I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year; a New Year brings a fresh start and new perspectives.
2023 also marks the Chinese Year of the Rabbit.
Some might say the rabbit is a clever animal, it's charm and speed are meant to attract certain good qualities; money, partnership and success - here's to that.
The highlight of my month was a catch up with one of our longest supporting BKKS Members; Mark Clarke (Membership No. 406).
Mark has been a BKKS Member for over 30 years; we hit it off instantly, having a great natter over a cappuccino at the Brentwood Holiday Inn.
Mark presented me with probably one of the biggest collections of historical UK Koi Magazines I've ever seen; Nishikigoi International's, Rinko's, alongside historical BKKS magazines and others, dating from the late 80's/early 90's.
Thank you for your continued support Mark, it is appreciated, and it was great to catch up.
My other highlight is of-course The All Japan Combined Nishikigoi Show, which takes place in Tokyo in January.
It was the first time in a few years that the Show was back in Tokyo (due to the Coronavirus Pandemic), previously being held in Niigata (restricting unnecessary movement).
Johan Leurs (Koi Zanmai) and I have a similar passion for koi; we chat fairly often, and Johan has a superb collection of koi at his home in Belgium.
Johan (Domi Johan on Facebook) has been in Japan covering the 'AJKS' over the last week or so, and agreed to let me share one of his Grand Champion photo's:
This tops a year where Sanke (Taisho Sanshoku) have won GC's at a majority of shows, in the U.K and to some extent abroad.
In the U.K for example; the South-East Young Koi Show, the BKKS National Koi Show and the South East All England Shows all returned a Sanke as the Grand Champion. Sanke are of-course one of the 'Big Three' which encompass Kohaku, Sanke and Showa (in no particular order).
A stunningly imposing fish and clearly a deserved overall winner.
Social Media can be a strange place at times; if you are unsure of how to spell a Japanese koi word (i.e. Sumi, Beni, Shiroji) or are perhaps unsure of the meaning, take a few minutes to check this and any spelling (pronunciation also helps). I'm not suggesting we all become bi-lingual overnight, but do try to pronounce and certainly spell words correctly as this helps others to not make the same mistake.
There are plenty of Koi Glossary's online if you get stuck - I'm still not sure what Bene or Shiriji are, answers on a post card please!
A final mention to Ken & Sophie at The Koi Collection, in Corley.
Some of our committee members stopped off here at the end of the month (we were at the Heart of England Showground).
A great few hours, and I'll upload a quick video of one of Ken and Sophie's larger ponds as soon as I can (when YouTube stops messing around with my video quality!)
I can't quite believe February is already upon us, I'll leave you to contemplate this glorious Sanke.
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