Monday, 31 March 2014

Farewell Winter

Walter E Spradbery 1936 - Curwen Press

Betty Swanwick 1936 - Curwen Press

Ugo Mochi 1923 - Curwen Press

Unknown Artist 1923 - Curwen Press

Barnett Freedman 1936 - Curwen Press

Barnett Freedman 1936 - Curwen Press

Thursday, 27 March 2014

I'm the King of the World!

Was the cry that went up from middle nipper. I had to agree with him as I too had the very same feeling as a turbulent wind blew into our faces. I surveyed the coast from this highest of vantage points and he raced amongst the ramparts at Eggardon.

The simplest of pleasures can be the most rewarding and his cry came to mind a day or two later when drying out the contents of our beach shack after the storms.

After a perfect porcine lunch and a forage for findings on the beach (including a nice wave worn door wedge) the warmth of the afternoon sun got the better of me and dreams beckoned........I too felt like the King of the World.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Buried Treasure Part 7

The move has unearthed much in the way of buried treasure - it is such a lovely feeling when it is found again, but it has also jogged my failing memory towards treasure that may be lost......or just waiting to be found!

This isn't any old piece of wood, oh no. This is a small piece of the original Redmire Pool dam rail no less - the original rail that the likes of BB, Dick Walker, Dick Kefford, Maurice Ingham, Bob Richards and the like would have leant against in the 1950's during the golden age of carp angling. 

I knew I had it somewhere, but thought it lost - apologies for the poor picture by the way. A gift from a legendary Redmire angler quite a few years ago. It was found, preserved in the water just by the dam where it had fallen. This piece was found by me in a box and could easily have been lost again along with the two ancient Redmire oak leaves (from the Oaks pitch of course!).

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The last cast

A few images from my end of season flurry last week. A super few days on the Wiltshire Ebble and Dorset Stour. One of the highlights being the ball of Starlings swarming during the day to dive bomb a flock of Dorset Down sheep - never seen that before, the noise was incredible. My poor shot not doing the scene justice. Fine fishing by myself, with good friends and thoughts of friends much missed. A short piscatorial interlude now before the mackerel and trout season.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Friday Face

I thought it looked a bit like Zippy from Rainbow, remember him? The rude orange one. Or perhaps it's what Mr Slater's parrot looks like? Anyhow, a joy to stumble upon this face of sorts at low tide.

Thursday, 13 March 2014


Harry Becker - 1948
Forgotten then were the disconsolate, the rainy days.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Time and tide.....

I've sort of mostly lived near the sea, close but never this close. I get twitchy now if I don't see it, even a glimpse. When we first moved here I vowed and imagined I would walk the beach every day.

Of course there have been periods when it has been taken for granted and days do drift by without my fix. That is not the case now this minute or of late for I can't get enough of it. The recent storms also meant it was nearer - wind direction, wave height, land slips, beach cargo booty and flotsam have kept it news worthy and close to mind.

Rivers are my arena for quiet contemplation, but I find the beach has taken over. Taken over for the time being and certainly where I find myself more often than not for contemplative recreation. I am there like a piece of driftwood and over the last few weeks miss it like mad and when I do visit I return home with pockets full of items that are hard to leave on the foreshore. I think I bring them back to keep the connection live and they help on days that I cannot hear the crunch of shingle beneath my feet.

It won't be long now - change is afoot. I can hear it in the skylarks call as it rises and falls above the clifftop meadows. Won't be long until the first mackerel arrive and we can angle for our supper to be cooked over a driftwood fire.

For now though I am content with the quiet trundle of calmer waves with the sun on my face, but there is still just enough of a nip in the air to warrant another mug of beef tea and contemplate times past and those who won't be here when the mackerel arrive.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Cockle Man

Now I am partial to a cockle or two and not only as a snack brought on by the munchies in the pub. At one time they were the only bait on a summer fishing trip and I mean the only bait - perfect for carp and tench and the more rancid the better. Some of my best fish have had a liking for them.

Haven't had or used one for a while and this lovely tin, a recent find, brought them back into mind. A Berwick Cockle has no association with the sea though! It's a humbug or mint ball - I've never had one, so can't comment on what they taste like. Great tin though.

Talking of cockles, take a look at this film "The Cockle Man" by father and son film makers Matt and Mark Daunt. It tells the tale of Dave Bartram who trawls the pubs of Nottingham selling his cockles from his basket. Could do with a Dave in the pubs around here. Super stuff.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Much calmer and set fair!

The old barometer hasn't swung this far to the right for what seems like months. I have a sneaking suspicion it may go even further into uncharted waters next week. That's just fine for me as it's the last week of the coarse fishing season and as per usual there is a flurry of activity here at Straker Towers. Plans are hatched, tackle is assembled and polished, sandwiches made and picnics thought of, maggots curried and lobworms nurtured. High pressure at last knockings at seasons end is something to celebrate. No cowering under an Efgeeco brolly and damp escaping bait to contend with!

Before all that though it's time for a celebratory pint of Brancasters finest and a firm favourite of mine - Oyster Catcher. There will be much more of this over the next few days I can tell you. Spring is on its way!  

Saturday, 1 March 2014


A paucity of posts, sorry about that. It's been a trying few weeks, much calmer now. A little bit of Cluster for this day of St David. The soundtrack for calmer skies and seas!