Like a duck to water

Like a Duck to Water

by Esmerelda Weatherwax (July 2006)



My husband has taken to internet shopping like a duck to water, and has set himself up very nicely for this summer of World Cup football and beyond.


My first internet purchase was some knitting patterns. That was sad apparently.


But my husband has moved on from my early tentative foray.  He bought a digital camera and enjoys taking photos with it. Last night I caught him hanging out of the spare room window, his tripod balanced on the kitchen roof, photographing the moonrise.   We have a photographic record of not just every child in our family circle, as you would expect, but of every fish he has ever caught. Sea and coarse.  Then gently returned to the water.  


There was a knock at the door one Monday morning. I took the parcel in.  What has he been up to with FIFA?  An official Germany 2006 T-shirt.  Very nice, but don’t expect me to iron it.

Next day, I went to get the milk in and found that a small square box had appeared on the step.  This was a fishing reel; Buy it Now on E-bay.  He collects them so I’m used to it.

Wednesday morning, another knock.  A large square box containing 12 pints of Fursty Ferret, my favourite beer from Badger beer brewery of Dorset. He has poured me a glass every night since so that’s my kind of purchase.

Thursday was his best yet.  This was a medium sized box. Look on the bright side, I thought; at least the boxes are not getting any bigger.  I don’t recognise the name of the firm.


“Hello Dear, did you have a nice day at work? Let me get you your drink and slippers?”  He can dream can’t he?

“So what’s in that box then?”

“This is great” he said “I’ve been trying to get some more of this for ages. Fishing Weekly gave a free packet of it last year and it was so good I have been searching for more ever since”

He has bought bait.

Mail order.



Spicy crab to attract barbel, tench and chub.

Salmon ball ground bait.  Best before end 2008, re-sealable pouch for freshness.

How do they think the fish are going to complain if it’s a bit stale?

 Old Hall Pond.

Live bait is a different kettle of fish, of course.  He orders that in advance ready for collection the morning of a trip. But still the internet is invaluable. He looks up the nearest tackle shop to where we are going to be on holiday. He has his favourite’s website saved for convenience. He e-mails in advance, what is being caught and where? What bait do you recommend for those conditions? Rag worm? Lugworm? The order is placed and a collection time depending on the tides arranged.

So much more scientific than the days when a local garage had a Maggomagic vending machine on the forecourt.  Put £1 in the slot and a pack of semi frozen maggots popped out of the hatch. Long gone. Thankfully. 


And he has promised me that a package from this establishment will never arrive on my doorstep.  

Today’s post was more mundane.  Merely a catalogue from Bennett’s of Sheffield – “Britain’s Biggest Fishing Tackle Dealers”  

“Save £15 on this fantastic Net Pack!! Contains Spoon Net and Bankstick!!”


A few Christmas’s ago a friend of ours escaped the family crush and took his new rod to the local lake on the Boxing Day afternoon. A young woman sashayed towards him, blonde hair and black leather boots gleaming in the late December sunshine.

“Hi” she purred “That’s a nice rod you have there. Was it a Christmas present?”

“Yes” he stammered, thinking this is Boxing Day, not my birthday.

“I’m the water bailiff” she replied “May I check your rod licence?”                                    

                              My husband's catch today. A fine 7lb bream.



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