Saturday 11 November 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Panjandrums and Pollywogs

It did make me laugh the other day a teacher quit his job after he couldn’t cope even after the first term, you see the 4 years at University didn’t tell him that possibly he would have to work till 6.30pm sometimes, yes,

6.30pm I tell you !!!!, madness…

Eddie Ledsham left teaching in tears after just one term in the classroom, blaming 'impossible hours' and unrealistic targets. The 22 year-old, from Wallasey, Merseyside, filmed himself moaning and said it had become 'damaging to his emotional and psychological well-being'. It all came as a shock to him apparently….wow, what a generation we’re in,

first world problems and all that....

I’d love to know what his parents thought about his toys out the pram and the huge dept he’s left them with. The thing is there is no doubt teaching ain’t an easy profession but welcome to the real world, it’s tough out there, he has received obscene amount of press coverage to be honest, but then any sort of rant especially one that goes ‘viral’ does get lots of attention.

My Dad passed the work ethic on to me and many of my generation are of the same mind, so where did it go wrong I wonder because an easy life seems to be very much the norm for many millennials.

I hate the term 'Generation Snowflake' but it certainly fits....

We as a family up sticks and emigrated to South Africa in to the unknown for two and a half years when I was eight because of the work situation in the UK, that’s in a time of no internet, emails and mobile phones, in fact most of communication was done by airmail such was the cost of making phone calls, and it was out first time ever out of the country.

I actually still remember when we got to Heathrow, all our belongings on two trolleys, the passports and some dosh seemingly left behind in a briefcase by accident, luckily all recovered as my panic stricken Dad looked like he was heading towards a heart attack.

From my own point of view I reckon it’s the demise of conkers in schools and the banning of British Bulldog, too much mollycoddling going on you see, just imagine playing rugby in the snow these days, wouldn’t happen, forgot ones PE kit, vest and pants please, hmm yeah things definitely different in my day.

Maybe ‘Eddie’ wouldn’t have been such a tart over it all, if he was conditioned a little better....

I’ve been watching series 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix where I’m on the Pollywog episode where Dustin finds and unusual creature in his garbage and decides to look after it and after sneaking it in the house in his homemade Ghostbusters trap. Watching the series really brought back the 1980’s to me, the movies, the music, the Bmx’s, break dancing on bits of cardboard, and the simpler life especially for kids where it’s now dominated by having to conform to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Looking back over ones childhood years where I went through a phase of making dens, setting fire to stuff, messing around with CB radios and illegal amplifiers, riding my BMX like a loon and also fishing. You see I used to ride with all the tackle strapped to my bike down to Packington Somers most weekends to try and catch some fish. Usually catapults were involved because of the lack of fish action and climbing trees to retrieve lost floats, and yes I did fall in, just don’t mention the quarry trespassing, even I don’t know how I manage to escape from that in one piece.

All good stuff, what being a kid is all about, sometimes you just need to get dirt under your fingernails and do what kids are meant to do.

I had to move out before I turned 23, stand on my own two feet, like the old man did. It’s something I’ll try and instil in to my kids, Ok Ben has special needs but even he knows that Dad goes out to work during the week to put the food on the table and keep the fridge full and even he has his choirs to do. That’s why it’s encouraging to see Sam properly taking to fishing and he doesn’t mind getting mucky and stung by nettles as a side effect of the pastime of hours.

The other day, wellies full of sea water, socks soaking wet, he just got on with it….

It makes me happy, it really does….

So this session was down at the deep bit on the Warwickshire Avon where I’d lost a decent Zander the other day, Sam was with me this time though and wanted to catch a Pike, so with two rods on alarms doing their thing on the next peg, Sam was using a lure rod, not only to practice his casting but to try and tempt a Pike on a replicant.

When we got there the river looked up a little but still very clear, umbrella out, rods up and out, cup of tea then it was to the adjacent swim with the lure.

Within the first cast we had a small Pike that took it on the drop and Sam landed it for himself, not much doing there for a little while but then a run on the deadbait.

At first I thought it was a Zander the way its head was nodding but then it was coming towards me and staying low. A lean Pike around 5lb or so was quick landed, bait back out.

Soon after another bite and a similar looking fish, this was a much chunkier Pike, small in length but it had be feeding nicely looking at his stomach. Nothing else on the lure and one more Pike banked before a missed run called time on the session. Certainly a well worth while exercise as I showed him how to handle Pike and how to unhook them.

"Wow, look at all those teeth, that's why they are such a great predator"

Weirdly no Zander today, but they just might not be in the area at all.


  1. I suppose that idiot is being interviewed for a job in MacDonalds. On the night shift I hope. Sorry but what a twat. I don't suppose he'd consider the Marines... no perhaps not.

    Love the blog, all the pike on my two drains seem to have disappeared and I haven't caught a Zander for three years. Weird.


    1. Apparently he's got a job in a hotel in Greece, and to be honest not the sort of person I'd want teaching my kids, so good luck to him :)

  2. Top read as always. As a teacher I apologise for Mr Ledsham. Long hours but by far the best job in the world.

    1. I can see how it will be extremely rewarding, best of luck to you.


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