Monday 25 June 2018
Sitting down in the kitchen for a fine lunchtime repast of Jacket potato corned beef and sauerkraut.
There I said it, I'm a big fan of European fermented cabbage, deal with it.
Called to the door to receive fish destined for the smoker, I returned to the kitchen to find half of the dirty cutlery removed from the dishwasher.
Yesterday things took a piratical turn as Moss raided the dishwasher and put in a few laps of the sofa with a sharp knife between his teeth.
As I write, he has just finished forging new routes through our small garden and is now chewing the fridge door.
In Avian news the Owl has gone. We gave him his last piece of chicken fillet (This bird has enjoyed significantly better cuts of meat than I have during his two week sojourn chez de Cani) popped him in the hedge by the vegetable garden where he hung around for five minutes before taking flight without so much of a thank you, best wishes or chin chin.
Uncivil birds Owls.
Oh yes, Bake off - The Professionals (Sunday night C4)
Why no Bodie and Doyle and that goto guy for "parsimonious Scot" whose name I forget off the Fine Fare advert?
I have a lot to thank Salmo Trutta for.
My principle source of income relies on Brer Brown Trout being on good form and present in numbers. But wasn't one of the main criticisms of chalk stream management in the last quarter of the 20th century that it all became to "troutcentric" Put simply, if it wasn't a trout it was coming out.
Well done for the river restoration work, but let's not get carried away and throw hundreds of tonnes of gravel into every deep slow reach of this river system.
It's just a thought.
Saturday 9 June 2018
Well Jury Service was a non event. Held in an ante chamber for six hours while legal types wrangled in the adjacent court only to be told that the trail had been cancelled and we could all go home for the two we that we had been summoned. I don't know what costs are incurred in the cancellation of a trail at crown court but it has happened forty seven times this year. Judge Judy returns home to tend her roses, and clerks, ushers and counsel repair to iron capes and buff up wigs. While we're on the formalities of court isn't the whole wig and cape thing a tad archaic? it's all a bit like George the third does batman. Surely in this day and age we could have some more contemporary garment possibly with a name and number on the back to signify their role in court.
It's just a thought.
You will note the Nordic method of log stacking employed on the stack on the left.
And the Bransbury method by our back door.
or keepering as it was once known.
A week or so ago I received a call from Madam on her evening ritual of taking a walk in order to reintroduce herself to the outside world after the madness and stress of working in a Primary School that is severely financially stretched.
It's been a while since we did any product placement so here goes. I was once a little sniffy regarding rechargeable equipment for use up the river. Battery life, build quality, the ability to carry out the task for which it has been designed. But all that has now changed. What was the cause of this damascene moment?
The recent purchase of the Stihl HLA 85 Pole Hedge cutter. With the Partridge upon me I'd like to espouse the two hours of battery life produced by the Ap 200 unit the tremendous build quality and maximum telescopic length of three metres.
(Come on Stihl you can reciprocate accordingly for this plug)
No noisy engine so every word of Test Match Special can be heard
(Come on ECB no third test against Pakistan and over a month before the next Test Match - nuts!)
No exhaust fumes and the knowledge that with each trim of the fringe, planet earth is that little bit safer.
The Stihl HLA 85
Names currently under consideration for impending new puppy:
Stihl HLA 85
Only all this careful consideration over names is not now required.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Moss!
Apologies but it's loin cloth, cave and shaking fist at outside world time again.
On three occasions this season, and we're only five weeks in, I have had anglers say to me that they had fished at such and such a place recently and had not seen a fish. Negotiating the banks had been a mission in itself and they were considering giving up their rod that they had held for some years. They were three separate stretches of chalk stream.
It is a worrying trend that some seem to have gone over big when exposing themselves to the cult of "re-wilding".
Call me a crank if you wish, but chalk streams must be managed if biodiversity is to be maximised.
How do I know this?
because in thirty two years that I have been falling in and out of this river I have been asked to look at several stretches of chalk stream that have not been managed for a number of years. One not far from here was a tree lined tunnel void of all weed with rudimentary aquatic life that was vastly improved after two weeks of going bananas with a chainsaw. It now has weed, an increased number of invertebrates and a population of trout and grayling that each year undertake the rigours of spawning.
Under management of chalk streams can be as detrimental as over management, the right balance must be sought if the habitat is to thrive and biodiversity maximised.
Keepering they used to call it - you've done that one - ed.
Reports suggest that some stretches have become a right old shambles, and on a personal note if we look up rather than down, in five or ten years time there may be much needed work for the likes of myself restoring some order to some stretches that perhaps went in too deep with regard to the cult of re-wilding.