I finished the last report with a tantalising reference to exciting developments
on the fishing front. I realise that the words 'excitement' and
'fishing' are rarely seen in close proximity, but try this ...
I was always told that the reason why only blokes fish is that women can't
do it. I was told that the fish detect the presence of a lunar person
on a monthly cycle, and are frightened away.
But, apparently, this has been shown to be a load of old cobblers.
I also mentioned, some time ago, that over here the women indulge in the
sport of watching fishing - watching intently as their dearly beloved
husband fishes. This was not wholly accurate. Whole families
come out to watch dearest papa play with his rod.
I was put on full alert one Sunday afternoon, when there 3 women watching
a bloke fish. The youngest, whom I took to be his wife, was watching
most intently. The other two old crones, whom I took to be the mothers
of the happy couple, were not, to be honest, paying much attention, but
were jabbering away, apparently discussing the Sunday papers which they
Then, round the next corner was a sole woman - fishing. My Cod!!
I thought. Can this be true? It was.
Frenchmen often play with 3 or 4 rods at a time, and have a nice little
rack to rest them on. But it was a bit of a surprise to round the
next corner, to see another woman fishing, but with two rods, one in each
hand - casting with one, while she jiggled the bait of the other!!
The other day, I called in at the Canal Museum at Ecuisses. The
Canal de Centre was built between 1783 and 1793, with locks 30m long and
4 or 5m wide. It was at this time, in England, that Brindley and
the Duke of Bridgewater were constructing the Bridgewater canal - which
was hailed as an amazing engineering feat, and could take boats 2.10m
wide and some 22m long.
Incidentally, keeping boats on the canal is relatively in-expensive.
One mooring we stayed in had year-long moorings for about £300,
and winter moorings for £160 - INCLUSIVE of water and electricity.
We are now sitting on the summit level of the Canal de Centre, taking
a break whilst waiting for a mail drop. There are 4 other narrow
boats here, and the ear-ache induced by the non-stop drivel wittered out
by one of the blokes is pretty much driving me insane. Unfortunately
I'm flying the Red Ensign and said a cheery "'Ow do" when
I arrived, so I can't hide behind the monosyllabic Waffen SS persona that
I generally adopt on such occasions.