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The Final Push, Some Tastings, Some Fishing

The River Avon at Little Durnford

Last Friday was d-day or, rather, b-day: the date on which it was predicted by the midwife that Victoria would give birth. Tension is mounting, largely in V's waistline. I am told by all and sundry mothers that Victoria is extraordinarily compact and, indeed, we meet some women who have months to go and who are several times the circumference of Mrs B. Nevertheless, I continue to be impressed by the dimensions of the dome that makes up Victoria's middle regions, now as taut as John Bonham's snare drum after Knebworth.

V's mother has been staying, hopeful, I think, that she might be here on our return from hospital, new grandchild in tow. Alas, Gill is to return home this afternoon, as Victoria's entire being suggests one who is happy to expand like a supernova i.e. ad infinitum.

I have been whizzing up and down the M4 over the last few days, visiting London to attend a number of tastings that I considered unmissable. In truth, I drive slowly up and quickly back, as I resent time spent in Capital City. I spent twelve years living there and regret leaving not one bit. And I have been tasting some very serious wines indeed; wines that I intend to offer soon. Keep an eye out at if you are not on our mailing list.

Victoria is very understanding of my hobbies, especially the main one, fishing. Three days ago I headed down to the Woodfords north of Salisbury, there to chuck flies at unsuspecting fish in the hope that one of them might be stupid enough to grab my offerings. I hit a rich seam of form. The weather was warm, the water slightly cloudy (giving the fish less chance to examine my fly before deciding that it may represent a proteinous mouthful); I flicked little clumps of feather and fur hither and yon. Fish came willingly: 4 brown trout and 6 grayling, that beautiful relative of the trout that falls into the category of course fish due to the season in which is breeds.

I returned everything that I caught. Don't get me wrong, I am no died-in-the-wool catch-and-release nut. It's just that we have fish in the freezer and, besides, I like releasing them watching them settle back into their aqueous homes. Perhaps next time I go they'll have put on an ounce or two and be just as willing!
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