and running down stream from the peg for about 20 feet.
Looked spot on, but shallow, baited up with all the hemp and caster and waited.

Lots of knocks from chublets and hooked a good sized perch. I had decided to have a go with lobworm
At about 8o'clock ,by this time touch ledgering with the worm I had my first real tug and struck into the fish. It jigged jagged across river and then left the water entirely in it's  mad haste to escape.
A nice barbel of about 5lb.
That's only happened to me once before, at Adams Mill just under the weir sill, when a similar sized fish did the same thing but shook the hook!

A short while later another good take, this time a short stubborn fight by a chub of about 4lb.

Then all went dead. I fished on until the sun just edged below the horizon and decided that that was probably it for the evening, and as we have to be off this water at dusk and two sets of padlocks to negotiate, I decided to leave for home about an hour and a half away.
Thought I would write this whilst supping a pint of Pedigree, now ready for the next one.
Rod & reel Christened

Thursday, 28 July 2011

That was hot!!


Had a morning tide session today at Sutton on Trent, fishing just off a big bend.

Met a  BS member who had fished the night tide with some success with a couple of doubles.
So I thought, worth a go though it is very bright and hot.
Plenty of fish movement on the surface all day, and loads of boats up and down, on a very clear and low river. In fact it's the first time I've seen strong weed growth on the bottom in 7 years, so it been a long far.

I put two rods out amongst a good carpet of hempseed spread over small area whilst the tide was stopped.
Despite various changes of bait, not a touch !
Loads of rubbish and weed coming down, including one dead belly up barbel, probably from Cromwell upstream!!

At about 2pm popped to the car to get a drink, just behind me up from the rock embankment. Some c.. captain in a pleasure boat came steaming off the bend and sliced through both my lines, any closer and he would have been on the rocks.
Good job the  baitrunners were on, as both rods and the pod  headed for the wet stuff.
I hope he finds a nice tangle around his props and two of Ary's feeders caught up in the works.

But, guess what? I've been lightening the bag load of late, and now take a box of feeders with me in the back of the motor. Not this time, they are on the shelf in the garage.
So picked up 'addock and chips, on the way home for an early bath.

Few pints of the real stuff in the White Hart tonight, and a quiz to put the brain to use.

The Young!

Little Billy and Lucy are only 12 years old,

But they know they are in love.
One day they decide that they want to get married,
So Billy goes to Lucy's father to ask him for her hand.

Billy bravely walks up to him and says,
"Mr. Smith, me and Lucy are in love
And I want to ask you for her hand in marriage."
Thinking that this was just the cutest thing,
Mr. Smith replies,
"Well Billy, you're only 12..
Where will you two live?"

Without even taking a moment to think about it,
Billy replies,
"In Lucy's room.
It's bigger than mine
And we can both fit there nicely."Still thinking this is just adorable,
Mr. Smith says with a huge grin,
"Okay, then how will you live?
You're not old enough to get a job.
You'll need to support Lucy."

Again, Billy instantly replies, "Our pocket money,
Lucy gets five pounds a week
And I get 8 pounds' that's about 52 pounds a month
So that should do us just fine."

Mr. Smith is impressed
Billy has put so much thought into this.

"Well Billy,
It seems like you have everything worked out.
I just have one more question.
What will you do if the two of you should have
                  Little children of your own?"
       Billy just shrugs his shoulders and says,
"Well, we've been lucky so far."

Mr. Smith no longer thinks the little shit is adorable

Sunday, 24 July 2011

River Kennet 20th & 21st August

 Barbel Society Fish-in update

The fish-in will be on Reading & District AA's Upper Benyons A section stretch (carpark bank)

There will not be a formal school just a fish-in open to all. with advice to hand for those wishing to improve or just gain knowledge of the water

Register for either day or for both days by email to

The inevitable

Amy Winehouse

The first of the inevitable's is the sad death of Amy Winehouse.
I think we all saw it coming, but it still a shock that such young raw talent should be wasted to what is no doubt drink and drugs.
Rest in Peace Amy, the best was yet to come


The next almost inevitable,...a blank!
I spent a few hours with Pete Reading, after another very productive and promising meeting of the Barbel Society committee. We were looking over, and fishing a part of the Warwickshire Avon.

We fished for about 3 hours until just after 7pm, but after a long day and 2 hours plus travelling back home for both of us, we decided that we'd had enough.
A slow moving river with 12 foot of water in the margins, tempted me to lay down a big mixture of hemp and dead maggots and fish under the rod tip.
We probably left far too early really, not a touch for me, and perhaps a liner for Pete!
Maybe a visit in the autumn

Will of Notts

Can't get in mate !!!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Off and running

Middle Trent

Managed a few hours this afternoon for my first proper barbel session, overnight  water level rise quickly running off.
Quite a turnout on a short stretch of river. And to think I don't fish weekends, so the workers can have a go!

Lots of knocks and nibbles on pellet & boilie, but nothing to be connected with.
So for the last half hour or so, before chucking off time, I had a go at touch ledgering lobworm down the inside and got myself 2 barbel of 4:6 and 4:10, both fighting fit and gave me a cracking tug through the ranunculus!
2 chub one about 2lb and the other 4: 2. Thought I would weigh the fish to get myself back in touch with size/weights.
I don't like using barbed hooks but needs must when the weed pays such a big part in the successful landing of the fish.

Cracking piece of river, I didn't take the camera, so no pictures.
A swan family of 7, cygnets probably a day or two old. Kingfishers were very active along the stretch.
Maybe fishing the Teme on Saturday/ Sunday

PS           ABF

Well done to the members of the ABF a tidy sum raised for a fine charity.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Barbel Society: Barbel School

River Kennet Fish - In

Unlikely, to be a formal Barbel School like the Teme weekend, but there will be experts available for advice/tips.

The Pope's River Diaries

All welcome.

Anybody interested in joining  on Saturday/Sunday 20th/21st August, it will cost £10 for a day ticket (each day)
 RDAA members free but must register.

email  to register at if you would like to attend, first come first served.

Further details to follow after this weekend:

Saturday, 16 July 2011

More reading time!

Home visit

We decided over the weekend to go back to Romford on Monday to an obviously suffering Mum, who despite her protestations wasn't sounding too good over the telephone.
Arriving early afternoon after a diversion around  a mobile crane turning over on the A14, it was obvious that she wasn't very well at all, and was in some pain.
Fortunately her doctor had prescribed some extra strong pain killers and anti biotic for the "water infection" and they arrived shortly after we did, so we got her dosed up.
Cancelling the papers at home, we had decided we would be staying for as long as she needed us, or  certainly at the very least until the end of the week.
So we fed her up, she hadn't been eating or drinking all weekend, kept her comfortable until her regular visiting nurse turned up on Thursday to deal with her operation wound bandaging.The wound will never heal, but will get worse, we are told.
Anyway, as soon as the nurse went she went into her moaning about everything mood, so we knew she had recovered......the drugs were working!!
When she is in her moaning mood we know it's time to go, otherwise we all start. So we decided to go out for a curry in Gidea Park and out of the way for a few hours.
Very good it was too in Zaffran's, a different menu to the usual, tasty and well prepared.
Back at Mum's we told her we were going home tomorrow, and so we did after replenishing her larder!


I took along 3 books.
My own copy of one to finish, after a bit of a struggle Barbel Mystique by Dr Terry Baxter.
I found it far to flowery, and I certainly don't understand poetry that has no rhyme!
At 283 pages, too long to tell story of one's barbel fishing over the years in my view.

The others were review copies from Harper.
Paul Cook's Lost In a Quiet World, which is about Paul's formative world of fishing in an estate lake until the age of about 15.
Not a bad read, but is only part of his story I'm sure, so probably more to come. I didn't put it down so it held my attention for a few hours
The next was Chris Turnbull's Reflections, all in all a better read, with Chris running through his specimen hunting days from Tench, carp, crucians and barbel through to his trips to Thailand and finally to grayling. Again a book that didn't get a rest, well apart from a curry visit. Recommended!

Both books are extremely well produced by Harper, showing off the artistry of both individuals in a good light.
The books are now going off to Barbel Society members for full reviews for Barbel Fisher in time for Christmas presents lists.They will then be made available for the Society's R&C auction at the end of October/early November (Details to follow in due course)

I am now awaiting my personal copy of Maurice (Mole) Pledger's book While my float's still cocked.
To be launched this Friday 22th July.
Mole's artwork
With Mole being on hand and painting at the CLA game fair at Blenheim Palace next weekend on Coch-y-Bonddu's book stand.

I'm getting back into this reading lark, I suppose it's the next best thing to being there!!.


All going well, I'll be on the middle Trent on Thursday for some barbel fishing.

The Avon Roach Project

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Barbel Society: Barbel School

Just back from a very successful Barbel Society weekend  of fishing and tuition on the River Teme.
 20 booked to be given advice and instruction, and 20 turned up.
A well organised and run school, this,  the very first, was on Dave Mason's Top Barn stretch. He, Rob Swindells and their Teme Severn team looked after everything.
One lad caught his first ever barbel, in not so perfect conditions, so a well chuffed individual and hopefully a new member of the Society.
Not seeing a great deal of point in going fishing and sleeping, for the first time I actually slept in the car and didn't suffer too much, even though I'm all for the creature comforts.May try it again to get the best of an early morning or the early evening without the worry of a few hours drive after!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Been away again

Just back from a rush trip down to Mum.We returned from holiday to find she is suffering some severe pain in her back. Doctor says it's her spine, Locum prior to that said a water infection!!!! So we await an XRay. 
Mum says(once again)I don't want all this, never thought I would live this long.
Off to the River Teme tomorrow for the weekend, I may move straight on to Romford afterwards to at least cook  her some hot food, any excuse at the moment not to eat, well other than a bit of of toast !!

It's that man again!

July issue Coarse Angling Today and two pages on Summer barbelling