Friday, April 24, 2015
Scything Reluctant Ranunculus in Full Fig
And a word to the wise Percy Poldark, if you're grunting your way across a meadow with a sweaty bare torso, you are not using your scythe in the correct manner.
This kind of gratuitous display of human flesh sent Titbits to the wall in the eighties, as a regular user of such a tool I feel grossly misrepresented..............nay violated!
The new season starts next week and in a low river brim full of ravenous trout keen to get on with the hawthorn, I expect the first fortnight to see many fish put on the bank. No sign of any hawthorn yet and there haven't been many olives putting in an appearance in the afternoon but the first significant hatch of any fly should see most fish break cover for a feed, although with a thin fringe and little weed they could spook quite easily.
The reluctance of ranunculus to get going is a little concerning, and at this point can we all agree that if men in fine fleece and cutting edge walking shoes lay claim to understand this finicky weed, they shall be shown a dismissive hand. Parts of the growth cycle of this important aquatic weed remain a mystery, it is an enigmatic aquatic plant that sometimes doesn't follow the rules. It likes light and fast clean water, and the river may be a little cold for it at the moment, but in 2001 following a wet winter the ranunculus grew thick and up and out of the water, as it did last summer, in 2002 the ranunculus inexplicably failed in a reasonable flow of water, fingers crossed it is not repeated this year because it will have a vital part to play in holding water up.
She hatched off her brood eventually, in spite of her daily displacement.
A musical interlude
April, come she will, when streams are ripe and swelled with rain....
Just stop right there Simon & Garfunkel, this kind if thing no longer applies,
I shan't go on , but I am obliged to say that we have had a dry winter and many of the ditches that feed into this river are now dry, bridges are decidedly precipitous and we have gravel proud of the water. Thanks to the Test & Itchen Association for chucking some of my interminable guff regarding this subject into their annual river report.
If you want to read it it's in the paper copy, I won't repeat it here, but you can guess at the gist, with weed slow to grow this river is currently very low.
Bird News as we have it!
More musical news, just in!
With the Nicholas Chienterelli trio failing to fill contractual obligations, I have picked up the baton of all things A&R and in my quest to secure a new house band for this production, I firmly believe we have discovered THE pop sensation of the next five years.
Kids, his name is Will Young, that's Will Young
and he is heading right to the top of the hit parade.
He has a disk out that channels the new northern soul sound and I confidently predict we have found the new Don Fardon.
You heard it here first!
Child B for fifteen months work experience with some fancy planners, and at this point we would like to make a request that he revisit his kitchen and toilet hygiene regimes as his Cardiff retreat had echoes of Yasser Arafat's refectory in downtown Beirut sometime in the 1980s, albeit with Sky Sports and Pizza Express.
Child A pops back for a night or two most weeks as she completes her complicated and increasingly relevant post-graduate studies, while working part time for a business up the road. Last week she returned to do some talking at a conference at another University , which sounded incredibly grown up, and understandably Madam and myself are sometimes asked " what plans for September?"
To which we reply, "Dunno, does it matter?"
And here I'd like to quote Baz Luhrmann at length, but will refrain and pick out the following lines
"The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know, still don't,
Get plenty of Calcium"
The calcium things a given with water drawn from a chalk valley, but I think I was in a minority among my contemporaries in that I knew from an early age what I wanted to do with my life when I was thirteen and chose my O levels accordingly. If Liverpool football club were not to come knocking (and look what happened to them) It was a life in fishing, or following a tour de force at the Gateway theatre as lead nurse in the annual gang show, possibly the stage.
Angling's gain is the theatrical world's loss
Struck numb by Gerard Manley Hopkins and flummoxed by Geoff Chaucer, my A level English teacher reported that Chris is blessed with little more than a native wit and has a propensity to play to the class when the opportunity arises. For my mock exam I had a head free of all things Gerrard and Geoff and proffered a couple of thousand words on life at an airport for a Saudi Arabian family stranded after missing their connection.
For reasons that remain unknown to me, but I suspect humiliation (a popular ploy in early 1980s state education at the slightest sign of spirit, and hey Eric Blair, you may have been on to something) it was read out to the class the following week by the head of the sixth form and drew, what I took, and indeed still take, as reasonable reviews (I'll take one hand clapping every time)
Which went down well.
At the age of eighteen I had no inkling that a few years past forty I would be fortunate enough to receive small cheques through the post for poorly prepared words chucked up in a couple of hours under exam conditions while in wine,
Post September, Child A may not have a clear career path, but that's no biggie. Circumstances often have a funny habit of falling into place if sufficient groundwork has been completed.
Do the business with the research and stuff, but with a fair complexion, don't forget the chuffin sunscreen.