Saturday, 31 October 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Meatfeasts and Macrobiotes

The thing about pumpkins is that they are seriously underrated. they are also a superfood and an important agricultural commodity that has been used for thousands of years. 

Pumpkins are also one of the last crops to be harvested every year, hence their long celebrated association with autumn, and like the Newey family this afternoon the kids got involved with what will be a damn squib halloween, there will be many doing the same in Britain today. 

It was also a welcome break to get the mind away from the news of a potential lockdown AGAIN after last week insisting the Tier system in England was the way to go to tackle it. (Press conference in a few hours time apparently ) 

The wellbeing for many because there is no smoke without fire given a rather large kick in the gonads again. I'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with it all and I've dealt with it ok thus far, I dread to think some of the mental health issues many are having that are being amplified tenfold at the minute for a virus that hospitalises a tiny percentage of those that catch it, anyway better stop typing, so back to the pumpkins. 

Now pumpkins are high in fibre, have excellent anti-inflammatory qualities, and they are thought to be useful in lowering cholesterol and possibly in helping to fight cancer due to their alkalising properties. 

They are also one of the best-known sources of beta carotene (which the body uses to make vitamin A). Between the flesh and the seeds, pumpkins are also a good source of potassium and vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

But the sad reality is that pumpkins are also an epic and unnecessary source of food waste. Each year,  farmers produce tens of thousands of metric tonnes of pumpkins. 

Apparently about two-thirds of these are sold fresh to customers most of which are used to make jack-o’-lanterns and subsequently thrown out. While carving pumpkins are perfectly edible, they are bred for size rather than for sweetness, flavour and texture.

Pumpkins don’t break down well in landfill sites, and they also create damaging methane — a.k.a. greenhouse gas. So, if you’re chucking out a Halloween pumpkin, make sure it is placed in your green bin. Better yet, donate your pumpkins (preferably freshly carved and still in good shape) to a local farmer looking for pumpkins for livestock feed. Do what we do and make a few tubs of soup. 

Once that was ticked off the list in preparation for a chub session the following morning I wanted to make sure I could fish one swim that I had previously made good, but not actually fished properly. 

Since the first initial perilous pruning the once head high stinging nettles had reclaimed some of the path back that leads to it you see. I wanted to get up and running straight away in the morning and it also gave me a couple of hours to try and winkle out a Barbel. 

Now the wind and rain had been battering the local area throughout the day however there was a break in the weather headed in to dusk so it sort of all fell in to place. 

I'd not really tried a meat feast down here yet (not the rubbish Dominos serve up, who the heck buys that junk !!!), but many of the double figure Barbel I've caught have been on simple spam tactics. My largest a 12lb 14oz specimen taking a huge piece, a 1/4 of a standard garlic spam tin. 

Now I had a few tubs of frozen lumps stashed away in the bait fridge so after being defrosted some decent hookbaits were sorted, and the remaining was chopped in to smaller pieces which would be bait dropped in to the swim just before dusk. 

I gave myself two hours in to dark which hopefully should bring a barbel up to the scent trail if there was one in the area.

Barbel are not exactly hard to catch but obviously you need them in front of you to be able to catch them. 

But I always give myself a time to pack up otherwise I could get carried away. I do enjoy fishing in the dark now but with 'His House' to watch with some Wine with the Wife later, fish can wait if they weren't biting, family life is a balance after all, I don't want everything my own way. 

The swim I intended to fish was downstream from the bankside metal shed which is spooky in itself so it was a nice sweetener for the main event later on. I'm sure it has some stories to tell as it's stood the test of time, surviving flood after flood, year after year. The corrugated shed still largely intact despite showing its age is still provides shelter from any unforeseen storm or heavy shower.  

Now to cut a long story short I blanked, but still the fish would have been fed sometime and that's not a bad thing here because it's very lightly fished. I also fed some bread in one swim for a pre-bait in the morning so hopefully I can winkle something out in the morning. 

I had one chub pull but that was it, but hey, the difference to my wellbeing is unmeasurable, that couple or three hours of solitude from a noisy house is a Godsend. Let's just hope we can continue with fishing, as I type this the month long lockdown in England was announced.


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