I was in Farlows on December 10th: last Thursday. It was their pre-Christmas lunchtime/all day extravaganza. I met TMD – Tarquin Millington-Drake, the very same – and Justin McCarthy. The latter, sorry Tarqs, is a legend in salmon fishing and I talked to him for ten minutes.
And so, all right, it has to be said, is Tarqs.
I was chuffed (horrible word) to meet Justin (above). As I told him I’ve met him, or not met him, seen him before – in Kelso’s epic Ednam House Hotel, and in what Roxtons’ Christopher Robinson calls: ‘The bar we know and love’ – in Murmansk airport, even in the RAC Club the other night speaking after Farlow’s 175th dinner. But I’d never spoken to him.
And then something amazing happened. He turned to me and said: “Henry, yes I know about you; you’re the blogger.”
The set up in F’s that day was the new Kola. Here I was, having visited Varzuga four times talking to the king of the ASR rivers (well legendary fishing manager of the Kharlovka, Litza, Rynda et al), with TMD of Ponoi (who swung me the book the Incomparable Ponoi, of which more, much more in due course) and with Roxtons’ new Yokanga ‘double hook-up’ still raising eyebrows.
Exciting times, and this star struck blogger also wants to express his admiration for the successful blast off and space station docking of one Major Tim Peake today. I’ve done a bit of flying this year, in a WWII era plane, a helicopter, a hot air balloon and a glider, flying it at 3,000 feet above Norfolk but watching the live countdown and blast off was something else. A beautiful day, to quote the U2 song the Army helicopter pilot chose before within five minutes moving into orbit at 8,000mph.