This week’s song title headline is from the Rolling Stones’ 1969 album, Let It Bleed. Wouldn’t it be nice if everything in life went our way and every day was a smooth ride? Well, it doesn’t and it isn’t.
Last weekend, The New Saints hosted Dumbarton FC in the semi-final of the Irn-Bru Cup. We’re at opposite ends of our respective leagues, we are full-time, they are part-time. We had the luxury of being at home, they travelled that day to play a game of football.
In spite of all the boxes being ticked, and even TNS taking the lead, it was the visitors who progressed into the final. It’s not often that we taste defeat but when we do it’s all about bouncing back for the next game. Like life in general, it’s not so much how we react when things are going well that determines who we are but rather what are we like when the going gets tough.
You can listen to The Stones via the Spotify link below.
Again this week it’s been the Poachers Pocket set-up for me. What started out as a way of getting more fishing in has become a method of choice. It all began a few seasons back when I was on Champions League duty with TNS in Hungary. The team hotel had a lake on its doorstep and I thought to myself, if only I had some gear I could get some fishing in.
I started to search the internet and settled on the Poachers Pocket telescopic mini-rod and reel. The funny thing, from a Champions league perspective, is that the next season I was in San Marino and Cyprus and both were such dry areas that the only body of water was in the hotel pool.
Then I started to use it in the UK, especially when I was travelling somewhere and it became very convenient to keep it in the boot. Not only is is a very efficient way of fishing when time is tight but also you aren’t leaving gear on display.
Since stepping up at The New Saints, my own time is now very tight indeed. Rather than yield to the situation and fish less though, I’ve fully embraced the Poachers Pocket approach. Although the vast majority of my sessions are very short, I’m actually getting more in. This week saw another ten outings, making that a total of 86 so far in 2018.
It sounds a lot – and it is – but most have been less than thirty minutes. It’s all about thinking – and fishing – outside of the box. You may say you don’t have time to fish but there might be a canal, pool or brook within minutes of where you work. Fishing before and after work, plus lunchtimes, mean you can soon rack the sessions up.
This week I have been on both the Staffs/Worcs Canal and a familiar brook and if you follow my blog regularly you’ll know all about that. In addition, I have done some exploring on some new venues, all small upper reaches. Looking for the deeper water of bends plus overhanging trees, I didn’t even get a touch. That’s how it goes though and bear in mind none of these places are recognised angling venues.
In this context, angling is like life – you can either follow the paths that others have trod or you can create your own. You can’t do that all the time, of course, we are a crowded island and unless you live in a remote area there isn’t much untapped water around. The waters I fished were all on wasteland and public areas by the way.
Four species made the bank this week, with bream, chub, perch and roach all taking the single red maggot. I’ve included it in many blog entries in the past but for those who are perhaps reading this for the first time, the set-up is below.
Irn-Bru Cup semi-final
For the second season on the bounce, The New Saints exited the trophy at the semi-final stage to a Scottish Championship side. You can’t always get what you want. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experiences so far though, not just the games themselves but also the numerous trips north of the English border representing the club at draws and promotional events.
This is the 763rd consecutive Saturday that I’ve published a blog entry. People say I’m dedicated and I guess that’s true. It’s always a labour of love though and never a burden.
The photographs in this week’s blog are from my Instagram account that I started posting on recently. You can follow that via the link at the bottom of this page as well as my Facebook page and Twitter.