I make no apology for taking the words from Nigel ‘Fennel’ Hudson for the title of this short Blog as ‘Fine Things’ to me is such a great description of those special and delightful things we gather in our lives.
My ‘Fine Things’ are indeed very special to me and in most cases these objects, belongings, inheritances and so on, are usually quite old items with a long story to tell. As I think about these ‘Fine Things’ I wonder if they always were ‘Fine Things’?
Were they considered ‘Fine Things’ when they were new, or did they become more so in later years?
This year I stumbled across the incredible work of Andrew Field who trades as ‘Lure of the Float’ http://lureofthefloat.co.uk
Click on his website and you will see some gorgeous examples of his work. I did and was soon drooling at some of his rather unique products not to mention the incredible finish to them. His floats are pure art and almost a shame to cast one out and risk losing but equally so to my mind a crime not to use such exquisite creations, to give them a life before perhaps retiring them prematurely.
It was not his floats that I first purchased though. I was drawn to the traditional hand made fishing bag. Now one of my favourite bags and one of my ‘Fine Things’ is a Hardy Canvas fishing bag that has certainly had a hard life and a bag I purchased from new rather than inherited. The more I have used this bag, the more battered (I prefer the term lived in) it has become, the more I love it.
This bag has been a everyday everything bag. It has been a bag that was in daily use as a brief case carrying my files laptops etc on a daily basis which I felt was much more fitting with my style (or perhaps lack of it) than a
more conventional case. It has been a constant travel companion being my flight hand luggage countless times and then used as my all purpose bag wherever I have ended up, carrying photographic equipment and even towels down to the beach as well as being a shopping bag. It has also obviously been used for angling as well when travelling light.
I guess you can now see why I have become so attached to this bag and it is indeed one of my newer ‘Fine Things’.
But. Yes but. As much as I love it this bag has been a tad too small at times. I purchased it originally because it was one of the largest capacity of its type I could find at the time and it has coped although I admit I have often had bits attached to it because they haven’t quite fitted inside it which is okay when the weather is okay.
So, imagine my delight when I saw the Andrew Field range of bags in both traditional heavy duty canvas and leather as well as completely leather. The canvas one with the leather trim looked so similar to my every day companion but it was larger. I looked down at the side of my desk at my Hardy version and put the tape measure to it. I looked back at the dimensions on the screen at what looked like my bags big brother and it was soon pretty obvious that this bag would hold things more comfortably without having the straps at full stretch quite so often as my beloved old companion.
The next few days the Andrew Field bag wasn’t only on my mind it was positively drilling through to the core of it until I could stand it no longer, picked the telephone up and ordered one whilst in the next instance looking down at my old mate and almost apologising to it but we were going to be having a new bag joining the Harrison household.
The bag arrived and I had been worrying if the quality was going to be up there with the Brady and Hardy bags I had lived with for so long. I tentatively opened the parcel and straight away a smile stretched my face. The quality looked and felt every bit as good to me.
Now it is still early days but my new bag has been on a few angling adventures already and is now sharing the work that my Hardy bag was originally doing by itself (my Kelly Kettle and
emergency brew kit live permanently in my Brady bag which had become a little too tatty and stained for every day use). Already this new bag has become one of my ‘Fine Things’ and now I am enjoying actually wearing it in and watching the character lines and marks form on the canvas and leather and I am sure we will be together for many years to come. There is something rather special to me about high quality luggage.
Now this leads me onto my next dealings with Andrew and his ‘Lure of the Float’ but I guess that should really be a different blog, a fresh piece as this one is starting to get a little high in the word count. It was the next piece I had actually sat down to write but felt a little background was in order first and before I knew it I had a blog about my bag.
Please bear with me, I have a little more work to catch up on and then I am going to share something really special. Definitely more ‘Fine Things’ that I have seen with my own eyes but still can’t believe have been produced.