You mean to say that you didn't realise the whole point of this blog is to put my points of view across in the vane belief that all you rather kind readers then blindly agree with every single little thing I say? You mean you don't obsess about fishing in Ireland, use 8' to 9' long 6-28g lure rods, fish with Shimano spinning reels, dream about acquiring Salt Skimmers, crush all your barbs, use "that" knot, hold fish in a certain way, and love Simms waders, wading boots and waterproof jackets? What kind of person are you? This is my blog and it would shock me to the very core if you didn't agree with my opinions.
Or more honestly, it would amaze me if any of you agreed with much of what I write about on my blog. Sure, if the truth be known I can't quite understand why you don't all love Norwegian black metal and think that Metallica have been writing crap albums ever since Justice, but give it time and you too will be air-drumming to Sons of Northern Darkness. Give in. Believe me. Because I am right. You agree don't you?
I think the internet is an incredible thing, but if I think back to the first ever search I did while at uni and the resulting filth that appeared on my screen (all I did was type in "mullet"), then my initial scepticism was perhaps well founded. I love how via various means we can "talk" to people all around the world without batting an eyelid over geography. I put big part of the upsurge in interest in lure fishing at the feet of the internet, for the ease with which we can find out information and communicate with other anglers is just staggering. Can you imagine how you might have gone about finding so much stuff out say fifteen years ago?
But of course the ease with which we can communicate also leads to all manner of "issues". I can not tell you how much of a buzz I get when somebody gets in touch to kindly say that they get something positive or helpful from this blog, and I just love the fact that some of you take the time to leave comments - but I would be very worried if for one second I thought that any of you took what I said to be gospel. If you are getting into lure fishing especially and have stumbled upon this blog of mine, then firstly I say welcome, and secondly, please, please take what you want from what I might waffle on about and then add to it/adjust it/ignore at will.
In all honesty there is a part of me that will forever regret having done any of the TV work I used to do. Why? Because having been on the box distorts how people react to you. I met a bloke the other day and I did what I would always do - I stuck out my hand and said "hi, my name's Henry, good to meet you". I couldn't work out why he looked a bit taken aback, but it came out later on that he had watched my programmes. It doesn't sit right with me that a perfectly regular bloke (just as I am) was a bit taken aback that "Henry Gilbey" introduced himself. I don't feel particularly comfortable that my admittedly minuscule scale TV shows mean that some anglers might listen to me more than somebody else, but on the flip side I absolutely love communicating about fishing via my words, photos, and yes, to an extent, the bit of TV work I did. But that is the point - these are my words and photos. These are my opinions and thoughts (except for Reign in Blood being the best thrash metal album of all time, because that's a fact), and I love offloading some of the contents of my head upon this blog.
If you know me then you will know that the above paragraph is the honest truth, and if you don't know me then you might think what a tit. I don't care, indeed if you put yourself out there at all then you simply can't care what people think about you otherwise you're going to waste your time worrying about stuff that simply isn't worthwhile. I try to keep an eye on various forums/FB pages etc., and of course from time to time I pick up on stuff that is subtly or unsubtly aimed in my general direction. Do I let it get to me ? How can I when I've got far more important things to think about like my family to look after, a couple of very, very cool girls to bring up with my wife, and a lifelong passion for something that obsesses me more and more the more I do it (or don't do it with this weather). I'm 41 on Friday and I think I am mature enough to find comfort in variety being the spice of life with so much of what we do. I would hope you feel something similar, for if there is one thing I will just never understand is any desire to almost forcibly thrust one's way of doing things onto other people as if they are gospel. Why?
Oh, and the Six Nations. Gutted ain't the word. We claw our way back against the French and in the second half especially we looked like we were maturing by the minute - but then we go and lose the game. Rewind and you just don't go losing your line out so close to the French try line, but although we lost I do feel that England are on the right track, and I feel quietly confident about the rest of the tournament. Monday morning dreaming ?