The Listen Mate Crowd
Recently met some of the old COLT crowd around Aldgate. Was good to catch up, especially with new father Al, and the "Listen Mate" crowd, Ali and Seamus!
Fishing in Oxford
Finally I have the opportunity to visit Herrington and gloat at his current disability. It's good to be out and about at the moment, the country seems to be covered in blossom, very pretty. Pink a couple of weeks ago, and white now.
Pretty blossom in my street
Herrington came off his bike recently at speed, hit a tree and broke both his wrists. I'm not sympathetic, he had it coming! Anyway, seven weeks with both arms in casts, and no ability to wipe one's bottom. Nice!
The reason I haven't come up until now is that Will has been off the booze, and where's the fun in a sober visit? If I'm going to be a Bad Influence I might as well play to my character. This time we pack plenty of beer into a bag and head out to do some fishing with my portable rod I bought in Australia whilst travelling.
Yebisu and snacks
Included in the pack is the Yebisu the Hop that Kaori gave me. Will brings the Japanese snacks. First up.. permit from the post office. As the online and telephone permits systems are down, we have to go into a branch. UKP 3.50 later, we have a receipt, and we head off to Fat Phil's Angling Centre outside Oxford. There they tell us that it's closed season and we can't fish. Great!
Luckily they tell us the canal in town is still game, so we find a nice spot with a bench.
Sitting on the river, one meets all sorts. People pass by and offer advice, or tell us that we're doing everything wrong. We lose control of our fishing as a mad chap takes over, and meet some serious fishermen. They tell us about the damn Chinaman who is stealing all the bigger fish from the canal and selling them to Sojo Restaurant. Don't order the fish there!!
The maggots take some getting used to, especially as they warm up and start wriggling more and more! Doesn't seem to help, as we catch nothing. We're told that we must be shark fishing with my large hooks, and I'm asked whether my rod came from Argos!
Quiet on t' river
Still, a pleasant afternoon in marvellous weather with good beers. There's only so much a formula like that can go wrong. I think next time we'll head a bit further from the centre though, where less strange people lurk!
In the evening, a marvellous Chinese take-away. My Sichuan mapo tofu is not very authentic, but tasty nevertheless.
Of course Sandychan has earned a medal for putting up with Will in his current state, and indeed he organised a real one for her to wear into work!
Bonfire on the Beach
One of the benefits of living on the beach is an occasional bonfire. Lewis organised the latest one, which I linked up with by cycling down to Whitstable.