Henry Gilbey
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My non-fishing Review of the Year 2018

I thought it might be a bit of fun to do a kind of review of the year that isn’t about fishing gear. I love my films, music, books etc., and I’d be interested to know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section at the bottom if you would be so kind. It doesn’t seem quite right that Christmas Day is next week when another year has flown by so quickly, but hey ho and here we go……...

Film of the year 2018 - Sicario 2. The original Sicario was just about a perfect film in my book and I was really excited to hear they were making a sequel. I read a few slightly sniffy reviews of Sicario 2, but as ever nothing beats watching a film and making your own mind up. Holy cow Sicario 2 is one tense film, and I absolutely love it. “You want to see this thing through, I’m going to have to get dirty…………...dirty is exactly why you’re here.” It was never going to be quite as good as the first film, but I really like where they went with Sicario 2 and I was interested to see how they left it open to a potentially very interesting part 3.

TV series of the year 2018 - The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix). I have always loved a good horror film and I have often wondered if a TV series could sustain the kind of tension and scares that a good film can - and then along comes The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and it absolutely fried my brain how incredible these ten episodes were. It’s the kind of TV series that I so need to watch again to understand more of the nuances. Outstanding, with a few great jump-scares in there for good measure.

TV series I couldn’t take any more of and gave up on it 2018 - Westworld Season 2. I just about got through Season 1 when it came out, but it annoys the hell out of me when all a TV series seems to want to do is confuse the bejesus out of you with tricked-up timelines and so on. I think I gave Season 2 a couple of episodes and then decided that life was too short for this kind of crap, and especially when there is so much good stuff out there these days.

Podcast of the year 2018 - Rugby Union Weekly. Consistently brilliant (great Johnny Sexton interview the other day for example), and with my eternal thanks to my youngest brother for persuading me to start exploring the world of podcasts a couple of years ago. Driving especially has never been more enjoyable. He’s been on at me to try my hand at creating a fishing podcast…………...

Album of the year 2018 - “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love” by the mighty Deafheaven. Music doesn’t get any better than this and I have listened to this album over and over and over again this year and loved it that bit more every time. Beautifully savage and endlessly surprising. Metal is officially the way and has been for virtually all my life.

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Novel of the year 2018 - Obviously not written this year, but “Lonesome Dove” by the American author Larry McMurtry is absolutely sublime and when I was reading it I was in a constant state of loving every second of it but also dreading getting to the end and having to finish such an incredible novel. Straight into my list of one of the best books I have ever read.

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Fishing book of the year 2018 - Review to come on this in due course, but crumbs Marc Cowling of South Devon Bass Guide’s outstanding book “The Lure of the Bass” is an impressive read. I have just heard he’s taken stock of a load more copies, so go here to read more about this book and then do yourself a favour and order it. Holy cow this is some fishing book.

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Proud dad moments of the year 2018 - Am I allowed to indulge myself here? First off it was my youngest girl (11 at the time) and her run in the City College Plymouth Secondary Schools 5K Challenge back in October. She loves her distance running but so many races she runs in her age group are not really far enough for her and how far she loves to run, so this was her first chance to do a proper 5k race against other kids (not including Park Runs which both my girls run on most Saturday mornings). My youngest girl was running against boys and girls from 11 to 18 years old and she ran 22.00mins dead for 16th place overall and 5th fastest girl. She trains and pushes herself so hard with her running and we were so proud of her, and also for how she is always the first to congratulate her friends and competitors.

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And then both my girls swept the board with trophies for their dinghy sailing in the summer when they went to spend a couple of weeks with their in-laws. Competitive dad?! My eldest girl is not a runner as such and she is also a teenager (!!) but she chooses to get up on a Saturday morning and do the 5K Park Run when she doesn’t have to at all - the other weekend she hit her 50 Park Runs milestone and I am so proud of her. She broke her PB time at the Eden Project Park Run the other day in fact. Apologies, but if you are a parent you will understand where I am coming from here.

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Most memorable fish 2018 (had to include something fishing related in here!) - Our client Paul’s 82cm monster bass that he caught when he was on one of our co-guided fishing trips over in Kerry in September. It’s such fun watching good people catch fish in such a special place as Kerry, and when Paul’s donkey of a bass popped out and we realised just how big it was (plus what happened afterwards which I will end up laughing about for many years to come eh Paul?!), well holy cow was that a special moment. I don’t personally chase bass for any kind of glory or to boast about numbers, size or length, so whilst I was lucky enough to catch my biggest ever shore-caught bass this year and of course I was chuffed to bits, it’s Paul’s 82cm bass that will live longest in my memory.