Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dogs that deliver on death - a softer tone perhaps?

Well, quite a few fish have been caught, which is good news for the catch records,and quite a few fish have been lost also.

The fish caught have been in remarkably good condition and appeared to have over wintered well. The vanguard of the Mayfly are already here and fish are now showing interest.

Weed remains slow to grow, dab chicks are decidedly skitty, I have seen them on nests built on weed grown clear of the surface at this time of the year, but there is no chance of that this year. There is concern up and down the river over the taint that the river currently carries. It makes sight fishing in poor light difficult in any water greater than three feet deep. The chap from the Wessex Chalk stream Trust was here last week on his biannual foray for bugs to take back to the lab, and he confirmed that there was heightened concern over the increase in sediment that the river was currently carrying. It is very obvious and forgive me for repeating myself, but I can clearly remember the first time I saw a Grayling. It was in spring in six feet of water in 1986, when I attended an interview for twelve months unpaid work experience on the middle reaches of this river system. look in the same hole this year and a Hippopotamus could lay there undetected. Water Quality remains a concern on this river, particularly during times of low flow.

And while we're on low flow, I have just returned from a trip to Portsmouth, by the back roads to avoid the car park that is the M27, with Child A at the helm to collect her old car which went pop three weeks ago and has had an extended sojourn at the menders.

If anybody is interested in a purple Renault Modus, nickname "The Pig" 82,000 miles, lots of MOT and one careful owner,

let me rephrase that

No careful owners

It's a bargain buy, and a dream car for some cove, so please don't be a stranger if you think this auto's for you

And if this car sale thing works, we may consider further requests for sales and parish messages.

Hurtling along the lanes which may well have served smugglers fleeing the Kingsmen in similar haste centuries ago, I could just make out some much diminished lakes around Winchester. The flight pond at home is a couple of feet lower than it should be, and lily pads that used to provide spawning sites for substantial carp in May are a few inches from the bed of pond. I reckon we'll be seeing the first episodes of "fish rescue sometime during July. I may be bucking a trend with my sustained consumption of red wine, but this corner of England is drying out, and not enough people are appreciating that fact or even talking about it.

News Just in from La La Land.

It has just been announced that the solution to all those poor souls fleeing conflict across the Mediterranean is more bombs......obvs.

Yup bombs. that'll do it!

That' s a bomb delivered at a cost hundreds of times of the boat that it is intended to destroy, and of course the number of boats is finite right? nobody makes them anymore, and a few explosions will snuff out any innovation inspired by desperate circumstances as to any other method of taking flight from a hellish existence, and a few explosions will keep these guys on that side of the pond because we do really good explosions and they will never have seen explosive devices before.


Haven't we had enough of bombs for the time being, I think the spirit of Joni Mitchell is upon me, at which point we shall examine the DDT thing,

Oh, she's gone, another time perhaps Joni

News just in from the deep south (not Brighton sea front on a bank holiday in the 1970s) where similar thought processes to the "lets bomb the boats" protagonists led to nine people dead in a fight between local biker gangs.

The reason?

Their Mums had embroidered the name of the state to which they laid claim on the back of their jacket, and the other bmx boys took offence.


and at which point I could quote Bill Hicks at length, but will refrain because he had a colourful vernacular, but "watchu readin for" springs immediately to mind.

More News from La La land as we have it:

Our political correspondent is currently taking a break but will be back sometime after the Queen's speech.

This week The lady who sleeps on my left was summoned to dispatch justice at the local crown court.

One of forty summoned she was initially selected for a six week case, which she declined and had to go up before the beak to explain why she wasn't allowed to take so much time off school, so she waited for her next case.

Don't ask me why, because its clear to me that Madam's in pretty good order for a lady of her years, but the spirit of experimentation is upon her and she is currently trying the five and two lifestyle, and fasts (600 calories or less for the day) for two days of the week.

Heaven help the accused if a verdict is required on a fasting day, cos she'll hang em all high on an empty tummy.

Her first case has now closed and dinner time discourse currently includes allusion to the market price of crack cocaine and methods of supply.

In sad circumstances we travelled north to the rim of the Yorkshire dales in Rydale to attend my Uncle Dennis's funeral.

With echoes of Geoffrey Boycott he'd reached 92 at Scarborough only to be dismissed a few runs short of his century ( he still goes on about it, Boycott not Uncle Dennis)

We took the dog ( more of him later) and stayed in a lovely pub on the Yorkshire moors where hounds were most welcome, before attending the funeral the next day. We walked the dog, got three parts foxed on the hostelry fayre before heaving open the portmanteaux to reveal a lack of much of my mourning clobber but many shoes; packing had not gone well.

It's an elderly clientele on the river and the funeral thing is a regular event, I've quite the outfit when required, but just not this time, sorry Uncle Dennis. I don't do suits very often and this one didn't make the trip.

Ok I had a choice of shoes, and this may be the genesis of some late life fetish, but little else. So it was off to the clothing emporia and charity shops of Pickering and Kirkbymoorside to source a suit before visiting Aunty Joyce mid morning, who revealed that the late lamented, and much loved Dennis had bequeathed his wardrobe to the same said emporia.

On our return to the car I checked my new purchase for name tags,

Turning up to Den's send off in his old clothes could be seen as a tribute by some, or bad form by others,

So not wanting to appear divisive, we revisited the charity shops and eschewed the blue sweater displaying the North Yorkshire Moors Railway logo, for a shirt with some buttons missing and an afghan three quarter length coat. One hundred yards from the entrance to the church we were met by the Director of Strategy for Transport for London (my smart younger brother who rails against bad planning, and the chaos theory to which I occasionally subscribe)

Who gently inquired as to what I was wearing.

at which point I scuttled back to the car, the charity shop ruse had failed at first base, so pop on my old jumper and jeans, both black (yes I still listen to the Mission and the Sisters of Mercy when the mood is taken) and into the church,

and yes, we took the dog.

At which point I'd like to offer up his services as a mourning dog. Ok this was simple Anglican fayre, and he has yet to take in a burning Norse longboat, or Hindu funeral pyre,but this dog can do reverence. He stood up for hymns, sat down for readings and bowed his head for prayer, as a test of mourning this dog passed with flying colours and what's more he's black to boot, ladies and gentleman I give you funeral dog, £30 an hour, £40 if the handler is required to remember his suit.

It all went very well, he was a lovely man Uncle Dennis with an appreciation for cricket, a cigar, apple pie and a packet of chicken crisps. It was great to catch up with family we have not seen for far too long. Uncle Dennis and Aunty Joyce were fortunate to live in a very caring village community for thirty years and counting, and it was great to meet people who we had heard much about but never met.
Thanks in particular to the neighbours who have been so kind to my aunt and uncle and have this guff forced upon them. The advice on sartorial matters (hell I need it) has been duly noted and a jacket is on order, and also the couple of carers who work at the care home who trundled Aunty Joyce out for the day. They can look after me when my faculties are failing any day (possibly next week) and are a fun bunch. Somebody give them a pay rise, they are brilliant!

We returned, I think via Peterborough at one point, (Google Maps was not giving off its best) with our new afghan coat and shirt, sans the required number of buttons and a business plan based around a dog who can do funereal, and a working title of "Dogs that deliver on death"

Although on reflection we may have been high on alliteration at that point and a softer tone to the business moniker may be more appropriate.

This dog can mourn, watch this space, coming to a pew near you.

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