Wednesday 17 October 2012



As I take those first purposeful steps from my back door during Autumn, I'm often stopped dead in my tracks by the blaze of colour from a little shrub.
Its name escapes me but I know its from the sumac genus and 'sumac' traces its etymology from the medieval latin word 'sumach' which  means 'red'.
For a few seconds it can  fool your eyes with the impression of a fire and draw your gaze like those enticing log fires spent in the hearth, warming hands as a child. Inviting a peaceful mesmerizing stare into it.
Each leaf like a flickering flame of red or gold that symbolizes a uncustomary welcome of change. 
The sumac provides me with that last flurry of colour, reminding me that the gardens visual rewards are what makes those cold days scratching around with a fork during those cold wet months worthwhile. A reminder that the colour of summer has gone and the long drawn out winter awaits us. Its sometimes difficult to envisage a treasure trove of abundant colour from the wet and dirty almost barren garden during the the autumn/winter seasons.


And in that momentary lapse of reality I'm drawn to thoughts of the red fins of perch, rudd and roach which await the more weather hardy angler that makes the effort of venturing out during the more inclement seasons. The sharp contrast of each trinket of treasure rewarding the angler visually against the grey skies and the drab backdrop of the surrounding scenery.

As well as ensuring interludes between the monotonous humdrum of work its often peaceful too, not encountering a soul on a stretch of water. The absence of  fair weather fisherman who have hung their rods away to gather cobwebs and dust in the shed. Providing more freedom to roam and explore unhindered.
It provoked enough incentive to venture out with light trotting gear to practice my techniques and to restore some much needed tranquility. Away from  tiresome work and troublesome maladies.
Is it credible or even plausible to welcome this period of transition even though I hate change. The not knowing whats round the corner but the familiarity of the unexpected welcomed equally. 
I suspect it not the only change that beckons and anticipate more thoughts and contemplation.
The reminder also, that my own fire still burns eagerly within me with just as much enthusiasm and eagerness, but now fueled with the damp kindling of the encumberment of everyday life.


Sunday 7 October 2012


Al fresco breakfasts were made of this

Not too bad a view from our cottage garden huh!
 Ignore the dates on my photos, was using a new camera and not sure how to turn the darn date thing off.
 My good lady mentioned something about 'instruction manual' but all I heard was yadi-yadi-yada!

Knew the climb would be worth it

A weeks well earned rest and relaxation was well overdue and as I'd not been to the Lake District before we decided to book a cottage near Penrith with the River Eden running by the garden.
A chance of viewing  leaping salmon, red squirrels and all manner of flora and fauna as well as situated close to the Lakes if we fancied a venture out.
 Getting me and my brother away from the  river was going to be a challenge for somebody!

This is how we rolled :o)

Armed with light fly gear, my brother and I would be found winkling out some wild brownies from dawn til dusk most days with moderate success.

Huckleberry in his camo gear


 But like most times when fishing such idyllic  locations, it was just about being there. It was  therapeutic to pioneer a previously  unexplored  waterway together. Capturing and embracing fond memories of the past, retracing footprints left as young boys.

Best fish of the week

My rod comfort me still

I laid in bed at night listening to the feint roar as the water cascaded over rocks giving the impression of storms outside and made the warmth and coziness of the bed just that little bit more... snug.

STEAM TRAIN!!... damn missed it!

Exploring the adjacent area I was treated to some interesting sights. Opposite the cottage on the far side of the river it was possible to make out where the wheel from a mill was placed in times long gone. 

The neighbours had long gone
 Caves and carvings in the red sandstone gave you images and impressions of its history and left you in awe and wonder, limited only by your own imagination.   

A shelter from the rain

We ventured out for a trip across lake Windmere on the ferry with the masses, visited a Bird of prey centre
and got dragged around various shops at the amusingly named and well documented Cockermouth, the location of some serious flooding a few years back.

Not my camera, hence missing date!

The surrounding landscapes were a visionary feast for the eyes and made the women ooh and ahh whilst us men took it in our stride. No doubt thinking about what fly to tie once the wives need for retail therapy was exhausted and we returned to our aquatic paradise once more.

Bear right the sat nav said.

A thoroughly relaxing atmosphere where you could do as much or as little as you wanted and still enjoy it.

Rising early and taking coffee and hot buttered toast on the patio while watching a busy dipper on the other side of the river, red squirrels up real close, buzzards high above the tree tops with the back drop of the splendid river was wonderful.
 If you gazed at the small waterfall long enough you could witness the odd flash of silver of juvenile salmon leaping but it happened so fast you question whether your brain was playing tricks on your eyes for staring too long, and given my track record for spotting fish it was probably best kept to myself.

A hawk from the future? 

All in all a very enjoyable and well deserved break in idyllic and tranquil surroundings. 
Totally relaxing and nice to be out among the fishes again. 
My next venture is a crash course in Japanese just so I can translate the instructions on this bloody camera!