Tuesday, 17 July 2012

"Stop and smell the roses"

I said I’d not update the blog until returning from Redmire……..but today I have found inspiration so will pen a few words….

Today it is summer; I’ve just been outside, felt the sun on my face, warm breeze on my skin and smiled. After what seemed like endless weeks of rain, strong gales and unseasonal conditions which I thought would never end it is nice, pleasant and welcome. It may be short lived, but we live in hope. Suddenly everything is much clearer, trees, hedgerows, flower beds, things that were overlooked due to shielding from the elements, elements that go some way to mask our vision.

I have recently discovered an interest in trees, they are lovely grand things, most have been here much longer than any of us and I’ll bet they have a few stories to tell too. Whenever I fish, actually all the time, I have trees around me and wonder what they are, what species. I shall purchase a book, a guide to help me in my quest to understand them. I feel it will help with my writings to inform the reader of what tree I was leant against, slept against or sat under whilst writing in my diary.

As the tools of my trade change, my outlook on the world around me will follow suit, I can feel it happening already. Gone are the days when I care about nothing more than to catch as many fish as possible. Yes, I still yearn to be successful, but success comes in many forms. To capture a kingfisher on my camera would be seen as a great success, to witness a rainbow over my favourite pool would be seen as success and to bump into a friend on the bank and share a few stories and a pot of tea would also be seen as success.

I think I will be more content with watching, observing, taking it all in. I will make that cast but in my own time, there will be no rush to do so, I’ll get around to it when I’m good and ready. A friend once mentioned the phrase “Stop and smell the roses”. Before now it was a case of “What roses, I didn’t see any roses”. All the time I was too busy hurrying to the water, and once there scanning the water for fish. Trying to work out where they’d be, how I’d catch them and all the time ignoring the important things. Instead of thinking “I wonder if there are carp under that overhanging tree” perhaps  I should have been thinking more along the lines of “I wonder what type it is, what colour the blossom will be, how long it has provided shelter to the water beneath it”. Thoughts that would enable me to unite with my surroundings and, in turn, discover more about what’s above and below the surface. It may sound a bit cliché and worn out now but to get closer to your surroundings has to get you closer to your quarry, I strongly believe that, even more so these days.

Since recently discovering Fennel’s Journals I have discovered a writer who had already been to and documented where I am going. With a stunning website (www.fennelspriory.com) and a series of Journals, some released, other in the wings, it is quite possible to explore how it should be done. He takes the reader to a special place, a promised land he has imagined a long time but which has become reality, and his passion for wanting to share it and take you there is deserved of the praise his writing receives. If you haven’t already discovered The Priory I suggest you do. I was caught in the middle of a transition between two places I had strong feelings for; The priory has helped me decide which path to take and has lit up a runway which has enabled me to do so smoothly and in the knowledge that I embark on this journey in good company.

Swan at Redmire April 2011


  1. I too read Fennel's diary SK, they are a fantastic escape from the madness that is the real world.

    There is always something to see when out fishing, more than just the piece of water in front of you.

    Top stuff.

  2. Hi Tom

    It is indeed evocative stuff. I have taken his writings onboard and shall see thing in a slightly different (and I think, better) light from now on. The biggest message is slow down, don't be in such a hurry. The nice things you'll miss and that's a real shame.

    It looks like the weather is improving for the long haul, well, for a week or two anyway. So the perfect time to get out and enjoy the countryside. I'll be at Redmire for 5 days from Sunday, and I really can't wait to see her through these "more open" eyes of mine.

    Kindest Regards