So back to the splash, I opened the hatch, peered out, with a bright and chirpy 'Morning' to the regular fishermen who were already three hours into their morning fish and saw a man with a pair of shorts on and a woolly hat, holding a line and tugging on it. A couple of people were with him, watching for whatever he was about to haul up. Nothing was coming, his line was stuck. I thought he was the same man that had been pulling out motorbikes and cycles further down the canal a few months earlier, but he said he was just a regular fisherman who was fed up with his line getting stuck and so had come down with a rake to try and fish out whatever it was that kept tangling up his line. Fair play.
The only problem was that his line was stuck. Well and truly stuck. I noticed that the funny sounding couple who loved swimming were actually sitting on the edge of the canal further down and mentioned that perhaps they would dive down for him to try and untangle it. He left his line with one of the keen onlookers and ran down to ask them for the favour. They declined saying they'd just dried off. This meant his only other option was to get in there himself. So he took off his shoes and started to lower himself in.
Now the other fishermen were showing some interest, in the kind of 'shake-your-head in bafflement at the crazy things some people do' way. I asked him if he was mad and hoped he would go home and have a shower afterwards. He said it was quite refreshing and he wasn't going to swallow any of it and didn't have any open wounds. Then up came a bike, his helper hoiked it out, quite a nice looking one at that, if you saw through the oily gunk. The line was still caught though, as he pulled it further, up popped a wheel of a shopping trolley...
'Ah, I remember when the boys threw that in, you should keep looking though, there were definitely two!' So he pulled himself out of the water, for the trolley was caught up in his rake and untangled it all, then threw it back in and caught the other trolley. 'That's great' he said, 'now I've got a clear path to fish in.'
I popped out for the afternoon. When I came back I asked if he'd caught anything more than the bike and trolleys, 'nah' was his reply, but he seemed quite happy enough. No real edge of seat clinchers here I'm afraid, but this is the real -life TV!