Found on a table at a sale of vintage and collectables this disguised Abu Toby lure. Clearly decorated in the original owners favourite colours I wonder if this was for predatory fish or for a Spring or Autumn Salmon. I guess the only way to find out is to fish with it, but in the meantime it can be used as a decoration on the tree, once the treble has been removed.
Under bright skies the farmers market was quieter then usual, some new vendors stalled amoungst the regulars and the usual banter filled the air, then one stall holder shouted ‘Downton how are you?, that’s the nickname given to me by Ed the purveyor of Sushi, I have to say it is rather good, better than what you’ll get in M&S, Yo Sushi and other fast food outlets.
Having spent a good part of the morning in the loft looking for the Christmas decorations and trying to have a good tidy up, just that I need to find some space to store things before Mum comes for Christmas. Having a passion for collecting art and an eclectic mix of decorative items I’ve seemed to have collected enough to fill Downton Abbey let alone our humble home which is comfortable but a bit on the small size, I guess that’s the compromise for living in this leafy part of London. Amoungst all the boxes of collectables, paperwork, mirrors, old furniture and obsolete electrical goods. However, in one area of the loft are several boxes of Speyside Whisky, a collection put together over several years and have remain unopened for at least a decade.
I have always had a passion for whisky in fact I was fortunate enough to work for the well respected merchant of fine wines and spirits, Berry Bros & Rudd. The heritage of the company in St James’s spans over 300 years and the owners of the Glenrothes brand and that familiar tipple when on holiday, Cutty Sark, which they have now sold on. For me the crisp winter nights becon a dram or two of a fine malt and a dash of Franklin & Sons Artesian Water which comes from a well know Scottish spring. I’ve still not acquired any whisky stones yet as I have in the past used a large round ice mould to chill my glass down so maybe a trip to Whisky World this week to see what new releases there are to add to the Christmas drinks list.
I’m behind this year on my writing and sadly I’m behind on my Advent posts so I will aim to put one together for tomorrow. With the loss of my father earlier this year, a new job which has become all consuming and with little opportunity to fish, source vintage tackle or walk the shoreline I’ve been short on inspiration, hopefully I’ll get back to more activity in the New Year. For now I’ll raise a glass of the fine spirit and think about returning to the water over the Christmas holidays for an early frosty and crisp mornings Perch or Grayling fishing…now there’s a thought.
My post have been far and few between in these early months of 2016. There have been few fishing forays as the weather and state of the rivers have dictated the opportunities to fish. Rivers running the colour of builders tea and water levels up to your nick-nacky – noos have meant the rods linger in there rests and the ratchets of reels don’t click.
With now only a couple of days away until the close season there will be no ‘classic coarse’ fishing until late June. For us we herald in the season for Trout, Sea-Trout and Salmon fishing and when time and weather permits lure fishing for Bass.
Having been feeling under the weather over the last couple of days I took to the river today under a clear blue sky and walked along the shoreline to see what the recent high Spring tides had scoured away and what it may reveal. In the distance I saw two camouflaged clad figures, for a moment I thought Members of TAC but soon it became apparent that they were ‘mudlarks’, Detectorists of the metal kind.
Having struck up a conversation with these enthusiastic gentlemen they were open to sharing their knowledge of the river, their methods and finds. Whilst in mid-conversation one of them bent down, turning over the surface pea shingle and then between thumb and forefinger rubbing a small thin circular object, he stopped his patter and observed his find. ‘Can you see what it says’ as he passed the 20mm disc to me. I rubbed it in much the same way however I could feel the relief of the hammered token. With the warm air on this bright sunny March afternoon drying the token it revealed the wording The Olde Thomas Pearson on one side and In Westminster Pallace Yard on the reverse with His Half Penny in the centre. The condition of the token was simply breathtaking seeing that it was struck between 1648-1673 and had been covered by the river silt as its only protection.
Within a few feet another gleaming item appeared, this being a metal button made by Webb & Co London, again I was astonished as to its condition after the surface grime was rinsed off with water from the river.
I’m still amazed at what this river gives up or rather the things that have found their way into it. Each and every time I walk the shores of the River Thames history unfolds beneath my feet, so much, so visible to the naked eye, yet thousands pass it by without a second thought.
It will be interesting to see what I may find next time out.
My thanks to the Detectorists who shared that special moment today.
To all of you brothers of the angle, shutter and paintbrush, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, may you all find peace and love not only over the Christmas season but for evermore.
For those of you heading to the river or sea tomorrow may your lines be tight and smiles put upon your face.
I bless you all for a prosperous New Year.
Between the rain showers and the warm glow of winter sun we dashed around the village doing the lasts bits of shopping before retiring to the pub for a beer and a bite to eat in order to give us energy to wrap those Christmas gifts for young Tales, it may take some time.
The years seems to have passed all too quickly, possibly because we’ve done a lot but more than likely because we are getting older. During the year we went West Wales for young Tales birthday to allow him to fish for sea-trout, went to a wedding in St Ives, visited Mrs Tales birthplace on the island of Cyprus, retuned to Bexhill – a place I spent time at as a young teenager to fish, stalled out at The National Vintage Tackle Fair, worked on some new projects and now it’s Christmas.
As it’s time to spend time with Mrs and young Tales on this Christmas Eve I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you who have taken time to read my blog a very merry Christmas.
With such high temperatures at this time of year surely it’s going to be a great opportunity to head to the river to fish. So I’m planning where and when.
Lord Sugar has made his choice of candidate as his Apprentice, the number 1 in the Charts is a Mr. Bieber, Tottenham are 4th in the Premiership, Watford beat Liverpool, Andy Murray is Sports Personality Of The Year, Star Wars is set to break box office records, there is no snow in the Alps, a teenager is crowned Scalextric Champion after playing for the first time, young Tales realises Santa isn’t for real and I still haven’t won The Lottery!
Most of my work projects are completed, Christmas gifts purchased, food list finalised and wines selected…bring on Christmas!
This day marks the first day a British Astronaut visits the Space Station. The question is can he Santa from up there?
One thing he will witness is that we live in a very special place so why does man continue to fight, scar the landscape and pollute the seas…why?
It was mid-afternoon when I stumbled across this very rare item, it is a boxwood rope gauge. I found it on a table of treasures in a shop close to my home.
Having lived in SW13 for nearly two decades I have frequented this shop that sells an eclectic mix of vintage fabrics, homewares and hand crafted items by Angel. On the run up to Christmas I always make the effort to visit this iconic shop in Barnes. As you open the door the air is filled with the scent of flowering hyacinths, beeswax and lavender. The warm glow of candles and the glimmer of light reflects the the polished brass, ceramics and glass domes that shroud exquisite works, one that stood out was a tree full of baubles, beads and over vintage trinkets.
This is in no way a shop for thrifty purchases, each item for sale is hand made and unique much like the rare items sourced which in their own right are works of art.
A good friend of ours is a boat builder, well he is a master craftsman, carpenter, sculptor in fact nothing quite describes his sublime skills, for me one of the most talented people I know much like his partner who is a fantastic painter. For Bob these rope gauges would be an ideal gift, more as an item for the mantelpiece than to work with. An item to sit beside his Mamod Steam engine and clockwork Meccano boat.
I do try to find obscure gifts for those who know me for me it is part of the pleasure of Christmas finding things that are not usually available on the high street.