Friday, April 25, 2014

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. (Ecclesiastes 3:2) (1)

After the holy dust stirred up by the liturgical choreography of Holy Week and Easter, which led us all in the “Dance” (2) it is now time to settle down and ease back into the gentleness that is spring.  Also a time to quietly celebrate the awakening of pastimes and opportunities that have lain dormant since the first storms of winter crept east. 

Looking up from this keyboard and out over the glories of forsythia in the churchyard I make mental notes of today’s gardening tasks.  A long list this week which began with my success in servicing my lawnmower, and which will end with the digging of a new vegetable bed and the planting of beans tomorrow afternoon.  But that is just for this week.

For the first few days of next week, when rain is forecast and when there will be little chance of venturing out comfortably, boat maintenance and cleaning is in order.  As is the traditional spring turnout of fishing tackle boxes, the discarding of last season’s lines, the oiling of reels and the general preparations for the first cast – which should be soon.

The expected damp springtime will also give me an opportunity to begin to read an Easter gift from a country rector in East Anglia – the book Arthur Ransome on the Broads. (3)  In my “Ransomian” readings and research I recall that when it came to fishing the author hardly mentioned the Norfolk Broads at all.  Neither in his Manchester Guardian column Rod and Line (4) nor in the two Swallows and Amazons books set in that part of the world. (5) So time to learn a little more about waters that I have not visited in forty years – and to which I would like to return and snoop around.

(1)  The King James Bible
(2)  Lord of the Dance.  Sydney Carter 1963.
(3)  Roger Wardale  2013.  Amberley Publishing.
(4)  1929 onwards, Now Medlar Press.
(5)  Coot Club (1934) and The Big Six (1940.)


  1. Arthur Ransome's fishing rods were sold at auction on one of the TV antiques programmes last year. They didn't fetch much.

  2. A sad but true reality. Ransome doesn't have much "pull" in the world of mainstream collectors. Plus, supposed fishing items of his keep popping up everywhere. Add this to the fact that old fishing tackle does not command even a moderate price (I bought two 1930s split cane float rods in Arundel for a fiver each!) and there we have it.