Caught by the River

Pleasures of… May

1st June 2009

Jon Berry tells us what dipped his float in May.


We finally moved this month – two days ago, to be precise – from the concrete cultural vacuum of Swindon to an oak-beamed cottage close to the river. All consumable pleasure has been packaged and labelled for weeks, and I could only dip in to the top layers of those boxes whose gaffer tape had curled and loosened. A few gems floated to the surface.

Listening to… Camper Van Beethoven’s anti-US imperialism rant, New Roman Times, Eels’ Daisies of the Galaxy, a Johnny Cash compilation and of course Doves’ Kingdom of Rust, which hasn’t left the car player since we saw them in Bristol.


Reading… Eye Mind, Paul Drummond’s biog of the Elevator’s Roky Erickson, and a Calvin and Hobbes anthology, Something Under The Bed Is Drooling. Not deep, but an antidote to packing, poverty and erstwhile landlords of little humour.

Writing about… cannibal trout for an unfound publisher and railway journeys for the Medlar Press. The blog has been dormant for months, but May amounted to almost twenty-thousand words.

Surviving on… chutney and olives from the local farm shop, potatoes with mint from the new garden, beer by the bucket during a weekend in Fordingbridge, Laphroaig when the sun goes down.

Revisiting… old friends at the Golden Scale’s spring gathering in Dorset.

Inhaling… a new summer, the pigsty at the end of the garden, Vic’s sublime cooking.

Salivating over… a fifty-year-old bamboo carp rod which followed me home from the Redditch Tackle Fair. It sits by the desk with an old Fender Strat, both honey-coloured evidence that deep down I’m a materialistic son of a bitch.

Looking forward to… the publication of this site’s first book in the middle of June, and the first tench of the year the morning after.

You can read Jon in said book, writing – wonderfully as always – about the significance of the River Alness to his life