Friday, October 30, 2009

It's A Good Job We're All Different: Much as the Buddah theory, in that our Heaven or Hell will be the image we leave behind of ourselves and our lives to those whom are still living, appeals and seems more logical; if indeed we do actually go to these places we are taught are Heaven, Hell and Purgatory; then Purgatory, for me, would be fishing.
The closest I will ever get to fishing at this time in my life will be ordering cod and chips at the Moorland Way chippie; anything further than that, like investing in a rod, reel, bait, waders, flies; whether they be man-made or real; hats, coats, gloves, umbrellas etecetera; well, you can leave me out.
Yes, I am in the minority, there are millions of men and women who look forward to and set off for a nice relaxing weekend angling. Indeed, mentioning female anglers, I watched a couple of idle minutes on the Documentary channel a while back, when my interest was taken simply because she was rather an attractive female angler. But the programme focussed on the apparent fact that when a female angler lets her line out from the reel; the scent from her skin goes with it; and the male angler's were moaning because they regarded this as an unfair advantage; as they believed the fish were attracted to those female pheremones, or whatever they're called, rather than those of the male; as the women caught more fish.
Fair comment, and nice as this female angler was, had she been standing there in the middle of the river stark naked rather than in the stereotypical waders, wax jacket and a hat with badges; fishing still wouldn't be an attraction.
You see, at school, I joined a crowd of the lads on a shoreline sea fishing day out with our woodwork teacher, Maurice Buck; a bearded and bespectacled jazz groover who tutored me in the building of an acoustic guitar at school; who organised a Saturday trip.
We went in the rugged old school bus, to Hengistbury Head, which is between Bournemouth and Christchurch. And it was a disaster from the outset when I dropped my flask, which I'd borrowed from Gran, anyway; full of hot tomato soup, only to hear the silver vacuumed inner go 'Pop' which meant no hot drinks for me, and it wasn't a good day for weather; overcast and chilly as it was.
None of us, even those who had been fishing before, caught anything; and frozen to the marrow as we became, 'Bucky' as he was known to us kids; told us to "gather up any wood on the beach, and we'll build a fire!" No sooner said than done, and it was heaven; and Terry Best found a muscle, which he cooked in the flames, shelled it, stuck it on his hook; cast out, and caught the only fish of the day.
When evening finally came, (it seemed to take forever), off we went in the bus, only to be dropped off at school where we collected our bikes from the cycle shed and rode home; where I arrived, cold, damp, and extremely miserable, as I had to apologise to Gran for dropping her Thermos.
So, if there is such a thing as Pergatory, then I feel sure that the Power's That Be will chose that day fishing to re-live over and over like a tape loop; as my pennance, and it may even be my idea of Hell, too.