2010 Almost Xmas!

Bloody Hell! Where did the snow go?

One minute we’ve a foot of the stuff and the side roads are sheeted in ice, the next it simply all vanished.

Of course that means the rivers are rising at a rapid rate of knots, swelled with snow melt and only the hardiest and daftest anglers will bother with them for a day or two but I’m reckoning that by Wednesday we might just be back in business again.


Cheeky Sods!

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so I guess Stu and I should be pretty chuffed with a little video clip we’ve come across, made, I presume, by a bunch of Dutch guys. Barbel Days In England carries a only very brief note of explanation:

‘A little impression of our trip to England. Just like the real Barbel Days and Ways’

Try hitting ‘play’ and tell me if that music isn’t familiar! Then watch (26 seconds in) as a barbel picks up a hookbait…

That’s MY hookbait!!! That’s right, nicked from OUR footage!

Bloody foreigners!


Don’t take my word, check it out yourself…

But good luck to the guys. If you visit Pumpypower’s channel on Youtube you’ll find another Barbel Days In England clip plus some other fishing stuff.

Today the UK, tomorrow the world. Well, Holland will do for a start!

A Word In Your Shell-Like…! 

Occasionally, if I’m stuck on a crossword or similar kind of word puzzle I’ll (ahem!) ‘cheat’ by delving into the dictionary. And then an hour is lost…

We have such a powerful language at out disposal yet use so little of it. Indeed it’s said you need a vocabulary of only a couple of hundred words to read a paper like the Sun and I don’t doubt that for a moment.

As for text speak ( txtspk? ), I give up. Is it not criminal that LOL or LMFAO seems to suffice for so many of the ferral generation. But should I really care so much? In a world where some folk don’t even understand basic words, for example, a word like apparently, is there any point in using more complex dialogue than OMG, FWIW or FUBAR?

I do hope there is. I hate it when such lazyness creeps into Internet forum use. And have you noticed it’s the folk that use acronyms who are invariably the most provocative?

How unfortunate that they don’t even know they’re ERISTIC – and no, it’s not an acronym and I’m certainly not meaning to shout.

Eristic means controversial, a contraversialist, connected to strife, provoking, argumental. Kind of apt, eh? Whereas I’m seriously considering adding a strap line to the front page of the site simply stating:

Bob Roberts – EXEGEOMAI

Which means – I lead, show the way, explain…

On the other hand, some will still think it means smartarse!

Oh well, just to prove I am one, let’s have a playlist based on a Words theme. A bakers dozen – 13 songs with ‘word’ in the title:


Tight Lines Is Now Available On Podcast

For those who bemoan there’s not enough fishing on TV but don’t have a Sky subscription then complain no more. The popular angling magazine programme Tight Lines can now be downloaded each week as a free podcast from ITunes and every episode from the current series is available, too.

Took me a while to figure out how to get it to work (you actually download the show onto your computer and then play it) but once I’d sussed that it was fairly straight forward.

Allan Scotthorne’s on the next podcast. Looking forward to that. 

Following Yonder Star

I see old Steve Pope’s on the cover of yet another magazine this month beaming out from ‘neath his Dynamite cap. That’ll upset the knockers. He’s having quite a year you know. Even Fishtec wrote nice things about his blog. Sadly they overlooked this one completely in their round-up. Oi!  (Hence no link to their site from the above mention – find it yourself!)

And Barbel Society membership numbers continue to recover as well, so there’s one man who’ll no doubt enjoy tucking into his Christmas dinner.

But how does he do it eh? For a bloke who’s supposed to be utterly corrupt and is constantly sniped at by a fringe minority? Doesn’t add up, does it?

On the other hand, how come those turkeys who constantly criticise him are noticeably absent from everywhere except their own little circle of web sites?

Are you sure  it’s Steve Pope who’s full of his own importance?

Problem is, the media isn’t remotely interested in anyone who masquerades under the name ‘Anonymous’ and appears to suck permanently on lemons…

Seek And Ye Shall Find…

And now for a little poser. The following poser appeared in a general knowledge quiz on Saturday and it reminded me I’ve not heard from old Chris ‘The Pons’ Ponsford in ages. Never hear of him these days, do you? As for his blog, I’ve stopped even checking for updates it’s been so long since he bothered with it. However it turns out he’s got a pretty good excuse.

Seems he’s been around all the time, hiding within…

Adds a whole new meaning to ‘inner circle’, eh?

I used to take those comments about certain individuals being ‘up Steve’s a**e with a pinch of salt but who knows, perhaps it’s actually true. I can see it now…

9. In which of Steve Pope’s orifices will you most likely find (Bonney/ Frampton/ etc… insert name of your choice)?

a) ear                b) mouth

c) nose             d) a**e

Only kidding! 😉

Rinko’s Christmas Card

Had a nice card this week from Rinko Oosterveen wishing me a ‘Barbelicious’ new year.

Rinko runs the Dutch web site Barbeel.

I’ll drink to that! 

We Don’t Need No Edukashun

Can anyone possibly have been impressed by the riotous scenes in London as rampaging ‘students’ protested against increased tuition fees? Attacking the police, defacing and damaging public buildings, pissing on Winston Churchill’s statue and smashing a window of a car carrying Prince Charles and Camilla to the Royal Variety Performance.

Is this what the country’s finest young brains believe will gain them sympathy from the folk who are expected to fund their hairdressing management degrees?

Did you spot that kid swinging from the Cenotaph’s Union flag? His name is Charlie Gilmour, a Cambridge history student who claimed later that he didn’t even know what the monument was!

I’d say the ÂŁ9,000 per term  his parents spent on a private education were wasted then. And maybe ‘wasted’ might be a more appropriate term than you think.

Young Charlie was also caught on camera tossing a large rock whilst wearing latex gloves and then later on in Regent Street right where the royal car was attacked.

Of course he was full of remorse the following day, ‘I woke up this morning feeling nothing buy shame’. However he did profer a remarkable excuse – he was high on LSD at the time!

Call me a sceptic if you like, but when your dad is Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour (estimated wealth ÂŁ78million) you would think the very least of your worries would be an increase in the cost of tuition fees.

And what’s the betting this ‘Pink Floyed‘ track was uploaded by a student?

Adcock’s Carp Update

I mentioned in a recent post that the Adcock Stanton range of personalised gift engraving would soon include a carp. Well, I’ve just been sent a copy the finished template. Rather nice, isn’t it? If carp fishing is your bag you can have one of these on a handwarmer, Zippo lighter, hip flask or anything else that’s vaguely flat…

Matt’s Got The X-Factor

Dear Lord, what is the nation going to do on Saturday and Sunday evenings now that fiX Factor has ended? How will ITV fill the televison schedules? And what about the poor contestants?

Alas it’s one glitzy ‘finalists’ tour and then back to obscurity for most of them.

No doubt the charts will be log-jammed for a few weeks, bulging with X Factor guests and previous finalists. Matt can look forward to his Christmas number one, although I’m not quite sure about the song – maybe it will grow on us.

Potentially, let’s say 5 years from now, Rebecca deserves to be a world-wide, multi-platinum selling star. She has a truly astonishing voice. I do hope so, but the show’s track record suggests she might just be screwed up and cast aside. That would be such a shame.

As for Matt with his limited vocal range, vertically challenged stature, wooden stage presence and the kind of personality that makes James Blunt appear rivetting, I honestly don’t know. Is he the new Frankie Valli? On certain songs his soaring falsetto shines, but is he a one-trick pony? Will it be enough to sustain a career?

And what of the judges? Do they really know what they’re talking about? For ten weeks they’ve been telling us that, ‘you’re right on the money, a proper little pop star, you represent every teenage girl out there, we’ve found the next big boy band’ and similar gushing plattitudes aimed at swaying the folk who are genuinely stupid enough to waste money on voting for their favourites.

We’ve seen the (f)udges ‘save’ Katie Waisel over and over again, save Cher and Simon fawning over a prostitute. They get it wrong time after time after time. ‘It means everything to you, I can see that,’ they tell the contestants but once the safety net is removed and the public finally get their chance to choose a winner the judges favourites suddenly crash and burn.

How Simon would have loved his manufactured boy band to win. How he and Cheryl both would have loved Cher to have been the final two.

But does it matter? In boxing it was said that it didn’t matter who Don King walked into the ring with, he always walked out of it with the Champion. Simon Cowell’s kinda like that, isn’t he?

Rockin’ All Over The World

It never crossed our minds when Stu and I launched Barbel Days And Ways quite how far its impact would be felt but we were soon getting orders from far and wide. I think we’ve sold copies into most every near-European country, some in Eastern Europe and others as far away as America and New Zealand.

Numerous European web sites have affiliated with us and put links to this site, the latest being FQW, or to use the full title, PĂȘche Feeder / Quiver / Waggler toutes les pĂȘches anglaises dans le dĂ©partement de l’Aveyron.

Bob Roberts uk
Le blog, trĂšs animĂ© d’un cĂ©lĂšbre pĂȘcheur, consultant pour une grande marque de matĂ©riel de pĂȘche.

I haven’t a clue what it says about me but the old saying that it doesn’t matter what they say so long as they spell your name correctly will do for me!

Panasonic Update

Oh dear, it seems Customer Communications Advisor Chris Swatridge has not bothered to answer my request for an indication of the scale of Panasonic’s commitment to repairing the still in warranty faulty plasma TV screen and (s)he’s not given me the Chairman’s email address either.

That’s a bit crap really for someone who’s supposedly a member of a customer care team. Maybe (s)he’s rushed off his/her feet dealing with hundreds of other customers with faulty goods (are Panasonic products really that bad?) or maybe he’s just ignoring me in the hope I’ll just go away.

I think the folk who know me from this blog and years of posting on forums could tell him I don’t give up that easily.

I’ll give him/her a couple of days before I write direct to the Chairman via the Post Office. You see it may be that (s)he’s just new to the job and hasn’t quite got a handle on his/her responsibilities yet. Until quite recently (s)he was a member of the ‘Dealer Support Correspondence Team’. Perhaps moving to Customer Care is a promotion, or maybe it’s not. You wouldn’t want someone around who might p*** off your dealers in this way, would you?

How do I know this? Well, browsing an Internet forum I came across a post from someone who had recently had dealings with the very same Chris Swatridge and the customer was definitely NOT happy, I quote: ‘Thank you Panasonic, I asked for a specific date in May and you just emailed back tell me its out in May, WHICH I ALREADY KNOW!

Sounds par for the course. Just feed them bullsh*t and hope they go away. Coincidently the poster had contacted Panasonic because he was keen to purchase a 42″ plasma screen TV…

Bet he didn’t buy one.

Interestingly there’s a Chris Swatridge on Facebook – please tell me I’m not dealing with a bright green ninja turtle…!

Meanwhile I contacted The Richer Sounds Customer Support Team. Blimey, what a difference!

I was really impressed by the service I got from Richer Sounds when I bought the TV, DVD/VCR recorder, Yamaha Sound System package. They were brilliant at the store – friendly, helpful, keen, informative, in fact everything you could ask for.

Within 24 hours Tom Griffiths was back in touch, wanted to chat about the problems I was having on the phone, eager to involve Richer Sounds’ purchasing department in the battle. ‘I can’t believe they are treating you like this! If we can’t resolve it for you, rest assured we’ll sort something out for you. We like to do the very best we can for our customers.’

I’ll tell you what, I’ll be purchasing my next TV from Richer Sounds but at this rate it won’t be a Panasonic. And if you’re in the market for electricals I can’t be fairer than to suggest that at the very least you should check out Richer Sounds.

Aghhgg gh!!!! 

I write a weekly column in one of the last remaining proper football papers. Time was when every city had its own sports paper, published on Saturday tea time, often on coloured paper, Birmingham had a pink one, or was that Liverpool? I’ve seen all the various pastel shades used.

In the good old days when we only had two TV channels and no teletext, never mind Internet, this is where you got your news first and fastest. I’ve been to games and bought a paper at the railway station with a report of the game I’d just seen to read on my way home. It was that quick.

And when you went out on a Saturday night guys would come round the pubs and clubs selling copies.

And the seafood man! Do you remember them coming round the clubs? Cockles, prawns, vinegar, washed down with a pint of beer…

But I digress (and show my age). Sheffield still has a football paper called the Green Un. I’ve took over the angling column in the early part of 1997 when Colin Dyson was terminally ill.

Alas the last minute nature of these papers results in occasional proofing errors. Everyone’s in a rush so it’s to be expected, but sometimes you can actually work out how pages are constructed. Take this example. The text was clearly laid out first and then passed on to a sub who’s job it was to insert a witty or pithy headline.

Perhaps the phone rang at an inappropriate moment…

Either that or it’s some Wednesday-ite who doesn’t like United’s ticketing offer. Or maybe a Barnsley fan who still bears a grudge against Morgan ‘the elbow’.

Either way it’s a classic clanger!

I Bloody Hate Football – Official!

Please tell me I was dreaming, that it was simply a nightmare. What? You ask. I’m on about that performance at Leicester today. Honestly, how on earth did that happen?

The game at Leicester was pronounced ‘the fans game’ – all tickets a tenner, unless you were from Donny and then you have to stump up ÂŁ26. Never mind, it was being beamed across the world and I was able to pick up a feed on the Internet. I should have known. Every time I’ve watched the Rovers via an Internet feed we’ve been mugged in some way or other.

Folk in Leicester clearly like a bargain and 27,500 folk duly turned up to watch Sven’s men. It didn’t bode well for Donny that the match official, James Linington is young, inexperienced and when last he reffed us failed to spot the ball was two feet over the line when we ‘scored’.

The game kicked off and we knocked the ball around and pretty much toyed with Leicester. Hayter had already missed an absolute sitter before Billy Sharp, our very own ‘Fat Lad From Sheffield’ opened the scoring on 6 minutes with his 100th career goal. Then Healy rounded the keeper and somehow shot wide of the empty net. My God the crowd was quiet – you could even hear the Donny fans.

Donny bossed the first half while they chased shadows and then, two minutes into first half stoppage time, the referee awarded the most ridiculous penalty I have ever seen given. As James O’Conner shielded a loose ball back to keeper Sullivan, Lloyd Dyer jumped over him and onto Sullivan who had taken the ball cleanly. I doubt anyone in the ground saw it as a penalty except Linington. Honestly it was a decision that stunk the place out and if it had been awarded against Stoke we’d have never heard the last of it. It was a howler.

If it was a penalty then Sullivan had to be the last man yet he didn’t even get a yellow.

And from that moment on we imploded. It was our turn to stink the place out. Donny never even turned up for the second half. It was embarassing and it could have been a lot worse. Fortunately Vassel couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo and the woodwork rescued us a couple of times.

To make matters worse, one of the key players in our rise to the Championship, Ritchie ‘carpetbagger’ Wellens, who walked out on us to double his wages at Leicester and hadn’t scored a goal this season hammered in a screamer from outside the box to put them ahead before laying on a third. Even Sven found the turn around difficult to believe but it got worse…

The intense Christmas programme doesn’t appear to hold much cheer for Donny right now. I can’t see how we’ll ever win another game. Winter break anyone?

Footnote: Interesting match review from a leicester fan, ‘5-1 But Did Doncaster Deserve Defeat?’

On that second half performance I’d say we definitely DID! But what if…, eh?

Blades Get Right Result

Sheffield United have parted company with one manager already this season and under Gary Speed they’ve since slumped to 5th bottom, one uncomfortable point above the relegation places. You’d have to think his days were numbered and the club would be working out how little compensation they might be able to get away with paying him when they parted company, yet in an astonishing turn-around he’s been offered the job of managing Wales and the Welsh FA will instead have to compensate the Blades for releasing him from a recently signed 3-year contract!

You couldn’t make it up, could you? You can bet Parise Or Grumble (BBC Radio Sheffield 6pm) will be indundated with calls from Piggies tonight demanding they steal Sean O’Driscol from the Rovers…

You listen.

Snow Melt or NO Snow Melt…

Right, that’s your lot. I’m off to prepare my tackle. I’m going fishing tomorrow and about time, too! With more arctic weather forecast for the end of the week I’d better make the most of a bad job. Roach tomorrow, grayling the day after. Can’t be bad.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

6 thoughts on “2010 Almost Xmas!

  1. Nice update Bob,

    Still no joy with the Panasonic and customer services?
    Have tradng standards suggested anything?

    I have to admit the times when we have had cause to use trading standards,like when a microwave we had fell to pieces whilst still being under warranty,I can’t say they were very helpful,in fact they seemed rather toothless.

    I can recommend the Samsung so far,but then what does that mean,the real acid test is the customer service further down the line if and when it develops a fault.

    Anyhow,I hope you have a good fishing trip and a merry Christmas.

    Kind regards


  2. Hi Mark,

    Good news on the Panasonic front. The message is getting through at last.

    Yes, they’ve now replied and things are looking more positive. Not going to get carried away at this stage as there’s a way to go before I’ll be satisfied, but let’s say I’m optimistic.

    Of course, I’ll reveal all in the next blog.

    My man at Panasonic is now up to number 4 in the Google rankings!


  3. Dear Bob I was also angry at the antics of the so called students, they want a good whacking. I paid all my own fees, we didn’t get any grants. I often worked in the local bakery on Friday and Sunday nights, or we would work on the docks unloading potato or tomato boats on a Friday night. We often arrived at midnight working straight through until the afternoon.

    I would kick them out of University, then give the place to someone who would study and work hard, while on the subject of slobs, when did you see anyone out on the streets doing their 200 hours of community work? Lets have the chain gangs as they have in the States. Enough said I’m off fishing.

  4. Hi Bob, Great read as usual. I cannot comment on students as i have never been in that system. What i can comment on, as an ex military man, is the way they defaced Winston Churchill’s statue, in such an abhorrent way. I am not going to name the idiot who swung from the cenotaphs flag, as its a way to get his, so called publicity.
    It must have been hard for the Police to stand inline and watch this, i found it very hard to watch from the other side, entwined with some strong thought as to a solution.

    Looking forward to getting back fishing soon as it gets above freezing.

    Happy Xmas

  5. Hi Bob

    Good luck with the Panasonic episode. I’ve just shelled out on a new TV, but didn’t even consider a Panasonic after reading your tale of woe. I wonder how many others have done the same! LG for me this time.

    I know they have a ‘Pink un’ In Bradford. Halfway through our Bradford League cricket matches, someone would rush to the shop to see what had been wrote about us. I hated being called medium pace!