Wednesday, July 11, 2018
It goes without saying that the river flow is reduced but prolific weed growth maintains a reasonable level. Soporific fish are increasingly feeding sub surface and nymph fishing has now begun, although a few rise to sedge in the last hour of the day as is often the way in a hot high summer.
More soon after this message from our sponsor:
"Diligent readers of Association newsletters will know that we have been working hard with like-minded organisations to support the efforts of the Environment Agency to restrict future abstraction of water from the Hampshire chalkstreams for public water consumption to more sustainable levels. We can report success! At a Public Inquiry in March, Southern Water agreed to all the changes to their abstraction licences proposed by the Environment Agency. This is a complicated issue and hard to summarise succinctly, but, in essence, the Inquiry outcome means that Southern Water will not be able to abstract more water from the rivers than they have in the past – and less than they have hitherto been licensed to. With the number of water customers growing, this means they are now required to develop the alternative water sources required to meet demand. In turn, this means that they are committed over the next ten years to investing in these alternative sources, the main ones being a new reservoir, a desalination plant and increased use of grey water by their industrial customers. They will also be working on demand reduction initiatives and doing more to fix leaks in the system."
Well done everyone, but can we all remember what a bunch of weasels private water companies are whose word is not their bond and are well versed in lip service and obfuscation.
And also this:
These kind of successes have a habit of occurring in threes so let's examine how that "Dream of Brexit is going"
No not that one.
How about the football?
I didn't think we'd play this well and I haven't enjoyed watching an England side play football as much as this since Euro 96 and it is modern day football, not the turgid default of the four. Our youngest squad for years going about their business on and off the field with a skip and a bounce previously unassociated with our national side, and well done the supporters, it may be a generational thing but no trouble and lots of fun sans the nationalistic songs and thuggery.
Returning to "The Dream of Brexit"
Why not let Gareth Southgate and his team lead negotiations on our exit from the European Union?
failing that let him run the country?
While we're on football, two weeks underground in a flooded cave is not the best preparation for a match, but if the Thai FA is anything like the English FA. There will have been a chap in a blue blazer replete with large pocket badge, beige stay press action slacks and faux leather shoes to greet the coach with an "ahem, I'm afraid we've had to deduct points for the two fixtures you failed to complete, there are fines to be paid and by the way you now have a rearranged cup game tomorrow morning."
Bert Millichip and Ted Croker live on
In other sports news. With the top ten seeds in the ladies side of the draw at Wimbledon failing to make the last eight shouldn't the seeding panel be held to account? Ok it's not an exact science but come on, failing to identify one of the last eight is poor punditry at best, balls out of hat at worst.
News just in from our travel correspondent.
Did I mention that we'd been to Australia?
currently equates to a short break away for Madam and myself later this year. There is no speed awareness course offered and I have been awarded 2 demerit points.
A decision must be made.
Have we done with Down Under?
Should we risk the ire of Interpol?
Or shall we go to Italy again?
It's currently keeping me awake at night,
or that might be the heat,
"No worries ?"
Yeah right. Go well!
I don't mean to invoke the passage of time and all things Kylie but I'm sure Gareth Southgate was older than me when he missed that penalty at Euro 96,
Beginning of the end Gareth, beginning of the end.
I shan't post the picture of the field called Spring Bottom that hasn't had a spring in it for five years, as it shouldn't have a spring in it in the middle of summer, but this spring has never stopped running in my time here.
Monday, June 25, 2018
Sitting down in the kitchen for a fine lunchtime repast of Jacket potato corned beef and sauerkraut.
There I said it, I'm a big fan of European fermented cabbage, deal with it.
Called to the door to receive fish destined for the smoker, I returned to the kitchen to find half of the dirty cutlery removed from the dishwasher.
Yesterday things took a piratical turn as Moss raided the dishwasher and put in a few laps of the sofa with a sharp knife between his teeth.
As I write, he has just finished forging new routes through our small garden and is now chewing the fridge door.
In Avian news the Owl has gone. We gave him his last piece of chicken fillet (This bird has enjoyed significantly better cuts of meat than I have during his two week sojourn chez de Cani) popped him in the hedge by the vegetable garden where he hung around for five minutes before taking flight without so much of a thank you, best wishes or chin chin.
Uncivil birds Owls.
Oh yes, Bake off - The Professionals (Sunday night C4)
Why no Bodie and Doyle and that goto guy for "parsimonious Scot" whose name I forget off the Fine Fare advert?
I have a lot to thank Salmo Trutta for.
My principle source of income relies on Brer Brown Trout being on good form and present in numbers. But wasn't one of the main criticisms of chalk stream management in the last quarter of the 20th century that it all became to "troutcentric" Put simply, if it wasn't a trout it was coming out.
Well done for the river restoration work, but let's not get carried away and throw hundreds of tonnes of gravel into every deep slow reach of this river system.
It's just a thought.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Well Jury Service was a non event. Held in an ante chamber for six hours while legal types wrangled in the adjacent court only to be told that the trail had been cancelled and we could all go home for the two we that we had been summoned. I don't know what costs are incurred in the cancellation of a trail at crown court but it has happened forty seven times this year. Judge Judy returns home to tend her roses, and clerks, ushers and counsel repair to iron capes and buff up wigs. While we're on the formalities of court isn't the whole wig and cape thing a tad archaic? it's all a bit like George the third does batman. Surely in this day and age we could have some more contemporary garment possibly with a name and number on the back to signify their role in court.
It's just a thought.
You will note the Nordic method of log stacking employed on the stack on the left.
And the Bransbury method by our back door.
or keepering as it was once known.
A week or so ago I received a call from Madam on her evening ritual of taking a walk in order to reintroduce herself to the outside world after the madness and stress of working in a Primary School that is severely financially stretched.
It's been a while since we did any product placement so here goes. I was once a little sniffy regarding rechargeable equipment for use up the river. Battery life, build quality, the ability to carry out the task for which it has been designed. But all that has now changed. What was the cause of this damascene moment?
The recent purchase of the Stihl HLA 85 Pole Hedge cutter. With the Partridge upon me I'd like to espouse the two hours of battery life produced by the Ap 200 unit the tremendous build quality and maximum telescopic length of three metres.
(Come on Stihl you can reciprocate accordingly for this plug)
No noisy engine so every word of Test Match Special can be heard
(Come on ECB no third test against Pakistan and over a month before the next Test Match - nuts!)
No exhaust fumes and the knowledge that with each trim of the fringe, planet earth is that little bit safer.
The Stihl HLA 85
Names currently under consideration for impending new puppy:
Stihl HLA 85
Only all this careful consideration over names is not now required.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Moss!
Apologies but it's loin cloth, cave and shaking fist at outside world time again.
On three occasions this season, and we're only five weeks in, I have had anglers say to me that they had fished at such and such a place recently and had not seen a fish. Negotiating the banks had been a mission in itself and they were considering giving up their rod that they had held for some years. They were three separate stretches of chalk stream.
It is a worrying trend that some seem to have gone over big when exposing themselves to the cult of "re-wilding".
Call me a crank if you wish, but chalk streams must be managed if biodiversity is to be maximised.
How do I know this?
because in thirty two years that I have been falling in and out of this river I have been asked to look at several stretches of chalk stream that have not been managed for a number of years. One not far from here was a tree lined tunnel void of all weed with rudimentary aquatic life that was vastly improved after two weeks of going bananas with a chainsaw. It now has weed, an increased number of invertebrates and a population of trout and grayling that each year undertake the rigours of spawning.
Under management of chalk streams can be as detrimental as over management, the right balance must be sought if the habitat is to thrive and biodiversity maximised.
Keepering they used to call it - you've done that one - ed.
Reports suggest that some stretches have become a right old shambles, and on a personal note if we look up rather than down, in five or ten years time there may be much needed work for the likes of myself restoring some order to some stretches that perhaps went in too deep with regard to the cult of re-wilding.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Ladies and Gentleman our house band The Detroit Spinners,
Weren't they great everyone?
Oh well, but thanks as ever for the invitation.
I've just been informed (many times) that in the cause of protecting data I am required to offer you the opportunity of looking elsewhere should this guff have been forced upon you. Please be assured that the door is open and anyone can leave at anytime should they so wish.
Which is great.
So why can't this small cluster of houses less than an hour drive from what some would have as the greatest city on earth have it as well?
We remember fondly the days of our quarter meg dial up connection and my employer who uses the hopeless landline broadband connection, spends most days in a fug of buffering while we are forced to rely on our expensive 3G mobile provider for a speed of not much north of half a megabyte.
Anyway I'll avoid kicking off about Open Reach and BT as it will only make my eyes go all twitchy again.
because they are oak trees.
Dutch Elm disease gets all the heat when it comes to arboreal genocide but ash die back will push it close.
Oh yes, further bonifides required please Mr Gove. This time on sandwich fillings. Last week, in the resumption of his quest for higher office he implored us all to eat more lamb sandwiches.
I'm not a fan of the lamb sarnie. Chicken, beef and pork, pulled or otherwise are fine as fillings for a sunday evening sandwich in front of Arthur Negus et al but all sensible people (northern folk in particular) agree that the best treatment for leftover lamb is several days of slow cooking in red wine and herbs with some shallots and carrots topped with sliced potatoes and a big dollop of pickled cabbage (or sauerkraut if the EU is upon you) later in the week
The cove Gove seems to have been hewn from the same rock as Mr Mandleson who once famously entered a northern fish and chip shop and requested some of the mashed avocado with his chips
"That'll be mushy peas then" came the reply.
Yes, Bonafides please Mr Gove, Bonafides. Not only with regard to sandwich fillings but also for the post which you currently hold.
While we're on meat. In the name of cutting down on red meat in order to attain a perfect cholesterol level of four point something, we've just devoured a very nice piece of Hampshire Bred top rump. It came to light during this fine repast that with four jars of horseradish and four jars of mustard I had fast become the Imelda Marcos of the condiment world.
Later this week I will be charged with spinning the wheel of the justice.
The welcome pack from the Courts of Justice states that I cannot take my clever idiot proof camera into court so with a nod to Tony Hart I've whipped out the pastels and crayons, eschewed the kodachrome.
In dog news, Otis has sore feet again.
It happens every year when he is in malt (hair falling out, he's not a whisky drinker) Hair folicles become infected between his toes and he assumes a mincing tread. A course of antibiotics have him podding about again within a week but getting him to swallow the things are a bit of a trial. His Uncle Zebo could famously eat around any peas placed in his dinner and while a knob of cheese with a pill hidden discretely within used to work for Otis, he now rejects any cheap cheese offered, will suffer 36 month old Davidstow, but wolfs down a pill wrapped in half a slice of Prosciutto or Serrano.
He has become quite the gourmand in later life and the cost of the delivery method of each pill may soon exceed the cost of the pill itself!
Names Currently under consideration for impending puppy.
Boots McArther - Came to me in a dream,
Pontebodkin - Bridge based which seems apt
Karius - Noooooooooooo!
Uncle Peter - I may have got stuck on Vic & Bob while undertakimg research for a film earlier in the piece.
Lister - Ditto
Michael Gove - Hmmmm, bonafides for work as a Labrador required.