Saturday, 26 March 2011


Yesterday I wrote about Cotswold Water Park. One of the leisure activities on a neighbouring lake was fishing. Now, I don't know much about fishing (maybe the Jesus kind but not the Simon Peter kind) but I was fascinated to see the lake measured out in sections from which individuals fished. At the weekend there was a competition with all these sections full of fishermen (and yes they mostly were men), each with their bait, rod(s) and keep net. At the end of the day the judges went around adding up the catch. Now, in some ways this is easy fishing (I know that much), the lake is well stocked and that should make catching something possible. River or sea fishing is much harder. I well remember my father spending all night once fishing in the sea on a beach on the east coast and catching only an eel. It's a matter of sitting and waiting, and for me that is what fishing seems to be about, sitting and waiting. It's interesting that women don't seem to want (or have time!) to relax in the same way!

In Bangladesh young children have to go fishing everyday for shrimp fry in order to buy books and food for school. They also have to fetch drinking water for their family which can take up to three hours. Christian Aid provide local water collecting systems to alleviate the hardship. This is not fishing for pleasure, or having the luxury of sitting for hours waiting for a catch. This is about life and death. Today I am asked to give 10p for every bill I have paid this month, very difficult in the days of direct debit, however I may try and find out the current cost of fishing bait and give that instead.


  1. I've never understood fishing as a leisure pursuit, but fishing for essential food makes sense. Your example of children fishing daily for shrimp fry to buy books and food fow schoo and fetching family drinking water is heartbreaking. God under my skin this morning - thank you.

  2. I wonder if the Bangladeshi children know so much more than us about how to live life. I bet they see far more of the spectrum of colour than we in our gadget driven 3D-film world. As you suggest, it is about light and dark, and for those children, darkness is close at hand. For us in the West, our appreciation of the light must surely be dampened when for many of us, darkness is represented at worst by a flat battery on our gadget! Its about risks perhaps.

    Either way, a helpful start to the day. Thank you, boss.