The day after my last entry, Luke and I headed off to the United States and the big Fly Fishing Show in New Jersey. We didn't sell as many books as I would have liked, but met lots of old and new friends, and had a lovely time with Ken and Diane in New Hampshire before and after the show.
For the first time in many years, we have an empty kennel. Jess hadn't been too well after three days' shooting immediately before our trip. She had a couple of days at the vet's while we were away, then fell ill again a week or so later, this time very seriously - she only lived for a few hours after the diagnosis of lung cancer was made.
She was only six-and-a-half, and as she came to me as a fully trained 3-year-old, we only had three seasons together. I've had some good labs, but she was probably the best. I'm glad we saw the season out without any inkling of what was to come.
On our return we were almost straight off to the BFFI. Now it has moved to a February date there are fewer complaints, and the atmosphere this year was very good. Then we had a mad rush to unload the flyfishing stock and replace it with guns and shooting for the Shooting Show at Stoneleigh.
My immediate problem is what to do about my wooden greenhouse. The gales ripped one side out of it, and I guess the best thing to do will be to pull it down and start again. I'd better get moving - it's time to start sowing seeds! Luckily there is plenty of room in the aluminium house at this time of year, so I can start some stuff in there.
February has been without sport, and there is little prospect in March. I seldom fish for rainbow trout, but can sometimes be tempted out if I hear that Clywedog is fishing well - we'll see.