Sunday 28 June 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Pallasethesia and Parapsychology

Now Gyro, pronounced “GHEE-ro” in Greek comes from the Greek word “gheereezo,” which means to turn. As mentioned above, it’s a stacked rotating pile of thinly sliced meat, either lamb, pork, beef, or some combination thereof, with latter-day renditions that include chicken and even fish.

As the tightly packed stack roasts upright, the layers meld together and the grill person manning the gyro rotisserie cuts off paper-thin slices, which he or she fixes in a pita wrap with tomatoes, raw red onions, parsley or lettuce, Greek yogurt or tzatziki, and sometimes fried potatoes and a sprinkling of paprika or cayenne pepper.

Gyro is the poster girl, so to speak, of Greek fast food, even though it may or may not be 100% Greek. It has a surprisingly long and, pun intended, rotating history.

The gyro as we know it more or less today first arrived in Greece in 1922, with the hundreds of thousands of Greek and Armenian refugees from Turkey and Istanbul.

As theories go for how food travels, the above seems fairly straightforward. This being Greek cuisine, rife with layers of history way more complex than a delicately spiced or marinated proper gyro, there are other theories as to the origins of this most delicious if somewhat less than wholesome wrap.

By some accounts, gyro is the scion of a long and old family of skewered meat feasts, one with roots that stretch back to the time of Alexander the Great and his returning armies, whose soldiers were known to skewer and roast various cuts of meat on long, swordlike blades over an open fire.

I got in to them in Shanghai oddly, not in Greece because they had a Sherpa service that was similar to Uber eats and the like. An army of scooter riders would bring food directly to ones hotel door from all manner of eateries, and I found a brilliant Greek restaurant in Pudong . Finish work, order food, jump in the shower, get myself sorted and then a knock on the door. They delivered alcoholic beverages too, you cannot argue with that.

So Coals to one side, whack the chicken thighs over to the other side of the kettle, lid on for 50 minutes, you've lovely tender chicken. Mix it up with the marinade, mine consists of greek yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, allspice and lots of oregano. A simple greek salad and some rosemary garlic potatoes, again another simple but tasty meal that beats any local takeaway.

Anyway enough of the food talk, back to the fishing, a glutton for punishment, most probably but with some rain overnight some of it heavy and a top up during the day, I was back down the syndicate section of the Warwickshire Avon.

The temperature had dropped 10 degrees in 24 hours, no longer hot and stuffy it was a more manageable 19 degrees. The water is still crystal clear though so this session would be another in to dusk.

A similar approach to the last session with one small change, two rods again boilie on hair rigs, this time a pva bag of pellets but one I'd wrap in paste for extra attraction. As the light was going I'd use a lure again, this time a shallow diving minnow. A perch or a chub would be nice, well anything really, after the big bream and most welcome river carp, it was back to summer toughness.

Fellow syndicate member Dave Williams was bankside when I got there, he was finding the conditions testing too, the odd tap on larger baits the order of the day. I set the rods up in a swim upstream ready to cast out and went on the rove with the lure rod.

About the third or fourth cast I had a small perch take a grab at the lure and it showed just how clear  and lifeless the river was. Again in the same swim a small jack pike came for a look but didn't come and grab it. All very halfhearted....

After a couple more swims without any interest I was back at the rods and cast the baits out ready for the hour and a half wait in to dusk. Only a short session again this. Now Dave who was battling a shoulder injury decided to go and left with a blank. The best time was on the way though, when conditions are like this, it's the best hope for anything that will give a bend in the rod.

Sadly it played out exactly as the previous session, as soon as the light went the pulls and plucks started. Some of the pulls quite ridiculous but I knew exactly what they were, yeap greedy Chevin. It was a Barbel I was after, and they are here, a 12lber came out this time last week.

It was past dusk now and the black clouds that were in the distance now appeared over my head and it started to rain, a pitter-patter at first and then a full on downpour. I was starting to get ready to go and then a chub pull turned in to a proper bite.

A fish was on again, the first lift of the rod the disappointment could be felt. A craft Chevin hung itself again, and similar size to the last time. I didn't even bother to land it, unhooking it in the margin. It was 10.45pm, now, with the rain hammering it down.

Time to go, maybe next time then. Maybe it's time to fish somewhere where I know there are barbel in numbers.


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