Friday 22 March 2019

Sir James, The Water and the 6th Motzkin Number

Tadah! and as if by magic the shopkeeper appeared.

Well the CEO of the EA to be precise, who this week drew attention to the possibility of a water crisis in the UK in two decades time.

He may be on the cusp of a pay review or possibly an inquiry into the opulence of his office furnishings,

we don't know,

but he really should have piped up some time ago.

Regular visitors will know that this house has been banging on about the subject ad nauseam, ( "Forever and ever" is the current earworm, although that may be due to the Demis Roussos inspired nightgown that I have donned to tap out this current chunk of guff)

In his defence, the CEO of the EA will have relied on EA interpretation of data collected which has proved to be questionable on several occasions in recent years.

If the CEO happens upon this, could he please make himself aware of the parable of the field known across the ages as Spring Bottom.

It may not have an X or a Y axis, or sit on an excel spreadsheet, but for minds as simple as mine (and possibly his own) it remains a reliable belwether as to the level of the precious groundwater supply in this corner of the county.

Data collected by his own agency and the weasels at the water company doesn't

For the fifth winter in succession, Spring Bottom remains spring free.

Groundwater levels in the region are in chronic decline because of the unsustainable way in which we use the groundwater resource.

We do indeed need to be more water wise.

A statement that first featured in this guff ten years ago, so come on Sir James Bevan, up your game.

Phone ins and features on the radio and television following the CEO's declaration demonstrate that public awareness needs to be raised. Most VOX pops came back with the consensus that "it's always raining, what's he on about"

If the pay review hits choppy waters, I'd suggest raising the subject of a national water grid.

Shift water from wet regions of the UK to increasingly arid areas of these Isles and charge as you see fit,

It's just a thought

Up your game Sir Jimmy B, Up your game.

Like Mrs May, much of my week has been spent digging holes.

Planting trees for my part. Native hardwoods to replace ash trees that will cash in their chips in the next ten years.

Lord Ludg and myself have ridden hard on the splitter for many days and are confident that we now have enough logs lain about the place to serve several fires through next winter.

The hydraulic log splitter is a piece of cutting edge technology to rival the space shuttle and the invention of the internet, but when will higher minds than ours develop the self stacking log?

Oh yes, this.

Phosphate levels in rivers and domestic water supply in our region are on the rise. Be it fertilizer, pesticide, weed killer or slug pellets, this kind of caper shouldn't be going on in close proximity to a water course.

Buffer zones along river channels please Sir James, if you haven't gone home already.

Another month, another front cover.

Here's the December issue of Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine.

I'll own that I was a bit late to the piece, but as ever thanks to the clever person who took the photo for making the bridge that I built look level.

The bridge has now appeared in quite a few publications and has subsequently been taken on by an agency for bookings with the requisite appearance fees.

All enquiries to

Today I spied grayling in pre spawning mode on the gravels above the ford across the mill stream. It's a spawning site of first choice for Thymallus thymallus most years, fingers crossed a few more join the party. Brown Trout are increasingly active and look up to the odd olive that popped in appearance this week.

Since the implementation of the National Trout and Grayling Strategy in 2015 , a muddled piece of thinking in which brer grayling was largely ignored, we have been joined each winter by many large triploid brown trout. Our rods don't complain and most end up at the smoker such are their size, (the triploids not the rods - touch wood) they look great in the fishing book but add an unnatural air to this small stream.

Despite being dismissed as a crank by supercilious knobs in fine fleece and cutting edge walking shoes, I maintain that introducing fingerling diploid brown trout in spring is preferable to an adult triploid only stocking regime in southern chalk streams.

The reasons why have been listed on here many times (most posts throughout 2014, although they may have an angry tone)

I've recently had the mantra tattooed on my arse, which will be premiered at the next consultation/achieve five eights of f&%* all, meeting.

I seem to have got quite cross, which is worry and I lay the blame entirely at Sir James Bevan's door, but I recently attained the great age of forty one.

That'll be Fifty One - ed

A dispute seems to have arisen, so in the spirit of ontont cordial, I'll meet you half way. Recently I attained the great age of forty six.

Nope, you're fifty one - ed

Gnashes teeth, clenches fists - F*&% You ED!

I seem to have got quite sweary as well. I don't know how this happened, but it may be a sign of something else going on.

My name is Chris de Cani and I am 51.

By way of succour, Wikipedia teaches us that 51 is 3 lots of 17 and is the natural number following fifty and preceding 52, while our friends at Stagecoach have it as the bus route from Chichester to Selsey.

It is the 6th Motzkin number and may be involved in atoms.

Numerologists insist that the essence of 51 is its basic tone and vibration, with the use of the word "thus" very much to the fore in explanation.

Religous types talk of repentance regarding the number, with mention made of Samuel in the Old Testament,
while my tape measure hints at a relationship between the numbers 20 and 129.

Whatever, I've just turned 51.

How did this happen?

Wednesday 13 March 2019

The Juggler, The Grayling, The Horse and His Lover


But before the guff, the pitch.

Here's the site straddling the Test and Dever Valleys where an American owned company would like to build a bonfire twice the size of Winchester Cathedral. Visitors to this parish will be aware that I like a fire, but this is the mother of all incinerators with chimneys 90m high that generates electricity and dividends. It's called the Harewood Wheelabrator and it uses groundwater. Give it a google and make your own mind up as to whether it's a good addition to the Test and Dever valleys.

Right on we go with another chunk of guff, and following the fire (see previous guff) the flood.

Not the flood that would be manna for this valley, but the flood that flowed down my waders when I stumbled in the river and fell flat on my face in three feet of water. The experimentation with the cult of wild water swimming was swiftly brought to a conclusion and after a chilly tractor ride home I took an early lunch.

I'll break off there, because Talksport's coverage of the recent Liverpool v Burnley game comes to mind. Three one in front, Liverpool were described as "going for the juggler". I've had an interest in football for some years. As a player I started off as a left winger and ended up at left back. Throughout my backward progression through the side, I don't think I ever pulled on the juggler's jersey. I refrained from faxing the show. DAB is a great thing and yes, the wide choice of channels, but goodness there's a lot of tosh uttered out there in commercial radio land.

The grayling season is drawing to a close and it hasn't been great. The train ticket thing didn't go well and then there were the phantom ferries....

Apologies, wrong grayling,

The grayling season is drawing to a close and it hasn't been great. There are undoubtedly fewer fish in the river and numbers of fish caught are down on previous winters. Yes the Otters and yes the Graculus, but spawning doesn't seem to have gone well two to three years ago. We still retain a reasonable head of sexually mature fish who currently assume an increasingly dark tone. Fingers crossed that they spawn well this spring and fry survival rates are good.

This short film was taken six years ago in early April. I've not seen grayling spawning in numbers such as this in the Dever since.

Storm Freya was an event and a big old ash cashed in its' chips on the island in the flight pond. Access wasn't easy and much of it was held up by surrounding trees so working out where weight lay and which limbs will fall which way troubled the grey matter a tad. Which is a conundrum I face most evenings when climbing into bed, so a plan was swiftly formed.

Boats were briefly invoked, along with the requisite, levers fulcrums and bars, and four days later we have a heck of a heap of ash, cut in to lumps that must all be carried over the bridge by hand.

That, or I build a bridge big enough to take the tractor.

The Test and Itchen river report for 2018 dropped through the door the other day. There are many contributors including a chunk of guff from this parish and it serves as a reasonably reliable bellwether as to the current state of play in each of the river valleys. Those who have fished here will recognise the front cover, but rest assured that the river's flow has not been reversed or the bridge to the fishing hut moved. For whatever reason the picture editor flipped the picture around on the computer.

Emerging from work in the wood, we are having a few days replenishing the log store. The log splitter has been oiled and greased and put to work on piling up the logs for next winter.

Through with Storm Freya we are currently on the cusp of Storm Granville (I think that's right, it definitely begins with a "G" it' seems to be how these things work) Yesterday it rained all day and today we had wind. The river is on the rise and water has appeared in the ditch half way up to the field known across the ages as "Spring Bottom" but we need a good bit more yet in a diminishing period of time. Ducks are pairing up and competition among drakes over which duck to set to partners with is fierce. Roe deer are particularly active and half a dozen switch from periods of sunning themselves under a sheltered hedge on the hill to feeding in the wood, with a couple of good bucks among them.

Otis & Moss, bespoke tailors to the rich and famous,

or possibly our two labradors,

are also in good nick, although Otis is shedding his winter coat. A heavy moulter, he is literally falling apart.

Moss's training is going well and he has learnt to use the TV remote control.

I popped home for a cup of tea the other afternoon and found him taking in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Does he have an online account with Ladbrokes? we don't know. A secret smart phone that he has kept from us? we don't know, but we've never had a dog like him.

He has a passing interest in shooting and fishing, but we increasingly find him in front of a screen. A first world problem I know, but binge watching Crufts and the Cheltenham festival will not broaden his mind. We've pushed BBC4 and Sky Arts but he demonstrates no interest, it's the gee gees, the dogs or nothing.

We have introduced "Parental Control" on access to The Racing Channel and At the Races, but can't keep up with the channels that screen "Police Dog Camera Action!"

Dogs eh?