Last month you found me looking back to find comfort in the pages of my shooting diaries. I am looking resolutely forward this month in the growing hope that, unless the plague breaks out again with dreadful local or nationwide ferocity, there will be something like normal service at High Park this coming season. I am looking forward to it in both meanings of the phrase and I pray that in doing so, I am not tempting fate to intervene and play havoc with my expectations.
It is, of course, not just the thought of sport at High Park that is cheering me up. There is also the prospect, under the iron fist of shoot captain Reg Metcalfe, of my first season as a member of the Mallerstang Mob. As at High Park so on Reg’s shoot, and also at Forest Hall near Kendal, the whole day is spent under the sky and we do our own beating, which means that relatively few people are involved in the proceedings. The chances that all three shoots will function roughly as normal must be pretty good.
But it is not just the thought of shooting days that has me looking forward so eagerly. I am looking forward very much indeed to getting my pheasant poults, which will have been at High Park for just over a week when this article appears.
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August 12, 2020