Wednesday 28 October 2015

Big brew

Just about to do what I call a big brew. This will keep me, family and friends going over Christmas and into the New Year.......then I will be dry for a month or so. A big batch of home brew is very welcome to compliment the bottles of artisan ales in the larder. The days of grim beer kits are over by the way. There is a huge choice out there and most of it very good.

First stage is to clean the bottles and what a collection. One pint, two pint heavy dark and brown with Bakelite screw stoppers. Some came from the old Whitbread Brewery in Cheltenham when it closed and others from Stroud, Worcester and Bridport. Let the brewing commence.      

Monday 26 October 2015

Pink Moon

I occasionally have a little breather from the blog, so apologies for the paucity of posts........I have been fishing constantly over the past few weeks. It has been sort of all consuming in the loveliest way.

It all started with that amazing supermoon a few weeks ago. I went to bed listening to the superb world premiere of Max Richter's Sleep. An eight hour lullaby that was to be the soundtrack of my day. I awoke and it was still there, trundling like me as I gathered my tackle and travelled north to Shropshire. I arrived at the river as the low applause signalled its end - lovely.

The Upper Severn, this particular beat of the Severn, has a special place in my heart. Many happy memories and days with good friends many moons ago and my first visit in thirteen years or so. I just needed to come back to close the chapter as it hadn't happened back then.

The day was a joy - barbel and chub the quarry with my good friend Rocket Wrudd of Wigan (official supplier of fireworks to the Golden Scale Club). 

I left the river as the moon came up over the wood down river. Like Richter's Sleep it stayed with me all the way to Dorset and I viewed the climax at the best place in the world -  Eggardon. Wrapped in a duck down coat I felt like the only man alive. 

Thursday 22 October 2015

Orison for a Curlew

The delightful small, independent and artisan publisher Little Toller Books (from just over the hill) have another release on the horizon which looks most appealing. They have an uncanny knack of releasing books of a most wonderful nature. I have mentioned previously how they have over the last year published a few books that I was wishing someone, somewhere would bring out - mermaids, Rena Gardiner, Fred Kitchen, Powys - they did it!

The latest offering, by Horatio Clare, certainly struck a chord with me. The book is about his journey across Europe in search of the Slender-billed-curlew (Numenius tenuirostris) - it's one of the world's rarest birds.....possibly already lost. A prayer for the slim beak of the new moon. The evocative illustrations here are by Bea Forshall who illustrated the book.

There are just a few days left to fund via Crowdfunder - I couldn't resist and there are some super rewards on offer for those who pledge. I can only dream as to what it would feel like to hear its haunting call and cannot wait to read of the adventure.   


Tuesday 20 October 2015

They keep coming

The crop of tomatoes has exceeded all expectations this year. They just keep coming. We are well into October and I am still harvesting a bowl every day. The season does seem late and at this rate I won't have any green 'uns for chutney, but I am certainly not complaining. I'll keep cropping and the swallows are still flying overhead.