As a boy one of my favourite pursuits was fishing on family holidays. Whilst this never developed beyond a casual pastime, with catches few and far between, nevertheless I attempted to teach my son how to fish when he was a boy.
Sadly I had even less success than my father had instructing me.
The final lesson occurred one day in a hired tinny at Como on the Georges River. I was using a twenty buck telescopic rod, an indication of my amateur intent, when I announced with some fanfare, “Now son, this is how you cast a fishing rod.”
Employing a reckless one-handed grip, I whipped out the line only to have the rod handle slip through my bait-slimed grasp and into the river. Yep, that’s how you do it. Naturally the boy found this absolutely hilarious and has dined out on my stupidity ever since. Groan.
Well, I can now report that twenty years later nothing has changed in the fishing department.
Since moving to the country I’ve been determined to master the dark art of fishing, and even catching something would be a bonus. So last week I confidently headed off with a new beach rod to again try my luck.
After two fruitless hours of watching gulls land copious fish, I made one last cast and finally jagged the bugger who’d been gratefully pinching my bait. It didn’t matter being an undersized catch, I’d won the battle. Victory!
As he wiggled and flapped pathetically on the end of the line I decided to take a photo to prove to my sceptical connections that I could actually catch fish. So I undid a shirt pocket and pulled out my brand new, multimedia phone.
Once the image was captured I pocketed the device and hastily released the minnow to throw back into the water. This left me with a slimy hand which I bent down to wash in the shallows. Doh!
Immediately a black object flashed past my eyes and straight into the drink. Scratch one phone, with 22 repayments remaining, necessitating a replacement model via eBay costing some $300. Double groan.
This weekend my son is flying up from Sydney. There will be no fishing. We want to relax.
(The original phone in action here for a BBC website)