More “humourous” van signage.

Drainage companies seem to really go for this.


When I descended from the attic with an armful of cartoon books little could I have guessed the impact that they would have. Of course all children love comic strips, but not all comic strips are for children. As a kid I recall thinking Peanuts was pretty rubbish and so was Garfield.

Since these half dozen books, featuring Calvin and Hobbes, were bought during my early twenties I wasn’t at all sure that Little Boots would appreciate them.

How wrong I was.

They were devoured end to end; at the rate of one a day.

Two more things surprised me.

Firstly that the humour was wholly appreciated. Some is pretty straightforward, slapstick and such, but a good deal is grown up and a bit left of centre. (I should have anticipated this -at parents’ evening we were told of an almost adult sense of humour, and a slightly skewed one at that. The OH glared at me; I inwardly chuckled)

The other thing was that the books were adopted as a lifestyle guide.

“What shall we have for tea?” “Meatloaf.” “What’s that?” “Don’t know. Sounds good. Calvin eats it and he’s funny. He‘s also cool. He had a bath in the toilet”

“Can we get some Crisco?” “What for?” “ So I can put it in my hair to make it stand up.”

(Crisco is lard)

 “Look at this bit. He draws a monster on his tummy for the school photo. I’m going to do that.”

As with the cartoon strip, things got a lot worse once a stuffed toy tiger was acquired.

[Apologies to anyone who found their way here looking for stuff on photosynthesis – drop me an email & I’ll send you my RHS Advanced notes on the subject]

As you get older time seems to go ever faster. But somehow the weeks from the end of the fishing season have ground on with a glacial density.

I have filled the time with thinking about fishing, reading about it, looking at and (too often I’m afraid) buying tackle. But then I have also made some from scratch. More actively, I have renovated a decrepit old pushbike and fitted it with racks in anticipation of trips to the water when the car’s spoken for.

But none of this has been enough. In fact all of it hasn’t been enough. Last week it was so bad that I had to go and look at some water. I kidded myself that it was a scouting trip for the first day of the season, but really I just wanted to be at the bankside. And it worked too, lifting my mood massively. A big dose of nature and adventure. 

En route I saw some humorous signage, this time on a barge rather than a van.

I also clocked this piece of sculpture perched on a mooring post and looking for all the world like a totem pole.

And when I got to the water I was recce-ing I saw lots of pasty people despoiling a green space in a variety of ways. But I also saw fish. Lots of rather blatant little ones.

And some far shadowier big ones.

And if I was clever enough to put a soundtrack on this post – it would be this.