Thursday 8 July

Late posting owing to a fishing trip to Ashburnham Place. Having failed to get there a week ago because of heavy traffic, we left earlier and had lunch at the Orangery cafe there. I have been promising myself this treat for a long time. They do the most amazing ploughman’s lunch, with a huge cheese scone, about a quarter of a pound of mature cheddar, a thick slice of ham, a mini jar of onion relish, salad, grapes. At £6.50 I don’t think they are making a great profit. Delicious.

It has now reopened for conferences, which is good news as they have lost so much money over the last 18 months.

Rod was hoping to catch tench, but they were not in evidence, instead he had some very nice rudd, which are very pretty fish, a sort of greenish gold in colour with very orange fins. An interesting event which I do not recollect seeing before, was a pike chasing a fish which was on the line. In one case it snapped it and ate it. There was a massive swirling of water and splashing and suddenly, gone. Rod did actually land a small pike, the one which was causing all the devastation I think. They are vicious looking creatures, with sharp teeth. Like a mini shark. I have in the distant past eaten pike, they have a pinkish flesh. In France they make quenelles.

Unfortunately the tench were not forthcoming, mostly rudd, and a small perch. But the venue is so lovely, and the weather was benign. I always go for a walk around the lakes: there are three.

Yesterday a new experience: a 5k or 10k fun run in aid of the charity “Out of The Blue.” It was very well organised, with a lot of runners. Spectators, apart from parents escorting children, were not allowed. But you can have 66,000 at Wembley?? It is a charity working to support agencies which work with men’s mental health. I will be supporting them: if you are interested, here is the link.

Skip to 19 minutes if you want to hear the joke!!

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