Sunday, 11 May 2014

It’s over or is it?

Photo 01- She has fulfilled her function a new generation created.
It’s over or is it?

It is never at the same time every year; it always varies due to a number of factors. It is of course the annual Pike spawning event that often heralds the end of a sometime fast leading to voracious hunting of prey! The fish above weighing in at 9lbs 3oz had recently deposited her collection of eggs that will bring forward the next generation of supreme predator. Her abdomen was flaccid and the vent showed a reddish tinge and some distension signifying the recent release of eggs. I remember reading that the female Pike carry around 9,000 eggs/pound in weight so the fish caught would have released around 100,000 eggs! Of course survival is low and on hatching predation among the fry is great so few survive!

She was a fine specimen that prior to deposition would have tipped the scales at around 11lbs and for a post spawning Pike she was in excellent fettle with no battle scars to be seen! She took my bait with great alacrity powering off at high speed to devour the lifeless but nutritious Mackerel. After a very pleasing struggle she was landed weighed and photographed. The spawning event however does not take place in a few days rather a few weeks so there may be some that have not yet spawned. What is clear however is that there will be a number of Pike in the loch with a single minded determination to feed, and feed hard! Time now to get those baits in the water!

How to take scales!

Click the link below to see a new Tweed Foundation video on how to take some scales from a Trout you intend returning to the water. It is not a difficult procedure and with practice it is carried out in seconds with no harm to the fish. Contrary to the words of the infamous Mr Kens who attacked us for taking scales, all anglers thinking to the future should be able to carry out this procedure. Our specific aim with this procedure is to determine the sex of our Trout in the loch and it will provide a database for retrospective studies in the future which will provide invaluable information for those who come later.

Etiquette on farmland.

It has become necessary to raise this important topic yet again following a few incidents recently. We have good relations with the farmers in the area, we want to keep it that way! The fields and the stock contained within them are the farmers livelihood and must not be interfered with in any way.

You should avoid if possible entering upon land where stock with young are present and if the beasts are cows your life may be at risk if the cows senses any danger to her young and believe me a cow can run much faster than you!

Dogs in fields of stock are forbidden as is camping in such areas and it goes without saying that cars including 4 wheel drive vehicles in any fields at any time are strictly forbidden! If we hear from a farmer of any transgression of these rules the perpetrators will be banned never to return to the banks of the loch! We will also lend our support to any prosecutions that may be initiated following such an incident! I used to think it was inherent in an angler to fully know and understand such laws of the countryside; clearly this is not the case!

If you are spotted contravening any of the above rules expect to be ejected swiftly with or without the aid of the police never to return! If you read this and are somewhat baffled by countryside rules click on the link below and carry out in thought word and deed all that it prescribes!

Photo 02 the wild primrose to be seen all around the loch.
The wider world in my view!

Suitably ashamed!

I spent some time on Friday looking over the latest report from the charity Oxfam on the state of the UK. For anyone seeking equality and freedom from poverty it is grim reading indeed! The current estimates are that there are 1.9 million adults and 800,000 children living in abject poverty in this one of the richest countries in the world!

Causative factors mentioned are deep austerity cuts, poor quality jobs such as those involving zero hours contracts or part time work, increased cost of living and wage cuts, and severe delays in paying benefit to those in need! Contrast that to the claims of the Con-Dems who claim the economy is recovering with over a million private sector jobs and reforms to the benefit system that gives those in need more!

Rather interestingly Channel 4 interviewed a group of those who had found new employment in some of these high quality jobs. The jobs were part time supermarket assistant, part time green keeper, full time shop assistant, graphic designer on zero hours contract and casual building labourer! There were many more but the above is a typical cross section. I would struggle to describe any of the above as high quality jobs even with assisted imagination!

On a similar basis those who struggle due to delayed or non payment of benefit can be quantified by those being referred to charities in order to get food to exist. The figures are absolutely shocking as reported here previously and paint the true picture of what is taking place in our present society courtesy of the detestable Con-Dems.

I find this situation to be quite intolerable, when you couple the above with how well the well off have done in the crisis manufactured by the Con-Dems. The fact that we have risen to fourth place in the most unequal countries in the world and are almost certain to slip behind South Sudan yes that’s South Sudan with the numbers of poor we are manufacturing is possibly the worst ever indictment on our current society.

In a few short years since 2008 when the numbers in poverty were at an all time low we are now in danger of moving above third world countries for numbers in poverty! Oh the Con-Dems would tell you that they are rectifying the mess left by the previous government but in reality the crisis was caused by the excesses of out of control bankers! What they won’t tell you is how they set back the recovery by initiating years of unneeded austerity effectively choking off economic growth and creating the new class of working poor!

On many occasions locally have I seen proud people shiftily entering the local pay day lender seeking a cash boost to put food on the table. Similarly on the Border news increasingly reported is the establishment of a new food bank in the region. You can believe the Con-Dems if you like but from a variety of sources the news is grim indeed! I would hope the Con-Dem buffoons are suitably ashamed!

The “High Street”!

Walking home one day this week I took some time to browse the shop fronts and display windows of the few shops still operating in the main streets. There has been much publicity about the fate of the high street in national terms and I pondered the local situation. There’s not much in the local streets, the busiest outlets probably being the local Polish shop where the proprietor keeps a well stocked shop with a variety of products and is often seen cleaning outside her shop. Other shops are the ubiquitous hairdresser, charity shop and cafe. I could not help but notice the scruffy shop fronts with flaking paint, cloudy windows and window displays that have remained unchanged for many years!

No one owes shopkeepers a living, but surely there is an onus on them and for god’s sake surely in their own interests to present a clean and cared for look to their premises. Before bleating for handouts (and many have had them) and other help they must surely do their utmost and expend a little effort to entice customers.

The internet can provide next day delivery, are usually much more competitive on prices and no hassle returns, why Amazon even send a pre paid label for returns! Given this is the case there is no hope for the High Street as a shopping centre, it is a lost cause in every town as the internet crushes all comers, but surely with a bit of pride and effort from shopkeepers the inevitable demise could at least be delayed!

By your actions....!

Yes this is the hidden plea from Puppet Clegg as the puppets call foul over supposed money targeted at free schools! After 4 years of unmitigated collaboration with the vile Tories they now want the population to believe the two parties are different! Admittedly there has been a difference all along the way insofar as outright lying is concerned with the puppets assuming the mantle of blatant liars! The Tories at least try and camouflage this aspect of their affairs!

With eleven days to go until the humiliation of the Tory puppets this is a futile attempt to get rid of 4 years of capitulation in a number of days! However although most of the electorate are peasants we still have enough savvy to pick out lies from the truth! Puppet Clegg and his band of lying puppets are on the way out for years of mistruths and downright lies and a last minute plea will make not a jot of a difference! By your actions shall ye be judged and so it will be with the puppets! Oblivion calls, good riddance!

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