Fishing, someone once said that it is the contemplative man’s pastime. This is most certainly the case, as without a reflective mind it would surely be a mind numbing exercise. These days of course there is another kind of fisherman, one who can entertain himself with everything from his mobile phone to Netflix. There is nothing wrong with this if you are camped out next to a lake for a week. But if only fishing for a few hours I prefer peace, quiet and a cup of tea.

There is always so much to look at, how could one become bored? But the ideal that is in my mind, when I imagine a fishing trip, barely exists in reality. There are just too many people in this world who want a piece of the peace that I crave. So I must, somehow, adjust my mind to this reality so that I am not constantly disappointed with my lack of an ideal day. Or, perhaps, just go where there is less chance of catching. Is it better to look at a beautiful, peaceful scene with less chance of fish? Or a hectic pond bursting at the seams, with both fish and fishermen?

I know which I would choose, give me tranquility with just the least chance of a bite and I am more than content. I feel I am one with the world and able to feel the echoes of simpler times past.


© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Summer’s Last Hoorah!

Well, what an Indian Summer that was! A week of temperatures around, and often, above 30 degrees in September. It truly was summer’s last hoorah.

Although I love summer, there is a part of me that looks forward to autumn. Not the Welsh autumn that I grew up with, rain and wind and more rain, but the Czech autumn. Here it may become cooler and cloudier but the colours, which greet you every day, more than make up for it. This is the first country I have lived in which truly has four distinct seasons in a year, not in a day.

As I look outside I see gently swaying trees of red, gold and brown. I love being outside at this time of year, nature is at its most beautiful and most comfortable. I don’t enjoy being slowly roasted, as has been the case on some days this summer. Sunny, hot days in Australia were often offset by cool ocean breezes and during the Czech summer I miss those days.

The weather’s mood is changing as I write. Yesterday was the last hot day and today is cooler and I am expecting a storm. But as in Australia it will be a proper storm, will last a short time, and it will be cooler but fresher afterwards. But if and when will it arrive? I live on something of a weather island, often the bad weather skirts around us and it is never a good idea to cancel plans because of a bad forecast.

For me, it is also the time of year to dust off my fishing rods and be next to the river. I am the opposite of most fishermen and enjoy the seclusion of the banks in the colder months. Eating freshly cooked sausages and washing them down with steaming hot tea. I can already taste them now and look forward to being next to some water until the ice begins to form and I am forced to retreat back indoors.

But that is for the future. For now I have enjoyed summer’s last hoorah and look forward to whatever nature brings my way.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish