This is the Fisherman's Cot at Bickleigh, where I had planned to have lunch earlier this week. (Perhaps now you will understand why I felt grumpy about missing out!) I love to sit there on a sunny day with a glass of chilled Chardonnay and one of the FC's delicious salads, simply looking at the River Exe. Sometimes we've been lucky enough to see a kingfisher and occasionally we have watched a fly fisherman in his waders, casting and dreaming, lost in a world far from twenty-first century cares. Fly fishing must be the only sport which has tranquility as a major attribute.
I have just finished reading 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' by Paul Torday. Several people assured me that I would enjoy it and indeed it has rescued the Richard and Judy Summer Collection from being a totally disastrous purchase. It is well-written with proper sentences, good grammar and vocabulary chosen to inform and describe rather than shock. Torday uses what is becoming a cliched convention of telling the story through reported letters, emails, interviews and passages from newspapers and books but, in this case, it works well. It helps the pace of the book and it is an effective way of depicting the different characters, relationships and viewpoints.
I don't belong to a book reading group; if I did, I would love to tackle this book. I can imagine that there would be as many opinions about it as there are characters in the book. There is humour, politics, war, intrigue, spin, pain, hope, love and death. At its heart, I think it is a book about faith and communication; I loved it.