The Essex Scribbler decreed a civilised start time of 08.30 in a sheltered arm of an undisclosed stillwater for the first social session of 2015. He reasoned that the shelter would enable the February sun to warm our winter chilled bones, the pike would be heading to shallower water and that it was only a hundred yards from the car. Tea and mardle were to be the order of the day. Don't often take a stove, unless leapfrogging strictly denied. Butane over Kelly Kettle every time for me.
Rods out and settle down for the serious business of drinking tea and talking a lot of squit interspersed with the Scribbler ruthlessly tracking down a sale to continue his mid-life enlightenment. No salary, commission only . Braver than me. The Scribbler also has an anti-obsessive need to have his rods at cocky angles, rather like my overwhelming urge to park and also wear my hat at said cocky angles. Don't even start on folded reel handles...
The squit: Brendan Roger's vanity and diminutive stature. The perfect night out with Morrissey, Mark. E. Smith, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness. The complete lack of a culture of general knowledge in anyone under 40. Labour party apparatchiks, Teflon Tony, abolishing private education and health care. Greece and the impossibility of repayment of such huge debt, the simplicity of Texas rigs for wrasse, and the feeding habits of mullet. ad nauseum.
A very beautiful spot, and spring emerging as winter's remnants are cast off. Along with clouds of irritating fluff from the reed mace. That heady smell of crushed water mint stayed with us all day. Didn't expect to see a red double decker travelling over Orange Flat Bridge. Treated to a regular tour of the arm by an egret, a less welcome cormorant, a kingfisher and grebes as well as a host of other wildfowl only a short distance from the roar of traffic to and from the coastal hub container ports.
Unfortunately we were untroubled by the fish, only two out of clips to me (one with a laceration to the bait) and nowt for Scribbler. I am renowned for my frugality with bait but have never fished all day with one sardine and one joey before....
I left with arm fulls of books and plans for a perching social ringing in my ears and that glorious wind burnt feeling on my face you only get after a long day on or by water. Dropped in at the Famous Farm for a small cup of nice but hideously overpriced of coffee amongst the half-term yummy mummies.
Great day, thanks Scribbler. Now, what first: Keano, Annapurna, Baker's Essex peregrines or Wyatt's Shining Levels?