Friday, 15 August 2008

Gone fishing

I take Shark and Tiger fishing. Can you believe that? I can't, so I took photos.

Now in my opinion, fishing has to be one of the most pointless pastimes anyone can ever do. I simply cannot understand it. Standing around in water all day long, freezing cold, wasting time. But Grit and Dig live with this maverick character who is unstable, unpredictable and can suddenly take us off at a moments notice to any field in Britain, and they are called Home Education. At the drop of a hat, because the opportunity has arisen, and Home Education is running off at a clap over to a field, then there we all go chasing after it, blindly hoping that somewhere along the path we will get some of the education bit fixed into the children's brains.

Well this morning we have all had a conversation about the wisdom of following Home Education to this fishing expedition. Dig, who is sensible, says we will all be led off again into new enthusiasms that last a week, and if we take up fishing seriously and start bringing fish home, then he is leaving. Grit thinks it is probably unwise and keeps quiet about her secret salmon-eating habit. Tiger says she wants to wear her new pretty pink sandals, and Shark says she will only come fishing if the fish do not get hurt. As a caution, first off I leave Shark sailing, and then take Tiger along to find out.

We cautiously advance to the waterside and make the kind of enquiries which mark me out as a complete fishing idiot. Like 'How do you catch the fish?' 'Do you hurt the fish?' and 'Is that fish alright?' Then we are told all the rudiments, like rod, line, maggot, and barbless hook. The fisherman even catches one little fish while he's explaining and shows it to Tiger who hangs her nose over it in timid curiosity. He reassures us it can live out of water for ten minutes and don't worry, he's not going to hit it on the head and cook it because this is the kiddy fishing day, and anything caught is put in the tank they've set up at the van.

Then this little fish, held tenderly by the fisherman, actually moves in his hand. It doesn't so much as move, sort of twitch, but for Tiger that's enough to send her into panic mode and rocket propulsion. She simultaneously screams and jumps six foot into the air from a standing position, like MY GOD! That thing's ALIVE! The fisherman thinks this is hilarious and suggests she has a go. You'd think that by this demonstration, she's not cut out to be a fisherwoman, more of a fashion designer, but to her credit, with some proper instruction from an experienced fisherman, who can teach her things like maggots have a round end and a pointy end, all results her catching the largest fish that morning for the kiddy tank.

When Tiger's had her turn, it's time to fetch Shark, straight from sailing. I pick her up and she's clutching her certificate to say she's got Stage 2, but with her instructor, Mr Smooth, wagging his finger at her and telling her to come back and practice her tiller extension, whatever that is.

Shark, with appropriate reassurances about barbless hooks, then goes fishing. Shark loves fish this much.

Make that THIS MUCH.

Shark loves fish so much she wants to cuddle them, even though they are wet and slimy and revolting. Not to Shark. She thinks they are the best creatures on the planet and on some days would probably trade in her mother and father for a couple of trout she could keep in the bath. I'd only concur that on some days Mummy Trout would make a better conversationalist and probably a better parent than Mummy Grit.

Shark holds the fish she catches. She strokes it, wide eyed in delight and smiling with pleasure at feeling its little body wriggle. She's taught how to hold it so she doesn't hurt them and you can almost feel her wanting to give that little fella a big smackeroo, just for being a fish.

At the end of her time she doesn't want to leave, saying she wants to come back and learn how to fish, so long as she has barbless hooks. And then guess what? Mummy Grit finds herself proving Dig right, and becomes absorbed in deep conversation about angling clubs and fishing and standing in water in winter and for a few moments it all makes sense, why anyone would want to do this at all, and it seems perfectly logical and reasonable and fishermen are indeed the ears and eyes of the water, and the lords of the lakes.

Well even though I end the session converted and with a promise to Shark that she can come on the angling teaching session in October, and I will join her, she still will not budge, gazing into that water as if she wants to grow gills and a tail, preferably right now. Fired up with fish I then say to Shark I may have to bring you round to consciousness by slapping you round the face with a wet herring. To which Shark proves her love of fish forever and ever, because she replies, 'I would quite like that, so long as the herring doesn't mind'.


Michelle said...

Where Clo went they only allow barbless hooks.

It's funny as if you'd looked across that lake, you would have seen where Eliza lives and that is the lake Clo cycled round, and skidded in rather spectacular style in the algae water on the path to the left of the lake from where you were standing. If we'd reversed our day we'd have seen you there lol. We watched the kids fishing and Clo asked if she could do it too but she'd have had to pre-book apparently :-(

Grit said...

that's our parks department for you... thoroughly organised. and that would have been very cool, seeing you there!

sharon said...

No, sorry, I just can't see the point of fishing unless you are going to eat the fish. It's a very popular past-time on the beaches Downunder and, yes, they do eat the catch.

sharon said...

oops, should have previewed that comment, I meant pastime not past-time. I fear it's that Oldtimers Disease taking hold ;-(

Samurai Beetle said...

next demand - fish tank to showcase latest catch!