So. Still here. Hah. One of the best things about a self-propelled blog is that I don't ever have to argue about what I write. It's peaceful.
"We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn't any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work." - Richard Feynman in his Nobel Lecture, 1966 psycOi, psychologists at the back. Talking to you now.
"They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game" - R.D. Laing ('Knots' p.1) RDLThe gamers may care to note that I won't play the game, will call you out on your game and call it a game. In front of everyone. GThere is one certain way to beat a game-player...like I'm going to tell you!
JAA's Diary for...1961-74 / 1974-75 / 1975-79...2005 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017
You can use the 'month' links below to skip off down the page...·•·January·•·February·•·March·•·April·•·May·•·June·•·July·•·August·•·September·•·October·•·November·•·December·•·
Here is JAA's own dedicated search box (I need it to find my way about) and there are navigation aids built inHow to get about, if it turns out you like it here..
|...coffin...(and back to the top of the page)||...barrel...||...coffin...||...barrel...||...coffin...||...barrel...|
• April 24th. Old home, new home.
|Ok, it's not a work of art, but still...|
The swallows seemed OK with the placement of last year's nest onto a bespoke shelf - simply building this year's nest on top of the old one. Heh.
• April 14th. Goldfinch.
|This fine fellow was breakfasting on dandelion seeds, not a bad shot for being taken through the window with the bird at the far end of the garden.|
Three more turned up about coffee time, which was nice. Saw a big hedgehog behind the bin yesterday, nice to see them making a small comeback, at least chez JAA.
|Three more turned up about coffee time||Three more turned up about coffee time|
• April 8th. Today I saw my first swallow of the year.
|OK it doesn't make it summer, but still...|
• April 2nd. Not foolish. Cabin-fever, so bundled the bait bucket, cockles and the LHSRE. The end of the lake without any anglers, a swim with invisible features at this time of the year, plus sun-shine, hot enough to remove my coat. I spadged the swim after sitting with flake-on-the-hook-on-the-line for a while, cruising carp for the potential tempting of. They were mooching, not feeding. I gave this up, put on a tiny quill and a fine-wire size 14, then fished in four-foot-eight of water, six feet out from the platform, from a seat behind it. A carp swam carefully and indifferently between my float and me. I removed a few wood-ants from the bait bucket and ducked a few gorse-entranced dumbledores.
|Calm, blue, carp-mooching sorta day||...and the float.|
|Spike the perch popped by||...and his slighty expectant sister...||...and their big brother|
|Gorse flowers at their best, I could even smell them.||''When gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of season''. True, but they are at their best around now tho'|
The float jiggled away and the satisfying pull revealed the first of three perch, so I immediately added a wisp of red tinsel to the hook. Threafter bites were a satisfying wait apart, easy to work through the fresh coffee while also nabbing four good roach, perhaps two over 1lb. Then the last and largest perch really pulled the rod tip over hard, the float slipping away after a scatter of fry around. Then a small roach and two 1lb bronze bream, hand-landed to spare the net. Four hours was up, good enough.
|Suprisingly good roach #1||Suprisingly good roach #2||Suprisingly good roach #3||Suprisingly good roach #4|
|I like porcupine quill floats...(and back to the top of the page)||I really like porcupine quill floats...||I really like porcupine quill floats...|
• March 20th. Curiosity. Drat. The slender carbon switch mentioned in the below entry was exactly the wrong size to add a slender tip to the fly-rod tip section. Simply put, if I had cut the fly-rod tip section back to allow the insertion of the 'tip' I'd have ended up with a 'broom-handle-with-a-quiver-tip' type of affair which was not the idea at all.
• March 14th. Curiosity. It might have killed the cat sfpWhich many reasonable people think, is as far as you need to go... , but...I once bought a carbon 9-11aftm B&W Spey rod from fleabay. It was my idea to make a light carping type rod with soft power in the action. It wasn't quite rightBoing...boing..., being insensitive in the tip section, but one lives and learns. I used it twice(?) then shelved it, a failed experiment. A year ago, on a whim I bought one of those 60cm solid carbon 'ice-rods'. It sat around the place ,amusing me, and I was thinking on a restoration of my old 7' glass rodIt's a better rod than the nickname 'poolcue' suggests and thought it might be fun to restore the missing 5-6" from this rod's tip section (another long gone failed experiment, rubbing the solid glass down to fit as a second tip section of a 9' hollow-glass float rod. It worked, powerfully so, but was unwieldy, so I abandoned it. The resulting thinned fibre-glass was cut back 5-6" for a new brass ferrule. I digress).
I've long considered that a portmanteau rod for all-round carping might be best made by adding a fine solid tip into a fly rod middle, with a steeper taper nearer the butt...the penny dropped then. Eyeing up the tip section of said B&W, I could see that careful cutting then dropping the ice-rod blank through the middle, would result in a fine, sensitive nigh on unbreakable tip, seguing into a powerful flexible middle section. Hm. I sense a hacksaw in my immediate future.
• March 10th. Words of the day. If I were to take up Morris Dancing, both legs would have bells on.
Mystify v. To befuddle, cloud, obscure, mask whatever is going on. The substitution of false for true constructions of what is being experienced, being done (praxis), or going on (process), and the substitution of false issues for the actual issues.
Flennel v. 1. To use a lot of words to avoid telling the truth or answering a question, as part of an overall strategy to construct a new narrative by mystifying the old narrative, possibly in order to deceive. 2. To masquerade as a rustic in an attempt to prise cash from gullible internet users, book buyers or anglers. ToSMy thanks to the Thane of Sussex for the second definition of 'flennel'.
• March 1st. Quiet, isn't it?
hamThe words "I don't like it sir, it's too quiet..." are traditionally muttered by an NCO at the head of cavalry troop to the commanding officer, shortly and presciently before an arrow appears in said NCO or officer, depending on the star billing of the respective actors.
The laws of narrative causality are so powerful, it's now almost impossible for an NCO to mutter those words without something terrible happening to him or the officer. But, oddly, never both.
|Safety Pin Hook (and return to the top of the page)||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook||Safety Pin Hook|
|'perca fluviatilis'...(and back to the top of the page)||Stripey||'Sarge'||A 'swagger' of perch||'Sarge'||A 'swagger' of perch||A 'swagger' of perch||'perca fluviatilis'||Stripey||'Sarge'|
• January 28th. Had to drag the hound, the Little-anglers all toiling. Wonderful light, but only had the SMIt's a Blackberry, I like them. on me. I planned to get the camera and go back down the lane, but by the time I'd descended the hill, the clouds were zipping over.
|The church-yard snow-drops are, of course, wonderful.|
|An unusual view of the place||The winterbourne, unusually dry at the end of January, possibly foreshadowing a dry year.|
|The view from up the hill|
• January 27th. I was saddened by the passing of Rick Parfitt in late 2016. 'The Quo' were a big part of my 1970's and 1980's, part of 'the warehouse' culture, along with cowboy boots (guilty), swaggering a bit and rolling yer overall sleeves up to the elbow. I saw them perform at least half-a-dozen times and played their early albums incessantly. In the late '80's they went a bit 'pop'...I recall Chris Tarrant saying of 'Burning Bridges', "It was a nice record but hardly music to bang your head on the furniture with"...or words to that effect. I ceased my slavish buying of albums and recycled the existing vinyl on my 'Dual CS505', rattling the 'Wharfdale Diamonds' on their steel-spiked stands....
The other night on BBC4 was the documentary 'Hello Quo'. I enjoyed it enormously, although it was really really 'Spinal Tap' - it really was. I can't help thinking this was deliberate, during the 'Spinal Tap' interview in which the blundering dysfunctional duo riff out one of their 'first hits', there's definitely a sense it's not unlike 'Down the Dustpipe'. And that's before the cod artifice of 'Listen to the Flower People' pomm'Pictures of Matchstick Men', 'Ice in the Sun', pick one. and 'Gimme Some Money' mkgsThere's at least three tracks on 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon' this could be mocking, but I'll go with 'Shy Fly'... . So very hard to see the join.
Anyhoo, nodding a bit, I boogied off to download 'Quid Pro Quo'. It's just terrific and harks back to those thumping great days of 'Blue for You' and 'On the Level' and stirs a vague memory of listening to 'Rain' from outside Penn village hall, while 'Joanne the Harlot' tried to get me to do something sacriligeous in a churchyard cthI felt obliged to decline said offer or inducement. One must have standards, even with a harlot . Today, I ached, winter grippe, this album quite took me back to 1979 and cheered me. Rock on. Again. And Again. aaaAh come on, you can see what I did there.
• January 24th. "if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers", Thomas Pynchon from his 1972 novel 'Gravity's RainbowGravity's Rainbow is a 1973 novel by American writer Thomas Pynchon, traversing a wide range of knowledge, the novel transgresses boundaries between high and low culture, between literary propriety and profanity, and between science and speculative metaphysics.'.
• January 15th. Loved River by H.R.Jukes. I read of this in 'Waterlog' and wondered, much like when I stumbled across Negley Farson's great book NFNegley Farson's 'Going Fishing' illustrated by C.P.Tunnecliffe. , where had the 'Loved River' been all of my life? It's a simple account of the author creating the river of his dreams from the river of his childhood. By stages it becomes apparent that the river and the denizens of its valley, beautifully drawn, are tenants, that the whole is part of some estate. It is shot through with wit, beauty, engineering and above all a deep respect. The players are finely drawn, the old schoolmaster, the school-friends, the effortless charm of a good friend, the grotesquely self-entitled and the tenants. The latter are by turns indulgent, sly, slightly irreverent and decent. One must always take care with the pictures drawn by one in a privileged position, but its self-deprecation and humility rings true. You leave the 'Loved River' reluctantly wanting to know more, but that, tantalisingly, knowingly, is held just out of reach. Mesmerising, like the river itself.
|H.R. Jukes 'Loved River' map.|
Here shall he fear no enemy,
But Winter and Rough Weather.
• January 11th 2017. Kingsbridge, Packhorse.
The air had warmed to a balmy 9°C and there was a fresh wind so wanting to fish water with movement, I took the remaining worms and some better that expected maggots for a dip. Initially it all felt right, It was just good to see waves after a month of flat still water, so I cheerfully fished in a stiff breeze for two hours, keeping the rod-tip on the float, so it's apparent upwind drift could be ignored. One carp rolled giving me hope, but nothing else. I worked through my baits ending with one maggot on an '18' and when even this didn't flicker, conceded, went for a stroll, picking up what I thought were two drifting boilies, which turned out to be oak-apples on a leaf. Huh. All the mixers I'd flicked ('spooned') were bobbing in the margins, untouched, so I headed for the other end of the wind.
|The windward end, with its encouraging waves...||...and the float.||The peculiar oak-apples.|
5.1°C here, warm enough, 5.9°C directly opposite where two trickles of metallic water oozed across the path. Next swim down 5.1°C. I pick up an old shell from the gravel deposits, seed the reeds with mixers and head back to the second pitch. The sun is low, bright, the wind is fishtailing and I've seen one fish, a carp at the other end. Not a ripple otherwise. I wait. I've caught fish on less promising days, but today feels an empty promise. I muse wandering with worms as at least I'll be moving. 3pm, two hours is plenty of time for a change. Hm.
At 3:30, with my body temperature sinking, neglecting to bring a flask and half of my thermals, I decide that no fish at 4pm would send me back through the two gates (which I loathe). Naturally, I get two dithery bites on maggots both of which produces small rudd. Enthused, although not warmed, persist to the first tendril of dusk and the rising moon, but that was it...I must work out how to get my camera to take the scene exactly as it looks.
|The leeward end...||...and its first float.|
|The very old shell,||the wind-driven sky...||The 'bag'||...and the bad moon rising.|
I raise my core temperature yomping to the car, but not as much as I'd like. The STThat's the Small Technology', or for the hard of abbreviation, 'smart phone'. produces "Gimme Shelter" which is apposite and I ponder a bucket of bread-and-hemp, the best cold-water spadge, which had slipped my mind of late.
• January 1st 2017. Happy New Year.
In 2016 I took exams, started to learn critical thinking and how to write essays. Some called my intellectual 180° U-turn 'brave'. I thought they were being complementary. In the run-up to the exams, I realised they were quite wrong, it was more like temporary insanity. Still. LO...although, I passed everything, after some minor flailing about. psy'Insanity' is now something I have a better than average understanding of.
"It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done." - Terry Pratchett
"Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom." - Terry Pratchett
It is extraordinary that in a world where almost anything can be discovered with a few strokes of a keyboard, that so many are so disinclined to find out anything for themselves. It baffles me, frankly. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss? It's certainly ignorance.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - Santayana.
To which one might add, that those who remember the past are condemned to failure by the same argument. In any event, may 2017 bring you peace and fishes.
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|06:12am on 2017-04-28|