Friday, 20 September 2013

Sixteen hours and seven in the kitchen By Stewart laws

             Sixteen hours and seven in the kitchen 

The Brief

Off to America to attend a wedding and get some fishing/hunting in the bargain, my jottings and musings below are taken from my daily events based over the 7 days away, and some of the events that unfolded along the way, some memorable some not so.                                                        

And a few surprises in life that changed my perception to people along this path we navigate

Stewardesses Graveyard

Delta airlines the place where ageing airline stewardesses go to retire or stop off at Dignitas en route. With twin sets and pearls, serving a plethora of liquid masquerading as beverages and reconstituted food that begs the question 'what is it', the packaging belies how many ingredients can go into such a small item, alchemy at its worst it would appear, spying the word 'Transfat' I feel my bowels involuntarily spasm, maybe we are guinea pigs in a great social experiment (for the duration of my stay I seem to be drinking more and more fluid, to counterbalance the salt or sweetness of an American diet) I pick at various items of food accordingly to the list of ingredients, water is a staple throughout.
The service friendly and smiles starch like... 'Enjoy your flight' is the mantra it seems, Americanism or Irony, I'm unsure as yet.

16 hours in a space that my dog would describe as cramped 

If you do have the choice on long haul turn left, into business class... right invariably means cattle class,it's at this point you wish you'd done better at school.  
A variety of American 'comedy' and 'action' films spills from the screen in front of you, should you choose to engage it then the auto cue for the canned or should that be contrived laughter tells you when you should follow suit. 
As much as I wish to laugh its contained as I feel they would take me off in a straitjacket failing that the supposedly ever present air Marshall may just taser me, weighing it up it may not be such a bad option.  

Note to oneself never long haul 

Anyone for Zander

Holland looked interesting, the waterways a preclude to some serious roaming with a rod and line, and only a 55 minute flight. ( hope you're reading this crooky and fentiger ) and the zander capital I believe of Europe, effectively on our doorstep chaps.
It's from Holland we catch the connecting flight, by this time I'm already regretful of the prospect of 16 hrs in transit. 

I sit wondering if the Americans are going to seriously suit my demeanour nor mine there's! 


The trip started well, a massive debate on the merit of going (a euphemism of my sudden explosive nature)  that appears to be played out at each stage of the airport merry go round and more so in my head, I realise I love the English countryside and what I'm leaving behind... Selfishness is a strong trait of mine and its played out in full,my knife edge looks precarious. Without further details I relent inwardly brooding.And one of knowing guilt from within myself.


Culturally I'm ignorant to the world, I have travelled  a lot though within the EU, nowadays I find solace in rivers, fields, woods and valleys, the ringing of church bells...... not  16 hours of a low reverberation and continual hum of an airplane. 
Besides I read a lot could I not just had picked up the National Geographic again I wonder, as I gaze out beyond and through the clouds.
As we cross America the dimensions looks huge, the landscape is forested but the surroundings dry and arid. 
                                       Mount st Helens that erupted in 1982 with the loss of 57 lives,everything within 10 miles was left like a moonscape in volcanic ash.

Bodies of water huge and numerous.
I realise the above statement seems at odds I assume they have aquifers here. 
As the rainfall seems non existent from the picture above in terms of grasses and greenery save the trees.

The landscape changes in 30 min to one of smaller fragmented lakes and what appears even drier conditions, airspeed is 542 mph so 250 miles in difference, quite feasible then really when I consider it. 
The lakes become more elongated the further we fly, amazing to see really, but wish I was bankside not 32000 ft up. 
Kidding myself here, lakes looking smaller ?  probably the size of a ' shire ... a Small lake here would make chew at 1200 acres look like a village pond.  
There is cloud structures close to the ground, small dense areas that look like smoke, the colour though is dust coloured as though whipped up in an otherwise clear sky. 
Another observation albeit rhetorical. 

Lullabies to paralyse 

iPods and classic rock magazine saved my sanity, but my ass may take a bit longer, payback for some of my extra curricular activities possibly.


It's impressive the vastness, flying over the mountains, canyons et al  But it's not the English countryside .  The sparseness appeals in terms of population, we see large farm spreads yet few settlements.  Curmudgeonly springing to mind, lumby would like it here for that reason I'm sure... Now there's a thought a pikers commune in the middle of nowhere and no one to trouble you, feeling myself drifting into utopia, until my realisation that lumby and Crumpster would bring the whole leftist view to the party, second thoughts I would buy a vast Scottish estate and keep all the rabble off it, whilst allowing my ghillie to feed fresh run springers to the pike population in a pre feeding campaign.


The security entering America was rather surreal and overbearing, with a menacing demeanour and slow........ fingerprinted and photographed and scanned all in good time, their time !The Americans are either thorough or rather paranoid, think I'll take the latter, though world policy means they really are careful who they take tea with nowadays. They really do question in a way that seems rather hostile, imagine the school bully then rounding on you and topping it off with 'Y'all have a good stay and a nice day'.

Note to oneself never long haul (again)

Sub;mission accomplished

The reason for the trip is not one purely of fishing nor of sightseeing, it's green card time... That's all I will say albeit tongue in cheek I may add. The ceremony was wonderful and the bride looked fabulous in her surroundings, I declined the family photo opportunities as one who vehemently opposes a smile on request routine, I try not to replicate a performing dog via voice commands, maybe I'm just a miserable bastard, smiling on the inside is my forte, surely that's enough..... 
The drink flowed, and I downed several bottles of water to accompany everyone's champagne as a tag team of protagonists tried to foist drink on me, the memory  of which became more blurred on them as time passed.
                                           The blushing bride

uninvited guests were made to feel welcome

Note to oneself, why I don't do family events.


Cabellas is of interest... 'Manshack' is another term for it, I do wonder if it will be full of stereotypical Americans I remember 'king of the hill' I wonder if I'll meet a Bobby or Luanne, along with the local propane seller bound to be some stuffed heads on show surely ( little did I realise ). 
I  have been reading up on the fish species I hope to encounter, it was with interest to see that from 2012 the northern pike will be culled in certain areas of the state of Seattle ... Persecution never seems far away for this species and geographically knows no boundaries, thank goodness for the PAC in the UK though Ireland still seems intent on an own goal where this is concerned ( maybe one day they will see the folly )
 I've afforded myself some traces in my luggage as all the gear will be supplied, not quite knowing if the advent of fluorocarbon trace will lure its head, I play it safe and come prepared.

The trophy shots with the obligatory boga grip throws up little in the way of decent fish whilst 'net browsing, many shots are single figure pike, though clean looking with it. 

Facetiously I wonder, maybe they all sport some kind of jaw injury and find feeding difficult.  

Tiger Muskie a fish with the ignominy of been labelled ' fish of a thousand casts' I will be counting, surely this would test anyone's resolve on a cold winters day.
But imagining a 20 plus in that livery on camera... 16 hour flight.... redemption awaits me.
                                   The fish tank was appx 60 ft long
                                 I hope Mr Muskie has read the script    

I will mention the pit whilst away, as the chaps have done so well it would be a shame to keep it to ourselves ( I wonder what the shipping rates for Neville's smelt would be ).

Maybe the problem of immigrants will be an issue .. There again they still expone a burning cross and bed sheets with cigarette burn holes ...... pre baiting with mexicans, just what is the state record I ask myself ( tongue firmly embedded ). 
Forewarned on the food, they like large servings and massive calorie counts, with a tomato as an adornment that is visual and not to be eaten.  
The concept of food without vegetables is alien,I may have to take to the hills and forage for relief, though on the day before we flew, my youngest son Mackenzie and myself picked 4 1/2lb of blackberries 2lb sloes and a 1lb of elderberries to freeze for jam making on return, this thought may sustain me.

Bears are rife in the wooded valleys and rivers so I was informed and had been told to wear bear bells .... Mmmmm Morris dancing in Seattle , sounds like a ruse to grown men dressing up ( upon getting there, the bears are few and far between and a healthy respect to the native population of hunters I discover and with good reason ).
                         Cabella's entrance hall and only a small part of it
                                                 I'm free..........

Max Lightrailway system

In Portland Oregon the public transport is in our terms a tram system, it runs uptown and downtown.
As we tried to figure out which way we needed to board, I proceeded to ask an older lady, upon enquiring she 'jumped and recoiled away in the most frightful way, panicking in doing so', the information needed to proceed  I returned to my seating area, with a short interlude she ventured forth and explained she was watching 'livetime' last night and that I looked very much like someone on the TV 'someone who was very bad 'and with that she scurried off..... Charming I thought!! 

The last time I seen a female so horrified it was 'twinpeaks at Chew, if you wish to know more just direct your questions at Andy Chalmers  aka Pred, needless to say the girl in question is still traumatised.

In conclusion to my American adventure I will tell you the events leading up to these last few pictures I will leave you with. 
                                            A young Coyote cub

                                               My back yard

No comments:

Post a Comment