Insights Into Ivor

   Part Forty-Seven

As you will already have read I was interested in sport from a very early age, playing football, cricket, tennis and golf. My youngest son Martin, born in 1962, followed my sporting interest when he was older but our eldest son Chris wasn’t particularly interested in ball games. Football or cricket left him cold. He much preferred to sit by a river, canal or pond with a fishing rod and cast his line, with some poor innocent maggot attached, into the water and then wait for a hungry, unsuspecting fish to take the bait.

I suppose you could say Chris had fallen for fishing, hook, line and sinker. Talking of maggots Kathy had a fright one day when opening the fridge she saw a plastic container of wriggling maggots looking at her.

 You can imagine she was, shall we say, not very pleased,  To Chris, it was sensible to put the maggots in the fridge and thereby have fresh live maggots for the hungry fish. Boys will be boys.

 Fortunately, there was a pond within cycling distance from our home in Church Crookham. We bought Chris a new bike (no, it wasn’t the Green Flash) and off he’d go with one of his friends on their bikes complete with rods, maggots, folding seats, a large umbrella, a sandwich or two and drinks for themselves.

It was on such a fishing trip one day when Chris was hit by a car and sustained a broken leg.  He was hospitalised and eventually came out with his leg in a plaster caste and a pair of crutches. The car driver was summoned to court for dangerous driving but was found not guilty.

I remember Chris’s incapacity didn’t stop us going away on a weeks holiday to Mevagissey in Cornwall. There were echoes here of Long John Silver as Chris walked along the harbour walls. He only needed a parrot on his shoulder and uttering the time-honoured phrase ‘shiver me timbers Jim Lad’ to complete the image.

 Despite the accident, it didn’t stop us, as a family,  going to Mevagissey many times after the accident. We had found a very friendly couple who ran a Bed and Breakfast business in their house a few miles outside Mevagissey. I remember one trip we did when Chris and Martin wanted to fish off the harbour wall. Chris caught a fish or two but Martin couldn’t even get a bite. So, unknown to him, when he wasn’t looking I took a fish of Chris’s line and transferred it to Martins. He stood there completely unaware until Chris and I shouted out to him ‘Look, Martin, you’ve got a bite’  the look of surprise and delight on his face was a joy to behold as this shimmering fighting tiddler rose from the water into the summer sunlight.

 Mevagissey is like so many fishing ports in that you can pay to take a trip on a fishing boat out beyond the harbour wall and try for bigger fish like Mackerel, So, one day we decided to give it a try. Kathy got on first and I followed with the boys. I deliberately sat with my arms around them just in case one of them might fall over the side of the boat. The water was calm and everything went well as we left the harbour and headed out to the not so calm open sea. But after about 15 minutes I told the Skipper of the vessel that I felt a bit queasy whereupon he signalled me to move from the back of the boat and take a more stable seat in the middle. At that point, I felt so sick that I just had to take his advice and move to the middle. I was so relieved when we returned to the sanctuary of the Harbour. 

 The Skipper had caught quite a lot of Mackerel and as we staggered off his boat, he said to us ‘How many would you like to take home’?   At that moment in time, I never wanted to see another Mackerel or any fish again  But Chris and Martin wanted to have some so I gave in and they left the boat and proudly walked through the village back to our car with 4 or 5 mackerel tied around with string and took them back to our B/B house where they were gratefully received by our friendly hosts. The irony is that now I love Mackerel.


--End of Part Forty-Seven--

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