I had the oddest of deja vu moments earlier this week. I was trundling down a B road on the Staffordshire / Derbyshire border, looking for my destination for the night, Catton Hall, where I was to shoot the next day. I spotted a house on my left and thought, "that might be it, looks familiar."
It wasn't, my destination was further down the road. Later though, in conversation with the owners of Catton Hall, I learned that I had passed a house called Croxall Hall on the road.
Rewind thirty years and my girlfriend of the time picked me up from Birmingham New Street and was driving me home to meet her parents. "That's a nice house over there," I remember remarking. "That's home," she said. "Ahhh........ right then," I said. It was Croxall Hall.
Her father then proceeded to ply me with freshly shaken martini's, another new experiance. The evening didn't end well and I can now see, in retrospect, that he played me as a cat would a mouse. It's taken thirty years for me to return to the same county never mind the same road.
The shoot was a grand success with 275 birds being dispatched. Many more got past the guns though, including a not inconsiderable number past me............. just like the one thirty years ago. Wonder what became of her.
Incidentally, if you are ever the happy recipient of an invitation to shoot at Catton just say yes........ it's all you need to know.