and shooting and fishing. Manly blood sports of which in theory I disapprove. But everything’s relative, and we can always make the exceptions that suit us. I used to enjoy fishing. Growing up in Tassie, most kids fished from an early age, even if it was only with the bit of string off the river bank. I liked being in a dinghy and trawling, or even just dropping a line over the side. I liked going out by moonlight to spear flounder. And hauling up nets full of crays. I liked getting oyster of the rocks. Later, when I was in my second marriage I liked sitting by a waterhole fishing for eels. Nice eating, eels.
My Uncle Ian asked me to write a poem for him about fishing, and the joy of fishing. I didn’t get it written until after he was dead, and then one of my vegetarian friends was horrified by it, but I still think it was a pretty god poem. It’s true, though, that I was not thinking of it from the point of view of the fish. Seeing a fish gasping in the air that suffocates it is not a pretty sight. Knock it on the head quick — that's what I was taught. Funny how that wasn’t a pretty sight, but gutting and filleting them didn’t revolt me. I’d still give a lot for a taste of cray, or a plate of oysters.