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Winding down  -  angling as one gets older and frailer.

 

Having caught shark, marlin, and sturgeon over 300 lb, and several hundred species from places as diverse as the Amazon Basin, the Australian outback, the Southern Ocean, the Caribbean coral flats and the streams of the American Divide. It is with some disbelief that I find age, muscle weakness and increasingly severe angina drastically limiting where I can fish.  I have always loved catching wild fish in wild places, which has had me fishing in all seven oceans, and six of the seven continents. (went to the seventh – Antarctica – bird watching, didn’t fish as ice too thick),

So, my choice is either to give up fishing altogether, or re-appraise the easier club lakes, and even the despised “carp-filled mud puddles” that are the only accessible waters for someone who suffers intense chest pain (think elephant standing on chest) if required to walk more than 20 yards, to do anything in a hurry or stand up for more than three minutes. The only saving grace is that a dose of nitroglycerine ends the pain in about three to five minutes.  Thus a distance of 60 yards needs three doses of nitro and three periods of five-minute rest. No good for a roving hillstream fisher !

So after thought, I made my choice, ie fishing from a chair is better than no fishing.  So  I  have to fish only those swims I can get to – no sussing out where the fish are, no roving, no scrambling into difficult swims.  But then, I am no worse off  than the match fisherman who has to fish the peg he or she has drawn – so - you can only catch the fish in front of you or those you can entice into your swim. This in turn means one has to revise one’s expectations and set a realistic target.  Above all remember this is not a match, so no need to hurry – fishing is a leisure sport – not an Olympic time-trial.

On the plus side, I have been fishing alone since the age of seven, so have eighty years experience to draw upon, allied to which I have had the good fortune to fish with some very good anglers indeed, so I must have learnt something.   My adventures henceforth might be of interest to others confined to easily accessible swims. Here are three waters I fished this  last week.  Norma and I decided to have a week in the campervan, visiting bird reserves, and staying at camping sites offering fishing.

Norma would lead the birding trips, with me following on a hired mobility scooter. And I would lead the fishing trips, with Norma doing the netting, fish handling, and returning. Weighing and photography would be kept to a minimum.  Occasional casting , loose feeding and playing a fish I can cope with.  Handling any fish of two pounds upwards and getting it safely back into the water has me reaching for the nitro, so I am fortunate that Norma can take that on, and it gives me a short rest after playing a fish to the net. 

NB All venues had similar rules, No bread, No floating baits, No braid, No barbs, No microbarbs No baiting with boilies.

So – Venue 1

Swim 20 yards from the campervan.  Flat grassy bank, water surface one foot below the bank and one foot deep tight against the bank.  Even slope outwards - the depth at a rod length out was 3 ft,  A narrow fringe of Norfolk reed with an eight foot  gap and a  bottom of fine gravel with a little silt comprised my swim. The plummet told me that further from the shore the silt became thicker.  What was out there ?

Keeping my hands low, I flicked 3 or 4 maggots into the swim, and kept doing that until small rudd and small perch began to assemble, then switched to sweet corn (no result) then small Spam cubes which brought better rudd and some small carp.   Persistent loose feeding for about fifteen minutes brought nothing bigger than half-pound rudd and two pound carp. Observation of other anglers showed similar fish being caught from other swims.   Having assessed the swim, time to fish.   Set my targets, 2lb carp, half-pound rudd, and see how close to the bank I could hook a carp.

Tried several baits, maggot, dendrobena worms, Spam, sweet corn, Caught on all of them, except sweet corn (not a bite, neither on its own nor in combination with other baits)  Most baits free-lined with perhaps a BB shot to provide casting weight.  To stop dendys from wriggling off a barbless hook (or being sucked off) a soft pellet was used

Result.   Lots of small perch, medium sized rudd to half a pound, about a score of carp all between ¾ and 3 lb.   Nearest to bank, (a carp) half an inch !

Comment – Won’t fish there again, just too easy.  Could have caught many more if prepared to hurry, but as stated before, that’s not my style.

 

Venue 2

Swim about 30 yds from van, ground level, so did it in one hop. A small pool about 80 yds by 30 yds,   the owner said it held lots of carp (true). some bream, (unconfirmed)  with “the biggest carp over 20 lb” (taken with a pinch of salt – you can safely divide most owner’s estimates by a factor of three) About four feet deep close to the bank with the water about 3 feet down a near-vertical bank, little vegetation on bank. Bottom very silty. 

There was a howling Easterly that day and a bright sun, no cloud..

“When the East wind blows and the sun shines bright,

Then don’t expect the fish to bite”                 

A bad omen, but I heeded the other one        “”Carp follow the wind, and the stronger the wind, the  more strongly they follow it”                    So I elected to fish into the teeth of the gale.  The swim was not the nearest to the van, so that was one principle out the window.    Sat well back from the water, flicked a few Spam chunks in and cautiously peeped over. There was a rugby scrum of carp after the slowly sinking Spam pieces. All from about two pounds to around 8 , Now one thing I have learnt is that carp become fearless (or maybe just careless) in choppy water so I elected to fish tightline, just a hook in a lump of Spam  dangled into the choppy waves.  The fish fought to get at the bait – very often all one could see were seven or eight round open mouths all seeking the same chunk of Spam and shouldering the other carp out of the way. I did my best to keep the bait away from the smaller fish and keep it available for anything that looked to be over 7.   I only partially succeeded, as out of 15 carp landed, 12 looked about 6 lb or less, 3 of greater weight..   Norma weighed the biggest – just over eight.pound.    Retired for an early tea.

Comment  There were people up the other end catching two pounders,as fast as they could pull them in - the place was absolutely stuffed with carp.   “Shooting fish in a barrel” came to mind.    

 

Venue 3

This swim was “difficult” as it was 70 yards from the van, and uphill all the way.  Two stops for nitro and the second needed a big dose and a fifteen minute rest.

The East wind had gone and it was a hot sunny day. There was an island in the lake and breeching carp by it, but only fishable from some steep swims on the opposite bank. Too far away, too unfriendly, so elected to fish the nearest swim , Steep, but some negotiable steps down to it. This was a bit like venue 1 – but a far thicker fringe of Norfolk reed, The channel leading into the lake was therefore twice as long, about 20 ft, This channel was 6 inches deep at the bankside and about 2 ft where it met the main lake.

Fishing through the gap into the lake produced rudd to half a pound up in the water, and nothing at all on the bottom.   So I elected to bait up the outer part of the channel – it was fairly clear water and I could see there was nothing there, but I hoped to entice something in.

A liberal dose of groundbait was laid down in the outer LH corner of the channel with  plenty of Spam chunks and halibut pellets (the maggots and dendrobenas were long gone) The afternoon wore on, still no action, the sun sank, and in the early dusk came the action I was hoping for. Carp patrol the margins at such a time, looking for the discarded bait that departing anglers leave behind.  One was in the channel ! We waited motionless whilst it mopped up every piece of Spam, before picking up the hookbait and shooting into the LH reedbed.   Lets say it tried to shoot into the reeds, for by now I was holding it rather harder than my 6 lb Maxima justified.    Good old Maxima – tough as old boots. A bit more stick and the carp decided to try the RH reedbed instead, only to find itself hitting the back of the net wielded by the expert netswoman who I was wise enough to marry.

Result was a very angry carp thrashing about in the net, but fortunately the hook came free easily, the net handle was unscrewed, and the carp weighed  (8lb) and returned, still thrashing angrily.

That experience was a bit more worthwhile, I felt I worked for and deserved that fish.

Comment  After two somewhat disappointing results, it was nice to feel that with advancing years a bit of experience and watercraft has been accumulated over a lifetime and to a small extent can compensate  for the handicap of reduced mobility.

Watch this space.

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RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Winding down  -  angling as one gets older and frailer.   Having caught shark, marlin, and sturgeon over 300 lb, and several hundred species from places as diverse as the Amazon Basin, the A

Chris, Steve - I have a draft for another book, following on from A.V.    My indoor hobby, now that tackle making and fly-tying are beyond my tremor-racked hands,  is postal history, especially rail-r

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You dont have to wind down just wise up lol

If you want easy access try the CC&C site at east horsley,try and book a pitch by the pond ,the fishing isnt difficult but best of all no maggots (or rather when we camped full time in 2001) but i think probably still the rule we cant have live animals providing sport today shock horror!

If you cant walk get a frickin buggy you old scrote ,theres fish waiting you haven't caught all the British ones yet

The camping and caravan mob have lots of fishing and no excuses today you can google and see what the terrain is before you go ,if your camper hasnt a built in garage stick a trailer on the back with a ramp on it and tow your top of the range fishing electric buggy in it and put your gear in ITS trailer .

One of the old buys who used to fish stockbridge pond drove down from Mitchum with a trailer in the back was his buggy and on the back was his trailer with his gear in it ,parked up drove off did his fishing then drove back on the trailer and back home 

Edited by chesters1

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

Grangers law : anything i say will  turn out the opposite or not happen at all!

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

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Good to see you back posting and fishing Dave, and catching of course. You know only too well my thoughts on the 'stuffed with carp' waters, but seeing as it's you, I'll let you off.😉😀

I saw a post on another forum that reminded me of you. It's from 2018, you might have seen it, but it's here just in case you haven't, and it might be of interest to others.

http://www.dickwalker.co.uk/

I hope the link works, if not it's about the 100th anniversary of Dick Walker. There are interviews and articles about him and his exploits over the years. It brought back many memories from my youth, and plenty of stuff I didn't know.

John. 

Angling is more than just catching fish, if it wasn't it would just be called 'catching'......... John

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11 hours ago, gozzer said:

Good to see you back posting and fishing Dave, and catching of course. You know only too well my thoughts on the 'stuffed with carp' waters, but seeing as it's you, I'll let you off.😉😀

I saw a post on another forum that reminded me of you. It's from 2018, you might have seen it, but it's here just in case you haven't, and it might be of interest to others.

http://www.dickwalker.co.uk/

I hope the link works, if not it's about the 100th anniversary of Dick Walker. There are interviews and articles about him and his exploits over the years. It brought back many memories from my youth, and plenty of stuff I didn't know.

John. 

Thats amazing a dead man can make a website! But nothing compared to linda mcartney who has cooked more food after death than when alive!

 

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

Grangers law : anything i say will  turn out the opposite or not happen at all!

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

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18 hours ago, Vagabond said:

Winding down  -  angling as one gets older and frailer.

 

Having caught shark, marlin, and sturgeon over 300 lb, and several hundred species from places as diverse as the Amazon Basin, the Australian outback, the Southern Ocean, the Caribbean coral flats and the streams of the American Divide. It is with some disbelief that I find age, muscle weakness and increasingly severe angina drastically limiting where I can fish.  I have always loved catching wild fish in wild places, which has had me fishing in all seven oceans, and six of the seven continents. (went to the seventh – Antarctica – bird watching, didn’t fish as ice too thick),

So, my choice is either to give up fishing altogether, or re-appraise the easier club lakes, and even the despised “carp-filled mud puddles” that are the only accessible waters for someone who suffers intense chest pain (think elephant standing on chest) if required to walk more than 20 yards, to do anything in a hurry or stand up for more than three minutes. The only saving grace is that a dose of nitroglycerine ends the pain in about three to five minutes.  Thus a distance of 60 yards needs three doses of nitro and three periods of five-minute rest. No good for a roving hillstream fisher !

So after thought, I made my choice, ie fishing from a chair is better than no fishing.  So  I  have to fish only those swims I can get to – no sussing out where the fish are, no roving, no scrambling into difficult swims.  But then, I am no worse off  than the match fisherman who has to fish the peg he or she has drawn – so - you can only catch the fish in front of you or those you can entice into your swim. This in turn means one has to revise one’s expectations and set a realistic target.  Above all remember this is not a match, so no need to hurry – fishing is a leisure sport – not an Olympic time-trial.

On the plus side, I have been fishing alone since the age of seven, so have eighty years experience to draw upon, allied to which I have had the good fortune to fish with some very good anglers indeed, so I must have learnt something.   My adventures henceforth might be of interest to others confined to easily accessible swims. Here are three waters I fished this  last week.  Norma and I decided to have a week in the campervan, visiting bird reserves, and staying at camping sites offering fishing.

Norma would lead the birding trips, with me following on a hired mobility scooter. And I would lead the fishing trips, with Norma doing the netting, fish handling, and returning. Weighing and photography would be kept to a minimum.  Occasional casting , loose feeding and playing a fish I can cope with.  Handling any fish of two pounds upwards and getting it safely back into the water has me reaching for the nitro, so I am fortunate that Norma can take that on, and it gives me a short rest after playing a fish to the net. 

NB All venues had similar rules, No bread, No floating baits, No braid, No barbs, No microbarbs No baiting with boilies.

So – Venue 1

Swim 20 yards from the campervan.  Flat grassy bank, water surface one foot below the bank and one foot deep tight against the bank.  Even slope outwards - the depth at a rod length out was 3 ft,  A narrow fringe of Norfolk reed with an eight foot  gap and a  bottom of fine gravel with a little silt comprised my swim. The plummet told me that further from the shore the silt became thicker.  What was out there ?

Keeping my hands low, I flicked 3 or 4 maggots into the swim, and kept doing that until small rudd and small perch began to assemble, then switched to sweet corn (no result) then small Spam cubes which brought better rudd and some small carp.   Persistent loose feeding for about fifteen minutes brought nothing bigger than half-pound rudd and two pound carp. Observation of other anglers showed similar fish being caught from other swims.   Having assessed the swim, time to fish.   Set my targets, 2lb carp, half-pound rudd, and see how close to the bank I could hook a carp.

Tried several baits, maggot, dendrobena worms, Spam, sweet corn, Caught on all of them, except sweet corn (not a bite, neither on its own nor in combination with other baits)  Most baits free-lined with perhaps a BB shot to provide casting weight.  To stop dendys from wriggling off a barbless hook (or being sucked off) a soft pellet was used

Result.   Lots of small perch, medium sized rudd to half a pound, about a score of carp all between ¾ and 3 lb.   Nearest to bank, (a carp) half an inch !

Comment – Won’t fish there again, just too easy.  Could have caught many more if prepared to hurry, but as stated before, that’s not my style.

 

Venue 2

Swim about 30 yds from van, ground level, so did it in one hop. A small pool about 80 yds by 30 yds,   the owner said it held lots of carp (true). some bream, (unconfirmed)  with “the biggest carp over 20 lb” (taken with a pinch of salt – you can safely divide most owner’s estimates by a factor of three) About four feet deep close to the bank with the water about 3 feet down a near-vertical bank, little vegetation on bank. Bottom very silty. 

There was a howling Easterly that day and a bright sun, no cloud..

“When the East wind blows and the sun shines bright,

Then don’t expect the fish to bite”                 

A bad omen, but I heeded the other one        “”Carp follow the wind, and the stronger the wind, the  more strongly they follow it”                    So I elected to fish into the teeth of the gale.  The swim was not the nearest to the van, so that was one principle out the window.    Sat well back from the water, flicked a few Spam chunks in and cautiously peeped over. There was a rugby scrum of carp after the slowly sinking Spam pieces. All from about two pounds to around 8 , Now one thing I have learnt is that carp become fearless (or maybe just careless) in choppy water so I elected to fish tightline, just a hook in a lump of Spam  dangled into the choppy waves.  The fish fought to get at the bait – very often all one could see were seven or eight round open mouths all seeking the same chunk of Spam and shouldering the other carp out of the way. I did my best to keep the bait away from the smaller fish and keep it available for anything that looked to be over 7.   I only partially succeeded, as out of 15 carp landed, 12 looked about 6 lb or less, 3 of greater weight..   Norma weighed the biggest – just over eight.pound.    Retired for an early tea.

Comment  There were people up the other end catching two pounders,as fast as they could pull them in - the place was absolutely stuffed with carp.   “Shooting fish in a barrel” came to mind.    

 

Venue 3

This swim was “difficult” as it was 70 yards from the van, and uphill all the way.  Two stops for nitro and the second needed a big dose and a fifteen minute rest.

The East wind had gone and it was a hot sunny day. There was an island in the lake and breeching carp by it, but only fishable from some steep swims on the opposite bank. Too far away, too unfriendly, so elected to fish the nearest swim , Steep, but some negotiable steps down to it. This was a bit like venue 1 – but a far thicker fringe of Norfolk reed, The channel leading into the lake was therefore twice as long, about 20 ft, This channel was 6 inches deep at the bankside and about 2 ft where it met the main lake.

Fishing through the gap into the lake produced rudd to half a pound up in the water, and nothing at all on the bottom.   So I elected to bait up the outer part of the channel – it was fairly clear water and I could see there was nothing there, but I hoped to entice something in.

A liberal dose of groundbait was laid down in the outer LH corner of the channel with  plenty of Spam chunks and halibut pellets (the maggots and dendrobenas were long gone) The afternoon wore on, still no action, the sun sank, and in the early dusk came the action I was hoping for. Carp patrol the margins at such a time, looking for the discarded bait that departing anglers leave behind.  One was in the channel ! We waited motionless whilst it mopped up every piece of Spam, before picking up the hookbait and shooting into the LH reedbed.   Lets say it tried to shoot into the reeds, for by now I was holding it rather harder than my 6 lb Maxima justified.    Good old Maxima – tough as old boots. A bit more stick and the carp decided to try the RH reedbed instead, only to find itself hitting the back of the net wielded by the expert netswoman who I was wise enough to marry.

Result was a very angry carp thrashing about in the net, but fortunately the hook came free easily, the net handle was unscrewed, and the carp weighed  (8lb) and returned, still thrashing angrily.

That experience was a bit more worthwhile, I felt I worked for and deserved that fish.

Comment  After two somewhat disappointing results, it was nice to feel that with advancing years a bit of experience and watercraft has been accumulated over a lifetime and to a small extent can compensate  for the handicap of reduced mobility.

Watch this space.

 

  • Like 1

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Have just tried to add a couple of pics - without success.   I don't use third parties, and could not find a way to add files direct.    Any comments or advice ?

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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Share on other sites

At the bottom of the reply box:- "Choose Files" then select the pic on your device.

Lea6.9.JPG

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OH yes! Bugger the picture is 6mb it wont upload i wont downsize it so you will have to imagine a 25lb barbel wearing a coat

Isnt 1mb a bit 2010 today?

The other way is to use dropbox ,its free and easy to use .I use it to store pictures of the finds i make in a day then share it with the land owner via their individual folders ,emailing it is hit and miss with large files

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w0f39ue188da69o/JPEG_20200922_104442_3494793400578104959.jpg?dl=0

PS lots of tomatoes this year and better than the ones in the greenhouse ,been mass dehydrating them before they go bad as we cant eat them quick enough .Dehydrate - vacuum seal into small bags - freeze for use in the winter in soups and stews ,chesters1 doesnt waste food!

Edited by chesters1

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

Grangers law : anything i say will  turn out the opposite or not happen at all!

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

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Thanks Chesters,  and thanks again for the copy pf Carp Fever.  good history of the early hair rig trials.   I wonder what BB, Walker, Hutchinson and Maddocks would make of modern carp puddles.   Those four are all good reading, 

 

Glad you too have a good tomato crop.   Norma has turned all our main tomato crop into concentrated soup, salsa,  sauce and other products which have been bottled, frozen and otherwise stored -should last until next years crop is ready, although we are still picking.    Stacks of Bramley apples this year also.  Norma has just taken a gallon of tomato soup next door, they had a bumper crop of tomatoes as well, and as they supply us with free eggs, free rhubarb, etc and are better smallholders than cooks we barter a cooking service (and a chicken-sitting service - careful how you say it- if they take a holiday)  In exchange for fresh produce.  

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .

Certhia's world species - 215

Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...

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1 hour ago, Vagabond said:

Thanks Chesters,  and thanks again for the copy pf Carp Fever.  good history of the early hair rig trials.   I wonder what BB, Walker, Hutchinson and Maddocks would make of modern carp puddles.   Those four are all good reading, 

 

Glad you too have a good tomato crop.   Norma has turned all our main tomato crop into concentrated soup, salsa,  sauce and other products which have been bottled, frozen and otherwise stored -should last until next years crop is ready, although we are still picking.    Stacks of Bramley apples this year also.  Norma has just taken a gallon of tomato soup next door, they had a bumper crop of tomatoes as well, and as they supply us with free eggs, free rhubarb, etc and are better smallholders than cooks we barter a cooking service (and a chicken-sitting service - careful how you say it- if they take a holiday)  In exchange for fresh produce.  

Unfortunately as you saw long ago our house is tiny so no room for bottling or bulk sauce ,considering another freezer for the shed (the price of outbuiding freezers has dropped) but we get power cuts quite often usualy trees falling on lines as surrey has the most trees (surprised myself as most of the area is open common ) but have to get that past the mrs who thinks 3 is enough!

She will be very annoyed when two second hand breadmachines turn up i wanted a spare as the first panasonic lasted a month so dont trust this one ! Two second hand for the cost of a cheap new one is a gamble worth taking and if we go into full lockdown the glut on ebay will vanish there wasnt anything in the whole country in late march!

Not done much fishing this year the river stretches i have permission on appear to be empty of everything bar trout ,not in farnham AS anymore despite being a baliff for more than 15 years there was no free year after resigning ,and even using the honda 90 my petrol bill exceeded the cost of buying a permit by far so the 'free' permits each year didnt help so bugger them i will spend my time doing what i want certainly not checking permits at dusk or dawn lol even a christmas card would have been nice for the bailiffs to appreciate their work ,just a quid a year wont break the bank i am sure!

Nice to see your not a ghost we were worried and PMs were flying trying to find contact with you ,i even emailed Waterlog via Medlar press but they lost touch in 2018 so we feared the worst.

 

Edited by chesters1

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

Grangers law : anything i say will  turn out the opposite or not happen at all!

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson

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