Tuesday, 1 December 2015

A good day for it

      A beautiful day and the light breeze has the weathervane pointing to north but there is a promise from the weatherman of high winds later in the day.
      The rough shooter with his dog makes me want to fill my pockets with cartridges and go for a walk with the gun to see if we can get two or three pheasants for a casserole. The shooting motto here is take only what you need and no waste, if you do have a small surplus pass it on so that the surplus benefits someone else.
      The boss prefers hen pheasants for cooking, she reckons that they cook more tender than cock pheasants and the argument that if you were starving you would eat them carries no weight either.
      So, I already know that next weeks walk around enjoying the landscape will result in me putting only cock pheasants up on the wing.


Monday, 30 November 2015

Fen Tiger seen in West Norfolk

      There are sightings of mystery big cats all over England so here is another, this time in West Norfolk.
      You can see the eyes glowing in the fog so it must be a really big specimen, quite worrying really. So, when I'm out there pike fishing the hunter could, quite easily, no very easily, become the hunted and they move like cats too. Quietly. A chicken wouldn't provide much of a meal but I would, a bit stringy perhaps but I'm sure tigers aren't choosy.
      Frightening or what?
      Tomorrow morning I'm going straight over there, regardless of the clag and mud I'll have to plough through to get there, right to the other side of the field to look for giant paw prints.
      The boss has just said 'don't have another beer dear.'

Friday, 27 November 2015

The first fish in your stocking

      A while ago a former work colleague from the late sixties and early seventies, tracked me down via Waterlog magazine and asked if I was me, you know that one who worked as an Art Director and worked with me Stephen Cox, who was the Copywriter. Yes was the answer and Stephen was and is a keen fisherman too. All those years ago we used to fish the Grand Union Canal in Islington and Kensal Green, just behind the famed cemetery and gas works as well as the Thames at Hurley.
      After a period of emailing, reminiscing about the past Stephen wanted to talk books and self-publishing, here's the result.
      'THE FIRST FISH' is a collection of short stories about fishing and the people involved with fishing, the places, the idiosyncratic and the humorous and the mysterious and my particular favourite, ghost stories.
      The collection is a perfect stocking filler for an angler for Christmas and the stories are short but involving, a recommended Christmas read. Particularly with a glass or two of what you fancy to keep you company while you read them with the wind and rain rattling the windows or, hopefully, the sound of snow silently settling.

      "Anglers love telling stories. Usually these stories are based on personal experience. The stories this book, however, are entirely fictional. They involve all sorts of different characters from the very young to the very old, and beyond. Any resemblance to actual anglers is purely coincidental. One or two of the stories are directly concerned with issues within the world of angling but most address themselves to wider themes. Some are humorous. Some are sad. Some are mysterious. Several of them have been published in an angling magazine but here they are collected together for the first time."

      The collection is available from Zois Books with the ePUB version for Kobo, Nook and iPad costing £1.99. The .mobi version for Kindle is also £1.99.
      Absolute bargain.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

On the green line

      Number twenty seven, and the letterform is very nicely cut too. A Leylandii hedge in the village turned into a little bit of typographic art.
       We kept driving past when it needed cutting hoping to catch the owner of the bungalow hard at work with his shears, or petrol trimmer, styling his hedgerow type but typically one day it's all straggly and the next time you drive past the hedge has had a haircut and a typeface tidy-up has happened. A little bit like a beard trim.
      As far as we are concerned it's the best Leylandii hedge we've ever seen. West Norfolk topiary at its best. We'll catch him next time, at work with his shears and trimmers, you see.
      And we'll catch him green-handed too.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Early winter. Dusk

      I do love the clarity of the silhouettes that the trees, electric poles and telegraph poles have in the early dusk at this time of year. The filigree of the poplars and the wires and cables always looks dramatic even against the grey but clear sky.
      The silhouettes always remind me of children's paintings, admittedly they are usually created showing a brilliant orange and red sunset with stark black trees against the livid background to maximise the special effects.
      I wonder what tonight will be like?

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Shelter from the storm

      Get a bloody move on man, that look says it all.
      We're nearly back home and there's a good old fashioned rainstorm approaching and Barney has a got a bit of a hurry-up on to avoid the good old fashioned drenching we're all going to get.
      Our older Jack Russell and master ratter Minnow is a little bit more cute, she's walking to heel about three inches behind my legs so she's fairly sheltered and I'm sure she knows that I'm going to cop for the worst of the rain.
      Never mind, we can always dive in the Nissen Hut and take shelter, the problem then is getting them both out again once the storm has passed over.
      Walk on.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Snuggle up to Steve

      Steve, the village skeleton, has put his summer clothes away and has got his winter kit on now. A flannelette nightshirt with a hood and some lovely home-made knitted booties to keep away the winter's chill. He's had his nightly cocoa, and I bet that late drink fairly rattles through him, but to save a trip to the bathroom he's even got a gazunda under the bedside table. All the home comforts. The table even looks like it could be a piece of trendy Ercol or G-Plan, ironic or what.
      His candle has got a spot of brewer's droop but that could be the cold weather, so all is not well, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt there because of the heat behind the glass could be the reason for that.
      Lovely tablecloth Steve and the back-drop is fashionable too, there's nothing like used, black agricultural plastic to keep the draughts out, a master-stroke.
      We look forward to the spring-time tableau.