Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Xmas 2010

Well, that's Xmas over. Mother-in-Law broke her other hip six weeks ago. At 91 she's struggling back at home. But we got her out for Xmas day - wasn't sure we'd get her in the car right up to the last minute. Had we not managed we'd have cancelled Xmas, stayed at home, and had beans-on-toast.

Moto GP

Still waiting to hear how well Rossi is trying to tame the beast


Great win lads. Even better is hearing the Aussies trying to say well done, and hating it LOL

Friday, December 17, 2010

Champions League

Oh goody, it's Barcelona :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ABF - update

Only open for applications since Nov 19th, it's over 100 members already. Must be something in it that people fancy is worth a go.



Mother-in-Law (aged 91), having come out of hospital after 12 weeks just a little while ago, fell and broke her other hip. She spent 2 weeks 'oop Kettering way but was transferred back down to our local hospital Thursday night. Hating it at first, although she insisted she wanted to come back, she is ok now she's settled in. I reckon her legs are a bit Barry Sheene'ish.


Friday, November 19, 2010

New barbel fishing organisation

Announcement of new barbel fishing organisation. They said this :

Welcome to news of the ABF – The Association of Barbel Fishers. We at the ABF have formed our association with a clear view of what we want in the future. We are a natural evolution in specialist groups and will be run democratically with elected officials.
The current members now wish to offer membership to all interested anglers. Initially, membership of the ABF will require a small donation in order to prove identity; these donations will be used to finance the ABF running costs.
The ABF is NOT intended to become opposed to existing barbel forums or groups and does not intend to participate in internet conflicts with any group nor individual. In fact many existing members are also members of other current websites, forums and barbel groups.
We want a group that values it’s members and becomes the place for friendships and shared experiences to develop, to bring enjoyment to our fishing.
One of the main aims of the Association of Barbel Fishers is that the membership contributes and has a say in the way the association operates.
In the near future the ABF, given your support and encouragement, intends to provide members with: -
  • Members ‘Away Days’ forum to arrange fishing days on each other’s waters.
  • Weekly News
  • A regular on-line magazine as and when we grow
  • Regular fundraising events for charities nominated by the membership.
Given good support and a firm financial base, in the medium and long term we plan to provide: -
  • A robust membership base and a group managed by elected officials.
  • Associate memberships of various barbel rivers around the whole country.
  • Group ‘get-togethers’ and ‘fish-ins’ and other similar events.
  • Support for barbel welfare in the form of habitat improvement working in conjunction with other appropriate parties.
Application details are as follows:
Go to the following page:
then fill in new members section using real names only which will be verified.
You are cordially invited to come along and join us,
Good Fishing,
The Association of Barbel Fishers

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From small beginnings

One of tomorrow's big girls

Perfection in miniature


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Senior moment?

Was off out to do a repair on a door for a customer yesterday afternoon. Loaded the van and set off.

I was driving through town round the one-way system, turned right at a traffic signal and there was a crashing noise, didn't sound like a car crash, nor was it on or involving my van. I drove away and then had a vision that when I was loading my tools into the van a neighbour came across and asked me something, and that I put a tool box on the roof of the van whilst I opened the rear door. This was a small box which holds all of my very small tools, (miniature screwdrivers, screwdriver bits, scalpels, tweezers, punches and stuff like that). Yes, it was this that crashed on the road.

I pulled over and locked my van, and then ran back 150 yards to see all these tools strewn across the road. Obviously cars had run over them, but I just reckoned to pick them up and the cars would have to go around me or wait - one blasted me on his horn but I "waved" to him . There was lost of people around as it was just before 5pm and there is a railway station there, but fortunately a young girl helped me (bless her) and we picked them up, although the box was smashed.

I've just sorted them and only three were damaged, can't see I'm missing any, time will tell.


Monday, September 20, 2010

I call it a result

Complained to Tiscali that my monthly broadband fee had gone up from around £13 to around £15, with no prior notification.

I consider it a result that they lowered the price to around £10 on an 18 month contract, with the first 3 months free :-)

Thank you Tiscali

Friday, September 10, 2010

You couldn't make it up

My Mother-in-Law, she's 90 years old, and it started a fair while back in the local A&E.

Previously "they said" options were open heart surgery; insert balloon to open valve; replace valve - but open heart not at her age. Balloon was via groin and we believe they inferred the valve replacement was the same.

She was in "local hospital" for 11 weeks then "they said" transfer to "a London hospital" Saturday and have balloon procedure Mon or Tues

Sun - "they said" need to do a "somethingortheothercardiogram via tube down throat procedure" followed by the "balloon procedure" next day

Mon - They did "somethingortheothercardiogram via tube down throat procedure" but said she had a chest infection so would need a "lung function" (presumably Spirometry) test the next day.
"they said" she would have the valve replacement the following week and would be in hospital for another week after that

Tues - Did not have a "lung function" test. Consultant chatted to her, knowing she was very distressed, and said she was not fit enough for the valve replacement and that he might do the "balloon procedure" the next day if he could fit her in.

Wed - It was explained that the "balloon procedure" would be done that afternoon, that there was a risk of temporary blackout, death, stroke, heart attack, and that she would likely be able to go home Friday. It was also explained that the replacement valve procedure could be necessary after a period of monitoring at the "local hospital". It was also explained (for the first time) that this valve replacement procedure was via keyhole incision, but that the heart would be stopped for a few hours and that a lung would need to be collapsed.
She did have the balloon procedure at 5pm

Thurs - "they said" there had been a problem during the procedure and she now has a "gash" on her arm, and that she would not be going home until Mon/Tues.
"they said" (for the first time) that the balloon does not stay in, it's just part of the procedure.

Fri - "they said" she would not be going home until Tues.
"they said" she might go home today
"they said" due to her age they might get an ambulance to take her home
"they siad (to her)" that the valve replacement was a necessity later (few months) and that there was a risk of
death, stroke, heart attack. Guess what she thought (again) about that?

Rearrange the following words into a well known phrase or saying :

elbow they arse their know dont from their

I have to say that each individual did their job very well, and we thank everyone for that. It's just collectively it was very frustrating. Hopefully my wife can now get the first decent('ish) night's sleep since early June.


"Banker" swim

Now there's this "banker" swim. From either bank it's ugly, well worn, in fact not a pleasure. If it's likely to get a fish from this swim, or choose scores of other swims and enjoy the scenery, what would you do?

Me? I have no interest in the "banker" and even though I've been through a lean period for fish, I don't want to get in there. Even though recently some pals whom had had fish have offered to vacate for me to get a fish I said no.

Maybe it's because I realise that these days catching is not the number one reason for fishing? well no, I've always thought that. Catching is great but again, it's that bonus I talked about.

Funny also, walking along yesterday someone remarked that there was a guy called Jack Hargreaves that was impersonating me on the TV :-)


A bonus

I've always said, and I don't know if it was a phrase I coined or one I read, but never mind ..............

What've I always said? errrrrrrrr ............oh yes, "catching fish is a bonus to a good day out"

Well, never more true than yesterday. In the company of good friends MickyH, TonyL and then later PeteW I had one of the most enjoyable days fishing for many a while. Not to say I don't enjoy all of my fishing trips, and with whomever I choose to go, this day was a cracker. We all caught (except Pete, but to be fair he only came for a short while later in the day) but I reckon we spent more time talking than actually fishing, not disrupting anyone (apart maybe from the wildlife, where Micky's voice is quite loud, caused by many years of trying to be heard above airplanes he used to mend). Decided to finish early, even though the last hour or so is often the most productive, so we could go for a meal in a local pub and have a nice chat. I didn't eat but two pints of (very) weak shandy (what a waste of a decent pint) is NOT the best thing when followed by a 70 mile journey :-(


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Anodised at last

Talking of centrepins, and of Fred Crouch centrepins, I'm glad to report at long last that all new Fred Crouch Jet Aerials, and Truepin Trotters, are now supplied with an anodised finish - replacing the painted, lacquered, and powder coated previous models. It's taken a few years to get it sorted, but sorted it is.


Back to form

Friday, the sun was beating down as I walked the river bank, talking to a couple of anglers for a while, nice to make the acquaintance again of Rory, for whom I arranged the sale of a Fred Crouch Truepin Trotter earlier in the season - he loves the reel. Talking also for a long while to Diana, a Swan Rescuer, time usefully spent to put my point of view and ensure anglers are seen as caring. So that's two or three hours killed and I sat under the shade of my brolly to await the evening, and surely but sureley a barbel would grace my net. Not so, I was plagued with weed which kept catching my line and causing me grief, at one point I had to retrieve both rods and cut the resultant tangle free, but I lost not a smidge or tackle, unlike some who left trailing line and weights in a nearby tree. Why do they not sort this and get it back, leaving the tree to look like a tree, and not like a clothes line devoid of clothing but festooned with all manner of hanging detritus. Had another angler not been in said swim I'd have spent a few minutes and easily removed it all, but by the time he'd gone it was near to midnight.

Anyway, the night sky was as clear as I've seen for a long while. I wish I knew more about the stars, as surely I could have identified more than the plough. I've been there before, with sky-watchers book in hand, only to find that the damn things have moved.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

........ but then work stopped everything

Since then I was going to rest a bit, with only two days work scheduled and a bit more fishing - yeah right. I got involved in another job and had eight straight eleven hour days. Wow, this semi-retirement sure whacks you out.


Fishes at last

Last Friday I had a barbel, not huge but at 9-06 very welcome. Followed by another three, it was a red letter day in the context of my dismal season. Very happy that it was old and tried and trusted methods, tackle and bait.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

A bite, at last

I had a very pleasant afternoon/evening in the company of my good pals DaveC and ColinW, fishing a nice club water. The journey there was hell ('ish) - should be 60 mins, took me 2.1/4 hours as there had been a 3-vehicle accident on the Motorway. I used to get impatient crawling along in traffic but these days I just realise that my inconvenience is minor compared to those in the accident - I have time enough on my hands, as the fish will wait.

Yes, I had my first proper bite of the season, and resulted in banking my first berbel this season, an 7-8lb'er (didn't weigh it, of course, at that size) and I was very happy, especially after such a lean spell. The night was lovely. It got dark at about 10.30pm and I was sitting in my shirtsleeves right up until midnight, but we have to stop fishing then (club rule) otherwise I would have loved to have stayed. Funny, but my two pals were cold and they had their jackets on, but not me and they couldn't believe it when I walked along at 12.15 still with my sleeves rolled up.

I had a mishap though. I often use Spam or Luncheon Meat for bait, and my pal had brought me some special meat with extra flavours for fishing bait use only.

He showed me his that he had opened at home and it did smell very strong (lovely) but as I opened my tin, whilst I was sitting down, this red/brown smelly liquid poured out all over my shirt, my trousers and my chair. He his head off and said his was ok as he'd had it in his fridge . Anyway, nothing I could do as my emergency change of clothes in the van did not include trousers but joggers, not really suitable for fishing. So I phoned my wife and asked her to get two buckets out and some detergent and I'd soak my clothes in this as soon as I got home which would be at about 1.45.

I've fished this water over 20 times, but ever faithful to my reputation, took a wrong turn on the way home.

Anyway, when home I spent a while scrubbing my hands with soap and my stainless steel soap bar - all this without hot water as it's still not fixed.

But I enjoyed my fishing so much, what's a bit of smell? I care not, better ask 'er indoors. At least it wasn't Monster Crab

Fancy a nice hot curry tonight, and those beers I didn't get to drink Thursday, lovely.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

New guiding service

I am thinking of joining the ranks, and doing some guiding (for barbel)

Mine will be with a difference though - I will give some tuition in using a centrepin BUT then I go to one venue and my client will go to another, as certainly it would increase their chances if I wasn't there


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Who, me?

(image courtesy of

A pleasant evening session on the river

I fished last night, a very pleasant session from 8.30 until just before 11. Local'ish water that I first fished in the  early 70s and for 20 years or so, just rejoined.

I was sitting low - my chair is much modified for sloping banks I usually fish from, but here on flat banks I had to leave the legs folded under and was almost on the ground, just as well it was dry. Nothing much scares me at night whilst fishing, animal-wise, but something put the bejeezus up me at about 10.30. Too late for a dog, it was definitely four-legged and it ran towards me along the path and then crashed into the undergrowth, uttering a single high-pitched gruntly scream (for want of a better phrase to describe it). I bl##dy well shook for a few moments. One guy didn't hear it but he reckoned it could have been a mink? I've seen mink many times but never heard them, but something tells me it was NOT a mink.

Taking to my good friend Monty earlier, he what's an oracle of things furry, reckoned a Muntjac. He could well be right, I know they "bark" but just read that they do "scream" when alarmed. It certainly must have been scared too when it saw me.

Anyway, a very pleasant evening. Catch fish? well, as I always say "catching fish is a bonus to a good day/evening out" and I didn't need the bonus last night. Enjoyed it. Enjoyed the antics of the bats, not avoiding my line very well - I think they were playing a game.


Monday, June 28, 2010

It's still hot today

It's a funny old world. I used to love football but I didn't get around to watching any of the world cup - but just tell me why people were suprised we got knocked out. Well, actually, don't bother to tell me, I'm not interested.

Now tennis, that's a sport worth watching ................... errrrrrrr, no it isn't.

So I watched the F1 Grand Prix, but all the time I'm thinking who and how will they get at McLaren this time. Oh, a drive through penalty for an error by Hamilton, no complaints there. Except Alonso who cries unfair, of course cos it's McLaren and it's Hamilton. He wants all the drivers disqualified so he gets to stand on the top step. But Alonso was adamant that the incident had been pivotal to his chances of success in front of his fellow Spaniards in Valencia - think again, maybe you need to drive faster perhaps, and for christ sake stop whingeing.

Jeez, it's too hot to sit here typing stuff, as I said this blogging could get boring. There's interesting blogs and there's plain uninteresting blogs. Mine is the latter I guess as I don't have a go at anyone, nor anyone want to have a go at me. No blog wars for me thanks, much of it's really pathetic.

Talking of hot, I just bought a bladeless desk fan. click this link Silly me, couldn't resist the new technology even though it was a mind-blowing £200 all but a quid. Mr. Dyson is on a winner here, except I took it back for a refund cos I have ears, and I want to be cooled down not deafened. Shows my stupidity at deciding in a large store, where the ambient noise was obviously a tad over that in my house.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Montreal F1 GP

Magnificent race. Well done to Lewis and Jenson, and the whole McLaren team


No blogs for a while, and then it's like busses

Whilst sorting my gear, I found some scraps of paper in my fishing bag. Don't bother to write down fish captures as a rule, as you can see by the scribbling to get the pen working,  but I remember the first one well (the top part)

It was absolutely peeing down that day. Just one ounce short of 4 doubles ......... just an ounce.

This one was a record of the first outing with a new rod, a self-built Harrison 1.5lb tc GTx. Funny, but I got a double the next time out too, that's three in the first two trips with this rod, but I don't actually like the rod. But as there's a new version that's 1.75lb tc, I might just ....................

Here's the most important bit of kit - yes even more important than my c'pins

Have to rush, I put the hemp on (on a calor fed cooking ring, NOT the above stove) and wondered why it was frothing over the top of the pot ......... used bl##dy baking powder instead of bi-carb. Stupid boy. Must check washing and rinsing it off before starting cooking again has not flooded my floor.


Today I'm ...........

It's been hectic lately. Doing a lot of decorating for folks, but am having some time to m'self now, never was planning to work too much after retiring :-) but it kinda gets that way sometimes. 'er indoors finally told work to stuff it, really pleased she won't have that any more.

Blog took back burner, but then I never was sure I'd bother that much. Inspired by T2C's pics this morning (well Faye's anyway) on his blog so I might just get my camera out ............. problem is that I'm cr#p when using a camera.

Getting my fishing gear ready for the new season - I have a target to catch more than last season LOL. Practised getting my bivvy up yesterday, don't know whether I'll need it but you never know. Did pretty well, but how do you get that thing back in the bag? Two phone calls later and sorted, got it down, and up and down again in no time.

Painted my garden bench again yesterday, second coat. Tossed up between watching the World Cup footy, or watching the paint dry on the bench ................. bench won. I could watch the bench with a few bees buzzing wheras the footy would have 50,000 bees - have they sorted that yet I wonder? Do I care? errrrr, NO.

Still have ten IOM TT programmes recorded, welcome respite from cr#p footy matches ..... Algeria v Slovenia, Serbia v Ghana, who'd want to watch them?

Years ago I'd live and breathe footy, what has changed apart from my hair colour? Hair?

F1 Grand Prix qualifying was exciting, if you like it that is. I thought Lewis was great, just hope that he doesn't get bashed by the Red Bulls - no team orders (they say) but maybe they'd bash a.n.other rather than their own this time? :-) Looking forward to the race today.

Kettle boiling, time for tea, and must get some hemp in the pot.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ruby Murray

Just had an Indian, well you know what I mean ............ and if the "out" is as hot as the "in" then I'm in trouble :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Start of season

Plans for my normal foray 'oop narf ('ish) laid last year now gone awry. Biggun (MikeB) and I will now toast the start of the season further darn sarf.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Centrepin casting demos

I always enjoy giving centrepin casting demos, and tuition, at the Barbel Show every year.

Here's me and Trevor by the lake, obviously that cast went well.

For my article "Centrepins and using them, especially for Barbel fishing" see here


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


A good mate MikeOz won the coveted BS award. It was great to see his face as it dawned on him that my other good mate MikeB hadn't won after all - it was a great bit of subterfuge. Why he mouthed "bas###rds" as he clocked that he'd been "had" I don't know. LOL . The video of the moment will be good.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I was honoured

I had just sat down for breakfast at the BS Show on Sunday with a pal (Tony Lambert) at his first conference, and Peter Wheat asked if he could join us, then followed by Dave Stuart. These guys are legends, and very entertaining.

No apologies for name-dropping :-)


Friday, May 7, 2010

Another post

Here's another, to see what it looks like


Opening post

I don't know what I'm going to do with this blog - it's a new toy but I might get bored.

Everyone who's anyone seems to have one, but even anyone who's not anyone has one too. Do I want to follow a trend? ............ errrrrr ...... nahhhhh, probably not.