Claims, Trains and Hospitals
After weeks of hype, ever-changing team sheets, half-cocked preparation and a not inconsiderable amount of pre-match nerves, the time had come. Rupert and a group of friends met at the M25’s Thurrock services shortly before midnight on the 15th August. They were finally off, bound for Abbey once more
After weeks of hype, ever-changing team sheets, half-cocked preparation and a not inconsiderable amount of pre-match nerves, the time had come. Rupert and a group of friends met at the M25’s Thurrock services shortly before midnight on the 15th August. They were finally off, bound for Abbey once more. Six minutes later, the convoy had lost its first vehicle, two minutes after that, another fell by the wayside and then there were just two and that set the tone for the week
Having arrived at Ashford with bags of time to spare, the machine steadfastly refused to let me check-in – even after waving an emailed copy of my original booking, stating we were crossing on the 16th August 2018, under the nose of whoever was operating the cameras that oversaw the barrier. They were hell-bent on telling me our crossing was actually on the system for the 16th April 2019. You honestly couldn’t make this sh*t up and it took a hairy few minutes before we were told they could squeeze us onboard.
Another amusing anecdote nearly arose when Stuart and I got off the train and went into the heart of Calais to meet with those that had chosen to save a tenner by taking the ferry. Not only did we almost get caught up in the queue taking us straight back to England at the port, but we were then almost accosted by a fairly unsavoury looking ‘local’ that just so happened to be strolling around the streets at a little before 3am, just as the other two vehicles arrived at our location!
The journey south was thankfully fairly uneventful, barring Chris Cox’s veering from side to side as he’d not had his ‘statutory eight hours’ just a few clicks out from our destination...
Sean and Ash were already in situ, having gone ahead as scouts a few (seven) days before, not entirely in accordance with the group’s guidelines but they’d argue it was good angling, so we’ll leave that there. Sean had definitely found them though and by the time we rolled up, in the early hours of the Thursday morning, he’d notched up over 20 fish.
As is the way with him, none of those carp were deemed to be substantial enough, so he was soon packing down and looking for a move. When we’d arrived, there was a distinct air of disappointment at the available swims on Heron – the lake we had booked for the coming week. So, after a quick natter with Dave, the bailiff, most of us decided to jump onto the neighbouring Fox Lake for at least 24-hours.
... it was no surprise that after half a dozen exploratory casts each, the dark shadows sunk beneath the surface and the plumes of bubbles we’d seen all along the far bank, became just the odd, sporadic patch here and there
ABOVE Ash had gone ahead on scouting duties. This mid-30 greeted the arrival of the main group and check out those barbules...