We come to Koi as a child to the library, captivated by the picture books in the nursery.  The adventure takes us from Peru with Paddington Bear to the famous five, Huckleberry Finn, Long-John Silver through to Harry Potter.

A truly wondrous time, a joy that we will share again with our children. We grow along with our understanding, novels become the staple increasing in complexity elevating the level of enjoyment. The process continues over many years. The lucky will find the great pen men, Shakespeare, Dickens, Wordsworth, Shelley, wondrous wordsmiths who have sculpted the beautiful English language, enabling them to reach out across the centuries, plunging daggers or doves

Swirly koi 270

Majestic swirl of tail and fin,
Eye unblinking draws me in,
With body clothed in Joseph’s coat,
A moving symphony, no earthly note,
How you hypnotise, my eye delight,
And capture as the stars at night,
Speak no name, or laugh or cry,
Care not if I live or die,
To care for you I diva fawn,
To chance to gaze your wondrous form,
Not fig for me you care, tis true,
Dims not my perfect love for you.

Alan Coogan 2007

deep into the soul of Mankind.

It remains a mystery to me how some can step away from waters edge unaffected by the spectacle of koi while others are gripped with a desire which will change their lives.

Koi, like literature will take us from the pretty to the spiritual, from a blend of swirling colour to an intensely personal place, where study of the Kana and Kanji will arm with the tools to realise the passion within the pattern.

Koi bring joy and fellowship, peace and tranquillity, they are to be viewed and enjoy, they are tough, and durable. Looking after them is relatively easy but can become shrouded in mystery. Unlike the library where the sections are clearly marked. separating the facts from fiction is difficult.

Alcoholics Anonymous to the allotment association, need Havens, self help groups totally free of commercial interest to remain credible.

The hobbyists voice has become distant. It has not gone away but their is no vehicle to carry it. Commercialism reigns. Without a credible Ying to this Yang, the hobby at any advanced level is doomed.  The kids chasing the ball in the park with multi-coloured shirts bearing the names of their heroes are the product of aspiration.  The Koi world needs aspiration.

Luckily the UK nationally contains the best koi collection outside of Japan also some of the best judges in the world. Knowledge within its amateur ranks is second to none. harnessing this and making it available to the hobbyist has become increasingly important.

The Newmarket Group is a loose affiliation of respected hobbyists who will periodically offer seminars and teaching sessions. To date there have been two winter seminars and one summer Koi show. They have been run on a not for profit bases, although through donations and door entry to the general public we have donated over £7,000 to breast cancer.

To love life one must sometimes face death.  Dr. Meredith said of his 40 years of fighting with cancer, ''It has been a long hard struggle of despair, hope, joy and crushing defeat but for the first time I can see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel and hope to live long enough to walk with my team into the sunshine.  ''Let's hope the Newmarket Group can ''walk with them into the sunshine.''

Alan Coogan