August 9, 2012 § 71 Comments

Tomorrow I am going to a place where the internet connection is intermittent so will not be able to manage comments or post very easily (though my posting record has been shameful of late; many apologies).  But I am only going to be away for a week, so I just wanted to explain now if I go even more silent for the next few days than I have been recently.

If I felt the phrase, “Bear with me,” was acceptable, I would say it, but it is not, so I hope a simple sorry will do.

Oh, and a recommendation for the novel, The Art of Fielding.  I didn’t absolutely love it, but I enjoyed and admired it.


§ 71 Responses to Holiday

  • PY says:

    You could always try “Bare with me”.

    Have a good hols , Ms P

    • Jill says:

      Now a titter, to follow the giggle – actually, maybe not such a good choice of noun…..?!

      Yes, happy, happy holidays, for you and yours, dear P, and don’t you dare spare a single thought for us poor so and soes (?) back here at the coalface…..

  • Enjoy a rest from the interweb, switch it off. It’ll be there when you come back – promise! Have a lovely week & enjoy a change of scene.

  • MissBates says:

    Enjoy your break!

  • Elle says:

    Enjoy your holiday, I hope you’re going to a place where there’s lots of sunshine and fresh healthy food.

  • floose says:

    Have a great time, and unwind xx

  • Emgee says:

    Enjoy your holiday. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a marvelous, unexpected surprise waiting for you? Something to ‘ write home’ about, whatever it is.

  • june says:

    enjoy P, look forward to comments when you return,fully refreshed.with more insights for us all,

  • 507 followers to date, according to caption beneath the Mumsnet – Charlies’ Angels icon….

    And we may have inadvertently discovered a cure for priapism here….

    Life’s funny that way, and many scientists will say that’s how the scientific research process often works- You start out searching for one thing and in the process, you indadvertently discover something else….

    If it won’t relax on its own and all else has failed, then reading through some of Ms. Plankton’s archived posts here as well as the readers’ comments beneath them will do the trick… 100% guaranteed effective, all of the time….

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Did anyone see the Closing Ceremony for the Olympics last night? Did you also get to the part with the inflatable octopus, and wonder if Scott’s jellyfish was going to be part of it? 🙂

    • fi says:

      I did but Scott didn’t cross my mind to be honest – too busy focusing on Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend and thinking there was a couple of middle aged men who still had it 😉

      • T Lover says:

        I agree with Hitchens. What a load of dumbed down tosh.

        Throw in a bit of hypocrisy. Kate Moss and her drugs “issues” on a pedestal at the Olympics. Pete Townsend of the Who – was he not cautioned for downloading child porn?

        Best of British? British values? Ho ho ho.

      • fi says:

        God yes! Forgot about the child porn thing. Still – he’s kept himself in shape. Which is a GOOD THING

    • Scott Benowitz says:

      Thank you- I disassembled it shortly after my 40th birthday- I’ve sold the Christmas tree lights, I threw out the glow sticks and I use the clear umbrella when it rains….

  • maria says:

    I thought Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend looked gross and I was never a fan of ” The Who” anyway. And George Michael looked like a sleazeball. I liked the Spice Girls, though. Why didn’t the Rolling Stones perform at the closing ceremony? I love them and that Mick Jagger was a real hottie when he was young.

    • T Lover says:

      Well according to K Richard (s?) Miss M Faithful was disappointed with the size of his (Jagger’s) todger – and you can leave Daltrey alone he is a trout fisherman so he must be a good bloke.

      • fi says:

        They looked good. Doesn’t mean they’re interesting though – Just that men don’t have to let themselves go 🙂

      • T Lover says:

        If he is a trout fisherman it follows as night follows day that he must be fascinating.

        Yes, and Mr Jagger proves the universal truth – all you women say is is true so voila it is – that men ditch their wives for youger women. Hall for a Brazilian underwear model.

        And it proves the other truth – if the bloke is late middle aged, ugly with a small todger the girls don’t mind as long as he has fat wallet.

      • EmGee says:

        “Some girls take my money
        Some girls take my clothes
        Some girls get the shirt off my back
        And leave me with a lethal dose”

    • maria says:

      That’s just it, Fi. Don’t you think they’ve let themselves go a bit? They looked kind of fat to me.

      • T Lover says:

        Ah but you forget – Fi’s a Jock. The land of the deep fried Mars bar. He who looks slim and attractive to women north of the Tweed might look a bit – what shall we say – full figured to you.

      • fi says:

        Maria and Tlover – you’re right. I was comparing them to Scottish men.

        EmGee – Heh heh. You are a funny woman.

  • PY says:

    Re trout fishing (and by that I mean dry fly fishing) – I’ve often thought that it can be seen as analagous to the dating game. It is the art of seduction, persuading a fish to accept an imitation of what they are really after – the real thing.

    Picture a sun dappled pool with a healthy head of trout languidly swimming to maintain position . They point upstream, surveying the conveyor belt of titbits flowing overhead, on the surface of the crystal stream . Some huddle together close to the bottom, not sure of the day, whilst the independent ones are suspended mid water and they occasionally drift to the surface to inspect something which has attracted their attention.

    The angler approaches with stealth. Too sudden a movement in their line of sight or a shadow over the water and the fish will be spooked . The tackle is carefully set up but what fly to use ? Which symphony of fur and feather will lure them ?

    It depends on the occasion, time of year and conditions. Subdued light, dusk – try the Black Gnat – lightly dressed, this is the L.B.D. or DJ of fishing . Come the early summer, Ladies Day at Ascot – something more brash is needed say a Mayfly, which prances and dances in a frantic mating dance that lasts the afternoon. It is either snapped up early in the day when it first emerges in its gossamer finery or when it collapses exhausted onto the water, with slightly battered wings, in the evening.

    The angler surveys the scene and picks the target. A free feeding fish mid stream which seems to inspect every item coming its way – young, thinks the fisherman, but it will keep his eye in. The slim rod swishes once, twice and the fly lands lightly upstream, just in front of the target. A swirl of movement, a splash and it is on.

    Brought swiftly to the net, with little fight, the rest of the fish remain undisturbed, unimpressed by their colleague’s impetuosity. This is the age of catch and release and barbless hooks are used. The fish is handled carefully, ensuring little damage as it is carressed back to strength and slips away into the depths. It will forget the trauma and will swiftly be ready to feed again. Mishandled fish will sulk on the bottom and be wary in the future of any other fisherman’s efforts.

    But something catches the angler’s eye, an almost imperceptible movement under the weeping willow. It is a mature fish, a survivor who has seen many seasons. Fully grown, it has experienced the prick of the hook before but is in its prime. It sips a fly from the surface and retreats into the shadows. This is an adversary worthy of the angler’s talents and he changes fly to something less ostentatious, knowing that care and guile will be needed to ensnare this one. The first cast is short and gets no reaction, the second and third both fall in a good position. The trout flirts with the fly, moving slowly towards the lure, inspecting it and then drifts away with a disparaging glance, not falling for the imitation. The angler’s heart is in his mouth and he tries to control the adrenalin, praying that he doesn’t botch the next cast.

    This time it is just right. Whether out of boredom or genuine interest the fly disappears from the surface as it is sucked in, deeply. There is a flash of the mouth as the fish turns, the line tightens and the fight is on since the trout does not wish to relinquish its hard won freedom. The angler knows that if he is going to win he must give it its head. He must not be over eager and he plays it like a maestro – give and take of the line, compromise. Finally, the exhausted fish surrenders to the embrace of the net, gasping . The angler admires the keen eye, firm belly and lean flanks of his gutsy prize. Yes, this is indeed the one to take home and the trout is introduced to the Priest.

    PISCATOR NON SOLUM PISCATUR – to fish is not all about catching fish.

    • Emgee says:

      Check out Peggy Lee’s briiliant song, ‘I’m Gonna Go Fishin”.

    • Jill says:

      WOW, what a lyrical piece of prose, PY….you are obviously a committed and passionate fisherman. What a wonderful evocation of the thrill of the chase, trout-wise. However, I couldn’t help feeling a scintilla of regret that your “gutsy prize” did not merit de-hooking and returning to his pool to live and fight again another day. Incidentally, I wonder how many people were foxed by your allusion to the “Priest” – bit naughty of you to use a capital “P”!

      • fi says:

        ? Is that a fishing in-joke? Priest with a capital P

      • PY says:

        Apologies, Jill , a creative moment came over me at lunchtime. Compassionate rather than committed – have only been out on a river with rod once this year . It’s just another pastime that I get involved with . But, as with any sport , it’s good for the soul to empty the mind and also gives the opportunity to take in what’s around you.
        As for the ‘Priest’ , Fi , it’s what dispatches the fish and sends it to its maker.

    • T Lover says:

      Not sure about this. Not sure of the connection/comparison/analogy between (dry) fly fishing and the dating game.

      Fish are cold blooded – yes I can see that one. Their mouths never stop opening and shutting whilst nothing meaningful ever comes out. I can see that one too. But after that I really am lost.

      Why would you want to hit the one with the firm belly on the head? Or does “introducing it to the priest” (a bit of fishing kit which has a passing resemblance to – oh I am so embarrassed I can’t say it) a euphemism for…… now I am blushing.

      • PY says:

        Sorry , Fi , I was alluding to a religious context but , as TLover has clearly pointed out , they also come in all shapes and sizes .

  • Jill says:

    Well, PY, that was quite some creative “moment”….! More like a novella, but having re-read all that you said, I – like the blushing (?!) T Lover – am not sure that I can equate your trout fishing experiences with the romantic “sport” in which men and women engage. (I will not rise to T Lover’s bait (no enticing fly there for me), but he has indeed been unfortunate in life (and love) if he considers all women to be cold-blooded and only capable of meaningless utterances. I have known a few sharks, and slimy, wriggly eels too, in my time, but I do still believe that there is a fine, fresh-run salmon who is cruising around looking for me out there!

    • fi says:

      Tlover. When you first started commenting here – ooh must be a year ago (aaargh we are such saddos), you were quite cheery. However I’ve noticed over the last few posts that a sort of bitterness has crept in. You don’t seem to like us quite as much. What’s up?

      • T Lover says:

        Fi, thank you for asking.

        I like to pull legs. Problem is that if you ruffle a feather when you are talking to someone face to face they see the twinkle in your eye but here – some take you at face value because they don’t know you are a mischief making. Rosie would have been at my sexist throat had I aimed the fish/opening and closing mouth comment her way. It was a leg pull – to see (using the fishing analogy) if one of you lot might rise to the fly.

        In the round I am happier than I was a year ago. Come to terms with my family situation. A girl was in tow for a while but I admit my attitude towards women has now changed a bit.

        Every day I ask myself would I be better off on my own? Do I want to make the compromises a permanent relationship would force on me. Do I want a strident female voice telling me how to drive? The urge to find and pair with one of the blasted things is disappearing. Someone might bowl me over I suppose.

        No, not at all bitter. I think women are just brill. Don’t read too much into enything I say. Most of it is rubbish.

      • Emgee says:

        @ T Lover: You may be on to something. Hooking up with a driving instructor, shrill or not, is pretty rare, I think. Never give up hope, this is a rare instance where ‘taking a course’ may be advisible.

  • PY says:

    I’m sure there is, Jill , but the Atlantic Salmon are few in number and notoriously difficult to get a bite from, as they have ceased to eat on entering freshwater.

    Firstly, you need to identify a known fish holding pool or run of water and get the owner’s permission before having a dangle. Secondly, you must be cast into it at the right depth and dressed appropriately for the occasion.

    Nothing to flash or brash . My own first preference would be for something dark, seductive and not too heavily dressed. Something that covers the shoulders but with a little flash of gold or silver showing around the neck or body as it trips through the waters . A nice tapering tail to provide an entrancing little shimmy .

    A Silver Stoats Tail JC or Collie Dog should do the trick . Tight lines !

    • Jill says:

      Hmmm, PY……leaving to one side your expert “casting”, I think you should know that you are speaking to a fairly experienced fisher. My preferred hunting ground is a tiny little river on the west coast of Scotland, practically opposite Skye, where I know the owner and have fished on numerous occasions. In dry weather it is a mere trickle but when it rains the level rises at an amzing rate, and all sorts of fun ensues. You need to be determined and strong of leg as it is quite a walk to the best pools, but I am a firm believer in the adage, nothing ventured, nothing gained….As for gold or silver at the neck, you must be joking – a sturdy, all-enveloping and breathable coat and a midge net – soooo alluring – are the prerequsite items of dress, and for a blonde such as I, some effective head covering so as not to startle the gentleman being hunted down. I find the element of surprise is my best ally – best the poor chap doesn’t realise what he’s in for until he’s well and truly hooked!

    • T Lover says:

      PY and Jill,

      The British record rod caught salmon was caught by a woman. There is a crackpot theory that women catch more salmon than men and those they catch are bigger.

      Falkus and (Professor Peter) Behan wrote a book on the attraction (to Salmon) of female pheromones. Falkus is now dead. I guess the book is fifteen years old but men still make sad jokes about taking a pair of the wife’s knickers when they go fishing.

      I can’t – I would have had to have hired an artic as the wife’s trollies wouldn’t have fitted in the car.

      Now then. Now and then I like going fishing with a woman. Has to be when the weather is warm. A picnic in loveley countryside , a glass of wine and then a zizz which has been preceded by a bit of grass flattening.

      The other side of that coin. Couldn’t bear to go fishing proper with a woman. They are never that good. They need constant attention. The majority of fishermen are just that men. Does that tell us something about the genetic pre-disposition of the sexes? Just as the Womens Institute is just that – full of women?

      Last week I had my first grilse of the summer. I fished on my own. What a fantastic pleasure to be by the most beautiful river.

      In the next month I will scoff that fish. Real fish really fresh – never seen a fish farm in its life. You townies are clueless as to what real pleasure is all about.

      • T Lover says:

        Gawd, spelling is getting worse.

      • Jill says:

        Who are you calling a “townie”, T Lover? I bet my country credentials are just as good as yours…..And as for your two fishing scenarios, I don’t spot much actual fishing in the first one, and a whole lot of stereotypical assumptions about women and their multifarious deficiencies as perceived by your good self – or am I that poor old trout tricked into taking your fly on the second cast?!

      • T Lover says:

        Yes Jill, the phrase “all women are the same” seems to raise female hackles in a millisecond.

        By contradiction if you ask a bloke whether women are all the same the answer is yes, yes, yes.

      • fi says:

        T- bugger off. Women aren’t all the same. As my son said to me when he was talking about his experiences of all female company ( he’d recently been ditched by his girlfriend and decided to hang out more with his female friends as he thought it was important to have a feminine influence in his life – a very pleasing and mature outlook in a 19 year old I thought) “you won’t know this mum as you aren’t normal, and your friends aren’t normal, but women talk a lot of shite”

      • T Lover says:

        We men have many faults.
        Poor women have but two:-
        There’s nothing good they say;
        There’s nothing good they do.

      • fi says:

        Tlover. What is up with you? Are you
        1. On drugs?
        2. Going through the male menopause?
        3. Just mental?

      • T Lover says:


        Hopefully just 3.

        The banter had stalled, I am bored this afternoon so cut me a bit of slack will you?

      • fi says:

        I knew I should have put in option 4. Bored.

        Why aren’t you at work or, are you like me, at work but still bored?

      • T Lover says:

        I am self employed and work from (my) office.

        I need a change. I am tired of the job and my domestic situation has made things worse.

        So…the Borders here I come and every now and then – to liven up an otherwise dull day – you look to a bit of mischief.

  • PY says:

    If you haven’t read it already, can I recommend ‘At the Loch of the Green Corrie’ by Andrew Greig. A search for the meaning of life and tale of love, death,whisky, companionship ……. and fishing in the lochs above Assynt.

    Have done a few trips up to Scourie and Tongue – love it. Those who have never gone that far are missing a lot .

    And there’s nothing wrong with a dab of deet behind the ears.

    • fi says:

      I’ve never been that far north on the west coast – and its not far for me as I’m near edinburgh. Maybe I should get out more and go exploring

      • T Lover says:

        Yes you should. But don’t forget the midges. Size of attack helicopters and not a one ever cleans its teeth.

  • Jill says:

    Yes, fi, you should definitely visit that part of Scotland, and if you can, take the wonderful train journey from Fort William to Mallaig – reputed to be among the best in the world. There is an ordinary train service, which will drop you at the jumping off point for the CalMac ferry to Skye, as well as the somewhat touristy steam train which makes the journey to Mallaig and back once a day. If you drive, the road has been much improved in recent years. Or you could try even further north, the place that PY mentioned, Scourie in Sutherland, where I spent many a childhood summer holiday with my nose pressed to the windows of the Scourie Hotel, wondering if it ever stopped raining in Scotland, while my father fished happily and obliviously on some loch well away from his frustrated children! Eventually it was a case of if you can’t beat him, join him…..

    Have you tried Skin So Soft, T Lover? As a midge repellant, I mean!

    • fi says:

      I will get my finger out and do it – to be honest that’s one area where the lack of someone to do things with like that keeps me thinking I’ll do it another time instead of just getting up and doing it. And its only a few hours away by car! I’ve been to the music festival at ullapool and camping at fort william but that’s a far north as I’ve been on the west coast. And thurso and john o groats on the right. Avon skin so soft – recomended to me too by friends on west coast as the best product on the market

    • T Lover says:

      Skin so Soft. Yes. I don’t have an Avon lady but understand you can no longer get it as a shower/body wash just a cream. I don’t like it much but Jungle Formula is expensive, tastes horrible and feels odd on your skin. Oh – I have such delicate skin ha ha.

      A big fat Havana is best but with age I am feeling more mortal and am down to one or two a month.

      In New Zealand the guides wear tights to keep out the midges.

      And finally Chic Murray. One of my very favourite favourites. “Where I live it’s so rough, John Conteh is our Avon lady.”. Set me off now – a mistake Jill.

      Try this:

      • Jill says:

        Couldn’t reply to your “all women are the same” cri de coeur above, T Lover, as no Reply slot was available, but just turn your proposition on its head for a momentito, and ask yourself what a bunch of women would say if you asked them if all men were the same. I think you might get a more reasoned and reasonable response. Did you note what I said about sharks and eels above? Or am I just indulging your provocative streak merely by replying?! I think you need a rap on the knuckles from P when she returns……BTW, I quite liked Chic Murray, but much, MUCH funnier was the Radio 4 programme hosted by Jack Dee last Saturday about Gerald Hoffnung. I was crying with laughter at The Bricklayer’s Tale. Well worth a listen, everyone. (BBC iPlayer)

  • PY says:

    Fi, It’s in Wester Ross opposite Skye, many a mile to go to Sutherland but the Applecross Inn is worth the detour – superb food and hospitality

    • fi says:

      I’m really pleased there is a Scotland lover segment of Plankton readers. Maybe when everyone else meets up to party in London we can meet up in our waterproofs and wellies on some windy hillside somewhere 🙂

      • T Lover says:

        Cheeky beggar – I stood outside the Marriage House on the A698 for days , all on my lonesome.

        No second chances.

      • fi says:

        Can’t you give me a second chance?….it’ll be different this time…….I’ve changed…….. 😀

      • Jill says:

        Lovely idea to have a Caledonian fixture, fi, but sadly my Scottish holidays came to an abrupt end with the departure of the soon to be ex; the fishing belonged to his nephew. And what the heck happened to all that earlier enthusiasm for a rendezvous at John Lewis? Come back quickly, P, we need you here to organise this riff-raff! (I still like my idea of everyone wearing a badge saying “I am P” or just “P” so that the real P’s anonimity is preserved – actually, the men wouldn’t need to, of course…..but they could identify themselves as followers of P by so doing, nonetheless….)

      • The Plankton says:

        I am away at the moment but home on Friday and up for a meeting but not sure about John Lewis. Great shop but perhaps we can think of a better meeting place? xx

  • PY says:

    That’s a shame . Did he take his tackle with him ?

    • Jill says:

      Yes, rod AND flies, plus labrador, not that he was much good at it, fishing I mean….. (I think you have become a lot naughtier recently – must be the nefarious influence of this site. Too much exposure to feminine badinage, I reckon.)

  • PY says:

    Name the day JIll – do I wear ‘P’ or should it be ‘Y’ ?

  • Jill says:

    Good thing too, P; I think we need you back to re-create order and propriety here! Hope your holiday has been a great success.x

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