Archive for November, 2009

Crusting for chub is an art that requires…

November 21, 2009

Crusting for chub is an art that requires concentration and constant attention to the performance.
I would have no time and no desire to sit down, and a rod-rest is out of the question.
I put a big crust on the hook, dip it for a couple of seconds at the edge of the river to give it casting weight, and then swing it into the current.
It is ignored for cast after cast, using a new crust each time of course, but I am not surprised for I am having great difficulty keeping the line from bowing, for the current is slightly faster between the crust and the bank.
Every time I flick the rod in an attempt to mend the line the crust pulls off course and washes into the rubbish raft instead of curling round the edge of the tree trunk.
If I had some weight near to the crust I could mend the line without pulling it off course.
So I pinch a swan-shot four inches from the hook and impale an extra-large crust.
The bigger crust, once soaked, will give me more weight, as will the swan-shot, and the crust is big enough to support the weight of the shot. It works.
I can control the crust easily now, and on the third cast the water erupts as a nice chub takes the bait. It weighs 3┬żlb.
I have to wait a while before I get a second chub, but it is worth it for this one weighs 4lb 10oz and fights like a demon.
So long did I have to wait, however, for that second chub, I decide to dispense with floating crust and have a shot at legered crust again. That raft looked mighty inviting.
I re-rig with the oz bullet and then cast right to the edge of the raft. Down the crust goes and drifts under the floating roof.
I place the rod in the rest and begin to feed pinches of flake into the current in a spot which will carry them under the raft.
Nothing happens for quite a while and then the rod-tip trembles and so I hold the rod in one hand and the line in the other.
Touch-legering is not necessary, or so I think when the line is snatched from my fingers and the rod slams over from a vicious bite. But I miss it!
How, I don’t know.
When it happens again on the next cast I turn the air blue with some choice words.
On the next cast I touch-leger again, only with a fairly long loop of line pulled out from between butt-ring and reel (see pages 1517). When that bite comes again I go with it, paying out line as the fish pulls.
When all the line is used up I strike, and the solidness that stops the strike in mid-sweep is a tremendous feeling. I pull hard, but the fish pulls back even harder.
The line whistles like a taut bow-string in a fierce gale and I suddenly feel apprehensive. Will the line hold?
I pull harder.
To hell with it, I’ll go down fighting, it will break me on my terms if it breaks me at all.
The fish gives a little and so I give a little , which is a mistake, for the fish takes advantage of my generosity and dives again for whatever refuge it seeks under the raft.
The next time it relents, I pull even harder and feel pleased with myself when it comes completely clear of the raft.
It seems to give up after that initial tug o’war, a common trait with most chub, and is soon safely in the net. A beauty of 5lb oz.
On my way home I reflect on the pleasures of a good day’s fishing. I am already planning to catch more and bigger ones the next time I come.
The next time I will be armed with some experience of the stretch, and experience is one of the deadliest weapons there is.


Sir John had dark hair and sharp eyes and an aquiline…

November 20, 2009

Sir John had dark hair and sharp eyes and an aquiline nose; Lady Barbirolli was tall and stately.
He was scheduled to conduct the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Sunday’s concert at the Orpheum Theatre.
Two days before the concert, Fernie Quinn and the only capable oboist in the vicinity, was taken ill, at which point Lady Barbirolli, who was an oboe player of some renown in Britain, offered to take the part and filled in with considerable distinction.
The permanent conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra was Allard de Ridder, a tall Germanic type, and I used to feel rather sorry for him because he was so often being “deposed” in favour of a guest conductor like Sir John Barbirolli, Dr Otto Klemperer, Sir Thomas Beecham, Leonard Bernstein or even Sir Ernest MacMillan from Toronto.
As a patron of the Sir Ernest MacMillan Clubs of greater Vancouver I enjoyed a happy professional association with Sir Ernest for some years.
The MacMillan Clubs were groups of teen-age students organized in scores of schools throughout the province by the energy and enthusiasm of Marjorie Agnew, a teacher and music-lover herself.
Early in my CBC days she persuaded me and John Avison to donate silver cups for an annual music competition.
On his regular summer visit to Vancouver Sir Ernest would conduct the symphony orchestra in an open-air concert in the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park.
I would act as Master of Ceremonies introducing Sir Ernest and the various artists who took part as winners of that year’s MacMillan Club competitions. The verdant setting of these open air concerts was ideal.
One of the staunch supporters of the Macmillan Clubs, believe it or not, was the famous American contralto Marian Anderson.
Under Lily Laverock’s auspices and she came to Vancouver on an annual concert tour, and when Marjorie Agnew and I approached her on the matter she was delighted to become a sponsor.
Marion Anderson was a tall gentle woman and although plain, had charisma and, of course and that magnificent voice.
In 1955 she was the first black person to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.
On two occasions it was my pleasure and privilege to introduce Sunday afternoon concerts in Stanley Park, with Sir Ernest MacMillan conducting the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Marian Anderson was the soloist.
Some years later, Hellen and I met her again in Hong Kong, where the impresario, Harry Odell, had brought her for a concert.
At a reception afterwards we were happy to see how well she remembered her earlier appearances with Macmillan in Vancouver.

pass the hall and college,

November 18, 2009

pass the hall and college,
to take one’s diploma as a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (from Surgeon’s Hall) and of the College of Physicians respectively. MC 27.
pastry, cannibalic,
allusion to the legend of Sweeney Todd, “the demon barber of Fleet Street” who was supposed to cut his customer’s throats, and then have them made up into meat pies. MC 37.
patent place,
official post, often a sinecure and the nominee usually being appointed by the sovereign or the government. DC 36, 64.
Patent Shot Manufactory (dem.
the tower of Messrs Watts’s factory, 140ft (49 m.) high, was a London landmark. It was built about 1789 and stood to the southeast of Waterloo Bridge. SB 11.
patent theatres.
Covent Garden, Drury Lane, and Her Majesty’s Theatres were independent of the Lord Chamberlain’s authority and to which other theatres were subject, deriving their licence to operate from letters patent granted directly by the sovereign. SB 40.
Paternoster Row,
City street adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral where many publishers had their offices. CS 15.
Patience has sat upon it a long time,
allusion to Shakespeare,Twelfth Night , II.

The main reason for non-completion at later stages…

November 16, 2009

The main reason for non-completion at later stages was, of course and the death of the dementia sufferer.
However, while people were in general very willing to cooperate in the data collection, it should be added that it was not always possible to collect all items of information at each stage: for example, a very severely demented person might not be able to respond to questions at all ; it was not always possible to find a medical practitioner with up-to-date information about a person’s medical condition; respondents sometimes refused to perform all the action tests; it was occasionally impossible to find a key informant to give, for example , information about services received by a dementia sufferer or about his/her housing circumstances.
Where data are missing this will, of course, be indicated in the presentation of findings.
Some hostility or distress on the part of the dementia sufferers to some of the memory testing or depression questions, and to the performance tests, had been anticipated; but on the whole this was not found to be the case. Interviewees generally responded willingly to all they were asked.
The one point at which the research design was felt to have failed to meet its objectives was in the use of the CARE Schedule OBS and depression scales.
Thompson, l986 has discussed elsewhere the major inadequacies of standardised depression scales; and those of OBS scales were very similar.
Whilst standardised scales have the advantage of producing data in a form which simplifies the process of analysis and facilitates comparisons with other studies and they cannot take into account the whole range of factors which may influence an elderly person’s mental state at any one time, or the way in which he or she answers questions.
A study of the literature on the complex process of assessing depression or dementia in elderly people would suggest that such factors might include: the presence of any physical illness(es) or any other psychiatric condition; the respondent’s case history; the use of medication, both prescribed and over-the-counter; non-verbal communication; the observations and comments of people familiar with the respondent’s behaviour; the respondent’s living environment (Thompson, 1986).
With the benefit of experience and the authors feel that a more sensitive and qualitative approach, possibly incorporating a few standardised items, would have been better than using standardised scales for the difficult task of assessing depression and dementia in elderly people. SUMMARY
This chapter has described the main premises about types of care needed which underlay the way the action project was designed.
It has shown how the action and control samples were selected and the research instruments chosen; also how the research design was influenced by the requirements of the action project, and vice versa.
The action and research designs were also influenced by other innovatory schemes and related research; these too are reviewed.
Finally the chapter has described the achieved action and control samples and has shown that they were well matched and that the response rate was good. THE ACTION PROJECT IN PRACTICE
For some purposes the action project in operation can best be described directly by the development officers and their support workers (see for example Murphy and Rapley, 1986).
This chapter summarises the way the action project worked and through the researchers’ observations and their interviews with the development officers, and their analysis of data about the action sample clients. PREPARING THE GROUND
The development officers were in post well before the date on which they began to take referrals.
They were therefore involved in negotiating the initial agreement of the statutory services for the project to take place in their areas, and in preparing the ground more fully so that all relevant service-providers knew about the project and understood how it might affect them or vice versa.
Both development officers had considerable experience not only of the elderly mentally frail, but also of implementing new initiatives in care, and of negotiating with other service-providers.
One had formerly been an occupational therapy aide with elderly people and then a voluntary day centre manager; the other had community work qualifications and experience, and had worked both in a local authority and an Age Concern setting. Neither had been specifically trained in enhanced case management.
During the weeks before the project began and their main tasks were, firstly, informing themselves about dementia and the needs of dementia sufferers and their relatives (by reading, by talking to service-providers, dementia sufferers and their carers, and by visiting other similar care initiatives such as those in Liverpool and Oxford); they also informed themselves about the action areas where they would be working (finding out where the elderly people lived, what services were available and the individuals who provided them); secondly and they informed others about the new project by visiting social services department teams, health authority staff, voluntary organisations, and general practitioners.

The shelter was demolished and traffic lights installed after the trams…

November 8, 2009

[comment off]
The shelter was demolished and traffic lights installed after the trams departed in 1962. 2.
Marton Depot on Whitegate Drive with two Standard trams returning from a summer day’s special duties on the Promenade. 3.
The last tram into Marton Depot on October 28th 1962, as the Marton route closed after 61 years. Oxford Square & Layton Square
During the Twenties, following the neglect of the First World War period and three-quarters of the Blackpool tram track had to be relaid, and this led to extensive disruption of services and vocal criticisms of the Tramway Department.
The General Manager, Mr. Charles Furness, who was a keen exponent of electric traction (he was also the Borough Electrical Engineer) and resisted pressure to replace the Central Drive trams with buses, which were first introduced in 1922.
During the relaying of this track and the Marton trams operated in a complete circle and returning to Talbot Square via Royal Oak and Lytham Road, while the St. Annes blue cars were diverted for the first time to the Promenade at Talbot Square.
So much ill-will was generated towards the tramways that when ” in January 1925 ” public meetings were held to discuss an extension of the Layton route to Hoo Hill near Layton Station, it was rejected by a vote of the ratepayers.
A new bus service from the Tower to Hoo Hill was started in the same year and sealing the eventual fate of the Layton tram route.
By 1926 there were nine bus routes, although trams still operated all the main trunk routes.
Passengers carried had risen from 9 million in 1902/3 to almost 34 million in 1921/2; typical fares were: Bispham and Talbot Square 2d and to South Shore 4d, while there was a shilling return on the Fleetwood route.
The Central Drive line facilitated the running of tramway football specials, and on Saturday afternoons during important matches, convoys of Dreadnoughts and Toastracks were to be found trundling round from Marton Depot.
They were favoured for the job because of their rapid loading and the cars hardly needing to stop!
Twenty to thirty cars could be used on football specials and running to all parts of the system.
When a new Manager took over the Transport Department in 1933, he was keen to modernise the Promenade and Fleetwood tramway and build up the bus system.
To achieve the latter objective, he proposed to close the Layton and Central Drive lines, which had single-track and were subject to many delays.
Buses could more effectively operate them when integrated with the rest of the bus network, which would also enhance its profitability. The last trams on these routes ran on the night of 19 October 1936.
This Page: 61 years separate these two pictures outside the Oxford Hotel in Marton, at the easterly point of the tramway. 1.
Shows Marton Box Car 40, one of the original and troublesome cars. 2.

The cows calve easily and are good mothers, with plenty of…

November 6, 2009

[comment off]
The cows calve easily and are good mothers, with plenty of milk to rear a good calf and with good fertility.
In the eighteenth century the Devon began to spread from its western kingdom and the well-known livestock engraver, Garrard, described it as almost the most perfect breed in Britain.
At that time it was very similar to the modern Devon in conformation and colour: Garrard’s engraving in 1800 showed a dark red Devon ox standing 152cm at the withers, but the bull was 135cm and the cow 119cm ” similar to the “Suffolk Polled” of the time but smaller than the Hereford and Sussex (each about 142cm/130cm).
It was probably Thomas William Coke (later the Earl of Leicester) of Holkham Hall, Norfolk, on the other side of England, who did most to introduce the Devon elsewhere.
This famous agriculturalist, influenced by the Duke of Bedford and dismissive of the Norfolk and Suffolk breeds that later combined to become the Red Poll, brought the small and thrifty Devons to his estates, where he was already known for experimenting with sheep such as the Southdown and the Norfolk Horn and Bakewell’s new Leicester. Coke was at Holkham from 1776 to 1842.
He found that the Devon, although it was small, gave him good quantities of good beef and rather lower quantities of very creamy milk.
His herd numbered up to 200 head, including working bullocks used on the estates until local prejudice combined with shoeing difficulties encouraged him to abandon them for working horses.
The Devon herd, however and remained well known throughout the nineteenth century.
Coke died in the 1840s and a monument was erected to him at Holkham, guarded by a cudding Devon cow carved in stone.
A model farm was built for the herd in 1850 but after 1870 the herd’s size was never more than 100.
It was from Holkham that the first Devons were commercially exported to the USA and though in fact the Pilgrim Fathers, who set sail from Plymouth and took some Devons with them in the seventeenth century.
In about 1800, a bull and two heifers from the Duke of Bedford’s herd had been exported to southern Africa in order to improve the weak, long-legged local oxen.
Late in the eighteenth century a distinguished West of England breeder called James White Parsons experimented to create a new breed by crossing his Devons with French and Indian cattle of unspecified breed.
After several years he displayed the results in London in 1804 but said himself that the calves at one month old were “as fat as quails” and though he declared that in due course the hide, flesh, milk and tallow would be of superior quality and value.
No more was heard of the breed, but more than a century later the Devon was very carefully crossed with Indian zebus to contribute to the creation of hot-climate breeds such as the Jamaica Red and the Bravon and the Makaweli and the Santa Gabriela , and it also helped to improve some of the Japanese breeds.
Despite its Exmoor origins and the Devon has proved as tolerant of hot climates as it is of cold wet ones and is now reared extensively in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, Brazil and Jamaica.
This ability to tolerate the heat has encouraged imaginative claims that it is linked with Indian cattle brought to southwest England on Indian trading boats long, long ago, and others suggest a link with the Salers of France.
Early in the nineteenth century the Devon was shipped to Tasmania and was exported to mainland Australia at intervals during the century until health restrictions put an end to imports.
It has had more than a century and a half to prove its worth in the demanding environments of Queensland, New South Wales and even the hot, dry north west of Western Australia.
In nineteenth-century Queensland it was claimed that Devons produced as much beef per acre as Herefords or Shorthorns and also produced a good proportion of lean meat to fat when crossed with the Shorthorn.
By the end of the nineteenth century the Devon was finding a warm welcome in the American West; there cattlemen associated red coats with good, profitable beef and the Devon bulls proved invaluable on ranches where endurance and the ability to travel in search of water and grazing were essential.