What do you do when you need to escape? When you’re at that boiling point, edge, precipice and just need to get away from everything before you lose it? I play music very loudly, get on a train and just keep going around till I feel better, write, that kind of thing. Back in the day I’d eat, or if I was extra extra upset, I’d cry. I still cry, but the incidents are very few and far in-between.

I was out jogging with a neighbour a few weeks ago, never mind that in the end we walked and chatted a lot more than we jogged. Ha ha ha, it’s the thought that counts abi, so I advise you to swallow your comments about my weight and keep reading. Chew slowly, and then swallow.

Ok, so this post is about the lovely man we met at Dartford Lake on the walk back home. I think what attracted us was him struggling with what looked like a big fish in a net on the floor. We got closer and it really was a big fish!

Alan and the fish.. Sounds like the title of a bestseller….lol

Guess what? Alan* was going to let it back into the lake, and he’s done this every year for the last fifteen (15) years, taking a two year break though at some point.

So why catch fish just to throw them back in? “Because it calms me”, Alan said, ” it is what I do when I need some peace and quiet. I can come here, spend two days on my own and just enjoy the still of the waters, and Mother Nature“.

The very hyperactive fish!

Being me, I was curious to know if he had any food in his tent, or if staying away included passing up on food. He said he had a little stash fo crackers, sandwiches, cigarettes and beer, and if he desperately needed a coffee he didn’t mind walking 165 metres to the Costa Coffee in the area.

The tent…. He didn’t invite us in, and we didn’t ask….lol!

Alan told us a few things about fish and fishing, including the fact that fish are now smart. Somehow they’ve come to the understanding that food doesn’t just lie around in isolation and so when he casts his line with the bait, he has to shoot food (bait-less) in that same direction so the fish don’t know which is the trap and which isn’t.

Setting the rods…. Kai, so this is how the devil sets traps for us abi? Jump and pass!

Another interesting thing he told us was that fish can be hyperactive! Sometimes that’s not a good thing because when he’s trying to get the hook out of their mouths so he can drop them back into the lake, if he doesn’t do it quick enough the fish, out of water will die. Again, if he doesn’t do it carefully he might injure the fish and that could be fatal, depending on the severity.

He uses a catapult to shoot the little morsels of food in the direction he’s already sent the line…. jump and pass!

“There is a way to calm them down though”, he said, smiling for the first time since we got there. “If you let them suckle on your finger (errrr, what!!) for a few seconds, it quietens them; covering them with a towel and patting very lightly calms them down too”.

Fishing isn’t cheap o.. These rods beep when a fish has bitten the bait (shudders) and other neat things I didn’t really listen to… Was busy praying a fish would bite so I could watch it live!

Awwww, how sweet. Sucking my finger though? Anyway, we watched him cast off (lol, sure that’s not the correct term, just felt good to say that) and we waited for a few minutes for the fish to bite. That was lesson number three for us, patience. Alan said sometimes it takes as much as four hours for the fish to bite and the key is to be quiet, and patient.

What? Four hours? I don’t have other things to do? My dear, that’s how we ‘gave ourselves brain’, said thank you for his time and the chat, and walked home. Nope, we still didn’t jog, we’ll exercise another day jor!

Welcome to the new month! Mwah!



*Alan – not his real name

**All pictures are mine.


  1. Desiree David says:

    To escape from certain drama in my life I cry into my pillow, turn the music up so I can hear nothing else and create a dance piece expressing how I feel. (I never let any1 see them tho. Lol) happy new month!


  2. Rita Eghujovbo says:

    Tell you what. Reading this is relaxing and left a smile on my face. Four hours waiting for fish? Hmmm mm. Na iyibo shal lol


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