I’ve just had a dreadful night, and the dread of being woken in the early hours is being realised with mounting frequency.  I get cramp.

That might not sound much, but it comes with a tsunami of excruciating pain that takes an hour or more to subside. The real agony is the cramp that affects (mostly) my left thigh, knotting the muscle into a grinner of solid, pulsing convulsions. My face turns chalky white. I become a human sprinkling system. I feel sick to the point of being so at times. The night becomes a torment rather than a balm.

I’ve always suffered with cramp. It’s nothing new in my life ever since I was five, shrieking in horror in my first footie matches, struck down on one of my right wing raids! However, I have to accept that these last few years the affliction has got steadily worse. 

Dick and Dave in action, along with a surprise guest!

I know what the root cause is of course, age and decrepitude apart. I simply cannot sit still. Yesterday is a case in point. I was guiding the very excellent Dick and Dave on the river and it was a slow day indeed. By 11.00am I knew I had my work cut out, and according to my phone health app (normally fairly reliable) I walked 5.6 miles, wading the river, searching both banks up and down, baiting swims as I went. And as you can imagine, this wasn’t easy walking, but much of it pushing through untrodden undergrowth, carrying a heavy bucket and wearing chest waders with their accompanying water-laden boots. 

So, do I tone down my wandering, guiding, fishing life to a safer level, or is there a cure out there that you might know about? It would help here to run through what I have tried, generally as a result of wife Enoka’s tireless research, I have to say.

Magnesium tablets.

Hemp tablets.

Various rub-in potions. 

A heat pad on which to rest my throbbing thigh.

Drinking a lot of tonic water… I owe Richard Jones that one. 

Perhaps these remedies have worked to one degree or another, but as last night proved, not entirely. I love the way I fish. For me, mobility is all. Anyone who can come up with a fail-safe answer will earn my undying gratitude!