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Yesterday evening I found myself looking out over the Mediterranean from a viewing point at the end of a walking trail. I was with Paul Reddish. Beneath us was Marbella and cutting through the haze beyond the still waters of the sea were the tops of some of the mountains of Morocco. This is far from the narrowest part of the Mediterranean but, even from here, Africa looks pretty close. If you travel further west, at its narrowest point at the Strait of Gibraltar the distance shrinks to 8 miles or so and it can feel as though you could almost skim a stone and have it bounce across the water and rattle up among the pebbles of a different continent. View full article »

I´m no expert on the fish of Loch Lomond but I am more of an expert than I was this time last week after having made a trip up to the Loch and to stare, for the first time, into its dark, peat-stained water. View full article »

My son Leo plays rugby and he just sent us a message to say that his team, Whitton Lions RFC, had won the league. This was his first season of rugby and he has obviously taken to it! Being in Spain while Leo plays in London I have not been able to see his weekly matches but last weekend I had a chance to get over there and arrived early enough to make the Saturday game. View full article »

I got no change out of the fish yesterday evening when I tried to sucker them into ingesting a little nymph and so the gypsy barbel of the Guadalhorce enjoyed a relaxed, uneventful evening. To be honest I should have had one when I lifted into a dip of my yarn indicator but without any real conviction. I thought I had snagged on the bottom and, by the time I realised that the bottom had drifted across the river a couple of metres, everything went slack again and the fish was gone. View full article »

A skinny bird

It looks like a great white egret (Ardea alba) has made a home for itself in my local stretch of the Río Grande. This is a really strikingly beautiful bird and a bit of a rarity around these parts. My “Birds of Iberia” just lumps it with the miscellaneous “other birds” that are thrown in a loose pile between the main text and the index. It has nothing at all to say about it beyond describing it dismissively as an “accidental.” If my encounter with it was similarly described as accidental I would have to say it was a very happy accident! View full article »

One of the one hundred and twelve thousand reasons I go fishing is that I manage to grab a bit of solitude when I´m out there creeping along the river bank. In truth I would normally expect to have the river completely to myself but for the usual suspects who tend to hang out there – the egrets and herons and and all the the bugs and weeds and shrubs and fishes. View full article »

For whatever reason plans seem to go in alphabetic order. You might give Plan A a whirl and if there is no mileage in it, then it´s time for Plan B. This evening on the river I got as far as Plan C. View full article »

I fished on Christmas Eve with my son Leo and Johan Terblanche and, as we headed out to the river, I was quietly optimistic about our prospects. I had made an exploratory visit a couple of days before and had managed to extract a gypsy barbel from the Río Grande and the river looked good. It was running clear and there were a few fish around. View full article »

For a few years I have been dabbling in stand up comedy and have performed a few bits and pieces in various staff and PTA shows. People have been kind enough to suggest I might have a bit of a knack for this kind of thing and so I thought I might step up to the plate and try to do a bit of stand up in the “real world”. So I managed to enlist myself as one of three warm up acts before three headline professional UK comedians who are touring the coast. This all took place last Saturday night in a nightclub in Benavista during their inaugural comedy night.

What a dumb idea that was! View full article »

I´m a pretty crap bird watcher if I am to be completely honest. I did try some years back to record in that back of diary I was given at work to faithfully list the species I came across here in Spain. The list ran to more than 40 species when the diary disappeared and I became distracted by other things. No doubt it will resurface one day. View full article »