Sunday, 27 October 2013

Club AGM!

Photo 01 - Willow bundles ripped out at Riskinhope!

Club AGM!

We have set a date of November the 13th for our club AGM. The meeting will be held at the Tibbie Shiels Inn commencing at 19.00hrs. Any member having items for the Agenda should forward them to me by the 3rd of November for inclusion. It is regrettable that we had to postpone the AGM but the East European problem demanded our exclusive attention!

Poaching update!

The last few weeks have been relatively quiet on the poaching front. It may be that the fish thieves have moved to pastures new or even better turned their illegal activities into something legal and beneficial to society. Of course we cannot be complacent but the relative calm is reassuring!

                                      Photo 02 - The fence at Riskinhope in a sorry state!
Not the expected outcome!
Photo 01 shows the devastation that took place at the top of Riskinhope with regard to our bank stabilisation works! On the advice of the Wild Trout Trust we bedded in willow bundles with iron stakes to try and stop the erosion that was taking place. We assume the damage was caused by high water flows and clearly this method is not robust enough for the violent flows experienced at this right angle corner and something more heavy duty is required! This method continues to work well at Kirkstead bu is clearly unsuitable for this particular area at Riskinhope. The state of the fencing work continues to deteriorate in no way attributable to the installing contractor!

Had we the resources we would implement a more industrial method using a hydraulic pile driver and larch logs but we have not the resources to tackle the problem this way. We will contact the forestry people controlling Bowerhope and see if we can source some logs to allow us to implement a medium duty structure using heavy metal rods and quarter inch fence wire to try and erect a more resilient structure!

Some of the metal poles remain in place but in three instances the finer gauge fence wire simply snapped unable to resist the pressure caused by the flow of water. The poles will need to be secured more robustly probably requiring insertion at an angle under the bank wiring in the individual logs stapling the wire onto them and using heavy duty restraining pegs on the sides of the banks. If this method fails however we will have to concede defeat as the only option after this is mega industrial stabilisation and we have neither the tools or resources to implement this!

Tree planting!

We have three hundred trees to plant and we have marked the 9th of November as the date for carrying out this work. We will have a small number to plant on the banks of Riskinhope with another load at the Graveyard swim. I will see Jim Mitchell of Henderland to seek his views an planting the remainder along the banks of the Megget. It may be that the high water flows encountered here would make this task a waste of time! If you can help out give me a shout!

Oh yes, they are there!

A return received from Jim Trainer (The Rangers Publicity guru?) today having fished the loch yesterday states that he and his mate had 4 small Perch and two Brown Trout of 1.5lbs and 3lbs which they were at pains to point out were returned immediately unharmed! Similarly Les Henderson fishing at the boathouse managed a 3lbs Pike in the morning and an 8lbs one in the afternoon! Right thinking anglers reaping the rewards our wild loch has to offer, just great!

Harvest time!

One of the pleasures of being an angler is that you have maximum exposure to all that Mother Nature offers especially in the autumn when she offers her fruits for harvest. Fruits, nuts, berries and fungi are usually present in great abundance allowing us to savour the delights she offers. St Mary’s loch is well known to fungi hunters as a store of great fungi in particular the Chanterelle’s, the Bolete’s and some other more rare varieties!

I have most years been able to gather a modest selection to taste what a real “mushroom” should taste like but this year the larder appears to be bare. Yes on several foraging hunts I came up with one small Bolete and a couple of Puffballs!  The explanation for the lack of fungi is simply overharvesting! On many occasions I have noted groups of foragers diligently hunting down these fungi, the very best that Mother Nature has to offer! Indeed if your only experience of fungi is the insipid plastic supermarket mushroom then you do not know what real mushrooms taste like!

It is clear that the influx of East Europeans has had a detrimental effect on the stocks of these gastronomic delights in the UK! The problem may or may not be the harvest of specimens for commercial gain as compared to the plastic variety these gems command an attractive price among those who know their monetary value. It may also be that the sheer numbers foraging are depleting stocks rapidly. Picking on a commercial basis however must be frowned upon as the area cannot support such activity! Of course determining whether or not someone is picking on a commercial basis is nigh on impossible! Foragers should simply pick enough for their own needs and try not to rape the area. Noted on the BBC’s Countryfile last week the problem is countrywide and it appears other than personal restraint there is no effective solution to the problem of overharvesting. A few projects are underway to restrict foragers from certain areas to allow for replenishment of species we shall just have to wait and see what happens over the next few years!

Photo 03 - Another straining post at Riskinhope about to be unearthed!
The wider world in my view!

Bungling aplenty!
It’s been a pretty poor couple of weeks for the inept Con-Dems with bungling aplenty! The ridiculous “immigration van” has now rightly died a death! Lambasted by all who believe in fairness and equity this childish stunt did nothing whatsoever to resolve the perceived problem and embarrassed us on the world stage. Butcher Thatcher would be Theresa May had to partake of a sizeable portion of humble pie this week as she announced the farce was to cease forthwith!

Similarly Lord Snooty he that does not know the price of a pint of milk was forced to cobble together inane policy on the ever building problem of energy prices as yet more of the companies impose huge rises on the public at a time of maximum usage! Yes Snooty who originally advocated switching suppliers which only leads to a change in the name at the top of the bill is now frantically pontificating about ditching some of the “green” taxes to try and bring prices down for “hardworking families”! Expect many more words of wisdom from this windbag but crucially no meaningful action whatsoever!

The “bedroom” tax has now been unequivocally exposed as yet another failed policy as it continues to punish the poor and disabled and bring in paltry amounts of revenue! Cash strapped councils are finding more and more people drifting into rent arrears passing the brunt of the financial pain on to local councils! Dithering Ian Duncan-Smith was forced this week to announce the delay in the introduction of the universal credit system, another lame duck policy being made up as they go along. Yes the policy has more holes in it than your average tea strainer and yet again it is the poor and needy that will suffer for their bungling!

Working on behalf of “hardworking families” the incompetent Con-Dems plan to introduce a £200.00 levy on foreign tourists to prevent NHS losses to NHS tourism! You just couldn’t make it up! This has got to be the best travel insurance on the planet! Expect a huge rush in those who seek to benefit from health tourism at this bargain basement price.

Prepare for a huge amount of bungling on the high speed rail project as agency after agency comes out and ridicules the amateurish proposals vastly under costed and ill thought out as is usual for Con-Dem policies! The actual cost is expected to be underestimated by a factor of three and will effectively choke off the north of England and Scotland!  Couple this with the information coming out that the Royal Mail was valued at 3 times the price that the buffoons sold it off at and that it is predicted that the one pound first class stamp will become a reality next year! Alas this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as blunders are concerned, the posh boys mission of rewarding the rich and punishing the poor continues!

Free schools!

These schools are now firmly under the media spotlight following the exposure of a Muslim school that was operating at a devastatingly low level giving no benefit to their pupils whatsoever! Did you ever hear of such nonsense as allowing unqualified people to pose as teachers? Our expose on unqualified fishing guides and casting instructors highlighted the reasons why qualifications are essential! What further compounds this situation however and raises it to a higher level is that the very education of children is at stake!

Imagine an unqualified headmaster appointing a load of unqualified teachers, you would not end up with a school, simply a building housing unqualified people trying to teach children god knows what! Teaching as all teachers know does not comprise simply of having knowledge of the subject being taught. It must comprise of a knowledge of how to teach, of how to control a group of sometimes boisterous pupils with diverse needs, of being able to encourage stragglers and encourage those with obvious promise as well as all the health and safety and personal health issues! Simply put teachers have been educated to understand and implement the teaching process!

Recognised qualifications lend a deal of reassurance to parents that their children are being taught by people who not only have advanced knowledge of the subject being taught but know how to impart that knowledge to their children! There is no benefit whatsoever in allowing unqualified people to try and teach! Over the last hundred years moves have been implemented to seek regulation in all the trades and professions which are as it should be! Qualification allows the end user to single out the wheat from the chaff, to take the first step in securing the best service possible! There is no argument for reverting back to allowing any Tom, Dick or Harry to carry out any job they think they can do. Only dimwits like Michael Gove and Lord Snooty support that view and perhaps that sums up the situation nicely!

The Grangemouth carry on!

This dispute gave us some worrying glimpses of what industrial relations were like in the beginnings of the twentieth century. Here in Jim Ratcliffe we have a man who has exploited from his employees millions of pounds to give himself the lifestyle of an Arab sheikh! There was no negotiation, no sense of teamwork, no sense of fairness, only in true capitalist style holding to ransom the jobs of thousands, the very life of the Grangemouth community and even pushing weak government into a position of guaranteeing loans for the plants survival!

This is capitalism at its best with those at the top amassing huge wealth and power whilst those at the bottom merely earning a living! This is not an equitable way of conducting business! The UNITE union were guilty of only following the wishes of its members firstly in calling for rejection of the companies ultimatum then after consultation with the workforce agreeing to concede to their demand! There is no place in modern industrial relations for bully boy greed ridden dinosaurs like Jim Ratcliffe who cannot see past his own bank statement and that of his shareholders! If ever there was an example of the failure of capitalism then this is it!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

A Worthy Champion!

Photo 01- Les presents the trophy to Elliot Fraser a trophy well won!
A Worthy Champion!

It was always going to happen it was just a matter of when; this year was the year that many years of determined angling was rewarded. Yes Elliot Fraser (photo 01) longstanding member scooped the trophy for the year’s heaviest trout. Weighing in at 1 lb 10oz it’s not the biggest when looking back over the years but in what was a difficult year on the lochs it was by far the best!

Elliot spent many days trolling the lochs often in appalling conditions but his resolve was such that he continued irrespective of weather that would have seen many anglers throw in the towel! I look on it as a sense of natural justice that his hard work and undoubted skill has now been rewarded and his name is now engraved on the cup for all time! There is a twenty pound note that accompanies the trophy and we tried to hand it over yesterday but he would have none of it insisting that the prize money be put back into club funds! Many thanks Elliot!

We also benefitted from his engineering prowess as he presented us with a pair of expertly crafted rowlocks to complete our set. As a precision engineer to trade there was no doubt as to whether they would fit, they are just spot on! So yet again it’s once more once less as yet another season ends and we have yet again a new and worthy champion as we have had every year. Congratulations Elliot on a hard won Trout worthy of taking our heavy trout trophy! Yet another angler we are pleased to count among our number!
Photo 02 - Where the townies went!

Common sense gone!

Photo 02 shows the entrance and steep descent into Jim Mitchell’s field by the side of the Megget Burn. On Monday a white van was noted parked in the field along with a fishing shelter erected. The problem with this scenario is that the anglers had no permission to be in that field and yes you do require permission as in law it is an offence to drive more than 15metres onto private land without the landowners permission!

I cannot understand how anglers do not know this! The land belongs to someone, it’s like setting up a tent in a strangers garden almost sure to result in police involvement! It beggars belief that an angler would be so bereft of knowledge on countryside matters; I really do find it hard to understand such arrogance or ignorance! Yet again the club is embarrassed by the actions of these anglers; we have spent years building up good relations with our landowners only to see our good work ruined by thoughtless actions of people who go under the banner of anglers!

This site is also a part of a SSSI designated as such by Scottish National Heritage for wading birds and blundering on to the site will do nothing to improve the status of these birds!  If you have no idea of country matters you should phone one of our officials before entering any land and we will keep you on the right track! The bottom line is that you cannot just barge in to the property of others without firstly seeking the permission of the landowner! For the first time in a long time I was almost lost for words! OH AND DON’T EVEN THINK OF GOING INTO A FIELD AT LAMBING TIME OR WANDER ABOUT SUCH FIELDS WITH A DOG!

Mystery cup!

I received a very nice mail from a lady resident in the London area who on clearing out her father’s house had come across a cup he had won in 1905. It was a challenge cup and was engraved with the words “St Mary’s Angling Club Challenge cup presented to William Finch Esq for the best catch of the season 1905”. Mr Finch’s daughter had done some research on the web and found our site and thought it may have been a cup presented by us. Alas it could not have been presented by us as our club did not exist in any form prior to 1933 and as such the mystery remains! It could possibly have been presented by a now defunct angling club in the area as the lady said that she was unaware of her father having travelled up into our neck of the woods. It was disappointing not to have been able to offer some help on this but clearly there is no link to our club! So the investigation continues and we send our good wishes to the family in their quest to find out about Mr Finch’s triumph and the mysterious St Mary’s Angling Club!
Photo 03 - Ben fishing from a few weeks ago!

Another bizarre meeting!

Yes on Tuesday I attended a meeting of the Federation of Border Angling Associations where the only real business of the night was the problem of European anglers stealing our fish. The issue was given light coverage with some of the representatives not really seeing a problem which is fair enough! There was no representative of the River Tweed Bailiffs in attendance I suspect due to them not being notified of a meeting taking place!

It was mentioned that again the attendance was poor as it is always, maybe due in some part to the lack of agenda items for discussion! It was mentioned that maybe observers could be invited to make up the numbers! One of the club representatives was asked if he had invited an observer to attend this meeting and he replied that he had but that the person had declined! This of course is a ridiculous situation as the groups title is not the Federation of any Tom Dick or Harry, it also smacks of underhand and pre determined planning!

Committee convention has it that an observer may be invited to attend any meeting if it is the wish of delegates, not at the whim of an office bearer! Such an observer would also be expected to have a degree of demonstrable expertise relative to a topic under discussion; the person invited to my knowledge has no such expertise!  Observers are not permitted to speak unless invited to do so and must not under any circumstances try and influence any decision made by the delegates present prior to or during the said meeting! The observer may be invited to the meeting only when the topic on which he is an expert is up for discussion and it is protocol to thank the observer for his contribution and then ask him to leave. Clearly then the last meeting of this group was seriously flawed as the observer sat through the whole meeting was allowed to speak on any subject he wished.

This smacks of an “old boys club” inviting friends with the same viewpoint as in the previous meeting regarding fishing guides and allowing them to interject at will! Ordinary members of the associations present might not be too happy to have observers who have not the commitment or resolve to be part of a club with all that accompanies holding such a position pontificating on issues affecting them and potentially influencing others present!

Quite how such a departure from accepted protocol came about is beyond me. But the situation is clear. If there are not enough delegates to comprise a quorum or there are no items to discuss then the forum should be disbanded. Bringing in random observers with no area of expertise is simply a joke which reflects poorly on the forum! Thankfully TTGI biologist was present to give a talk on electrofishing and he stated with conviction that he would contact the relevant bailiff to offer us some assistance! Thank you Kenny!

Photo 04 - Found loch side good when young but these are full of spores!
The wider world in my view!

Blundering on all fronts!

As expected following on from EDF’s lead British Gas have now announced rises in gas and electricity of around 10% with the rest likely to follow this week! This is desperate news for pensioners and those on low wages as prices spiral out of control sending evermore people to the pay day loan sharks! Lord Snooty said he was disappointed by the announcement but urged angry consumers to switch energy suppliers! Did you ever hear of such nonsense? Where exactly is the benefit in switching from one profiteering high charging company to another equally high charging one! The out of touch fool cares less about the millions on the breadline his only interest is in maintaining fat cat profits!

His adviser on such matters is Centrica’s former public affairs manager Tara Singh a blue nosed Tory with little regard for the poor of the nation! A staggering conflict of interest as green policy of energy generation is pushed aside as Singh directs policy to benefit British Gas! Lord Snooty will pay lip service to curbing these robbers. Milliband will do more but not nearly enough! The only way to get stable lower prices in energy is to re nationalise these companies paying minimum compensation to them and charging the public a fair price on the basis of a not for profit organisation!

Alan Milburn the Social Mobility adviser has made it clear that poverty under the Con-Dems has rocketed due in part to soaring energy prices but also including underemployment and wages falling catastrophically behind ever rising prices! The fallout from the Con-Dems persistent blundering is now becoming apparent with “hardworking families” being squeezed towards food banks and other charitable services!

Last week’s Royal Mail blunder selling the company off at half its proper price cheating the taxpayer out of millions has cost us dear, the miscalculation by the rank amateurs that are the Con-Dems sees us plunged further into poverty! The society created by the Con-Dems is but a whisker away from meltdown as the upper classes thrive without limit and those of us on modest incomes struggle to survive and those who are unfortunate enough to be unemployed or disabled shuffle around seeking poverty handouts more often seen in third world countries! Profit has no place in the provision of essential public services! The whole debacle is a rather shameful indictment on our present society methinks!

A puppet speaks!

Yes Puppet Clegg the leader of the soon to be extinct Lib-Dem puppets has spoken out against the concept of free schools which were again exposed this week as being somewhat below par! With unqualified teachers and a random syllabus how could it be any other way! In fact Puppet Clegg was just seeking a publicity boost to revive the flagging prospects of his party of betrayal! Yes he now thinks free schools are a good idea again getting back in with his Tory bedfellows! More insignificant words from an irrelevant puppet! It’s quite clear to the voting public that once you have spoken with a forked tongue you always will! Just another cheap publicity stunt, good riddance to the lying puppet!

Watch the SNP soar!

Probably not because of any burning desire to see an independent Scotland but more a desperate wish to rid ourselves of incompetent Con-Dems! The Bedroom tax has crippled thousands and the introduction of the flawed universal credit system next month will see thousands more to become reliant on food handouts! Rising energy prices falling living standards will lead to the fragmentation of society as we know it! The facts state the rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer the riots of last year are just the beginning! There is coming a period of serious societal unrest everyone can see it excepting the bungling Con – Dems! Shame on the poor fools the destroyers of civilised society!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Frasers Summer Week!

Photo 01 - A taste of things to come!
Frasers summer week!

Yes Fraser Patterson our benchmark angler did indeed spend a summer week at the lochs and promptly sent me a report, unfortunately events at the lochs of significant importance overtook publication of his efforts. So with an apology to Fraser here is the belated report of his week –

to me

Hi dick

Hows it going ? i had a really enjoyable week on the loch.I tried a few new bits without much luck but plumbed the depths and they seemed good so i will try them again another time.I also caught a 6 pounder on a fly  which was good fun.

I had a fish 13lb 4oz in superb condition and when i was letting her go i noticed she had a tag in her but unfortunately she was away so i never got the number.

This my catch return for the week


Sunday 25th - Pike 6lb

Monday 26th  Pike 8lb 1oz

Tuesday 27th - Pike 6lb 8oz

Wednesday 28th - Pike 15lb3oz, Pike 8lb 2oz, Pike 13lb 4oz, Pike 4lb, Pike 6lb, Pike 5lb 4oz, Pike 7lb 8oz

Thursday 29th - Pike 6lb 2oz, Pike 5lb 4oz, Pike 6lb

Friday 30th - Pike 10lb 1oz

Saturday 31st - Pike 8lb


As you can see i caught a few but not so many doubles this time. One night just after dark i caught a eel on my perch rod and when i was bringing it in a pike had 3 goes at it, I never really seen it but the boil it made on the water was huge so I’m thinking it was a good fish.

I caught perch every day but the strange thing with them was i caught the occasional one during the day but come 7pm i was catching them every cast and they were everywhere, under my rod tip to as far as i could cast.

Great stuff Fraser more valuable information for our databank and a good time had to boot, yes this is what angling is about!


Some problem anglers!

The situation over the last few weeks appears to have been very quiet with our patrols not detecting any illegal activity which is good news indeed! We will not however allow complacency to creep in as these thieves are quite resolute when it comes to their fish thieving! There is to be a meeting held on Tuesday of the Border Federation of anglers the top topic being the assault on our fisheries by these people and the measures that could be taken to counter the threat of fish theft.

The meeting will also hear from the chief inspector of the River Tweed Bailiffs as to how they can assist us in ridding ourselves of this problem. If we are to be able to deal with this problem effectively we need the full and unreserved support of this agency and increased visits from them checking the status of anglers fishing on the lochs. I will be proposing to our club that overnight fishing be curtailed in that overnight fishing will be forbidden excepting that fishing which would take place with the consent of our loch keeper or bailiff. This is again a measure that will impinge on the right thinking anglers that comprise the majority of our visitors we hope however that this will aid the detection of the fish thieves and that you will understand the reasons for this restriction! If you are planning on arriving after 6pm at night please ensure that you notify our loch keeper Aaron or bailiff Keith before commencement of fishing!

This would mean that anyone arriving after 18.00hrs who has not obtained prior permission from the officials above would be contravening our club rules. This would mean that the said anglers were fishing illegally and would be removed from the lochs! Such a move would significantly aid us in our endeavours in that if the Tweed bailiffs are planning a patrol of our lochs we could inform them of the number of anglers fishing overnight. Using this method, if no one has been notified as fishing and a group of anglers are found fishing they would be subject to search and then either removed from the lochs or charged with fish theft and then removed from the lochs!

Some of our questions will undoubtedly be answered on Tuesday but it will be crucial that all clubs take note of the problems we have encountered and make their own arrangements to set up detection patrols on a regular basis. This is an extremely serious situation and the outcome we do not want to see is that of simply moving the problem on to other waters eventually settling on one area where no appropriate measures have been implemented! We will be looking for unity and positive action coming from all the delegates attending and pointed letters along with the minutes to those who do not attend lest we find ourselves engulfed by fish thieves and frightening consequences for the waters we manage. I will publish the outcome of our deliberations next week!

Photo 02 Poor photo of the hole in our Arran to be repaired.
Asset maintenance!

It’s never ending, the work to maintain our assets in good condition so that anglers may enjoy their sport in safety and of equal importance that we have the tools required to carry out this work! Yesterday was taken up fully in this vein with one of our Arran boats and our 4.5KW generator requiring attention. With the Arran boat one of the rowlock mountings had disintegrated two weeks ago when two anglers rowing the heavy beast had to be rescued by our loch keeper and bailiff Aaron and Keith after the mounting point gave way (in no way due to them) requiring a tow back to the boat house. As is our normal practice the anglers concerned have been offered a free day and boat by means of compensation for their ruined day.

The work entailed stripping back degraded fibreglass and replacing the lost fibreglass and the insertion of a block of solid hardwood under the rim of the boat drilled out to accept the oar holder which would effectively spread the load placed on this area by heavy rowing. Without going into details we accomplished the task on both sides of the boat the process taking most of the day and the finished job looks to be a cracker! The oars feel very solid indeed and hopefully these repairs should last a very long time!

The club is indebted to Les Henderson our master joiner and Aaron our loch keeper for their hard work on this project. Similarly our big generator was running in a very rough fashion indeed requiring constant use of the choke to keep her ticking over! I had last week de rusted the tank internally as it was leaking through perforations and allowing rust particles into the fuel filter which is not a good situation! After converting the rust to the inert form by use of phosphoric acid a two part petrol resistant epoxy resin was swilled on all the tank internals when cured leaving a hard impermeable coating on the inside of the tank.

When motorcycle supremo Keith reviewed the manner of the running engine he immediately diagnosed a blocked main jet and decided there was no time like the present to rectify this. Sure enough on removing the carburettor bowl and main jet debris was found in the bowl and the main jet partially blocking it! On cleaning the parts and reassembling the carburettor firing her up was music to our ears, the erratic running had gone! So the boat repaired and the generator cured we are again a step forward with our chores. It is only by the benevolence time and knowledge of our members that we are able to move forward. Aaron Les and Keith the club is once again in your debt, many thanks for your help!

Photo 03 - The hole reinforced and repaired!
The wider world in my view!

If you are like me you would have been horrified if not surprised by the actions of SSE one of the big six energy providers by announcing average price rises of 8.2% in November this year! These greedy companies motivated only by excessive profits think nothing of the effect of their price rises on hard pressed individuals who are also being incessantly punished by the inept policies wrought on us by the posh boys!

These posh boys think nothing of a £500.00 bill in midsummer for fuel because they have monetary resources the like of which we would find hard to comprehend! They have no idea whatsoever of the need to juggle money to cope until the next pay day! They don’t live in the real world, insulated by their bank balances filling in their days by repeated bungling affecting the future of the working classes! Yes all their machinations are directed to ensuring the wealthy of the country get more whilst we suffer without remission.

Milliband took a step in the right direction when he stated policy of capping energy price rises for a period of time but that is not nearly enough! The whole manner of working of these giants is flawed. There is no balance in their ideology, no tempering of policy towards fairness, its only profit at any cost! We should not expect the Con-Dem clowns to come up with any ideas of moderation simply because they have no ideas towards this end! They are so out of touch with the struggles being faced by the working classes they actually think they are doing a good job when the stark reality is that we have never in a lifetime experienced such an incompetent bunch of fools as far as we can remember!

The solution to this problem does not rely with the energy giants, they only have one aspect of focus and that is profit! The solution lays with government but not this lot the instigators of the “pie tax”. No the solution can only be achieved by the election of a socialist government whose primary focus is people not profit! Unfortunately on the current British political system I can see no such government, the nearest thing I can see is the Scottish National Party!

I never thought I would say it but there you go, my allegiance now moved from the Labour party (who are now Tories in all but name!) to the SNP! The potential of this party is great, there is among their ranks people capable of embracing huge challenges in an independent Scotland such as nationalisation of these energy companies with hopefully eyes to seek nationalisation of banks, pharmaceutical companies to name but a few, bringing people to the fore and ensuring profit is redistributed for the common good rather than swelling the bank accounts of the affluent! A very important election comes up in 2014 it is a chance to get rid of the ever bungling Con-Dems. Many pensioners will be dreading the onset of freezing conditions and all the Con-Dems can come up with is change suppliers – not good enough! The previous strategy of the dimwits was to insist that the energy companies reduce the number of tariffs on offer. The companies were quick to oblige scrapping all the tariffs that minimised their profits and offered some ease to struggling customers – just another bungle ill thought out and detrimental to the poorest in society! Yes in the coming months each and every one of us will be faced with some soul searching questions! Our future society will be shaped by your decision!

The Royal Mail!

The flotation this week will be a black mark on the calendar, remember it well because it will rear its head for many years to come. It looks like the first blunder has already taken place in that the share issue was grossly undervalued as foreign investors and greedy middle class Britons flocked to grab a slice of the action. The shares are already a third up on the issue price! The Con-Dems couldn’t get rid of the mail quickly enough to try and stop the risk of damaging strikes which I have no doubt will still go ahead and which I support and unreservedly commend!

Just watch as the years go by the deterioration of the service with rural areas having their deliveries slashed to maximise profit! Couple this with the inevitable price rises as foreign multinationals muscle in and in time take over control of the company abandoning all that we cherished with the original Royal Mail! Loyal workers will see their pay slashed and working conditions eroded to the level of a part time worker in Tesco!

In an effort to woo back the middle classes who took their support away in droves to defect to UKIP as the Con-Dem bungling became too much to bear they unleashed a share bonanza giving the greed ridden middle classes exactly what they want – more money at any cost! It’s only days old but already it looks a shambles the full consequences of this thoughtless move will punish the working classes for years to come! Yet another massive blunder, is there no end to this persistent bungling?

Killer Sturgeon!

It was sad but inevitable the sacking of Scottish Secretary Michael Moore! A lightweight in a heavyweight bout against Nicola Sturgeon the Scottish deputy first minister. Yes the televised debate was cringe worthy as Sturgeon landed punch after punch to no reply. He did his best but it was not good enough perhaps an indication of just how barren the Lib-Dem talent pool has become. Maybe a change of name would help here’s a suggestion, The Lib-Duds!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Neds at work!

Photo 01 - N0 7720 a year on and looking good!
Neds at work!

Even although we are almost at the end of the 2013 Noddy season, yesterday saw the effects of the latest assault on the lovely area that is Cappercleuch. This time we were not the focus of their attention rather it was the Glen Cafe on the banks of the Lowes. Yes some misguided Neds broke into the cafe run by our good friends Cath, Ian and Lisa Stephenson. The front door had been forced breaking the door and the lock to secure entry into the premises. Luckily the premises are protected by an alarm linked to a central control room who immediately alerted the family that the detectors had been tripped.

A quick survey of the premises revealed thankfully that nothing whatsoever had been taken which although good news does not alleviate the feelings of anger, violation and vulnerability that go hand in hand with such outrageous acts! The loud alarm probably startled the Neds and cut short their visit. Whilst decent people were thinking of retiring for the night unscrupulous thieves are prowling around to see if they can relieve decent people of their property! Perhaps Lord Snooty with his fine words and invisible actions might want to consider such events whilst mercilessly slashing the budget for policing!

Anyway after the family assisted us after our break in we offered to help the them to repair the door in a manner such as we could with a cordless drill, screwdriver, hammer, chopped strand fibre glass and a knife! It took two or three hours whilst John from the post office secured a new lock from the B&Q store in Galashiels. As is usual in these cases the lock whilst similar did not line up with any of the original fixing points requiring existing holes to be filled, enlarged or new ones made. The face plates on the door and the frame were a centimetre larger than the original fixings requiring enlargement of the recess, not easy with a drill and screwdriver of 1960s vintage with a bent shaft!

Thankfully at this point Ian appeared and having in his motor a one inch chisel meant that rapid progress would now be possible. A good few grunts and groans and many muffled curses soon had us on the road to victory! Finally the key in the door turning and locking the said door led to a rousing cheer from all inside the cafe! Job done, the way it should be, people helping each other out it’s what makes the world spin! Perhaps if those who seek commercial gain from every eventuality in life practised this the world would be a better place! Favour returned as mentioned Ian was kind enough to assist us when we also suffered a break in earlier in the year; it’s the way of old, the correct way! An absolute pleasure to interact with such people!

Nb the Ned who robbed us has not yet appeared in court for the five counts of breaking and entering. I wonder if instead he was taken to Disneyworld at the taxpayers expense by some misguided social work types!

Photo 02 - 7720 whippings intact ready for another year.
Aberrant anglers!

Again we are pleased to report that our patrols have not encountered any instances of fish theft. We had a couple of lads fishing yesterday and again they were high quality individuals who I have no doubt typify the large majority of anglers from other countries! There are in Galashiels a number of shops catering for anglers from other countries and I will approach them this week from the point of preserving the good name of people from other countries which is being rapidly trashed by the thieving yobs that carried out the recent wrongdoings on our lochs. A meeting will take place on the 15th where the main topic for discussion will be the threat posed by this minority element.

A strategy must be formulated by all clubs in conjunction with the Tweed bailiffs and most importantly the police. The only way this problem can be tackled is by swift and decisive action leading to some sort of prosecution followed by a publicity campaign. We had thought of putting an advert in the local press but ultimately felt that our target audience would be too low to justify the expense. The shops catering for anglers from other countries in the area are the best focal point that we have and as such further targeting of these areas will take place!

Some more extreme views received incorporated forming gangs armed with pick axe handles which we will not even consider! I remember being told of a big bully boy attacking a smaller chap who was spouting views about a species of fish not to the bully boys liking, his attempt at a punch failed, as quick as a flash the wee lad unleashed an uppercut on the glass jaw of the bully boy and laid him out cold! An example that shows bully boy tactics rarely work! We must continue with our random patrols with speedy back up from the authorities coupled with an information campaign this will in the end bring us a positive outcome!

Photo 03 - Abrasion wear, what to do?
No 7720 Carter of London bamboo rod!
Yes she has now been on duty for over a year now and has given excellent service coping with all that the angling world can throw and the abuse I wreak upon her. She has yet to encounter a heavy fish as I did not catch any this year but this will come and the lack of it has not spoiled my enjoyment of the rod! I have now gotten acclimatised to the slow and lazy action that can if required pump out a nice length of line and similarly work a short line with sensitivity.

Following the breaking of the spare top piece last year there have been no further calamities with the rod keeping all of its single leg rings and the highly lacquered finish remains intact. The cork handle however is beginning to show some signs of wear where the butt of my hand rubs on it whilst casting. I am undecided as to whether or not I should repair this as underneath the worn cork is a thick wooden sleeve when I had originally thought there would be much thicker cork over the rod blank!

As I see it there are three options (a) do nothing it’s just wear and tear, (b) remove all the cork and fashion a handle to my specification, (c) apply cork filler to the affected area and reshape to blend in with the minimally worn bits of the handle. I will need to ponder this over the close season! However the above has not detracted from my enjoyment of the rod, it does everything that I ask of it without complaint and the pleasing finish gives a good deal of satisfaction knowing it is my own work. There is no sign of delamination, no unfurling of the whippings and the glass hard lacquer remains crystal clear as expected!

There is a resurgence of interest in split cane rods but the price of these new can run into four figures! The more cost effective option is to do what I have done and re home an orphaned and neglected rod. From this you will derive a great deal of satisfaction and it’s not really a huge amount of work and will be accomplished for less than £20.00 not counting blood sweat and tears of course! Look for an intact rod with minimal set in the top piece, photograph and measure and strip it down to the blank and you’re off! A super hobby for the undoubtedly cold dark nights ahead!

The wider world in my view!

This land of opportunity!

The words of Lord Snooty, trying to stir his ever diminishing band of followers at the Tory party conference. I have never heard such a load of tosh! The opportunities for young school leavers are the dole or a career as a shelf stacker in the supermarkets! Oh he banged on about the million jobs created by the private sector what he neglected to say was that the vast majority of these jobs are part time shop keeping jobs with no future whatsoever or zero hour contract jobs of no use to aspiring hardworking families! No one was fooled by the sound bites, empty words with no substance, the trademark of the Con-Dems!

In the same vein was the supposed crackdown on welfare claimants, just another load of empty words about housing them in jobcentres 5 days a week so they couldn’t work on the side! At least there will be a spin off in that the construction jobs emanating from the new “super” job centres will provide much needed jobs because the current jobcentres are too small by a mile! Rattled by Labours correct move to the left and the haemorrhaging of disaffected Tories to UKIP, Snooty is now under ever increasing pressure to rally the troops on behalf of “hardworking families”!

It will not happen, both Labour and UKIP move forward as the backsliding puppets prepare for oblivion and the Tories for permanent opposition. This of course is only correct as the lying puppets pay the price for their treachery and Lord Snooty for crass incompetence! The country has had enough of them and now even the Tories have had enough of their blundering leaders! Yes the upcoming election has the Tories running scared, shown to be devoid of policies that stand up to scrutiny the economy showing a slight upturn but not due to Con-Dem policy it was going to recover in spite of them! Their cry was “let us finish the job” most people are now wondering when they are going to get started!

Just another rag!

Of course I refer to the rat bag Daily Mail! A torrent of abuse that is regularly released against anything that contravenes their values which is basically everything! Even turning on their political masters the Tories, if it suits. Incapable of attacking the opposition on the basis of their policies they have to resort to character assassination even then to avoid being shown up as the fools they are they pick on the dead!

There is a need for an inquiring press but one with some moral standards and scruples, papers such as the Manchester Guardian, the Morning Star and the Daily Mirror spring to mind. Papers who report the news as it is, not twisting it to suit their views! Ralph Milliband was a respected academic socialist holding views considered mainstream in his time, a man of the people that in direct opposition to the Tories wished to see an end to inequality and poverty which are highly commendable viewpoints!

The press regulation report matures this week but I don’t think they will offer any mitigation against extremists such as the Daily Mail. You could blame Rothermere or the editor of the toilet roll but that would be only partially correct. Every single person who reads the Daily Mail should hang their heads in shame for it is every one of them who willingly supports the publication of such filth and biased nonsense that propels this rag ever further into the depths. Just another rag that has a very limited number of uses most being in the smallest room!
No Surprise!
Heard on the radio this week, Lord Snooty was caught out yet again not having a clue about the price of a loaf of bread! Handy tip - ask any working class family struggling under your inept policy's and they will tell you! An absolute buffoon!