All our good days

It feels like Spring today. Bright sun on mirror loch, temperature high enough to make fun of my gloves and heavy coat, visibility thirty miles. Wonderful. Literally. That reminds me; in spite of all those sub-zero days and nights and all that ice and snow, nobody here can remember such a long spell of no-wind / low-wind weather.

Continuing my efforts to promote Going with Gabriel. Publication date 11 February draws near and then there's the inaugural signing session at Gairloch Community Centre on Saturday 13th.

I've come to the conclusion that getting book reviews in the national media is akin to learning quantum physics or swimming the channel. But to catch a fish you have to cast your bait, and that I have done, with more than a little help from my friends. Fishing! Reminds me of that piece in GwG where Gabriel has returned to Aberford, is leaning over the parapet of the river bridge, remembering when he was a boy ...

There’s a long silence. Deep in the river, close in to the stone rampart, he sees the darker shapes of good sized fish weaving about in the current. Probably chub. He has a vision of the boy that was himself down there on the river bank with his fourteenth birthday fishing rod. Split cane, of course. Nothing but the traditional best from Daddy. He remembers the pale, shiny octagonal look and the deceptive lightness of the rod, the delicacy of it and the immense precision of its orange and green, hard varnished ring bindings. He remembers the warm feel of its cork handle and the fist clenching, heart stopping moment when his line had tightened and the rod had come amazingly alive under the wild escape efforts, perhaps of the great great grandfather of one of the shadows down there, then the springing back and the emptiness as his fish had broken free. How close he’d been to tears. But he’d looked up to where he now stood and had seen the line of faces looking down, sharing in the disappointment

Of course that boy was me and the place was Abingdon and the river was the Thames.

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