Time keeps ticking by, the weeks have turned into months, summer is turning into autumn and soon it will be Pike time. The years are rolling by too. I was surprised that I’ve actually been doing this blogging stuff for over a decade. So long in fact that the medium is becoming obsolete, replaced by go pro, all action, video blogs. I still prefer words and pictures so will continue in this format when I find myself with something to say, which seems to be less often these days. It doesn’t matter if it gets read or not, that was never the point to begin with. Back at the beginning in 2008 I was just trying to keep an online diary for my own sake but that had to change when I realised I was giving too much away!
In 2008 a lot of my blogging consisted of describing fishing trips with my children, or nieces and nephews on occasions. God how they’ve all grown up! My foster daughter left home last month; my youngest Isaac starts college in the morning and our Maddie will be heading off to university in a few weeks. Ten years ago they were bubbly children running around in the meadows as often as they were swinging fish into my chops for unhooking. Now they are practically adults and fine people they are too, I’m a proud Dad, if a biased one…
I had planned a last holiday before term time started but I left things too late and screwed up on the dates, the holiday had to be shortened to a long weekend break. We considered tents but the nights are longer and darker now, in the end a houseboat on the Broad seemed a good compromise to me and happily the family agreed. I was pleased to see my loved ones appreciating and enjoying spending time beside the water in a place I love. One of my favourite pubs is just a short ride away too and here we enjoyed excellent food as well as a few pints of East Anglia’s finest beverages. We were treated to a couple of the famous broadland sunsets too, I’m sure the sunrise would have been equally spectacular but none of us even considered rising in time to see it.
Our days were spent out and about; firstly Norwich which despite my hereditary football prejudices I have to admit is a nice city, a good bookshop always helps. Cromer is a traditional old seaside town which has mostly avoided being spoilt by the kind of tourist tat that afflicts many such places. However Cromer is famous for crabs and the few crappy gift shops that have crept in exploit this by selling all manner of buckets, handlines and dropnets which can be used to catch and torture the hapless crustaceans.
Finally we visited Great Yarmouth which can only be described as a shithole. Yarmouth hasn’t avoided cliché seaside crap, in fact the town actively encourages it and tasteless shit seeps from every storefront. Every gaudy, horrible thing you associate with seaside tourist traps is proudly displayed in Yarmouth and believe it or not there are actually people who seem to like this shit! I’ve never considered myself a snob but whenever I visit this place I am forced to reconsider… I don’t like facial piercings on grandparents nor do I like tattoos on children but maybe that’s just me?
I had my radio beside me throughout most of the weekend and managed to follow another really good test match. India are ranked no.1 in the world yet somehow the most inconsistent England team I can remember has managed to win the series. How good could this team be with the addition of a couple of decent batsmen?
At either ends of the day we fished. This was mostly from the houseboat itself where we caught loads of silver fish as well as a few Perch. Both Maddie and Isaac joined me for trips out in my fishing boat in search of Bream; once again there were loads of Roach and Rudd up to 8ozs but we did manage to catch a few of the larger fish for which the broads are famous. Nowadays Isaac is pretty adept at all fishing for silvers entails and it didn’t take Maddie long to get back into the swing of it, even though it’s been a few years since she’s fished. Even the Purple princess had a go this time around, usually she’s happy to watch and click away with her camera and had forgotten how much she enjoys actually catching a few.
The holiday wasn’t without its mishaps too. On the first night the princess managed to peel her finger with a razor blade and this required a trip to a surgery. Whilst Isaac is quite experienced at boat fishing nowadays, Maddie isn’t and on the last evening a moment of panic at the staithe saw both of us tipped out of the boat and into the drink. Thankfully the water is shallow and the only thing damaged was pride. It was a timely reminder of how quickly things can go wrong though. Once dry we discussed what had happened and by the end of the night it was the cause of much laughter.
So now we’re all back home now safe and sound, some of us will be returning to routine and normality. I’ll be ringing up my Pike rods in a few weeks and I’m looking forward to being back in my comfort zone doing what I love most. However by then my daughter will be living in another county and that is something I’m dreading…