FWTCW - Luckfield


The plan was to take Trudie out for the day making use of her new power pack and borrowed bivvy. This meant that only three swims out of the ten available would be able to accommodate Jerry's gargantuan marquee. The only chance we had was to beat the regular crew at their own game. By getting down there to kick the Cockerel (Very early). So the car was loaded the night before and the alarm was set for 6.00am...

As it happened, I didn't need the alarm. Matilda, our cat, likes to drink from the dregs in Trudies tea mug from the night before, which inexplicably usually ends up on the bedside table on my side of the bed.

I sensed that she was close and this was confirmed by her back foot standing on the side of my nose. I muttered for her to get off and opened my eyes. She is only a small cat so this means her bum is at eye level when laid down. I can think of better ways to wake up than staring at the cats 'Starfish'...

Totally repulsed, I cancelled the alarm and got up. There is something satisfying about knowing you don't have to do much on the morning of a fishing day, even the lunch was made and ready to go. I threw some breakfast down my neck and off I went.

Driving down the bumpy lane, I was making my wishes known out loud that there wouldn't be too many people there before me. Three cars in the carpark could spell disaster. Leaning forward over the steering wheel to get the earliest possible view up the lane to the lake. I rounded the corner and.....

NO CARS! My plan had paid off and the fishing was definitely on...

A quick text to Trudie, who was still asleep and to Lydia, who wasn't, to say that we were good to go. Then on to set up the marquee. I don't think the car could hold much more gear and I was attacked by a groundbait bowl immediately.

Trolley assembled, the first thing on was the not really portable, portable power station. It really is a beast of a thing and swear I heard the trolley groan as I loaded it. I stomped my way to peg 2. I didn't want to block the path too much which meant positioning the marquee as far back as I could. I found a piece of wood to trample the undergrowth down a bit, which worked except for one stubborn bramble. Trampling didn't work on that and a bit of a kick was needed. This turned the bramble into a vicious tourniquet that nearly unscrewed my foot.

The bramble was beaten with a big stick and victory was mine

The bivvy was threaded and sprung into it's full majestic glory. I swear this bivvy is so big that has an echo like a cathedral. Bedchair in position along with a table and the Hadron collider. I surveyed my handy work and thought that the view from the bedchair would be so much better without the fat angler that would be sitting there shortly...

The big ball thing is a bird scarer to keep Cormorants away, which actually works quite well. It also serves to get my back up by getting in the way a lot.

I wanted to wait for Mrs Guru and Pantsman to arrive, so they could look after my precious tackle whilst I scurried off to collect the special guest, so some fishing was done in the mean time. Feeder to the lilypads lured a Carp of about 5 or 6lbs for an early breakfast. The feeder was lobbed out again with a cast that looked like I had executed it with eyes closed, but it was left to stew anyway whilst I assembled my margin pole for later. A casual glance towards the quiver tip had me wide eyed as it ripped round with an angry fish on. I leaped into action with all the grace of an overweight walrus, but this was no Carp.

A belting, but a skinny Roach laid in the landing net and I felt it worthy of a photograph. The big ol' dog was nearly as long as my forearm and, in better condition, would have been one of my best Roach ever. Measured against my 22 inch landing net is a 'proper one' in anyones book... Another Carp, a bit bigger than the first was next about 7 to 8lb and that got the David Bailey treatment too...Although he does look a bit grumpy having one of those unflattering 'in the landing net' shots taken, which doesn't do him justice really...

Mike and Lydia turned, minus their shrimp who was answering the urge to be with her new boyfriend rather than come fishing. Henry must be a dish, that's all I can say....

So, FWTCW was juniorless, yet again. But we soldiered on regardless...

Before long I was on my way home to collect the good lady and the absolutely HUGE picnic that Trudie insisted that we bring.

She has a rep for laying on quite a banquet on days out. But, seeing as she hadn't been out for ages, the job was left to me to create under strict direction from the master. The new cooler bag was stuffed to gunnels with everything you could ever need for at least a week in the wilderness. Far more than was required for 6 hours by a lake just six and a half miles from our front door....We were going to have to do some serious eating just to cram everything into the car for the journey home. But you don't get a figure like mine by shying away from a culinary challenge and today was going to be no different...

Upon our arrival back at the lake, I noticed that we had been joined by PC Bracey and, later on, the Red Fox himself, Mr Thomas of Foyle. Trudie had commandeered the iphone to ensure that she was not in any of the pictures to mark the day, despite being in her best pyjamas.

The Red Fox got the Trudie treatment for 'turning up with out cakes'... Like we need MORE food!! Moments later he made a clinical error by peeling off his jumper and showing Trudie a glimpse of his firm, chiselled torso. This triggered a barrage of unacceptable comments that ranged from flippant to downright filthy. Tom, who had now blushed so hard I thought he was actually going to explode, fidgeted uncomfortably. The lesson today was, never show a pre-menopausal woman anything that will get her fired up like that. I gave young Thomas some reassurance by reminding him how easy it is to out run a Chronically Brittle Asthmatic by taking a sort, leisurely stroll up a slight slope. It was so heart warming to have Trudie by my side again, after all these years. But, only after the bedchair was adjusted up, down, up, and then a little bit down, berated me for forgetting glasses and made my nice tidy and organised bivvy arrangement into something that resembled an open plan lounge in downtown Kabul...I truly have never known chaos to follow an individual the way it seems to stick to her. Or maybe it was just because her breathing was a bit more than laboured and everything was looking like a really bad idea in that moment...

Her breathing sorted itself out after a nebuliser and a steady flow of O2, and I got down to some fish worrying. But the fish were scarce and even Lydia, who had popped round to meet the now relaxed Trudie, commented on the lack of action in my swim... I told her that 'we were not at Mangerton now, Dorothy!'...

Jerry was busy battering the silvers on p10 and Mike and Lyd had squeezed into p3. Interestingly, I popped round to see them when it was time for us to go home and, on reflection, it was a miracle that Lydia did not come away with some serious scarring or at least the loss of one eye.

Mike had positioned himself to the far left of a swim that was really made for one angler. Both of their rods were facing right, which put Lydia's face right in the strike zone of the rod of her beloved. Fortunately, Lydia was catching more than her gillie, so facial injuries were kept to a minimum...

It was so nice to have my best mate with me again, to share with me a few hours doing the sport that I love so much. Today was a trial run for future excursions, to see what we need and what we don't. I'm not sure how far away from home Trudie will be comfortable travelling, or how many trips she will be able to make. But every one will be gratefully received and I look forward to the next one. It is stressful for both of us, and my awareness of Trudie's health is ramped up to the max the whole time. It is important for people to see Trudie's condition and to see the struggle that she has doing the most mundane things. Also, it is crucial for her development in getting her back into society for when she embarks on the next step in her career as a designer.

But for now we will reflect on a great day, with great people who Trudie and I are grateful for. Particularly Jerry who has kindly loaned us his marquee, despite the fact that my trampling exercise this morning missed the twig that pierced the ruddy groundsheet! Juniors Sec.





28 views0 comments