The watery blanket of the river was being gently punctured by rises. I knew I would catch fish. I remembered my father explaining to me as a very young girl about something called smutting. Here trout sip the tiniest of newborn flies from the surface as they try and break free of the film to fly away and live. I walked down the river and saw three rising fish. I tied on a size 22 poly-winged spinner. Within three casts I caught a fish. I worried for a second that my evening had peaked too soon. I was wrong.
As I walked back on the riverbank, I met three gentleman. The youngest was about seventy five. They wonderfully referred to themselves as "The Last of the Summer Wine Fishing Club". They had such camaraderie and had the kind of easy banter that only firm friends can. I felt envious and oddly, the sudden appearance of others confirmed my aloneness. They insisted on opening gates for me, even though it would have been far easier (and quicker) for me to extend them that courtesy. It struck me though, that they were of an age of the Odettes, Parkers and Mitfords, of Wrens, widows and Munition workers. Women who deserved enough respect to have a gate opened for them, and a seat given to them on a bus. I'm working on it.
My last minute, desperate and yet sucessful fishing trip has gone someway to emulate Madame Pol Roger. In this though, and at the moment I can say like her that my great loves are "to garden, to go trout fishing and to decorate my houses".