Tuesday 24 November 2015

Sound and Vision

Time for a bit of culture. Well, my kind of culture.

Hear This.

Slaves - "Sockets"

Watch This

BBC Storyville,  "Cartel Land". An extraordinary documentary, about the effects of the drug trade on ordinary Mexican people. Watch it on iplayer, it is brilliant.


And This

"The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson". Another Julian Temple film. Me and the boy saw it at a small venue in Colchester a month or two ago and it's being shown in full next week on BBC. Dont miss it. Fantastic.

Thursday 19 November 2015

I See A Darkness

The barbarians are not only at the gates, they've kicked them in. Time for concerted action.

Mid November. Just when fishing should be at it's best, the codling have disappeared.  Well, probably chasing herring in the upper layers, where we can't catch them. On the other hand, I did manage to get a couple of stone of herring, fresh off one of the Mersea boats, so that's the roker and pike bait sorted.
Me and Lord Conc did go "dragging" the other day though. This consists of casting out a 6 oz lead and huge treble hook, attached to 100lb braid and pulling in all the gear fisherman have been losing.
Satisfying in a childish way, reminds me of looking for lost gear as a kid. Makes you look like a bit of a pikey, admittedly.
We got a load of leads that Conc is currently sorting out. I fully expect to be given all the crappy ones.
I had a run today through the woods and along the marsh, covered in mud and thoroughly drenched, the smell of the decaying vegetation lingering in my nostrils as I raced the darkness home.
I stopped by the wood and watched a stoat chase a screaming rabbit round and round, no more than a couple of yards from me. The screaming attracted three magpies, which waited until the victim had stopped struggling and moved in to squabble with the stoat for the fruit of his labour. "Red in tooth and claw" indeed.

Thursday 12 November 2015


"A person who carries a jinx, one who will bring bad luck to any enterprise". Otherwise known as TT.
This is a pike
It took over a year to organise, a day piking with Mak Baines and one of Upwell's finest, TT. TT turned up rattled after a horrific three hour drive... the less said the better.
We picked our favourite stillwater, reliable and scenic. We had high hopes. I told TT we hadn't blanked for three years.
We blanked. Nothing else to say about the fishing.

Approximately 33.3% more guff than usual was spouted. Soapboxes were mounted and bete noires ( I don't know how to get the thing above the "e") raged against.
For your information, subjects included.....

Clarkson ( yes, again )
Radio 4, good things e.g Desert Island Discs
Radio 4, bad things e.g Everyone speaks with the same posh accent
The decline of the north east
Lesbians ( I don't think TT likes some of them )
Martin Amis - He's rubbish
The Pike Police
The Fens
Bands we've seen - Between the three of us, practically every decent band since 1967
Corby and Cammy
Russia - What a crap country ( this is fast becoming my hobby horse )

Highlight of the day for me, without doubt, was TT's "Tales of a Street fightin' Man". Your secret is safe with us John.

Another pike

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Autumn Leaves

The Grange, Alresford
Some proper autumn weather about. Can't say I like the dark, early nights, but it's a beautiful time of year.
Along the old railway track on the Colne

In the words of local legend Martin Newell.....

In Autumn Attic

Autumn came to Wivenhoe and slowly
Turned to ash the opal of the sky
Lovers took the last train out of Clacton
Drunken insects zig zagged home to die

Dutiful, the widow of the summer
Drifted through the apple scented halls
This year's girl-most-likely-to was hanging
Rusty leaves on musty redbrick walls

Westerlies, the stagehand of the season
Moved to shift the scenery away
Ruffled up the river down to Rowhedge
Drew the evening in to close the day

Somewhere through the trees, a train to London
Sparked the overheads and slid from sight
Deeper in the woods a dog was barking
Someone on the station said goodnight

Huddled in the pub, the early drinkers
Turned to see the windows spanked by rain
Not to hear the calling of the curlew
Nor the ghosts of children in the lane

I walked past the Grayson Perry at Wrabness the other day. Certainly an interesting building, don't know whether I "like" it, but worth a look. To my untrained eyes it looks like Hansel and Gretels's house.

Crappy tides this week, but in a week or so I'll be back on the beach and there's a piking session with Wak and TT too. Happy days.