Caught by the River

Half – Time & Bare Spools

Dexter Petley | 18th October 2007


ah, that road to wales, beetroot 66. all that’s missing from round here is that iron bridge…and maybe the wye going under it. but it’s october brings wales and normandy into line, like the final eclipse, when the moon’s like that dace in your hand, when we wish we’d all been taught by clive gammon.
i’ve had no fishing for a week, grounded with dipswitch and horn failure, not a disease, the landrover, got no lights. last blank on penelope pit and i was bricoling two hours with the mechanism at midnight, trying to get just the low beam on without indicators, trying to whittle sticks the right shape to poke into the switches. i did get home, seeing the world like a magic lantern show on a ghost train. always the only vehicle, and for once i only lit up half the badger’s eyes and the bats didn’t go for the headlamps.

in spring i baited a bare patch down the garden with pumpkin seed. peered over the cabbages the other day and saw a few bigguns, rolling on their stems, orange bellied, big as cinderella’s midnight carriage. rushed to the barn to get the gear. had this one out first cut, 42lbs it went, a right plumber’s halloweaner:

night rains are cold now, moon like merlin’s scythe slashing off leaves. any mud and it won’t dry before april. you’ll be piking soon down sunbury weir, and we’re all left wondering about that monster chub you lost under david jones oak. i’ll go back to writing my novel once the clocks change, thermometer watching, rods at the ready. new dipswitch tomorrow, back fishing by monday. planning the snow carp, rumours of frost

and there’ll be birds on the bird table