It was just after sunrise when I pulled open the curtains and cranked open the vertical blinds. The frosted scene outside warmed my heart, for today I was guaranteed my first ‘pass-out’ for nearly three weeks. I mentioned in my last blog my lovely wife’s cancer diagnosis and the enforced shielding before her op. Thankfully … Continue reading Scent, Stalking and Sanity – Why I Shoot
We all know that climate change has truly screwed up our old concept of winter. I have enough decades behind me to recall my father having to go and rescue (on foot) my mother who had been trapped in a local school where she worked as a cleaner when I was ten years old. It … Continue reading In The Bleak Midwinter
It was a splendid morning to be walking the wood with a gun and a camera. Predicted by the weather oracle to be the last day of Mediterranean warmth for a while, I was determined to get some miles under my belt. The rain has been long-awaited, particularly by my farming friends. Their concern was … Continue reading The Owl and The Jackdaw
During the first phase of 'Lockdown' I missed my patrols around the naturalists paradise that is my shooting permission. A mixture of woodland, arable land and livestock farming. The first sensory delight to greet me on my return to the wood was ‘the orchestra’. I stepped into the ride beneath a verdant canopy illuminated with … Continue reading Squirrels and Jackdaws: A Return From Lockdown
The easing of lockdown restrictions this week has lifted my spirits enormously. As it has yours, I’m sure? A tentative call to ‘Landowner No 1’ to ask if I was welcome back yet, resulted in more than a positive response. I was virtually begged to return to take care of ‘those pesky squirrels’. A request I’m … Continue reading Hunter’s Musk: The Scent Of Gun Oil
For a habitual wanderer, confinement to the proximity of my home could have been hell. I’m glad to say it’s proved otherwise. The order to “stay close to home, don’t get too close to strangers and be home before dark” isn’t new to most of us. These were the instructions given to me as a … Continue reading The Lockdown Wanderer
Is there anything more calming than the gentle patter of rain? The flautist on the branch had heralded the downpour with his trill repertoire. The cock blackbird is rarely wrong when it comes to forecasting precipitation. As the gun-metal grey clouds rolled across, I donned my wet gear and slipped a leash on Charlie the … Continue reading It’s life, Captain … but not as we know it !
20th April 2020 Dear Lady Amelia, First of all, apologies for the apparently impersonal letter. I’m proficient on my PC but my hand-writing is appalling nowadays! I hope this letter will find you fit and well in this strangest of times. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I … Continue reading Lockdown Letter to a Landowner
Those of you who read Part 1 will know that Charlie (our OCD cocker spaniel) found that the UK Lockdown coincided with some serious landscaping of his humble jungle and hallowed hunting ground. We’re only talking an overgrown shrubbery but the fall-out was a huge event for the ‘dog who never obeys’. Not only had … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown: Part 2
The call of the gun was strong on this gorgeous Spring morning. After a week of working from home (in self-isolation) I was desperate for fresh air, yet I realised that my wife must be feeling the same. I suggested one of our favourite walks, from Strumpshaw out to Buckenham Mill and back. Old Charlie … Continue reading Another Shot Buzzard ??