Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The View from Atop the Hill, and Other Stories

The first post from Idler's Quest for some considerable time and it has little to do with Mr Jeffrey Hatt Esquire, the proprietor, and his fishing exploits.

Exploits! Which and what piscatorial activities are these he speaks of now, you may well ask?

Well, since New Year's Day and my last missive they've consisted entirely of selling redundant sea fishing tackle on eBay. I haven't whet a hook or wet a line in all that time, and quite frankly, haven't had the urge to bother to try.

I thought the floods entertaining though. I liked Colnbrook resident, Asif Khan, blurting "It's something out of a horror movie," and yes, plagues of locusts journalists are very frightening in full swarm, aren't they? But particularly loved Chancellor George Osborne's statement that, "rain is not the fault of any one person". A classic slice of politicianese double-speak, but wrong, wrong, wrong.

Oh yes, George, it was one person's fault! It's Mother Nature who should be named and shamed for her excessive behaviour and made to pay reparations in the form of a nice hot Summer...

Good grief, I'd've hated to have had to live through such a winter confined to the upper floors of my multi-million pound Walton-on-Thames riverside pile and do fear I'll have terrible trouble selling the once charming and secluded but now miserable and remote Somerset Moor's weekend hideaway bungalow now or at any time in the near future and get back even half what I paid for the place, when and if I ever manage to flog it off.

Good job I shack up in my main residence. Longford Manor, for much of the year. The crumbling old edifice is also sited nearby a river, albeit a very small one, but was erected by Georgian builders circa 1815 who had the good sense to calculate a decent elevation above the high water mark laying its foundations firmly and squarely upon the moral high ground from where successive residents have always enjoyed looking out the top floor windows and down upon poor people suffering the predictable annual plight arising from the ill-judged situation of their mean abodes just a little way down the hillock.

Bottom of our road during an early 20th Century flood. Poor people's children look on terrified, and aghast...

Daniel Everitt, Duke of Stoke and landlord of the Lure of Angling Inn down by the banks of the River Sowe (into which my own local trickle itself flows) has kept his feet dry and been industriously busy with a mind freed from the worry of pending insurance claims. There's a story unfolding over there that I think you should run over and take a butcher's hook at ~

One Last Run

The tale of George (no, not you, Osborne...) and his desperate quest to end a terrible run of blanks, it involves Esox lucius, and so, as with all good piker tales, I guess there'll be a leviathan coming along at some point...

I think the next episode is due quite soon so get the first under your skin before the next arrives through your letterbox.


  1. Good to hear from you again Jeff. It's been so long, I had fears that I was alone in suffering the politicking associated with the flood of the mansions. Interesting how powers-that-be only stepped up their procrastinating at the deluge when Old Father Thames entered the affray. As to the fishing, only time will tell but in my local Bristol Avon I do have fears for the youngest year classes.

    1. If there's one good thing to come from it all, Dominic, it's that finally there may be due notice taken of the EA's constant warning and advice to councils that proposed new development on flood plains is just plain wrong-headed, ultimately extremely costly and should be vetoed at the planning application stage. The only building that should be approved is a watermill!

  2. The pen is mightyer than the sword....
    Glad your easing your way in gently Jeff....
    You just need to put rod in hand..... & camera in other....
    The phoniex as arisen from the ashes....