Monday 28 May 2018
Ladies and Gentleman our house band The Detroit Spinners,
Weren't they great everyone?
Oh well, but thanks as ever for the invitation.
I've just been informed (many times) that in the cause of protecting data I am required to offer you the opportunity of looking elsewhere should this guff have been forced upon you. Please be assured that the door is open and anyone can leave at anytime should they so wish.
Which is great.
So why can't this small cluster of houses less than an hour drive from what some would have as the greatest city on earth have it as well?
We remember fondly the days of our quarter meg dial up connection and my employer who uses the hopeless landline broadband connection, spends most days in a fug of buffering while we are forced to rely on our expensive 3G mobile provider for a speed of not much north of half a megabyte.
Anyway I'll avoid kicking off about Open Reach and BT as it will only make my eyes go all twitchy again.
because they are oak trees.
Dutch Elm disease gets all the heat when it comes to arboreal genocide but ash die back will push it close.
Oh yes, further bonifides required please Mr Gove. This time on sandwich fillings. Last week, in the resumption of his quest for higher office he implored us all to eat more lamb sandwiches.
I'm not a fan of the lamb sarnie. Chicken, beef and pork, pulled or otherwise are fine as fillings for a sunday evening sandwich in front of Arthur Negus et al but all sensible people (northern folk in particular) agree that the best treatment for leftover lamb is several days of slow cooking in red wine and herbs with some shallots and carrots topped with sliced potatoes and a big dollop of pickled cabbage (or sauerkraut if the EU is upon you) later in the week
The cove Gove seems to have been hewn from the same rock as Mr Mandleson who once famously entered a northern fish and chip shop and requested some of the mashed avocado with his chips
"That'll be mushy peas then" came the reply.
Yes, Bonafides please Mr Gove, Bonafides. Not only with regard to sandwich fillings but also for the post which you currently hold.
While we're on meat. In the name of cutting down on red meat in order to attain a perfect cholesterol level of four point something, we've just devoured a very nice piece of Hampshire Bred top rump. It came to light during this fine repast that with four jars of horseradish and four jars of mustard I had fast become the Imelda Marcos of the condiment world.
Later this week I will be charged with spinning the wheel of the justice.
The welcome pack from the Courts of Justice states that I cannot take my clever idiot proof camera into court so with a nod to Tony Hart I've whipped out the pastels and crayons, eschewed the kodachrome.
In dog news, Otis has sore feet again.
It happens every year when he is in malt (hair falling out, he's not a whisky drinker) Hair folicles become infected between his toes and he assumes a mincing tread. A course of antibiotics have him podding about again within a week but getting him to swallow the things are a bit of a trial. His Uncle Zebo could famously eat around any peas placed in his dinner and while a knob of cheese with a pill hidden discretely within used to work for Otis, he now rejects any cheap cheese offered, will suffer 36 month old Davidstow, but wolfs down a pill wrapped in half a slice of Prosciutto or Serrano.
He has become quite the gourmand in later life and the cost of the delivery method of each pill may soon exceed the cost of the pill itself!
Names Currently under consideration for impending puppy.
Boots McArther - Came to me in a dream,
Pontebodkin - Bridge based which seems apt
Karius - Noooooooooooo!
Uncle Peter - I may have got stuck on Vic & Bob while undertakimg research for a film earlier in the piece.
Lister - Ditto
Michael Gove - Hmmmm, bonafides for work as a Labrador required.
Wednesday 16 May 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you
The Detroit Spinners:
Welcome aboard chaps, I look forward to working with you in the coming months.
Through with the theme tune we shall now attend to the meat of the business and an explanation of my movements throughout the preceding week.
Today ranunculus flowered in this river in May for the first time in four years.
And at this point can we remind ourselves what ranunculus requires to thrive and of its importance to invertebrate life in the chalk stream environment.
" now about all this water that seems to be sloshing around, well we'd like a little more please"
Apologies, I'll break off there.
Will I have to move this button to the other side of the keyboard when we break away from Europe?
Oh yes, all this business about the use of the word Gammon as an insult is puzzling.
Harry Flashman and Bertie Wooster had a completely different take on the word that confuses the issue further.
Once again, what times we live in,
I'm with Flashie, Bertie and The Butcher regarding the word. I don't mind a bit of gammon. A Berni Inn special with a ring of pineapple, Serrano Ham, Proscuitto, Speck and heck even the occasional piece of obfuscation and jolly scheming in order to keep social events bouncing along.
Well I think we covered all bases there, so troll away please if you feel so inclined. I'll be over here with a swelling number of people waiting to step forward rubbing hands together to state "If you lot over there have quite finished and you lot over there have quite finished" We'll try and restore some normal service now that the fever has passed. As stated previously, troll away, troll away, troll away.
In other news we have just secured the services of another black labrador. As yet unamed and currently five weeks old he is not from the same line as Otis or Zebo but his parents are of a similar build. Discussions are underway over a name with the following list discounted already
Blondie - after 80's pop group Blondie
Hazel - after 80's TV detective Hazel played by Trevor Eve
Trevor Eve - Star of 80's detective series the title of which I forget.
Howard Moon - The Mighty Boosh
Dixon Bainbridge - The Mighty Boosh
Stephen Toast - Voiceover work and occasional actor
Jury service is imminent. Rachel was called up a few years ago and is the font of all knowledge regarding the market for crack cocaine among local town society.
Child A - Maisie, engaged with the forces of DIY while renovating a smashing two up two down terrace in Kingsclere, it even has three yards of chalk stream at the bottom of the garden.
Child B - William, engaged with the forces of a small camper van driving around New Zealand with two mates occasionally bothering trout. With the wind in the right direction we occasionally pick up their scent across the ten thousand mile divide.
Tuesday 1 May 2018
Ok, well there is still much to discuss on the matter but on this occasion I shall refrain so here's some parish messages.
With a nod to the current cult of Data Protection can all readers confirm that they arrived at this place of their own accord, nothing has been forced upon them or suggestions been made by way of spam email or leaflets through the post and there has been no mention of PPI or an offer made of marriage from the east.
Terms and conditions may/may not apply but things do seem to be getting a tad complicated with regard to chucking up guff.
Sign on the dotted line if you agree with the aforementioned and are happy/ resigned to peruse this nonsense further.
Data protection box ticked we shall now attend to recent events and the state of play for the impending trout fishing season.
Four and a bit miles a little closer to home this weekend and at this point I'd ask you all to prepare yourselves for what some corners of the media would call a "reveal" Also known as a "revelation" I can reveal that it hasn't been as wet a winter as many are making out.
Or if it has been an unusually wet winter, the aquifers at the end of last summer were depleted way beyond what some would have us believe.
Yes the Fake News, and phoney figures have been a particular bugbear in this parish with regard to a variety of subjects so at this point we will assess the state of play by examining the actualite.
Today we swung right and made passage with ease.
Today our cleats remained relatively free of organic matter.
And then there is this field known across the ages as "Spring bottom" which has featured on here many times of late.
I could go on, and yes the river is in fine condition, but if the winter has been as wet as some are making out, the aquifers must have been depleted beyond what the same bunch had us believe over the past few years.
I'll leave it there, and just be thankful that the river is bank high and pushing through nicely. and well done the what used to be known as a "normal" winter for that.
Didn't pet shops used to sell Amber Rudd?
Or was it Golden Rudd?
It's one of the two but I remember bagging up on Amber/Golden Rudd in a match on a small estate lake when I was a student living and working on the middle main river.
Everything is waking up and and all manner of creatures creep about the place, It's a terrific time of the year to be bumbling about in this special valley.
It was reported last week that aquifers in the Vosges in the North East of France were being put under pressure by over abstraction, principally by bottled water business in the town of Vittel.
Bottled water by the way is not bound by the rules that dictate Cornish Pasties and Melton Mowbray pies must come from the actual place they are named after. I once worked at a large trout hatchery with a million gallons a day of spring water bursting out of the ground that was purchased by Perrier because the water roughly matched the analysis of the water at the original Perrier spring.
Vittel are now having to seek another source for some of their water because the town is fast running dry and some of the stunning streams in the Jura are being impacted upon.
We walked their limestone banks a decade or so ago when children were children. The spectacular waterfalls will live long in the memory as will the hatch of olives and the numerous rises on a break abroad sans rods in the boot.