I've not been fishing for a while, in fact today was my eighth day off sick from work, and the first time in sixteen years that I've had to get a sick note. If anyone else has had the horrendous cold currently doing the rounds they're going to know what I'm talking about. I've now officially got an upper respiratory tract infection, which translates as I can't breath and talking makes me cough my guts up. Laughing nearly kills me, so jokes are right out. Anyone who makes a humorous comment could be looking at attempt murder, or worse!

Whilst this has prevented me from fishing, it has allowed me to spend whole days watching other people do it on the telly. As a result I've reached conclusions about some of the respected folk from the hobby who venture into the world of TV and video. Best not to share those conclusions too explicitly, based as they are on cable channel re-runs of 30 minute tv shows and almost certainly wrong, but I think it's safe to say that Matt Hayes' mate Mick Brown, comes across as a really nice bloke, I'm not sure what to make of Henry Gilbey and John Wilson must be making a fortune on his films, 'cause I can't think of another reason to explain all the random chuckling.

Actually it's been nice to watch some fishing, but it's had a similar effect to a long day spent watching a float, I get the repeats as I'm trying to go to sleep. It can be quite pleasant to find yourself back on the bank as you drift off, but the sudden rush of adrenalin when the float goes under makes it a to get to sleep.

Once I'd watched all the fishing progs twice I had to find other entertainment, so I watched Das Boot. I'd not watched that brilliant recreation of life on a U-boat for years and in German with the sub-titles it was just as atmospheric and claustrophobic as I remembered. Strangely fishing got a look in here, because although the opening scene in the brothel didn't ring any fishing bells, by the time the crew had been at sea for eight weeks without benefit of a razor, I was beginning to get a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I'd seen the Chief Engineer somewhere before and then it struck me, if you took him out of his Kriegsmarine kit and dressed him in tweed, he'd be dead ringer for Chris Yates.

My partner has got this too, though she seems to be a day ahead of me. This means that I am able to say with some certainty that I'm not going to be any better tomorrow and the big yellow cross is going to have to remain on the front door. As that's the case, I'm hoping that they might find a few new fishing programmes to put on, whatever happened to the funny Aussie bloke who is forever playing with the peak of his hat and kissing the fish???