the cuckoo and its call never made it as far as the heath, a wanted photograph and description pinned to a noticeboard by the boating pond by the birdman of north london. we had the consolation of a brood of owls that sat on the branches of the yew in the morning sun and shrieked as they hunted in the dusk. the 16th came and went with a village of bivouacs on the dam of no 2 pond and the capture of a carp that broke the scales at 43lbs, a pound under walker’s old record. it died after being caught for the second time in three days, spawnbound, its passing making the front page of the newspaper.
in hampshire on friday i fished with geoff and we found another elderly victim of the unbroken heat that has made every pond in the south a primordial soup of hatches and gas, a perch carcass in the reeds, well gone, but still no less than 4lbs. geoff buried it in silence and marked the grave so we can return in the winter when the worms have taken their revenge and dig up the skull for keeps. in sombre mood we fished on, out beyond the reeds in a shallow bay up to our waist in the water as the rudd came and went and the tench remained capricious.
a gravediggers joke on the birdtable