Thursday, 27 August 2009

hook, line and sinker

Every time my birthday comes around I ask Dirk for something useful. This way, in recent years I've acquired a storm kettle, a bivvy bag (for sleeping in the rain), a book about plants, a new beekeeper's outfit and a Hennesey sleeping hammock (which I've slept in for the past two nights, rocked by the young trees in my woods). This year I asked for a fishing rod. Dirk sourced it from Percy's Fishing Tackle on Cliffe High St. I tried it out last week with my young friend George. We stood on the jetty near the cliffs at Seaford. Having figured out how to tie on the hooks (cunningly disguised as little fish) and lead weight, we cast off. The first few times the cast was all over the place. Then a fisherman showed us the proper way (you have to hold the line in your index finger) and suddenly the line just flew - swish - over the water. 'That's a good cast,' our helpful fishing friend said, 'At least a hundred feet. And a good rod.' We didn't catch a fish but I've heard that you can catch mackerel on a rising tide before October. Just standing there, casting out, reeling in, casting out, reeling in... in the warm evening light, with dozens of other fisherfolks was a sublime experience in itself, one I plan to repeat soon. George Monbiot recently wrote the most beautiful feature article I've read in a long while - and it was about fishing from his kayak.

PS last week's column about Tesco's proposed expansion was incorrect - Lewes District Council's planning office says the decision will be 'some time in the autumn', when all the necessary information has been gathered. I hear that there is a zombie invasion of Tesco afoot (If you want to join in, please ring 07910411071).

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