Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Foam Free and Pipsqueaks with Popguns
I am well aware that this piece of guff is on the cusp of reverie (fear not there is sterner stuff to follow) but the water is also remarkably clear and just as every angler at some point last year commented on murk and foam, most angler's this year have remarked how clear the river has become in the past few weeks and currently the river retains the sparkle expected at this time of the year.
Last summer I pitched the theory that there was trouble at the water treatment plant upstream, we had foam, dirty water, and for the second half of the season fish were having a tough old time of it. I kicked up as much fuss as I could but these are powerful institutions, if they feel need to send raw sewage down a chalk stream SSSI they will do so because those charged with regulating UK water quality are pipsqueaks with popguns in comparison (See Bourne Rivulet for the last two decades) any business with a potential to impact upon the aquatic environment is increasingly held to account by EU Water Framework Directive. Following the foam thing, I made the most of the freedom of information act and requested the last twenty years worth of weekly turbidity readings for the Dever at the bottom of this beat.
Thank you to the EA for promptly providing the information.
It made interesting reading, and yes figures were higher last year but the written observations of the various operatives who took the samples used the word "normal" in their visual assessment of the clarity of the water for both last year and this year. There are folk who fish this river approaching their tenth decade with the associated eyesight that comes with such venerability that could see the colour of the river last year was not and should not be considered normal, and it is a shame that a similar observation was not noted by those compiling official records which may be referred to at a later date.
I hope the problem, wherever it occurred has been sorted out for good, the water treatment plant does seem to have been undertaking a lot of extra squirting on their filter beds these past few months, but I couldn't say for sure if that has had an impact, and they'll never let on, because that's how they like it.
Foam is currently absent and water clarity has returned to what it should be from the "abnormal" murk and foam of last year.
A postprandial walk along the water meadows, saw us walk several miles along the river only to find our return journey blocked by flood water.
There are those (Ghandi, Dalai Lama and perhaps the Holy Ghost himself) who would make great play of such an apocryphal afternoon, but I choose not to talk about it, so any mention made of the event on the internet or in future religious text has not come from me.
Montreuil Sur Mer is an interesting place to stay, there's a statue of Marshall Haig in the main square who was billeted in the area with his staff during WW1 and was obviously drawn like us to the excellent restaurants and ambience of the town. The tower was stunning and we enjoyed excellent Wifi throughout our stay.
We caught an early train back through the tunnel to join a motorway system that no longer functions as intended, a house free of Wifi in an overcrowded corner of the UK and a debate on EU membership in which behaviour on all sides has deteriorated to an embarrassing level,
Never mind the EU lets join the first world first!
Last bit on Europe, as I've had my fill of spurious tales from all sides regarding life after the referendum (can we please bring the voting forward a bit, the 24th June does seem a long way off) I will now deal only in FACTS regarding Europe.
The England football team will not win the European championships.
Oh yes almost forgot, returning to Media and the radio, the entire canon of Desert Island Disks is available free as a podcast. Quite addictive I breezed through a dozen or more while topping the paddock last week. Sue Townsend was a tough listen as was Victoria Wood and goodness Kirsty Young is a talented interviewer. Well done the BBC for not fiddling with a format that has worked since we last won a national football tournament and for making the entire back catalogue available as a free podcast.
Madam and myself are once again home alone as Child A is away in Greece and Child B in Spain. Child A has also been offered a position in the control room with Thames Valley Police, which is great and makes all the hard study over the past four years worth it, as well as making parents proud.
Child B experienced a dramatic departure that saw Madam driving towards the airport with his passport in hand at 3.00 am on a Sunday morning to meet Child B who was driving in the opposite direction, they met north of Arlesford and we think he made the plane. The break will do him good as he has put some hours in during his placement at the planning company, and possibly make him less forgetful.
Just been supermarket shopping on the hottest day of the year so far. It is quite remarkable what local town society consider appropriate attire for collecting messages on a warm evening.
Note to self: wait until it starts raining before going shopping again.