Different strokes

Mmm… it’s been almost a year since I wrote anything on this blog. I’ve had a busy Summer, and unfortunately fishing, and the other good things in life, have been pushed aside by work. Last week I went to Hampshire for my occasional once-or-twice-yearly-barbel-fishing-fix. The barbel were sadly lacking, but on my first walk along the river Avon for two years I bumped in to another angler who recognised me from this very blog which was nice, and as a result I feel the need to begin writing again.

This entry may have begun on the banks of the Hampshire Avon at Burgate, but it is now winging its way across the Atlantic to that jewel of an island that straddles the gulf stream: Cuba. I’m not a big fan of flying but because we’re now so busy in Summer we decided to get away to warmer climes after Christmas, and after some discussions Michelle and I decided on Cuba. Cuba has sun, sand, beautiful clear caribbean waters, but also fantastic culture and history and, of course, Cuba has fishing.

I like to mix things up when it comes to fishing and this was certainly a fantastic new experience. There are some photographs below, but other than that I’m not going to go in to too much detail here because I’m hoping that my Cuban exploits will be published in the second edition of new fishing magazine Fallon’s Angler, which you can find details about here: Fallon’s Angler – Caught by the River and purchase here: Fallons Angler.

I’m not sure how much fishing there’s going to be over the next few months, but definitely some, and in February I’m returning to Cuba. This time I’ll have a fly rod in hand, and bonefish and permit on my mind, and that is very exciting.

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The Aurochs

Aurochs, aurochs, aurochs

head full of rocks

I’ve seen their horns

piled like pine trunks

by the roadside

Extinct? Yeah right don’t

believe everything you read

I’ve heard them rumbling

through the village

dead of night

with my own ears I tell you

my damned ears

Don’t let them tell you

that which is not true

Gad! what bore

must take them down

and in their throes what

trees what houses what

mountains left unripped

After all this time

must we extinct the aurochs ourselves?

Leave them be though

they hate man and rip and trample flesh every

chance and every bone they’ve

ever encountered is smashed

and cars disappear down the

sinkholes of their hooves

like toys at the hands

of kids that don’t care

But don’t let them tell you of

that which is not true

never let them tell you

the aurochs is gone

that it sleeps in the stones man walks on

More Brancaster Staithe

Here are some more of the photos I took the other day at Brancaster Staithe.

Old stuff can be very photogenic I think. It has a pathos about it; an air of the forgotten. I wonder who owned this boat and why it was left to rot? It’s my feeling that it actually adds to the landscape, and I’m sure many would agree with me. That’s a little paradoxical when you think about it. Dumping anything in the countryside is rightly considered a crime so why is it abandoned boats should be different? If I found a car dumped by the roadside it would be a different matter. OK there’s no oil or fuel that could cause any harm, and apart from a few nails and rivets if left for another few decades the landscape would probably digest the remains of this boat itself, but I think it’s a bit more than that. The sea, and the communities associated with it, have a unique history inherently attached to them. It’s a history of ordinary working people that’s been overtaken by commercialism, and money. Drive through any of the coastal villages of North Norfolk after dark, and apart from streetlights many of them will be in darkness; out of holiday season the population plummets. Particularly in Winter the marshes hold on to a bleakness that the pretty flint cottages a few hundred yards away belie; the old boat hunched into the creek symbolises the whole atmosphere of the place perfectly I think.

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Photos

No blogging for ages, but then no fishing for ages either. The weather’s been pretty awful – far too windy for any fly-fishing. I have managed to get out to take some photos though, and written a new article for the Caught By The River website which will hopefully be published soon.

DSC_4632I took the photo of the roe buck above near Sandringham last week. I’ve bought a new zoom lens and want to try to do some wildlife photography. It’s not too bad for a first effort.

DSC_4737The boat above is on the marshes near Brancaster. I’ve photographed it before when it was in the company of a couple of other derelict boats that have since been moved. I wanted to keep the boat small in the landscape to show the size of the marshes. There are more to come when I’ve got round to processing them.