Caught by the River

Letter from Arcadia

John Andrews | 3rd June 2009




The March offensive has rolled through April and May into the searing heat of early June. Fat commons swish their tails under bankside oaks and swallows dip in the evening sky. The keys on the typewriter seizing up through lack of use with the honourable exception of a piece entitled ‘A Lament for Late Results’ published in that august organ ‘The Old Town Evening Star’. A newspaper you may not be able to pick up at your usual vendor outside the Gare du Nowhere but one worthy of an international audience nonetheless. This edition includes ‘The Grade II Listed World of Mark Hearld’, a photomontage section entitled ‘Cats on Ladders’ starring Fugee from Hackney and Daisy from Rogate and the sensational ‘Freddie Love Story’, the tale of a caravan park totter in East Runton whose son was the county bare knucke crab boiling champion. Its publication has just about seen me through my closed season blues which only have a couple more weeks to run. The only time I wet a line was on an excursion to the wilds on the other side of Hereford where i fished the Wye for an evening with Steve Roberts. The river was full of chub and barbel who flashed their flanks at my Norwegian spoons but steadfastly we fished for salmon like two Victorian explorers trying to ski across the atlantic before retiring to the dining room of the Red Lion in Bredwardine and drowning ourselves in two bathtubs of Hobson’s mild – a very good pint if you are thinking of having a bath in the not so distant. Omens for the forthcoming season do not look good after I watched a shoal of uncatchable mullet feeding from the sewage outflow in Lisbon docks. I feel this is a portent for tench that will spawn all summer and feed when my back is turned and chub that will hide under my feet and laugh in my face.

Captured U-Boat captain drinking tea in a wet duffel coat on the birdtable