Over recent years I have found it difficult to write, not that I didn’t want to but simply my mind and emotions weren’t in the right place. Previously writing had been a release from the stresses of life and a channel for my creativity documenting the way I observed life and my surroundings. Recently I have realised that my love for nature, gardening, foraging and history mean more than I thought to my general well being.

Walking the foreshore of the Thames most days allowed me time to reflect on life and the study of the foreshore for signs of the past were absorbing, much in the same way as casting a fly to a trout, trotting a float along the margin for that tug or hurling a spinner into a dark pool for that ferocious snatch of a pike or salmon looking for that last meal to give it the energy to push upstream.

As they say much water has passed under the bridge of late but I still yearn each day to get my fix of the tidal river or pounding seas of the south coast.

If you have followed me on other social media platforms then you will know that I have found solace in the caretaking of a neighbours allotment whilst they are in distant lands for an extended period of time. For me the allotment has given me much pleasure, a place where I can choose to be alone and emmerse myself in looking after my own little bit of paradise or share the experience with family and friends.

I have decided to write again, fish again and share my experience on the allotment because it helps get me through the daily pressures of life.

I’ve decided to scale back things in life and focus on those things that are truly important. I don’t need all the tackle I’ve accumulated over the years, one rod, one reel in each category of fishing will do. It’s a time in my life where I have worked out to let go of many things. Like many millennials, life is about experience and not about the possession you have. Since loosing my father the penny dropped, you can’t take possessions with you but memories last longer, the less clutter the clearer you can see life and the more important issues.

For many years I have been aware of the environment and in my own way done what I can to draw peoples attention to certain issues, from plastic waste on the tidal Thames to water extraction and pollution on our southern chalk stream. The plight of inshore fishing affecting sea-trout and salmon farms in Scotland affecting the wel being of the natural salmon population, goes without saying the effect of Global Warming which is and has been for some time a real issue that will impact on mankind and the lives of generation sto come, we simply can5 bury our heads in the sand on this issue, we have to face up to it there has to be change and change for the good.

Hopefully over weeks to come I can share my observation, experiences and stories in an informative way. To those that have continued to follow the ramblings of the Tales By The Riverbank I thank you all and wish you well for 2020.