Ages back Mark mailed me this beautiful text that he'd written for the birthday of an old friend, Chris. I asked if I could post it here and Mark said yes but somehow I delayed and the file got buried on my desktop. Just found it again, sifting the docs and the folders around.
Back in the day when summer months and weeks meant nowt an there was no judge o time, wa’ed be fishin. Back of Ivans place, bottom of th’ garden overt fence, thru the beans and veg down thru the yards a land theyd all took since builders had gone on elseweir.
Nettles abart yay high, enough to sting yas chin anyroad. Waed beaten some track thru t’brookside with willer sticks. Make good swiping and nettle choppers arm telling yu now.
Anyhow, us had cut a swathe an hafe that dee. Musta bin bugger, yard wide.
An ode willer all ovver angin she was, used to climb her land side, laves t’watter, ode flies and such driftin off it an under it.
Bostin pleece fer a fish t lie.
Alsorts were theer. Them Blue Circle trout, an ode chub, sometime a roach a two. Dace an all. An odd time a bloody sheep, dead mind, floatin.
Them bloody trout, thems the ones, free eatin and bloody currency to them as can fettle em out.
6 casts a chub, mouth lark a rabbit hole, lovely fish, ate em since, not so lovely. Scales and bones and a hint of shit n compost.
Had line on a cork, abart 12 foot, sea hook an’al. Winfield line mind, 22lb strain, quality product.
A gobbet of compressed Slimcea from me mothers, too dry and fuckall too it on me hook, a perfect nettle free cast of abart 6 foot fuckin Bingo, her drops nicely abart 4ft t goo and shes in Troutland.
Bread drops deeper an deeper. Ar can feel the stones as er roles over em, me line feels just nice thru the fingers, this time, this time, summat picks it up me line disappears off top, theres that tension on er and I yank me hand back to get the bloody hook set and nowt. Time and time again the bugger has me slimcea.
A chap called Chris comes down, Ives Uncle. He’d managed to get overt fence so he wanna that ode. Anyhow, he’s a bit of a fish man I gathered off Ives.
Loud shirt and flares, ar thought fuckin nay chance.
Lent im me line anyroad.
So the flared one takes the mantle in t’ nettle highway and compresses said Slimcea with an air of a fuckin boulanger, I ask you. Impressed, me.
Shaky cast mind you, but passable Id say under the high pressure circumstances.
Anyhow, the shite cast took the Slimcea abart 3 foot from the bank under the willer.
Nay fuckin chance youth thal a got a bite from daddy fuckin weed and stick fish theer thinks I.
Tell tale vvvvvvs as is hook gets took up appeared on the watter and the Winfield hawser was getting dragged under an yonder.
Bah Christ the bloody buggers got a bloody bugger on.
A wrestle ensued, tho brief it was.
A Blue Circle Brownie to you Sir.
A memorable hour
First time we met
Some time ago
Happy birthday youth.