Wednesday 5 January 2011


A very happy New Year to you all.  I apologise for being very quiet on the blog front over the last month. I do so appreciate your concern and your complaints. It’s very encouraging to know that someone other than my mother reads this.  I am now recovered from flu, back in the North and back to work.
 I have been rather an idiot and left my Oliver Edwards behind in London. I’ll pick up the week after next and then I’ll have to hop to it as I am running out of weeks to tie all of those dastardly flies of his. However, having just seen a demonstration of tying a married salmon fly by Jim Brown at my Local Fly Dressers Guild, I have no reason to complain. I foolishly signed up to have a go at one for next week. I’ll let you know how it goes.
The diet is going rather better than the fly tying. The first couple of days are going well. However, when people ask me how I am my answer is just “hungry” as all other emotions have been swallowed up in the (relatively) empty void that is my stomach. I’m being very harsh on myself as I figure that there really isn’t any difference between feeling hungry and very hungry. I need results. I’m going to a wedding where I shall be surrounded by hard working, hard bodied London women, who don’t have time to do anything at all, let alone eat.  I am having horrors over the photos. In my current state it will look like I have consumed one or two of my oldest friends.
The worrying thing about all of this is that I have never been thin.  I was born Buddha-bellied and could be described as a stocky child. I have moved up north and discovered butter. I lived with a man for far too long who could consume his own body weight in stew.    I have always been chubby and I am now chubbier, if not, chubbiest.  I need to get rid of a good five inches worth of myself for the wedding which, if it works, will mean that I am not skinny, not even thin, but not chubby anymore.  I am changing me.

There are some things about myself I shall never change.  I was really heartened reading an old exercise book of mine.  I wrote, aged nine:
“Nothing compares with the happy moment [when] you feel the tug on the end of line of your fishing rid. Your heart is in my mouth. Will it stay on my hook? And oh-there it is- a trout landed in the net and it’s mine just mine”
I think we had been asked to write about our favourite feelings. I hadn’t written a title or a date. I was marked down accordingly by Sister Madeleine.
I now have written evidence that fishing, that constant search for fishy tugs has been very much part of who I am for nearly twenty years. At a time when many of us are giving up something, taking up something and jumping on the New Year’s bandwagon of some form of self-improvement it’s comforting to know that being an angler is something that doesn’t have to be changed. I will make one resolution though for this year, to fish well and fish often.