Claims, Trains and Hos­pi­tals

Carpworld - - CONTENTS - - Ru­pert White­man

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...

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