Thursday 27 November 2014


It has been a difficult year with personal health issues. Dealing with a close relatives sad deterioration through dementia has been heart rending and trying to support my wife whilst battling myself with the black dog of depression has been at times traumatic for both of us.
Unfortunately in October it was mutually agreed with  my employer that I would be let go on medical grounds when my depression and mental breakdown presented an unrealistic timescale for me being fit and returning to work again.
 My employer had already helped by finding me a placement last year when I lost my licence to drive buses through sleep apnea and I didn't really need help to feel anymore of a burden to anyone else.
 It's too often an unapproachable subject mental health, it's difficult for those that care to know whether to inquire about your well being or treat it as a taboo subject and rebuffing them. As a sufferer it's equally difficult, both finding it too embarrassing to talk about, often disregarding people's genuine good intentions as well as triggering a paranoia that if they don't ask they don't care.

 But this isn't about me moaning and bewailing my own personal experiences, we all have stuff we have to deal with right? We have to suck it up and get on best we can. Life can be hard...and then you die!
Fortunately with my wife's help, love and support from family and close friends I have broken free from the shackles of misery and with some address to my cognitive behavior reached the end of the tunnel blinking at the light and I'm now able to enjoy the freedom of positive thinking and forward planning at long last.

It's a year now since my last post and coincidentally it signals a return to the same southern location chasing the Grayling again. This time I would be joined by Dave Burr and hopefully I could repay his kindness of giving me moral support down the phone through difficult times by providing him with a venue to address his shortcomings with his Grayling pb.
 Bookings were made, times allocated and arrangements settled with copious amounts of emails and phone calls. We'd be staying at the same guesthouse as I did before, I'd be in the same room, with the same abysmal weather forecasts but hopefully I'd witness Dave tasting the same euphoria I did last time with a fat lady, Grayling I mean!

It would allow me to chill out and relax, enjoy sharing time with Dave with much chewing the fat, putting the world to rights, no doubt being the brunt of much mickey taking, laughing and more importantly fishing. The few times I've been this season have found me beneath an all too familiar black cloud. I was there but hardly playing the game which normally would recharge me. I knocked it on the head as it was too depressing to just be a bum on a seat, the sanctuary of my church would wait.
 It would also allow me to christen a new rod I had custom made as part of my summer retail therapy along with a mint condition Hardy Conquest (old type).
A perfect pairing for trotting a float down a chalk stream after Grayling.

Mixed fortunes, dreadful weather, a river in spate but only the positives will be remembered. Dave's p.b grayling, osprey and hobby sightings and christening the new rod. But as I strolled back across the field  beside Dave for that final time the greatest memory of them all. Unclipping the black dog from the lead and letting it bolt free, across the sodden field. This time I wouldn't be calling it to heel.
It's great to be back among the living again.