Friday 27 February 2015
Season rods available on short stretch of the river Itchen above Winchester. Trout season runs from middle of April to middle of October with the possibility of grayling fishing in the winter. It is main river, sit and watch water with a good head of fish and fishing hut. It would suit someone local to the area who may want to pop in for a few hours on a named day in the week. Please drop me a line if you are interested.
"So what if we're corrupt........deal with it, cos we ain't changing"
I was very kindly sent a short video by Madam's brother that highlighted how motorways once worked perfectly in a midlands utopia, it follows here:
See how far we have fallen.
Several have since been in touch over their concerns about the lack of rain so far this winter, it seems this is not the only river system in need of replenishment sometime during the next six weeks.
Minutes for next weeks' guff:
1.Why do many people now start sentences with the word "So"
2. When somebody replies "I'm good" to an enquiry as to their well being, is it ok to counter with "I'll be the judge of that"
3. The river
Wednesday 25 February 2015
or salmonella at the very least.
It's just a bit of bog in a wood to some, but half a dozen springs spring forth in this muddy and woody morass and they need to be springing forth with a little more exuberance if we are to experience some decent summer flows in the Dever,
Yes, and I'm sorry for this, a little more rain in this valley please!
P Thanks to Wilkinson Sword for stepping into the breach to provide proportion and scale. Vitus is not a fan of chasing pike with a fly, they prefer to use jigs or dead baits in the Baltic states apparently.
The grayling anglers are also picking up a few rainbows, which are in superb condition and are probably the rearguard of fish that escaped into the river during the floods of last winter.
and who sowed the seed of that idea?
I rarely contemplate, what might have been, but a few years later the Houghton Fishing Club reduced the size of their fish production unit and laid off two keepers. As one of the last in and unmarried heathen to boot, I am sure I would have been one of the first to fall, so perhaps the time away at the unhappy hatchery wasn't a bad move. I hardly saw Mick Lunn when I worked at the club, but six weeks into my tenure at the unhappy hatchery a brown envelope arrived with a note " Your eel money boy" my share of the takings for the catch from the eel set during my brief time at the club. Some have sought to discredit his methods in recent times, but I reckon he was alright, the ability to alternate between dealing with recalcitrant under keepers and US Presidents is a difficult trick to pull off but he managed it, he was certainly "of his time" and probably had chalky water running through his veins.
We would not have been forgiven if we had left Otis at home, as for many years they had labradors in the house, so prior to our visit as a bowel emptying exercise we delved deep into the dales to a fish farm where I once undertook three weeks work experience with a chap who now works in the warmer climes of the far east. The toilet was in a barn, the caravan in which we lived was ten foot long with no electricity and sited on the side of the valley where the sun never shone, Oh, and then it snowed. On at least two occasions we pulled frozen swedes and kale from nearby fields in order to provide sustenance and complete the Kolyma gulag feel. It was some experience, but the knowledge that your aunt and uncle were half an hour away with a warm bath and some roast chicken provided quite a bit of comfort. The fish farm looked a sight more welcoming than I remember, and parts of the villages are now decidedly "chi chi" But it must remain a difficult place to hatch fish because the low water temperature dictated that the eggs took forever to hatch and the Dalby Forest upstream meant that inlet screens must be attended to throughout the night to clear leaves and debris.
Quite stunning, something to aspire to and several levels up from the life sized plastic iguana that we have stuck to a tree in our garden.
and now here's Bob with the travel,
Parts of the UK motorway system are at the point of over saturation, and the next time I meet up with a big noise in the world of transport strategy I will upbraid him/her accordingly.
Why is so much freight consigned to the road? The A34 is a procession of car transporters moving automobiles to Southampton in order that the Grimaldis et al can ship them abroad, or occasionally park the odd consignment on a sand bar in Southampton water.
Early on in our journey north to visit ailing relatives, the radio trumpeted that a car transporter had fallen over on the A34 a few miles behind us and the road was closed. Thankfully no one was hurt and we felt sure that by the time we headed south around tea time somebody would have cleared it up. Twelve hours later two lanes remained closed, tailbacks were extensive and we got grumpy and teeth were once again ground although missing " Eastenders - Live!" and a long forgotten packet of polos provided some succour during our delay.
Later this week we must once again twice negotiate the fifteen miles of fifty miles an hour on the M3. It will be the eighth time in a week, which is small beer for some commuters, but I walk to work I'm not used to this motorway mayhem. Thirty miles of our forty minute journey on a major UK transport link will be conducted at fifty miles an hour. We are travelling up to some smoke to see Henning Wehn, a much appreciated Christmas treat from Child A and Child B, and a comedian who Madam and myself greatly favour after listening to a live performance via the miracle of podcast during our extensive motorway travels in Germany last year, where we cruised merrily at a speed approaching three figures, never saw a cone, no teeth were ground and there was plenty of room for everyone who wanted to use the road. My CSE grade 2 German confirms that there are no words in the German language for "average speed check"
Somebody sort our motorways out, and let's get a little more freight on the rails.
While we're on Europe, a twenty pound ticket and a favourable exchange rate saw us scuttling through Le Manche last week, for a "holiday in a day" A nice lunch, a little shopping and some confustication in French. Without average speed checks (sorry, them again) we can leave home and cross over to the other side in just over two hours, not quite as fast as Derek Acorah or Doris Stokes but relatively quickly nonetheless. Emerging blinking into the light we move very quickly on an excellent road for thirty minutes to be rewarded with the necessary retail and culinary experience before we bowl on back to blighty, thoroughly refreshed with our hat on three hairs, whistling dixie. The atmosphere on entering Calais was a little edgy, more and more young men up from the horn of Africa congregate in the town and a troop of armed police officers confronted fifty or more on the hard shoulder near the entrance to Eurotunnel. Two stepped out into our lane as we made our considered approach and, looking across to the line of freight on the bridge that leads to passport control we picked out a pair tugging at the rear doors of a lorry. It is desperate stuff, Paris was on edge when we visited a few years ago, goodness knows what it is like now, complicated times that will not be best served by extremes of view, and requires addressing not at a municipal level but internationally.
On occasion I'll turn to the Catholic Church for guidance,
Sorry that should read,
Sometimes I watch episodes of Father Ted back to back for hours on end.
A series of marches through every town in England with banners proclaiming " Careful Now" may not be a bad idea in the coming weeks
Tuesday 10 February 2015
It has been pointed out that there has been a dearth of videos with accompanying free jazz of late,
well a couple of emails from Keith Helt and The Nicholas Chienteralli trio anyway,
So here's a video I took of JJ Cale warming up in the studio, Keith and Nicholas you will note the proficiency of the people playing the music, the use of melody and structured verse and my introduction in Dutch.
Such a loss
and while we're on TV, Hey Pop Factor, X Idol and Voice have a listen to this short clip,
you too Nicholas and Keith
I'd trade all my musical tomorrows for one single yesterday,
bar Paolo Nutini, Sam Smith, George Ezra and Adele,
and yes Rita she was playing the guitar.
Work in the wood continues apace, smaller trees now along with half a dozen Christmas trees that went over a week ago. Lord Ludgershall's attendance is trumpeted in the court circular each day and he has taken to wearing his pink "Pride" pants which adds a little colour to the wood. The spirit of Owain Glyndwr is currently upon him and he is ring fencing the wood to keep out the English.
Not another cross border feud with the auld Ellmyn, but an amiable cove from the village with the surname "English" who Lord Ludgershall insists eyes the royal log stash with no little envy.
Two grayling anglers have reported hooking Sea Trout. I have on occasion taken some scales from very silver fish and sent them away for analysis to see if they have spent any time in salt water. To date all have been brown trout. Sorting through a stew pond full of brown trout often throws up a very silver fish, and it has been known for a brown trout to suddenly head out to sea and become a sea trout, the two species are genetically identical, but I have yet to see one here. Sea trout do run the main river, in fact the biggest sea trout ever caught was landed in Southampton water but it has always been thought that the sea trout that run this river system head up a tributary that flows from the west and is slightly more acidic than the remainder of the main river and its other tributaries.
Last week's snow confirmed that we continue to be blessed with otters, the six pound bream with a bite out of its shoulder on the bank of the flight pond suggested as much at the start of the New Year, but the grooves in the snow that could have been caused by a miniature canoe with four clawed feet fitted beneath, but is more likely to be good old Tarka, reveal that we have three in residence on this short stretch of river.
Which is great, because they should be in evidence on UK rivers, but when does the uncomfortable conversation about how many numbers of otters and potential impact on freshwater fish populations take place?
Standing back and undertaking a watching brief doesn't work. The last ten years in this valley should have taught us that much.
The many acres of rape behind our house are pulling in the pigeons and every hour we are startled by the report of a gas gun on top of the hill. I am waiting to be approached about the chooks entering the field and the finger to be pointed in their damage regarding nibbled leaves,
Oh for a jolly farmer etc etc
The following morning I awoke looking like I had fallen face first into the fire.
Lotions were applied that instigated further stinging, so fresh air was sought which briefly provided some respite. The next day I was even redder and was conscious of appearing in public, an indoor cricket match was on offer but I would have cleared the room with the current concerns over ebola.
Today I have lumps on my neck and blotches all over my face , tennis elbow from tapping out this guff, and a fortnight ago I was informed by a straight talking optician from India (which is how I take my opthamology by the way, let's have no obsequiousness over my attempts to read the middle row ) that "You have very old eyes Mr de Cani"
And so with a nod to Keith and Nicholas et al it seems apposite to close with the following clip.
Medical Update: A visit to the local MASH unit and my blotchiness has been designated as the National collection of dermatitis, some acute, some chronic. Twenty four pounds worth of ointments and pills will put me back in the race to be the Face of Fabulon 2015 by the end of the week.