The blogging community I inhabit is a place where, hugely differing personalities, share a common passion for their outdoor hobbies via this written/illustrated format. In reality it is quite a niche environment attracting contributors of a certain vintage who are able, via rose-tinted memories, recall times gone by when life was so much simpler? Dwelling on events, long passed, isn't how our blogging is sustained but, during times of minimal stimulus, the ability to look back can keep it ticking over until outside influences, once again, dictate otherwise?
Just this week Gavin Haig, he of Not Quite Scilly fame, produced an outstanding post about his angling adventures with barbel (see it here) and with it has fired up an enthusiasm for me to return to The Kentish Stour for another chance to pit my wits against this most worthy adversary. The latest lockdown has blown away any hopes, I had, of catching twenty doubles before the end of pike season so it's nice to have a new challenge on the horizon. No way am I going back to the lunacy of Willow Close, and all that it entailed, so a Canterbury & District AA ticket will need to be purchased, thus allowing me access to much more of the river. To be honest, Benno and Luke both became members this year and have been singing the praises of the various venues where they have cast a line ever since.
There is so much that I'd like to be doing but, along with the rest of the sensible members of the populous, know that until the vaccine, is rolled out, Covid-19 "stay at home" isn't some fake news, conspiracy theorist, bull-shit but genuine advice to assist in the battle for a return to normality. I have no problem with playing my part, gutted that the Royal Military Canal isn't "local", but grateful for the BWKm0 concept which has already played such a positive role in my getting through the original lockdown period. If birds are to replace angling during this latest incarnation of lockdown then Jono Lethbridge's post about staying local was a very welcome introduction to another new idea (see it here) Birding, without petroleum, within a five mile radius of the front door? Bloody hell I need a boat! The reality is that our bungalow is a mile from the coast, at Dumpton Gap, thus four miles beyond the sand is just open sea. On the positive side, five miles from here includes Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate Harbour, North Foreland, Foreness Point, Margate Harbour and Minster SF. If the rods do need to be retired, for a period, then this birdwatching challenge might well need some serious consideration.
I can't finish without mentioning Steve Gale and his North Downs & Beyond blog. He's been a constant source of high class blogging during all of this uncertainty. It was he who facilitated the original BWKm0, being instigator and ring master for the entire project. He's had me looking at "big skies", marvelling at flowers and then, on Tuesday, looking at the leaves of our Red Valerian plants for the tell-tale signs of a fly! What's even worse than looking is actually finding the bloody things! (see it here) The craziest aspect of all this interaction is that none of us have ever, knowingly, met yet would consider ourselves mates (?) in some way. I did say Blogland was a strange place!
Finally the BWKm0 list has racked up another two species ;-
No. 22 - Great Tit
No. 23 - Great Black-backed Gull - an adult flying high, east, at 10.37 hrs this morning
So that's about it for the time being. Snow tomorrow? Pike fishing Sunday now that Boris has ensured that seven miles is "staying local" I have absolutely no idea where we, as a nation, are headed but do have some material for another post, tomorrow, which will demonstrate quite how boredom can facilitate itself.