Ian Chillcott Columnists

Good tidings... ''Time & tide wait for no man''

Just my opinion of course...

Dictionary description: the processes of nature continue, no matter how much we want them to stop. It is said to emphasise that people cannot stop the passing of time, and therefore should not delay doing things! For one final time in this current series, Chilly voices his opinion…

Couldn’t have put it better myself. I have spent my life trying to do the things that I have always wanted. But of course, we have to be a little realistic about it. Life can certainly be a pain in the arse at times, but daydreaming about our desires certainly brightens up the day. The problem is trying to make it happen, but I have always believed… where there’s a will… there’s an or!

As a developing lad during the late sixties and early seventies, I always dreamed of fishing for the rest of my life; a life punctuated with me jumping out of aeroplanes and travelling the world. Much of my fishing was trying to steal trout from the River Chew and Chew Valley lakes, so I guess my attempts at concealment and landowner evasion helped in my attempts to be a soldier. Although I must admit having a shotgun fired over my head at times and getting a bit of a beating from the odd farmer certainly helped to hone those skills! And, of course, could you imagine the media response to a farmer doing that sort of thing in today’s extremely “politically correct” environment?!

You can’t help feeling because of the way the world is unfolding, how difficult it has become for the younger generation to develop in a way that is not only better for them, but massively beneficial to society in general. If all of this makes me sound like a bit of an “old fart”, then so be it. The problem is so big, in fact, that it even seems to affect our efforts at enjoying ourselves. It is utterly unbelievable that a society, run basically by technology, can allow itself to have pressed the ‘delete’ button on enjoyment and learning for one’s self. And does it really teach us anything? Or does it just tell us the quickest and easiest way what to do, and screw the joy and satisfaction of making it all up as we go along? I, for one, feel sorry for those who will never have the pleasure of unearthing the things that make life so incredibly exciting!

Learn about the environment from being there, not from a computer!

Now, being honest as always, it isn’t the easiest road to travel, but it’s all about the journey itself and the fun we have along the way, rather than the destination. I remember well the excitement I felt as I dug worms from the compost heap in the garden, and with shaky hands tied my float fishing rod to the crossbar of my pushbike. The ride took me through Brislington in Bristol, onwards up to Stockwood and eventually out into the country on my way to Pensford. A day filling my shoulder bag with trout to sell to my neighbours was always enhanced with a thick ear or a kicked arse from an irate farmer, but I learnt every time about the fish I was fishing for, where was best to catch them, and how best to present a bait in any given conditions.

I also learnt how to evade those landowners, and that led nicely into falling out of a C130 cargo plane. The unfortunate side of this though, was I occasionally made a sad journey home without friends or colleagues, and the proverbial kicked arse from people far more motivated than an angry, shotgun wielding yokel.

I suppose the most difficult part about doing the things we want, is angling for the time to do them. Working around family and work commitments are certainly the most demanding, but don’t those necessary demands on our lives make time on the bank more enjoyable, and certainly much more appreciated? The question then is, “but I don’t get enough of that time.” And again it is something I can relate to very well. If I did a dozen nights in a year whilst in the Army chasing carp around, then I’d had an exceptional year in terms of fishing time. The skill is to learn how to use the time you do have, ensuring we get the best from it. And in terms of carp fishing, try not to make these precious moments about erecting an enormous bivvy, sorting out the cooking arrangements and watching a movie. You can do that at home, and probably be in with just as much chance of catching a carp! Every second on the bank will tell you something, infinitely more than anything you will ever see on a computer screen. Having all the latest gear in your possession isn’t going to be the answer, unless you know how best to use it. And remember, buying all the tackle tart extravagances, and looking like you know what you are doing doesn’t necessarily mean you are “good” at all.

It’s all about using your time wisely

Of course there is a massive difference now from when I began my carp fishing journey. With nothing to read about it, I had to learn on my own, and accept that a carp wasn’t an easy fish to catch, simply because there weren’t too many of them around then. Again, it has changed, and there are more carp than you can throw a hookbait at. But it still needs to be learnt by ourselves, and at the end of the day, it is the satisfaction of making the most of our limited time…the most valuable thing we will ever possess.

And whilst we debate time, I must tell you that Just My Opinion Of Course has now come to the end of its own time in ‘Ology. Not because we didn’t want it to appear anymore, but simply the fact that we have covered just about every subject, and looked at them from a slightly different perspective. Exactly the way I like it, actually! The thing is, we all look at life from a slightly different angle, which in essence makes it so exciting in its own very special and unique way. However, there’s always a moment in our search for a carp that make us all the very same… The instant when the alarm sounds and line is torn from your spool, you, almost in robot mode, pick up the rod. As it arches over, all the personal dilemmas and issues you were probably perusing in the bivvy, will have mysteriously disappeared into the clouds as you concentrate on playing the fish.

“Don’t fall off… don’t fall off… don’t fall off” becomes our mantra, and until it rolls gracefully into the net, we don’t care about anything else. It may only be a brief moment in time, but we enjoy it as much as any other. Just the way it should be! All in all we are basically children lost in a man’s world, chasing childlike dreams and very often behaving as if we will never grow up, and do you know what?… I will never have it any other way!

Take good care of you and yours, and I’m sure I shall meet you soon within the pages of ‘Ology. God bless the magazine, and all who sail in her.

‘Don’t fall off… don’t fall off… don’t fall off…’