Friday, 22 January 2021

What's Up

Despite the drop in the R rate we're not really going anywhere for a while are we? So I got me some reading in.

I'm a sucker for anything Essex, all those liminal spaces, 350 miles of coastline and everything from the  BATA factory, anarchist colonies to Crittalls Windows and all that's in between clichés. As Gillian Darley has it, England's most misunderstood county. I prefer her Excellent tag. I'll be counting the clichés with the Prodigal but a quick skim has me thinking she may have coined some more.

I'm not sure there's any Essex  by Rob Barnes in A Fine Line but there's plenty of the next best things from Suffolk and Norfolk and I am so taken with his unmistakeable style. So bright, bold and direct, and the prospect of an oystercatcher at any time. Which, like most of Essex is never a bad thing. Excellent indeed.

Catch Cult is one of those rare things these days, an angling magazine that's worthy of picking up. Along with Fallon's Angler, though there's probably not too much crossover readership. Both are about 20 editions in, and have yet to become stale, which I'm sure all involved in are pleased to hear, respected critic that I am...... everything is hard these days unless you are a Tory donor or a spouse of a a Tory getting minted with billions of pounds of public money so all hail these two  brave ventures.


  1. Hi Bureboy. As a brother angler and fellow Essex boy in exile (the North Cotswolds to your North Waltham) your latest post on Essex orientated literature caught my eye. Like you I’ve read and enjoyed ‘Excellent Essex’ and I’m always drawn to You Tube clips etc that feed my love/hate relationship with what remains of where I was born and bred - your pithy reference to ‘Col U and More League Two drivel’ being a case in point!
    I was wondering if you had read ‘The Essex Serpent’? I managed to get past its description of being a Victorian novel and was glad I did. Set in and around Colchester it’s another angle on the ‘misunderstood county’. Drop me a line and I’ll happily forward my copy. Richard

    1. I'll look that up ta. Have you found much by Martin Newell, worth a read and a listen as he's a bit of a polymath

  2. I didn’t think I’d come across his work before until I Googled him and was immediately transported back to my schooldays in Colchester in the early 70s. I can still see the name Plod graffitied on various street furniture as clearly as it was over 40 years ago. Thanks for the tip, music, books, poetry and a man of Wivenhoe (had some great cricket battles there,) what’s not to like!?