Angling Trust RiverFest 2013 – Final

Following a busy couple of weeks of work, I decided to use my time off to be even more busy.

Last weekend was the final of the Angling Trust RiverFest 2013, held on the River Wye in Hereford. The finalists had competed in qualifiers on a number of different Rivers around England throughout 2013, in a bid to be in with a chance of winning the top prize of £10,000. The conditions the previous week had been awful and organiser Dave Harrell was pleased when the weather report looked favourably on the final weekend!

Fished over two days, 26 prizes were on offer, plus a prize for the biggest fish. 20 section winners (Saturday and Sunday) by default and the top 6 were all highly sort after places. Day 1 saw a top weight of 32-7 by Paul Bick and all 59 participants caught something. With 11 weights over 20lbs and 36 over 10lbs, the field was fairly open going into Sunday.

There were several reasons for my attendance. Firstly, being there to support my friend, Ian Didcote who was hoping to take the top prize. Another reason was to take photos ( and finally to trial some software I have written to handle match results.

It was to be a big challenge as the usual fishing match consists of a top set of anglers (pay out top 3 or 5) and then section winners by default (meaning that those who win something overall, don’t also win their section). This one was a top 6 by cumulative weight over the two days and then 10 section winners each day (section winners by default).

When the first 4 sections (of 6 anglers) came in, I discovered a slight coding problem, which was quickly resolved (within 10 minutes). Once the manual calculation’s were underway (as a sense check for my system) I was able to enter them into my software and produce the final tally of results quickly. Pleased is an understatement after the work involved!

The fishing on day 2 turned the field around and saw John Urruty, who had 14-6 on Saturday, take home the prize for the biggest fish (Barbel on Sunday) and finish with the top 6 with 40-14!

Overall I think it was a successful weekend for the organisers and I’m sure next year’s will be bigger and better. Oh and a special mention to Hereford Rowing Club. I may be biased as a rower, but the facilities were brilliant and the view out over the river was perfect for those of us who couldn’t or didn’t want, to walk the bank.

Here’s to RiverFest 2014!

For a breakdown of the event and the final results –

All the single humans

About 7 months ago, I was subjected to a harsh analysis of my life while I was in the pub.

Three gentlemen of later years, were drinking at the bar watching Spurs play one Sunday afternoon when I walked in. One of them enquired as to my health and was very polite. Another asked me where my boyfriend was at which point I said I didn’t have one and would be drinking alone. This prompted the man to question me in detail about why I didn’t have a man.

To all my fellow ‘single’ friends, have you ever found an answer to that question?

I informed him that I didn’t need a man in my life, that I had wonderful friends and family around me and that was all I wanted and needed.

He then proceeded to say that my family would die and my friends would marry and settle down with their own family. He stated that my friends would no longer have time for me and I would ‘die alone’. Thanks to that man by the way, you really made my day. That’s the summary by the way, the full version went on for a good 5 minutes.

Eventually one of his friend’s stopped him and apologised on his behalf. The man walked away, then came back a few minutes later and apologised himself.

I brushed it off, although it did bother me a little, until today. Now I’ve been thinking about this. Many a time I look at my life and wonder whether I should put more time into forming a relationship with a guy. But then I look at everything I have going on and wonder if I could find anyone who would put up with me being busy and working away, on a long term basis? I would need to find a similarly busy man who felt I was worth the wait and worth making time for.

But then why do I need to? What is it about life today that makes it so unacceptable/odd to take yourself out to dinner? Or to the movies? Don’t get me wrong, I miss the attention when I’m single, but why do we have to find someone to settle down with?

I’ve been drawn into the online dating world in an attempt to see if there’s someone out there who’ll take a chance on me. There is. My experiences were a little, erm, ‘special’, but it’s nice to know you’re attractive to someone. I think 😉

But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not for me. It works for many, but I’m just not one of those people. I’d rather just be out and be approached by a guy (or be the one to approach a guy) and take it from there. That’s worked for me in the past so why not in the future?

I said to a friend of mine earlier that I may have missed my chance at capturing my ‘Prince’. That he may have already ridden off into the sunset with his ‘Princess’. But that thought doesn’t make me sad. Many people end up living their life with their best friend by their side. Sometimes their lover, sometimes nothing more than their confidant. But they’re happy. If I can find that happiness then what does it matter.

As a side note to this blog entry, I will point out that I have been, and do date, so it’s not that I’m some bitter, lonely woman who has never had a boyfriend, it’s just that I don’t understand some of the pressures of society and this is one.

Do we have to get married? Are we deemed a failure if we don’t find that special someone? Is it an unwritten rule of life? Why do people always ask if your ‘other half’ is ‘joining you today’?

I’m happy knowing that those I love and care about are happy. That I can be part of their life and in turn, they can be part of mine.

I just hope they remember to check on me when I’m old and grey to make sure I’ve not died while they’ve been busy with their own life 😉