the road to wales is a cosmic highway, littered with giant pumpkins and louis cyphre filling stations. my soundtrack for the way home was ‘angel-heart’ with the immortal line, “so you know johnny favourite after all?”, “yes, he was my father”. but before that was the morning after where i felt like harry angel being warned off with the dogs, “you listen and you listen good mister”. i took myself off to gromain. a faster stretch than llanstephan with deep pools and boulders everywhere. i was looking for wyndham-barnes’ seat, a piece of rock with an arthurian throne carved into it. its magical powers give you a grayling every cast. it wasn’t hard to find, the water was up and the seat half submerged, but i managed a grayling on a john richardson float and a piece of flake. the day grew darker with each hour, the hills in the distance encased in rolling mist. when your caravan is on the royal military mine will be in the hills. i went down to the tail of the pool under stephen marsh-smith’s house and trotted off the boards. at dusk a chub which took off like a salmon and brought stephen out of his house and down the steps in expectation. it was the fish i lost on the kennet, in fact it was the one i’ve been losing all summer, mine at last. a holy grail of sorts, the turning of the season in more senses than one. i fished onto dusk and met up again with terry thomas. he’d had a 4lb chub, too. we struck our rods and drove back through the mountains past smoking chimneys, barking dogs and brooding peaks to the nine quid curry house on the outskirts of newport.
north wind all week, flocks of starlings on the chimney pots.
and a chicken from the woods on the birdtable