Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tavares and A Mistaken Consent to Discharge

Well the calendar may trumpet the onset of May but a spiteful wind that is doing for much of the fruit blossom is more reminiscent of February when trees have a habit of falling on homes, stifling any prospect of Valentine's Day amore. Yes it still hurts, not physically but mental anguish at an opportunity missed, yup, I'm getting old, and hey Mr Sinatra, stop that sentimental guff about a summer wind, it adds nothing to the practice of flicking a fly, or fishing in general and has echoes of Apu, another who also lied to us through song



I may have gone too early, so we shall return to last week's activities.

Fish have been caught on most days this week, not many rises and not much fly but an artificial presented to a fish up off the bottom has induced some kind of response in most cases. Hawthorn have accounted for eighty percent of the fish drawn to the net in the first week, but Daddies have played their part and we currently have half a dozen of the real thing bumbling about the kitchen.

That's Crane flies and not the chaps who sang Heaven must be missing an angel, or was that Tavares?

Grass is slow to grow as is the weed, and it still feels a bit nippy for any sensible evening fishing. Plenty of duck about and recently a Shoveller popped in for a few days, Mallard are sitting although the tufties remain a little skittish. Kites made the news this week, it is rare to go a day without seeing one here and five were in the air over the cricket ground throughout much of the opening pre-season friendly. Bird tables also got a mention among a plethora of full page political adverts in the paper this week, with concern over non native species, or was that one of the political adverts?

Let me check

Nope it was definitely bird tables, but I'm going to keep on feeding them for a while longer yet, as it has echoes of the fine fleece and cutting edge walking shoes brigade who would have us all withdraw to a sterile pod and undertake a watching brief. A little reminder that the Sea Trout in South America and the Brown Trout in New Zealand that feature on many an angler's bucket list of fish to bother are all non native species, taken there by the Victorians as well as well as many other places. Non native isn't always bad and often we have no control over their arrival, and is a natural part of the world's evolution,



Although having read some of the spiel in the run up to the election I am amazed that a party hasn't campaigned under the slogan "We want our thumbs!" (W Hicks)



Eighteen months ago we closed part of the small fish rearing unit. Spiraling costs including the price of fish food, a four figure bill to use water from the river and a similar sum to put it back had resulted in it becoming uneconomic, and anyway those wiseacres at Command Centre Central would rather a few big operations to monitor, over lots of little ones. Eighteen months on we have just received a demand for lots of money for a consent to discharge from the defunct site.

A phone call was made, as it was last year, and I was connected to Tony in Sheffield. Tony was really pleased to be given the opportunity to talk to me, showed concern over how my day was panning out, before apologising for the lack of music during an impending period on hold.

I may be wrong but Tony had attended many courses on working the phone.

Grace next, in accounts, who uttered similar platitudes to Tony before informing me that part of accounts had now been "outsourced" possibly to Peterborough, so could I drop them an email as to our plight, stating the demand had been issued in error and giving the date of cessation of discharge, else a fine for non payment would automatically be issued.

Which we did,

And then a thought bubble appeared.

Where on earth did they think we were getting the two hundred and fifty thousand gallons of water a day for an "in line" fish rearing unit from, that we were supposedly discharging into the river? The abstraction licence is certified as case closed, they have not issued a demand for payment to abstract, so bottles perhaps, or a big water butt. It's a bit of a worry when these chaps purport to be guardians of the south east's precious groundwater supply.

Writ somewhere is a request that upon my demise at the age of somewhere around two hundred and five (the sustained consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and bifidus digestivum suggests this is a minimum) that my cadaver be cooked up and the ashes flung in the river. I fear that unless we change our ways the river will be nothing more than a conduit for the outflow from Barton Stacey sewage works, in which case children, feel free to flush me down the loo,

Up your game eh lads, there's some tricky times ahead for Command Centre Central when the hoopla of the election is done with, not least keeping an eye on the comings and goings of a precious groundwater supply. For every discharge consent from a fish farm there should be a matching licence to abstract.

Underfunded, ineffective and possibly tokenism

Whoever rocks up in top spot in the election, please can we have a much improved Environment Agency.

There does seem to have been an awful lot of rape grown at the moment, I get the bio-fuel bit and the health food angle, but hey, Reynard loves the stuff and we have just lost half a dozen chooks. It is also playing havoc with my sinuses and I am getting through antihistamine at a fair whack, which is ok for a while because taken with wine they can add a little pep to the evening.



We had one day away from the rape recently playing in the average speed check that passes for the M3, on our way to Warner brothers Harry Potter studio's - which was a great day. It's quite the draw for folk of all ages from many nations, and well done JK Rowling for this, but a day in town, away from rape reduced my daily spluttering and wheezing significantly. I am now a bit of a nimby when it comes to growing oilseed rape,


And so to May the 7th and the interminable business of electing a new government, I know who I can't vote for.... but I won't go on,

and once more, for the undecided masses:












Oh yes, late news from TV land:

We enjoyed the series "Ordinary Lies" and love "Car Share",
and we have Mary Berry's "Best Bridges I have known" to look forward to on BBC2 later in May.

but for fans of slow TV and two hours on a barge on the Kennet and Avon canal, give Swiss Railways Journeys a go on the Satellite channel. Epic stuff, riding the Swiss rails on the cowcatcher in a smooth and efficient manner and always arriving on time.

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