Thursday 19 March 2015

Further Matters Arising From Previous Guff

Can I assure all concerned over what appear to be railway lines crossing the river, are in fact the metal girders exposed after long since being hidden beneath. Alex Guinness has had no input on design, and no prisoners of war have been subjected to coordinated whistling or forced marches at any point during its construction, but please pay attention to the discretely placed can of


Yes Cuprinol, soft wood's finest friend in a damp environment.

That's Cuprinol

Thanks again in advance for the cheque Cuprinol (Ronseal? wouldn't touch the stuff)

Wikipedia teaches us that the number 47 (forty seven) is the natural number that follows 46 and precedes 48, Derek Acora and Sesame St, (and hey, don't be a stranger Bert & Ernie) have been in touch to tell us that forty seven has more to offer than that.

The 47 Society insist they promote the quintessential number, and have dedicated their lives to exploring the phenomenon that is 47. They have a website with articles, forums and even a gallery of the number 47, the archives are well worth a read.

favour the theory that the number forty seven is a combination of the energies and attributes of the number four and the number seven, the vibrations of number four (and who knew numbers were all of a quiver) include those of practical thinking and endurance while number seven offers intuition and inner knowing. have forty seven down as "the cosmic random element and the agent of infinite change" and there is an abnormally high occurrence of the number forty seven in many episodes of Startrek, which is completely illogical captain.

Pomona College have a forty seven society who suggest that all numbers end up as forty seven. The magic of maths can reduce any number to forty seven and Madam and myself are destined to never see fifty, because fifty is well, after being subjected to some differentiation, integration and algebra ends up as forty seven.....I think.

Apologies to De la Soul (you went wrong in your workings in the margin) but 47 is the magic number

At which point we shall abandon maths for the arts,

Have the Rolling Stones only just reached the Antipodes?

To fill the gap where the adverts would be in the cricket coverage on the wireless, Oz FM roll out "Jumpin Jack Flash" and "Honky Tonk Women" as filler

These tunes are forty seven years old.


Calm down. it's hooey.......isn't it?

Was the same rule applied to the 1992 world cup down under, or did I miss Arthur Askey and his Busy Busy Bee between overs? Come on Cobbers, how about something a little more contemporary, Manhatten Transfer or The Emotions, perhaps?

With regard to cricket, Peter has a plan for the upcoming tour of the West Indies which seems to centre around changing his name to Pete and occasional references to the film "We need to talk about Kevin"

Following its official launch this week, confidentiality agreements are null and void and we can now reveal that the showbiz superstar who paid us a visit to film some fishing and cooking was Mary Berry. There are pictures of her on the river sprinkled throughout the book, which I can thoroughly recommend, and thank you to the clever photographer who took the photo of Mary on the bridge over to the fishing hut and very kindly made it look level. Like the QE2 Dartford Crossing, the bridge to the fishing hut has now been given a name and a plaque trumpeting the Queen Mary crossing is now nailed to the gate. Deservedly so, because she was fabulous , everything you would expect, and the equal of " Slowhand" as the brightest star from the showbiz firmament to pitch up in my time on these banks. The BBC series is due to be aired in May.

While we're on the BBC, Top Gear has been in the news a little of late.

I once bumped into the Top Gear team filming at the Barton Stacey service station. They had three home-made camper vans and were travelling to Cornwall. James May was being filmed in his two tier camper van with chandelier. Jeremy Clarkson was out of shot leaning on a petrol pump, speaking on his mobile phone, fag in hand. He raised a hand to me and smiled, as i topped up my two stroke can. No punches were thrown or food requested, and I like to think that at some point during the dispensing of the third litre we had bonded in a masculine kind of way, at which point I seem to have drifted into "Partridge" speak , a fellow fan of the forecourt, who, if he hadn't also punched a BBC producer, and shot one of his guests,would make an excellent Top Gear presenter. with the Ford Scorpio very much to the fore,

#dreamcasting this kind of words with no gaps and a funny squared thing is still current yeah?

and now, by request, over to you Councillor Cox

Once more, Trust you to trust us

Abridged river report (thank you, spare us the rail) - level slowly dropping, need rain.

Forgive me, but the news that extensive research is being conducted via the medium of sensors and treadmills to ascertain why penguins waddle is nothing short of a step backwards. Have we forgotten that penguins can talk? Let's not be shy on this one, just walk up and open a dialogue as did Jonny Morris sometime in the seventies.

Lemurs, yes Lemurs, are also capable of the odd anecdote, we do wildlife a great injustice with the label "dumb animal"

Just found out that Police 5's Shaw Taylor's died. Ninety years old mind, and come on Crimewatch/Homewatch, pay your dues, but now he sits at the crime desk in the sky exhorting angels to "Keep em peeled"

This guff has been brought to you by the miracle of the internet, some poor punctuation, and the number 47.

Monday 16 March 2015

Councillors Cox & Evans and an Old Sausage Heist.

Well, I ain't touched a chainsaw all week, and it feels goooood.

The husky kicks back in a hot tub full of chain oil with a glass of fizzy two stroke, enjoying a brief sabbatical before we set about some crack willow on the non fishing bank. I've had a few days with wood in hand patching up a few bridges and seats and ordering timber for a replacement bridge above the bottom bends. It's a big bridge that takes the tractor now and again so the sub frame, like Irn Bru, is made from girders, it's just the top that is rotten and mush. It's lasted eighteen years, the last time I had to attend to it I cast some concrete on which the girders sit listening to Cool Dawn win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, well it was the Queen Mother Chase this year and an equally exciting race. The top is made of big bits of soft wood as chunks of oak of an equivalent size would cost a packet, but regular treatment with the thin


Cuprinol or Ronseal wood treatment that really soaks in beautifully and extends the life of soft wood which would otherwise be done for in a couple of years, in such a damp environment.

Thank you in advance to Cuprinol & Ronseal for the cheque,

I use the same stuff on the fishing hut, which is a few months younger than child B and will enter its third decade in situ next month and is also made of soft wood. Left untreated it would have long since crumbled. It stands on four eight foot sections of telegraph pole driven vertically into the gravel beneath when my muscle tone resembled that of Ned Flanders. It took half a day to drive each one into the ground with a fence bumper, starting off on a wobbly step ladder with crossed fingers until each one poked a foot our of the ground. The base was then built on the four stumps, the four walls made in our garage and shuffled over the road, through the Mill house garden and up the river where they were seamlessly bolted together. The heavy peg tile roof was then chucked up and some even heavier lead attached to really test out those posts that i had bumped into the ground. It's a fancy two tonne shed on stilts and each year I put the level on the floor and pray that the bubble sits in the middle, heaven forbid a rod's lunchtime gravy should run off the plate. This year it remains level which means that all is ok, or all four telegraph pokes are sinking at the same rate.

In low clear water, (and no EA I don't believe your figures contained in the monthly water report, but more of that later} it is obvious that we have a river full of trout, most of which are in reasonable condition and occasionally rise to brave olives. A few grayling are darkening up although all still steer clear of the spawning shallows.

Despite above average rainfall for the past month (Are you sure about that one EA) the reed beds remained moisture free and burnt beautifully, although the ten foot high and thirty feet wide wall of flame that swept across the meadow by the short stretch of the Itchen for which I am held responsible caused consternation on the nearby road, although the sight of my form emerging from the smoke with a silver pale in the manner if Red Adair, or was it Ned Kelly, must have provided some succour, or the inspiration for an action movie at the very least. The beds burned really well, they were bone dry and each summer following a winter invoking the medium of fire, there will be more reeds and rushes, and numbers of nettles will dwindle.

Returning to the monthly water report. Following the last update of guff in which I suggested that we had not had enough rain, I was contacted by several in the south who agreed, and had concerns over summer fishing. I then had the EA's monthly water report thrust under my nose which at first glance seemed to suggest otherwise, and that all was well where winter rain was concerned, groundwater levels were "normal" rainfall was "normal" as was discharge in most rivers. Scratching my head a little I looked a little closer and for each parameter the classification of "normal" covers a huge range. It is the equivalent of saying a normal football result can be anything between nil nil and eight nil. Based on assessment of a long term average the calculation of which is highly subjective (is long term twenty years, forty years or sixty years or more because as the South east of England dries up the figure for each will vary greatly) I was left sucking a thoughtful tooth (after Prodnose)over figures that suggested this part of the county had experienced above average rain fall, yet ground water levels had fallen during the first few months of this year. Look in the ditch that runs through the neighbouring village to feed this river that caused so many problems last winter and you will see a series of puddles, eight years out of ten this will be running by mid March yet it remains dry. Now I'm no statistician, and there's a failed A level certificate somewhere that will confirm this, but I'd suggest that the fact that this one in five occurrence still attracts a "normal" rating on the EA's assessment of groundwater levels is a whole heap o' hooey.

During one recent hot summer, groundwater levels were incorrectly assessed in one region of the south and a hosepipe ban was implemented months after it should have been. It was reported in the national press, but drew little reaction because something else was on at the time. I've half a mind to point the finger at the Duchess of Cambridge who may have taken her top off on a deckchair in France or perhaps gave birth to the future sun king or was it a heap of hoss rocking up in a nation's burgers or, heaven forfend, a Scot winning Wimbledon,

I could go on, but it was buried news

I will question some of the figures produced for the monthly report and hope that people far less addled than myself on a salary commensurate with their status, are doing the same, in the realisation that the groundwater supply in the south of England needs to be monitored effectively because its value as a resource will increase with each passing year.

I'm reluctant to brandish my gong of Hants FA Groundsman of the year 2011 (Runner Up)

Ok, I am persuaded,

but can we all agree to gloss over the Google Earth expose on the world's first five sided pitch.

If there was water in the spring ditch that bordered the pitch in March you'd need a mudlark on the wing if you were to garner late season points, this was not an unusual occurrence, and one corner was notoriously spongy towards the end of the football season. Compare the photo shown in here of the spring in the wood with the one that appeared on here a few weeks ago, the level has dropped. Bridges are further away from the water than they were two months ago (again feel free to compare pictures on here) and the thin black line that appears at the point where the bank meets the river water is all too evident. As a final means of confirmation the hatch on the house at the bottom of the Mill Stream is firmly closed with little spare water going over the top.

No data required (wasn't that an album by Phil Collins)

and to use the modern method of removing a few letters to make a word a little more sharp and edgy, and Hey! come on, letters don't come cheap

It's obvs

This valley would have benefited from more rain this winter but it seems current conditions are now the considered"norm"

Dry ditches at this time of year now fall in the "normal" centile, which is a worry, because that wouldn't have been the case twenty to thirty years ago. Figures and stats may cover some backs, but a walk on some chalk (and here's where the folly of trying to make this guff rhyme is cruelly exposed) and looking in a few ditches and holes can be a better indicator of where we are with water in this corner of the country over high end facts and figures.

While we are on data, it is time to attend to Peter Moores and his cast of thousands who fag for the fifteen cricketers who pose as an international cricket team.

Let us first examine how Peter came to pull on the shoes of head honcho for the second time in not many years, and his remarkable journey from walk on part as Uncle Peter in 90's TV smash the Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, to Chief de Mission of the 2015 World cup squad, and let's not forget we moved an Ashes series to prepare for this.

Things have not gone well, plans have not worked and we have been found out for the fifty over cricket neanderthals that we are, we no longer play fifty over cricket at domestic level ,tension was rife from the start and too many players under performed. If cricket were Star Trek, Peter would be Lieutenant Uhuru, no Kirk, but a worthy foil for a proper leader. Michael Vaughan has the whiff of a James T Kirk about him and Jason Gillespie another non domicile (sorry Nige) would make a good Spock that would eliminate hubris and instill clarity over just how good England cricketers are at the one day game.

There now follows two public information films courtesy of Councillors Cox and Evans on prospective constituency life in 2016 in some corners of the country.

Over to you Councillor Cox

Coming to a seaside constituency near you. Trust you to trust us.

News just in, Green party leader calls for extension of hunting ban to other field sports such as hare coursing and grouse shooting. If you read the big print Caroline, you'll note that hare coursing was covered by the original act, and as an aside there are more hares bite the dust around here than there ever were before the ban. A failure to understand the links between field sports and environmental preservation, Doh!


I believe this form of writing where spaces are eliminated is also current.

I'd half a mind not to include the following passage, call it my Carly Simon moment if you will, but hell hath no fury like a chap scorned over sausage, so here goes -

Earlier this week, I was set to thought by a brief incident in one of our local food emporia.

Popping in of a lunch time for a few essentials, I perused the reduced price section where yellow labels on fine cuts of meat drew me in like sirens to the rocks.

Some mighty fine sausages caught the eye, and as I extended my arm to claim my prize, a hand whipped the prize of Porky White's peachiest provender away from under my eyes. Lifting my gaze, I identified my sausage gazumper, who was away down the aisle with the reduced price pork based products before I could give chase. A few months prior to this I'd been surprised to see the other half of the sausage siezer, queuing up with the cream of town society clutching a fist full of lottery tickets for the midweek draw, despite the pair owning many, many acres and heaps and heaps of houses.

I've no mind for revolution, the waltzers leave me nauseous, and I miss the Romanovs, but this sausage heist and a fist full of tickets doesn't sit well with me when you would appear to have won the lottery of life many times over, so come on old fruit, the two slices of old corned beef served for a working man's lunch, but I'll not be gazumping your five figure holiday to Bermuda or taking your table at Whites, so spare a chap an old sausage and a fair pop at the lotto, what!

Reality check required

An addendum: The old bit of the corned beef was delicious, but no Porky White.

An Addendum II: All names have been changed, neither of the pair are close acquaintances neither are we on speaking terms. I just know who they are, whether they would have any idea as to who I was, I haven't a clue. Like Carly I'm keeping shtum for the time being but if I'm jocked off some sausages again then look out. .

Today is my 47th birthday thank you for the cards and presents. If Biffidus digestivum, anti oxidents and Oil of Olay are to be believed, I am now entering the second quarter of life. I'd anticipated some sort of crisis by now, but I have no urge to get my nipples pierced or buy a three wheeled motorbike. In contrast to 20 years ago, I understand comfortable shoes, don't like staying up or out late, like a nap now and again and no longer go fishing in the rain.

Unless this guff is the crisis and my ranting and railing in an attempt to pop a few balloons is the internet version of black leather trousers and a nipple ring.

I'm a little confused, but then that is the one thing I did expect to be at this age.