Thursday, 11 March 2010

Exceedingly Good

The Intrepid Piscator It was New Years Day,the drifting snow meant that two lads barely in their teens,where dropped off with tackle at the end of the road that led down to the canal.My parents had said I couldn't fish but finally relented,Dad grudgingly understood the instinct to angle in the extremes."Be careful"he said,go to the lock keepers cottage and phone if there's a problem or you want to come home".
Whilst trudging along the track in our boots,pretending we were warm,we passed one of the few houses.The occupant tapped repeatedly on the side of his head at us,suggesting that we were not the "full shilling"...On we trudged.
We arrived at the old bridge to find that the canal was completely frozen.We'd half expected this to be the case,but knew we could both fit in below the lock gates where the escaping water prevented the freeze of a small area.
My co-fisher was my cousin,not as keen as I,but a fellow some might describe as "not backward in coming forward"
It was cold and, as is the way with young uns,we soon got bored,having caught just one miniscule Perch and guzzled most of the contents of the flasks we'd brought,we upped sticks and went for a wander.
On the other side of the bridge,just above the locks,there is always to be found a moored vessel of some description.
On this particular day a narrowboat had moored up,it appeared that no-one was aboard and a serious looking angler had broken the ice to fish towards it.We knew he was serious because he had an umbrella and one of them multi-bait tray things with three or four bait tubs in.
At first,he ignored us.We hung around and after a while noticed a pack of Mr.Kiplings Country Slices beneath his brolly....we realised at this moment that we were quite hungry!
"See you've got some Country Slices there"Piped up my cousin...The angler remained silent.
"They're my favourites"he persued....."Oh yeah" he said..there then followed a period of silence as we waited for him to offer us one....he didn't.
"Are you hungry?" asked my cousin"Yes I am" I replied.Amazingly the angler's steely gaze remained towards his float and,in semi-defeat we went for a stroll further up the towpath.
As we strolled back towards the angler he cast out and his end tackle got firmly stuck on the boat, near the waterline.Not wanting to pull for a break,he walked a short way to the lock and crossed the canal to the narrowboat.
We watched in wonderment as he boarded,and made his way to his float,he hooked his foot around the rope that lashed down a tarpaulin cover,placed his other foot forward on the icy sidedeck and promptly slipped and went overboard,half in and half out the water,foot still tethered.He squeeled in horror and called out to us lads for assistance "Help me up lads it's bloody freezing".He looked horrified.............."So,mate",replied my cousin,"About these Country Slices?"!!!

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