So there I was, yesterday, bemoaning the "doldrums" of the festive break when fellow bloggers, Gavin Haig, then Stewart Sexton made mention of the local birding initiative launched by Birdguides/Birdwatch magazine. Now may I make clear that I've absolutely no intention of joining in with any scheme, whatever the merits, purely because it doesn't fit with how my life works. To all who do feel moved to get engaged in this activity I wish you every success and sincerely hope that enjoyment is reward enough for your efforts. This said, I'm certainly finding myself spending more time looking at/for birds when out and about. The recent Ramsgate Harbour sessions have demonstrated, quite clearly, that there is plenty of scope for me to involve birding into my weekly routine without any negative impact on my angling projects. So I have decided that 2022 will see me embark upon a very casual "year list" whilst continuing with the BWKm0 garden stuff. Not too sure how committed I'll be, but it certainly something worthy of exploration?
I'm back out on the flatlands tomorrow, just because I can. Not in search of a non-existent, mythical, Pike but, instead, purely attempting to add to my meagre tally thus far this season. My totals, as of 30th December 2021, are as follow:-
Target No 1 - three "twenties" - one landed = 33%
Target No 2 - twenty "doubles" - ten landed = 50%
Target No 3 - one hundred Pike - twenty three landed = 23%
As you can see, I'm struggling and any Pike, whatever the weight, would be most welcome. Bev and I had a drive down to Hythe today and the RMC is in a right mess. Floodwater conditions persist along huge swathes of the canal and, given the current weather forecasts, won't abate any time soon. For this final session of 2021 it will be centrepins and home-made "Champagne Cork" floats for no other reason than it should add to the fun factor. If I can't catch big fish, nothing wrong in getting the maximum enjoyment from encounters with lesser specimens.
One of the surreal impacts of "Boris's Brexit" is that supplies of dead baits are erratic, cum non-existent, in the local tackle outlets. Fortunately, living on the coast, there is an alternative source via the local fishing boats, however, variety can be very limited. It would be ridiculous of me to complain about my situation when there are so many other problems which are far more challenging to those folk upon which they impact. I've a freezer filled with dead baits, thus am able to get out whenever conditions permit. An alternative source of bait is to be found at the wet fish counter in the Tesco store at Westwood Cross. I was in there today, prior to our drive, just to pick up a few essentials. What is it with some folk? I estimated that 600 people were inside the building, there were FOUR, three guys and a women with a pushchair, who thought themselves above everyone else. No masks - how selfish can they be? It's not a jab in the arm, just a face covering, where's the issue? Maybe they went to Eton, thus the rules don't apply to them, but I very much doubt it in central Thanet. F*ckwit scum would be closer to the mark. Yep, I know I could have said something, just like Tesco security staff could have, but getting into a fight whilst purchasing a few groceries seems a little extreme. I'm 100% behind personal freedom yet, under these current circumstances, don't think that being asked to wear a face mask in enclosed spaces is too much of an imposition?
The whole world has gone "tits-up" since the start of the Covid pandemic. For Bev and I, very little has changed apart from my retirement - oh no we couldn't go on holiday - shame! That one of our neighbours has passed way, due to Covid, is a reality slap that resonates. Despite the fact that Boris is an incompetent clown, Covid remains a very real issue which impacts upon our society with incredible effect. Those NHS staff, on the front line, allied with associated care workers, paramedics and ambulance crews plus the police forces and fire fighters deserve all the praise for getting us through this. Real people, doing real jobs, living on the same street as you and I. That the staff at QEQM Hospital, Margate, were able to provide the cancer treatment for Debbie, is testament to the commitment of these people, and exactly why wearing a mask is the least we can do under the current circumstances.