Wednesday, March 13, 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?


1 comment:

The Two Terriers said...

It's official, I have log envy. Again. Spring Bottom is half full. I'm waiting for the next bulletin on the Palace gates.