That’s better…

I’ve had a rough day today… not feeling too good about myself and my attitude, I spent the morning at college on my Counselling Diploma. This morning, we were working in groups presenting controversial issues to each other and letting the debates ensue. I dug myself further and further into my cave, withdrawing from the room and the ensuing debates.

I presented our groups issue (enforced euthanasia) with sheer bloody mindedness, stayed for the following group, made my excuses and left, knowing that my mood and mental state would not be conducive to learning that afternoon.

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The Pond in late Autumn

After a long lunch and a cuddle with my wife on my return home, I packed up my fishing rods and backpack and headed back to my favourite fishing spot of the summer, “my pond”. Just walking down the towpath in the late autumn sun made me feel better. The canal was high after heavy rain last week, and the trees were mostly bare, allowing more to be seen in the fields around the canal.

 

 

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Rods are out…

Arriving at the pond, the feelings of the morning faded, and a warm smile spread across my face. It is good to be back at one of my favourite places to relax. The pond seemed a little different, as it is not covered by so much foliage now, but it has lost none of its magic calming effect. Being in nature is such a tonic to me in times of distress and upset.

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The Pond in late Autumn

 

After fishing with my good friend Rolf at the end of last week down in Hampshire (I was after Pike, Rolf was after Carp), I was certain that there is a dirty great big Pike in the pond… I had seen it briefly over the Summer, and the lack of water birds on the pond confirmed it to me and my friends. Rolf has kindly set me up with Pike rigs and a bigger landing net, so Im determined to go after the Pike in the pond, alongside fishing for the larger Roach that are definitely in there too.

Here’s to an exciting Winter at a lovely spot, and catching some big fish. It makes me happy.

Gone fishing… again!

It’s been really nice to have a day off today. Even with being self employed, sometimes you need to take a break. The last few weeks have been really busy, as we’ve had some big projects on,but both my wife and I are so happy with how our art and design business is growing.

I spent a little time tying a new (to me) rig ready for the mornings fishing, whilst keeping an eye on the weather (it’s really windy in the UK at the mo…). After bundling my simple fishing setup into my rucksack, grabbed a single rod, my net and folding stool and headed off for the canal.

I’m experimenting with equipment setups at the mo, seeing how little I can get away with for various activities. For example, I have found that I can go fishing with a rucksack, a single rod, small net and a folding stool. My lovely old rucksack carries a stove, fishing kit in sectioned box, bait, kettle, insulated cup, frying pan, food and most importantly, coffee bags. I have a folding water carrier, notebook and mechanical pencil, and thats about it. It sounds like quite a lot, but it’s quite minimal really.

I don’t want to get too bogged down in kit lists, as I think it’s more important to write about experiences than things, but I’m really enjoying the challenge of exploring without too much stuff getting in the way. Its more fun that way, you enjoy it more if you’re not worrying about having the right knife, cup, rope, whatever.

So, back to fishing. I’ve been reading a lot in Carpology lately about methods, techniques, tips, history and so on. There’s a really interesting article in last month’s issue about baiting up and waiting, sometimes for days. It really resonated with me. Today, I started putting it into action.

Arriving at the canal, I had to wait whilst a narrow boat moved up through the locks that were next to the swim I’m fishing in at the mo.  All good, it gave me time to have breakfast and get a brew on. Once the boat moved on, I baited up, had coffee, more breakfast and waited for almost an hour before I cast out. (It was as long as I can manage at the mo… I am building my patience up again. It’s kind of a zen thing with me and fishing.)

The fish are out there, I saw them this morning, and they were definitely knocking around the bait, as my bite alarm testified, but no bites today. Thats okay. I’m really enjoying being outdoors again, whatever the weather, and the challenge of catching a fish in a natural environment. It may take longer, but that’s what I’m enjoying. Learning about fish, their patterns of behaviour, diet, hooks, line, all that. You never stop learning in this world.

TeethRename

Claw Rig

 

Mini Pocket Dump! 6/11/2015

Pocket-Dump-12-11-2015
Mini Pocket Dump 12/11/2015

1.A6 notebook (always useful); 2.KEYS!; 3. Papermate propelling pencil (why hadnt I been using these before? No sharpeners, writes anywhere; 4. Ancient wallet; 5. Reusable carrier bag (helps save the planet, and you have to pay for carrier bags in the UK now…); 6. Business card holder, containing cards for our art and design business.

Goodbye Fizz…

Our beloved German Shepherd, Fizz died suddenly today… We don’t know why she died, as we thought she had a 24 bug yesterday and would be back to normal this morning. She was out of sorts and not interested in anything at all, even food! Fizz had seizures today whilst we took her to the PDSA, a high temperature and low glucose levels.

The vets and nurses tried to cool her down but she stopped breathing, then her heart stopped. I think Fizz actually died at 12:30pm. She is home now, and we will bury her in the garden and have a send off in the afternoon with family. It is really sad, but it was quick and she didn’t suffer.

We will really miss exploring our beautiful countryside with her. xxx

Happy trails Fizz...
Happy trails Fizz…

My plan kind of worked…

I had a really good idea last night, after deciding to ride to my business networking breakfast 10 miles away. I planned to ride back from networking via the back roads, surrounded by lovely countryside, stop and take photos when I saw something cool and enjoy the ride…

All was well, until I got two miles towards home when my back tyre went completely flat and I had to stop to fix it. No problem I thought, I’ve got all the kit with me, it should only take a minute or two… I found the puncture easily, pumped it up to check were the air was coming out, and whacked a Flypaper patch over it, waited a minute and pumped it up again… You know that moment when you realise you should have marked where the puncture was? Yup, I had stuck the patch in the wrong place, and it was my last one. Oh, and the battery on my phone went “BYE SUCKER!”

So did I walk the 8 miles home or the 2 miles back to Market Harborough where I could get my tyre fixed? I put the back wheel back on my bike and started walking…

Man, that was a LONG two miles. My feet still really hurt now, right in the heels? That is weird…

The folks in the bike shop, George Halls were so cool and really helpful. Not only did they replace the inner tube and check everything was okay, but they let me use their PC so I could email my wife (no phone, remember?) and let her know what had happened and that I was okay. (She does want to keep me safe…) Now that’s customer service.  It was also cool as both of the lads working in the shop are BMXers, so we chatted about bikes and riding whilst my bike was sorted.

I stopped off for a coffee and a muffin before riding home, really enjoying the ride and being back on bike after far too long. It was also great fun skipping back through some muddy fields close to home too… getting my cyclocross vibes in!

The day was still about exploring (physically and mentally), as the riding was great fun, and I made an extra special effort to be nice to folks, paying attention to kindness and consideration shown by others. Its not hard, and making others happy makes you feel happy too. Try it, its a lovely feeling.

Oh, and I made sure I bought 2 lots of Flypaper patches…

Back to home Back to Lubenham

Pocket Dump! November 2015

Completely nicking this idea from Thomas and Elise More Than Just Surviving, as I think it is a really good one. Onwards to exploring, learning and growing! This is what was the pockets of my cycling jacket today…

Pocket-Dump-2-11-2015

1.Eco batteries for front bicycle light; 2.Ancient wallet (gift from my wife); 3. Alcohol wipes liberated from KFC; 4. KEYS!; 5. Student ID for my L4 Counselling Diploma; 6.Random Scout woggle found in canal fields; 7.Business card holder, containing cards for our art and design business.

When I put something up that I really like, I will share links to manufacturers where possible. Get out there and explore!

Things don’t always go to plan…

Afternoon! It’s a lovely warm day here, though I think the weather is about to change…

It was lovely and sunny first thing this morning, so Fizz (our German Shepherd) and I gathered some stuff together and headed for The Pond, with the aim of catching some of the bigger fish I’ve seen this week. The fact that I caught my best (size/weight) Roach earlier this week had me keen to catch a bigger fish… It’s what anglers do.

On arrival at The Pond, my usual spot appeared VERY different, as someone else had been fishing there. Now, it’s not my pond, and I have no right to claim it, but I have become a bit territorial about it. It’s my happy place, and I don’t like seeing it in a mess. Whoever had been there clearly camped out, as a large area of grass was flattened, and there was a bonfire – which was still hot – it clearly hadn’t been put out properly. There are trees all around The Pond, and I don’t want to see any damage to them, so I tried to ensure the fire was extinguished. Earlier this week, I found out what had been making lots of odd bird noises in the trees – there’s a family of smaller Birds of Prey (I’ve not seen them clearly enough to identify them) nesting there. It was a beautiful sight to see them swoop down through the trees and head out over the water. Selfish acts like leaving litter, rope, tent pegs and tools lying around really upsets me, but seeing the fire was still live really wound me up. Please think of others when you’re out and about, whatever you’re doing.

Whether this left me unsettled or not, I started getting angry and upset about not catching any fish, and this upset my normal calm time at The Pond. Just being there should be enough, catching a fish of any size is the icing on the cake. As Fizz got a little unsettled, we packed up and headed off home.

I’ve been reading and watching a lot of fishing material this week, learning and growing. There’s a fantastic article in this month’s Carpology about simplifying fishing, and taking it back to basics, amongst other things, and I really like this. Just being out there, watching the water and how the fish are moving, and, hopefully,catching one is what it’s all about. Nothing else.

Thanks for listening.