Archive for September, 2014

Bass Fever

A little while ago Harry Abbott and I made a little deal. Harry suggested he would trade a float tube for a couple of watercolour paintings and that was cool with me. I happen to be the owner of a float tube already but having an extra one would mean that I could go off fishing with a mate, rather than on my own, which can be nice. Harry and I have fished together like this many times and we have always enjoyed ourselves.

The deal, as first suggested, was to barter the tube for a couple of paintings, one of a trout and the other of a gypsy barbel. But things didn´t pan out exactly that way. As I was showing Harry a few paintings from which to choose his favourite trout, Harry´s eye became fixed on a painting of a black bass. Continue reading

Every so often we come across a rather enigmatic bird here in Spain called the red-necked nightjar. You are unlikely to see one of these things outside of the Iberian Peninsula but it breeds throughout Spain and Portugal and is the largest nightjar we have in Europe. These are real stunners and I have grown more fascinated by them as the years have gone by.

My dog Bonita is now pretty lame and is not up to her once-daily walk through the campo but she and I have, over the years, seen plenty of these nightjars just as the light is fading in the evening. Even on the edge of darkness, when they are actively searching out insects, their hawk-like silhouette makes them easy to identify. Continue reading

Camels in Cártama

One of the disadvantages of living in the middle of nowhere is that the mail never seems to get to you. We live in the campo in a place called Piegallina which is only a little off the beaten track but, as far as the Spanish post service is concerned, we might just as well live on one of the moons of Jupiter. If people are misguided enough to send post to our home address, and this sometimes happens for official documents of various kinds, there is a chance the mail might show up in the post office in Cártama which is about six kilometres down the road. And that´s if you´re lucky. Continue reading

Pearls of Wisdom

I have been alive now for 50 years, give or take. During this half century I have tried to keep my eyes open and to process and assimilate, in some way, the information surrounding me in some vague hope that I might procure some modest degree of wisdom.

So what do I have to show for my efforts? What advice can I offer to those following in my footsteps to help guide them along life´s meandering path? What pearls of wisdom do I have? There are only two. They are small pearls, both of them, and neither is very shiny. For the record, here they are:

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It is now a little year since Norman Smith showed me a nice stretch of the Guadalhorce. He asked me not to publicise it and, out of respect for his wishes, I will say little beyond the fact that it is a little way off the beaten track. It was November when we visited this particular stretch and there were fish in the margins. We saw a few carp, some nice ones too, and even managed to catch a couple.

I visited this part of the river again yesterday evening and it seemed well out of sorts. Some guy I met on here earlier in the summer told me that the river had been polluted some way upstream and a local goat herder had seen a lot of dead barbel and carp on the surface a few days previously. It certainly seemed yesterday as though many of the fish were gone. Continue reading