March 2014


tradition
In the few short years that I have returned to fishing a few traditions have developed. For the opening day of the season I go to the monastery ponds that I fished as a child.

I get up an hour before it’s light (which means about three in the morning) and make my way there by bicycle. This mode of transport is not a nod to days of yore, but rather something that allows the OH to have the car all day. It started as a necessity but has become a tradition.

For the closing day I go, mid-afternoon, to the river that is a short walk from where I live. The tradition that I have control over is that I stay until the bats are out.

There are other traditions which I do not have any say about.

Firstly the penultimate fishing trip of the season will have been better than average, perhaps ridiculously so, which will raise glorious hope that the last day of the season will be an absolute cannonade of angling achievement

Also I will see some amazing wildlife. Last year it was an eerie owl encounter.

And the final tradition is that I do not catch a single bloody thing.

So last Friday found me sitting on the bank hoping the milder weather might produce results. This was countered by the fact that the water was still extremely high. And fast.

I was trying to ignore the signs and omens, not helped that I’d had an amazing session the week before and achieved a personal best by quite a margin.

Anyway I set off with a hopeful heart, and buoyed by a week of dry and sunny weather.

After an hour and a half as the heat began to fade out of the sunlight I heard a bird begin to call loudly. It was immediately apparent that it was coming from a large alder and it took only a moment or two to locate a big bird of prey sitting towards the top of it. The calling carried on for at least ten minutes and although I could not tell what the bird was (smaller than a kite or buzzard, but big) it was a wonderful thing to witness.

I tried to ignore the portent of this remarkable avian encounter and told myself that things would pick up as darkness fell.

So I fished on until the bats came out, the first one wheeling past as it was barely twilight.

I did not catch anything.

I did not expect to.

And tradition was honoured.

PS – My arris was less honoured and took a long time to thaw out.

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cone 1

The insides of London phoneboxes are often decorated, though sadly only with flyers showing bare ladies and offers of lurid excitement.

Sometimes there is something a bit different as I blogged about recently, and this sticker of a pine cone is another example.

Quite what it’s all about I don’t know.

Not that it needs to be about anything of course; it’s a fine thing in it’s own right and for fine things just existing is reason enough for, well….existing.

I would like to know what the story behind it is though.

cone 2

ts1

Everyone, I’m sure, expects to be brassic during January, but here we are cresting into March and I still have no money.

(To be honest I expect this to be the status quo here at Boot Hall for the foreseeable future.)

If I did have any money I’d head over to Vintage Hiking Depot to make a few purchases.

My VHD T-Shirt is one of my favourite bits of clothing and when I bought it a complimentary VHD sticker was enclosed.

Rather than just slap it on anywhere, I put the sticker, with a couple of others, in a “safe place”. It is the nature of such “safe place”s that they are near impossible to locate within 24 hours.

Or maybe that only applies if, like me, you are an idiot.

Whether you are an idiot or not, I recommend that you get over to the Vintage Hiking Depot sire to have a gander at the merch.

I may have to order another VHD sticker as I’ve now found a really good place to put it. The trouble is there are 2 other stickers in my “safe place” and I‘d need to replace them too. Grrr.