At last, a proper taste of summer.....

We are obsessed with the weather here in the UK, but then you would be too if you had such a huge range of climates thrown at you during the course of a year !! When we do eventually get a proper taste of summer like we are having right now then I can't think of a better place to be. It was not that many years ago that I spent the whole of summer looking forward to winter and the cod fishing to come - how things have changed. Adapt or die. I have no time for sitting still and doing the same things all the time............

How about this for the perfect Saturday ? Set my alarm for 4am, went fishing for a couple of hours on my own (fish on, fish off, but it was breathtaking), then back home for breakfast with my girls. Out of the door by 9am and off to the beach. Decent yomp down but nice and quiet - did a proper barbie, none of that disposable silver foil garbage. Spent a few perfect hours just messing around with the family and Jess of course. Stopped for an ice cream on the way home - the perfect bribe to "encourage" my girls on the long walk back to the car. Made a brief detour to look at a mullet fishing spot a friend told me about the other day. Saw a 5lb mullet chowing surface bread not ten yards from us, and loads of others moving through - the girls and I have already nicknamed the place "Mullet Heaven". Back home, mess around in the garden, then tea, bath and bed for the girls, babysitter comes round at 6.30pm and then my wife and I head out to the cliffs for a stunning evening walk (with Jess of course) as it was her birthday on Saturday. Then we had supper outside at a really nice pub. My perfect day. Life doesn't get any better than that. Who needs stacks of cash to do daft things when you have such a fabulous coastline on your doorstep ? Went to the beach on Sunday as well for a picnic. When you get this kind of weather you have to jump at every chance you get...........

I was pleased to see the new issue of Trout Fisherman in the shops with my photo on the front cover - no, not that monster brown from Rutland, my shot is that rainbow trout in the hand. It doesn't happen very often, but I have the front covers of the current Sea Angler and Trout Fisherman, and it gives me a huge kick. Somebody asked me the other day where I had trained in photography and I had to rather sheepishly admit that I have never had a day's tuition or training in my life. If this proves one thing it's that working in fishing is not a closed shop, indeed the industry needs new blood all the time in my opinion...........

I heard from a couple of mates over in southern Ireland that the place was fishing its proverbial socks off for bass just before the month long closed season started on the 15th May. You simply can not believe how much I am looking forward to heading over on my first Irish trip of the year for the last week or so of June. We are heading to a new area for us and the excitement levels are building all the time. That will be the perfect time for some of the more squirrely lures to come out of hiding and get a decent airing - right in front of my mates of course. Not that we are like children or anything.......

I have made a big decision with regards to my (big problem) music purchases - I can't keep on collecting so many CDs, but I am a complete sound snob and I really like stuff to sound good. I bought a serious hi-fi cable the other day to connect my iPod to my (serious) hi-fi and I am completely and utterly blown away by how good it sounds with music that has been compressed into iTunes at a decent bit-rate (320 kbps for me). This seems to be the way forward for me now, especially as in reality I listen to music mostly these days in my car, on my iPod, or at my desk through my PCs (with decent PC speakers of course !!). But you would not believe how good an iPod can sound on a decent hi-fi with a really good cable.

So it was with a degree of trepidation that I bought my first music download the other day - no CD turning up in the post, just a notification that the album has downloaded. A bit strange for the moment, but I have found out at Play.com that you can download music at that all important 320kbps. The first download I have bought is the utterly immense "Reptilian" by the mighty Keep of Kalessin from Norway. Melodic black metal has no right to sound this insanely catchy. This stuff just gets in your head. I love the fact that you can check out all the tracks - see here for the exact place I bought my copy. The world is a changing all the time. It is a little known fact that Keep of Kalessin actually tried to become Norway's entry into the Eurovision Song Contest - utter class !! See them in action here. They did not get through, but I reckon that is a good effort. Their new album "Reptilian" is up there as one of my top releases this year so far............