Fishing in Cornwall


October - Troubled Waters in Paradise?

It was the final gig of John's summer residency in Newquay; promising, for me, a whole evening where the TV remote would be entirely mine and I wouldn't have to wrestle for it from its hiding place under a my dear husband's thigh... know what I mean girls?. A glass of pinot grigio poured, a supermarket (tut,tut!) seafood lasagne sizzling from the microwave, I snuggled down to watch, 'The Tudors' on iPlayer, intrigued to see how the bootylicious Joss Stone would anthropomorphise into the 'Flanders Mare', the pragmatic Anne Of Cleves, when the phone rang.

"Jay 'ere, wanna bass do 'ee my 'andsome?". In response, I replied, "I'm not going to say no, am I? Where are you?", " I'm over the pub, I've just come in but landed nothin' worth the drive to Newlyn, come and buy me a pint and 'ave a geek". Consequently, the unmissable became missable!

The pub is across the village; I walked past what the tourist brochures ironically market as 'white washed fishermens' cottages'', which under the Trade Description Act should more accurately be described as 'second home owners investments leaching income out of the county's cottages'; sadly, unless a fisherman has an inheritance, the chance of buying a home is negligible and it's not unusual for families to live with parents or in a caravan in a neighbour's field.

A few visitors were still around and 'usual suspect' locals were playing pool or sitting on their customary stools around the bar, putting the world to rights. My call had been from the son of a dear friend and we chatted about this and that; a couple of pints of Doombar later he became increasingly despondent as he didn't know how long he could carry on fishing. He had invested in boat known as a 'fast worker' and a licence which entitled him to a quota for fish and shellfish which cost £19K... that's for the licence not the boat. It wasn't long before his dreams became a nightmare because the fish were illusive and chasing them with the rising cost of fuel, even subsidised, was around £25 a day... continued...

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