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  1. #776
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    We're off to London tomorrow which is just as well as I over-reminisced yesterday and need to get away for a bit to rejoin 2022. I thought I'd just get up to date before leaving for the Big Smoke as I'll be a bit busy this week.

    When I was 11 we moved from one end of the village to the other. We did this during the school summer holidays, which for me were between finishing primary school and starting at the comprehensive a few miles away, so it was a big summer holiday. Coincidentally, the daughter is in the exact same position in her life right now... she's 11 and if we lived in the village she would be off to the comp in September. What better time than to show her my childhood stomping ground I left at her age.

    Yesterday we walked around to the other end of the village. This was my neighbourhood.



    I spent most of my childhood playing in the fields out the back of our house with a few mates from the street. The farmer must have been very patient with us. I still well remember picking hazelnuts from this gateway. The gate has doubtless been changed in the past 45 years and the style is new, but that was still a hazel tree all these years later.



    That gateway and style cross a small stream where most of my outdoor time was spent. This was probably the first time I've seen that stream since 1978, 44 years ago.



    It's nice to see that lone tree in the field of sweetcorn is still there. I remember climbing that tree nearly 50 years ago and even then it seemed ancient. In my day this field was always pasture and at the end of every summer we'd build dens out of the hay bales and have wars between different gangs. The farmer didn't seem to mind so long as we didn't break up any bales. Just past the corner of the field to the right of the tree is a small apple orchard and I remember going apple scrumping some mornings before school.



    The reason we all spent so much time in the stream was to catch loggerheads. Well, we called them loggerheads but the correct name is bullheads... I don't know whether loggerhead is a Somerset term or whether we kids just made it up. The tactic was to put a small bucket in front of the fish and then touch it's tail making it swim straight in. They'd all be transferred to a big bucket during the day and then put back in the stream when we finished. I had no bucket but when I saw this patch of open water I just had to give it a try. A skilled loggerhead catcher could do it freehand.



    The first thing to do is find a likely looking rock to turn over.



    You have to turn it slowly from the downstream side so as not to disturb the visibility.



    And then concentrate like fuk.



    Once the prey is spotted, slowly move your hands either side...



    ... and wriggle your fingers underneath into the stream bed and slowly lift...



    And voila... after 45 years I still had it!!!



    My first loggerhead in nearly 45 years!



    I must admit I couldn't keep the smile off my face. The memories came flooding back.



    The daughter wasn't nearly as impressed as I expected and didn't want to give it a try. Kids these days are hopeless.

    And just to show it wasn't a fluke... a POV capture, or at least I think that's what it's called. I could have done with a GoPro helmet for full effect as I needed both hands during the crucial moments. This loggerhead had pretty good camouflage but was no match for my near half century old skills.



    My second loggerhead in nearly 45 years! I wish I'd had a mother-bucket cos I reckon I could have filled it in a few hours.



    These are caddis fly larvae on the underside of the overturned rock. If you leave them long enough they'll start to crawl around.



    They make a protective shell out of the sediment on the stream bed and must secrete some kind of cement to bond it with... maybe calcium carbonate? They form a large part of the loggerheads' diet and also for the trout in Blagdon Lake, and many flies are tied to represent caddis fly larvae. I think the stream must be pretty healthy to support this apparently thriving population of bullheads and caddis flies. I was fearing the worst and half expected it to be dead and silted up. We also used to also catch a lot of eels, lampreys and even a few small trout many years ago, although eels have all but disappeared from most of the waterways in the West Country. They are in real trouble.



    The daughter had had enough, so we walked back through the cowpod field, but not before I took a small rock from the stream for my collection.



    And back past the farm. I used to go kart down that hill, although it looked a lot steeper 40 odd years ago.



    And back past the house I grew up in for the first 11 years of my life. It's bigger now, looking like a couple of extensions had been added. We were pretty cramped back in 1978 with my sisters sharing a room. I was now having memory recall overload!



    Heading back towards the village we passed this clump of bushes (to the right of the daughter) where we used to hide and shoot cars with our peashooters. A good shot on the side of car with a rock-hard dried pea makes a hell of a bang and many cars did emergency stops as they had no idea what had happened.



    Here's a likely looking target coming down the hill. In the Autumn we also used to chew up blackberries and fire out the slush through a peashooter. When it splatters on a car windscreen it looks just like a bird shit which all go purple during the blackberry season.



    Back past the primary school...



    We used to like walking home along this wall, admirably demonstrated by my daughter although back in the day it would always lead to detention. I have no idea why the headmaster objected to us doing it.



    But of course there was one last stop on the way back to complete some unfinished business.



    This was a nice pint.



    But this Inch's is absolutely fantastic and is my new favourite cider. It's sharp and tangy and I have no idea how I've not come across it before. It's served in a great glass as well.



    After a swift couple of pints it was time to head on back. A lovely summer's evening.



    As luck would have it, my mother and daughter had an activity in the kitchen planned... to make tiffin together.



    Thus freeing me up for a rare chance to relax and reminisce about all my reminiscing that day...



    Ain't it just amazing how emotive smells are and how a smell from your childhood can bring the memories flooding back. It would be great if you could bottle up a smell to use at will. I'll be taking my new rock back to Korat with me although I'm sure the fresh stream smell will soon fade in the heat of Isaan. And get your head around this... I could have stood on that same small rock 45 years ago while catching loggerheads in that stream as a kid. The stories that rock could tell. It really makes me think.

    The smell of stream... the memories it brings back. I've been sniffing that rock all day.

    It must be the second best smell in the world.


  2. #777
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    I've been sniffing that rock all day.

    Just when I was about to green you for a good post you go and post weird shite like this.

    You and Dill need a room.

  3. #778
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Loggerheads!

    We used to do the same thing back in the day, spent many a day catching them.
    Never new what they were called till now.

    Btw, you should have pinched that glass in the pub!

  4. #779
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    A good shot on the side of car with a rock-hard dried pea makes a hell of a bang and many cars did emergency stops as they had no idea what had happened.
    All good fun!

    Did you ever do the upside down cowpat on the lighted newspaper knock and run trick?

  5. #780
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    Excellent stuff Mendy. We used to do something similar with tadpoles and crawdads, catch them in a bucket and then let them all go at the end.

  6. #781
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    Nice update Mendy, never saw a loggerhead before but brought back memories of netting sticklebacks and racing ice lolly sticks down the stream


    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    Just when I was about to green you for a good post you go and post weird shite like this.

    You and Dill need a room

    It did go a bit weird towards the end, although...




    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    my new favourite cider
    he'd probably had 5 inches inside him

  7. #782
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    looks like fun, no idea what the logger head is
    some sort of Gudgeon?

  8. #783
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    It's the bullhead, or miller's thumb.

  9. #784
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    ^ its an apex predator, its a British catfish, lurks in wait with that big mouth ready to pounce.

  10. #785
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    What is tiffin?

  11. #786
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    What is tiffin?
    Chocolate Tiffin - Cakes Traybakes Biscuits

    It's a kind of chocolate topping with biscuit base kind of thing. Nice... if there's still some left when I get back on Thursday I'll take a pic.

    We've just checked into our Travelodge in Vauxhall and I hate to admit it but Reg Dingle was on to something. It's a trainspotter's paradise.

  12. #787
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    I do believe smell is the best memory trigger there is, Mendip.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrWilly View Post
    What is tiffin?
    I'm guessing a mush of sprouts and green peas....

  13. #788
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    Quote Originally Posted by Topper View Post
    I do believe smell is the best memory trigger there is
    *sniffs*


    Thought I forgot to put on me pants.

  14. #789
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    The smell of stream... the memories it brings back
    Idyllic childhood memories, if our parents ever knew what we got up to.

    Here is a picture of the road bridge, on the right, taken from the old toll bridge:

    A pilgrimage across southern England-bridges-jpg

    The toll bridge, which the photographer is standing on, we used to go spin fishing from at high tide, swim from at high tide and walk under, at low tide.

    The bridge on the right is the road bridge. Where the older kids would climb up to the arch top and jump from, into the river at high tide. Exciting, but when the tide was out dangerous.

    One kid found out at low tide and ran home with blood pouring out of his wounds.

    A view of the toll bridge, from the road bridge, looking up river to the north:

    A pilgrimage across southern England-toll-bridge-jpg

    Up river was "scrumping" territory and gravel pits to swim in. Again with lots of muddy pits to swim in.

    Funny enough, we could never pursued the girls to accompany us. Not that we knew what to do with them, then.
    Last edited by OhOh; 01-08-2022 at 11:19 PM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  15. #790
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    We've just checked into our Travelodge in Vauxhall and I hate to admit it but Reg Dingle was on to something. It's a trainspotter's paradise.
    Did you get the window open? Is it musty in there?

  16. #791
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    ^ No, the window doesn't open which is probably good for the soundproofing.

    To be honest the trains go past so often you hardly notice them after a while.

  17. #792
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    How is it a trainspotters paradise if you can't see any trains? Or can you tell by their sound?

    Any pics of the view?

  18. #793
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    Places you'd never stay in London, number one erm Vauzhall

  19. #794
    On a walkabout Loy Toy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Places you'd never stay in London, number one erm Vauzhall
    If Slough isn't the worst place to stay in Blighty it must be a close second.

  20. #795
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    ^ in the right room you'd get a good view of Delboy and Rodney's old flat from where he is

    In fact he could have rented the place out, complete with blow up doll, for a song

    Del Boy's Peckham council flat for rent for just PS18 per night | Daily Mail Online

  21. #796
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    ^^^^ The window doesn't open but it's still see through.

    The trains on the closest line to us actually block out the light and the passengers can look down at us lying on the bed watching our phones... there is no remote for the telly.

    I must admit I never knew Vauxhall Station was so busy and has so many platforms, it's been very interesting. And it's a great location. Today we walked to Big Ben and tomorrow we'll walk to Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace!

  22. #797
    Isle of discombobulation Joe 90's Avatar
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    Lubly jubly

    Dont forget Peckham market for some bargains!


  23. #798
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    Tiffin is also an old word which I think originated during the colonial days of India, it meant a small meal or snack. 'Tiffin and tea on the terrace Albert?', something like that.

  24. #799
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    Whilst in London, get some decent pie and mash in your belly.

    My favourate dinner in the whole wide world.

    It's a London thing, but double pie/double mash/liquor and a splash of vinegar cannot be beat.

    A pilgrimage across southern England-double-pie-mash-jpg

  25. #800
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    As a Yank this would be a tiffin to me. Keeps the Indian desk jockeys happy and full. A huge and interesting industry.


    A pilgrimage across southern England-download-11-jpg




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