Thursday, March 25, 2010


So how has little ol’ Murphyfish managed to pass the time whilst awaiting the outcome of Old String Vest’s operation, has he hidden away in a darkened room in a dark silence casting his thoughts to the outmost reaches of the cosmos trying to fathom out the whys and ifs of life and it’s sometimes incredible feelings of unjustness and unfairness? Well not exactly, after all not matter how I view the ups and downs of this roller coaster called life there’s not a lot I can do to change the broad picture of it all, yes I do my damndest to protect and care for all that are close to me, I work hard to provide everything that I can, and I always try to stand up for what I believe is right come hell or high water. But other than this life will be what it’ll be, long after my bones are ashes on the ocean. So yes I did try to get on with it, though my father’s plight was never than a heart beat from my thoughts.

So the first part of getting on with it, after the four shifts at the hell hole, consisting of planning ahead with… potatoes. Now I do believe that in previous postings that I’ve mention the vastness of available garden space that I have, with not enough room to swing a cat (a Manx cat at that) being the term used. But I’m determined to at least get some produce this year from the backyard besides the little (well not so little) presents that the bog monster leaves for me to clear up. So after a little head scratching and some expenditure (don’t faint) I’ve purchased and started off some potato bins, two now and two more to be planted in three weeks time. Along with these I’m preparing to convert two builders’ rubble buckets for the purpose of growing runner beans on canes forming a tee pee, laced with sweet peas to bring in more pollinating bees. I’m also hoping to plant up some collapsible planters with a small variety of onions, cabbage and such. I’m also still trying me damndest to convince Clare the merciful to allow me to convert the dog run (which Lucy’s used er oh yes she hasn’t) for the introduction of two or three bantam hens. So from small acorns hopefully…..

On the day of Pop’s operation my head really wasn’t on this planet, so I invoked that great cure all and went sea fishing. I had to steal the bottom end rigs and new reel line from my every forgiving friend Rob, buy some mackerel for bait on the way and headed off into the blue yonder extremely under prepared and not really caring where I went. I ended up at Traeth Bychan on Ynys Môn, the scene of happy childhood memories, perhaps that’s why I was drawn there but to be honest I don’t remember the journey. I set up on the flat rocks, on the northern side of the bay fishing from these directly onto sand. By some curious fate I’d arrived perfectly an hour and a half before full tide, perfect for the predators and scavengers to follow in to the rocks, the wind was fresh, the sky overcast to match my thoughts and there was moisture in the air but without it actually turning to rain. The hours passed in a slight haze, thoughts of happy times spent on these very rocks balancing out the longing to hear news of my father. In all the time that I was there, routinely changing bait, watching the rhyme of the rod bending to the wind and the waves, staring after the oystercatchers skimming the surface and letting the call of the gulls high above sooth me I did feel at peace, in a fashion. And what did the great fisherman wrestle from the ocean’s depths, well to be honest absolutely nothing, although I did have one incredible take which for a few seconds set my pulse a racing as I felt the full contact of something large under the glistening water’s surface, stripping yards of line off my reel. But then it was gone, no line snap, bait more or less intact when finally retrieved so I guess the hook couldn’t have set and the critter had just mouthed the bait ball. Some may say that I should perhaps have been there awaiting the call but we all handle life differently, perhaps I should, but I went fishing and this is how I coped that day. So then it was off home to face the news, fortunately the news was good.

And the days after? Well in-between sorting stuff out, making sure mother was fine and visiting, spending time on the boat project, I walked, and then I walked some more. As I’ve said before the outdoors sooths me, pushes the clouds far enough away to make life bearable, it’s where I truly belong. I won’t say too much about the walks, you all know by now who was at my side (well when she wasn’t in the ditch) so I’ll leave you with some pictures taken from the trig mentioned last week, oh alright then one of Lucy, just one mind……

Your friend,



Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

There is something soothing about digging in the dirt, planting a seed, and watching it grow. It's life in progress. Glad you are well, and your dad too. Well wishes from Montana, USA

Shoreman said...

Beautiful country. Oh, the bog monster is beautiful too. Don't want to hurt her feelings. Glad to hear the news was good. Tough having a loved one feeling poorly.


Bill said...

Don't look now but someone's eating your dirt. LOL I use the outdoors to cope with a lot of the problems that come up in my life as well. Nothing wrong with that as far as I can see.

Le Loup said...

Good move with the gardening, well done. What we do in part is get to like eating whatever will grow! Secondly we grow what is expensive in the shops, not what is inexpensive. We used to grow potatoes, but A) they are quite inexpensive, and B) they are fattening! I heard of a great method of growing tomatoes, which we may try next season. Two upright posts and a cross-post at top. Hanging baskets and just let the tomatoes hang. Saves a lot of ground space that you can use for something else such as squash or silverbeet, both prolific producers.

Murphyfish said...

Thank you for the kind words, and yes there is something soothing about growing from the earth, I dunno, it just feels so right.

Well Wales is the garden of the gods you know! Thank you for the kind words.

Mmmm there’s no stopping the bog monster, she’s just an attention seeker you know! Thanks for the comment.

Le Loup,
Valid points my good man, started with the spuds as they seemed an easy option (and I do love mash and wild boar sausages) as for fattening I’ve found it’s best to eat anything you want but watch the quantity and always keep a balance between the food groups,and then burn off the extra cals getting 'out there'. I’ll take on board what you say about more expensive crops and try to include some in the small space that I have available. Oh great idea about the tom’s, I’ll definitely give it ago this season. Thanks for the sage advice, as always it makes sense and is very welcome.

To you all,
Thank you for your words, it always leaves me feeling good that others read and enjoy my postings and then take the time to comment.
Best regards,

Wolfy said...

Being outdoors, at least for me, is the best way to clear the mind of unneccesary (or neccesary) clutter. Sea fishing sounds wonderful, even though I tend to get a bit - or A LOT - seasick in heavy seas. The fresh air on the ocean is bracing!

Glad the news is good for Dad.

I thnik you have terrific karma and it will manifest itself in a record crop from your garden this year!


Anonymous said...

Hey John. Trying to do a little catching up here on this Sunday.

Glad to hear your dad is getting along, albeit not perfect. And you, also.

My mother raised potatoes in those types of bins last year and it turned out very successful. Watching things grow from the earth does hit deep in some folks. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your green thumb. And I bet yours is just as green as anybodys.

Peace - and here's to hoping you bring in a good one during high tide in the near future.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Wolfy,
Hopefully any sort of crop will be welcome for this initial endeavour! The trip to Ynys Môn has wet my appetite for more fishing and just being close to sea does seem to help clear the troubled mind. Thanks for dropping by my good man.

Hey Owl,
Yes catching up can sometimes be a bind, or should that read having to catch up because of work is the bind? Thanks for the comments and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with the seasons ‘bumper harvest’ (or lack of it, we’ll see). Hoping to add some game n fish to the table (might just have news on a new air rifle shhhhhh Clare’s about) also the bantam idea may well take second place to something far more interesting, oops got to go she’s heading this way…..

Only joking, Clare knows of all my plans and schemes, so I’ll hopefully be posting some interesting developments soon.

All the best to you both,

Anonymous said...

Better to have fished and caught nothing then to not fished at all!

Just being out there does wonders for the soul, as we both know, and it is good for the bog monster! Please give her a pat on the head for me and know that you and your's are in my thoughts.

Take care John,

Oh and don't get the chickens. They're evil! (or they just hate me! Not sure which....)

Murphyfish said...

Hey Kari,
Thank you for your kind words and consider Lucy patted. Mmm a huntress with a fear of small feathered things, interesting, very interesting…….
All the best to you and yours,

Damn The Broccoli said...

Lucy reminds me of the dog my best friend had when we were growing up back in the village.
You could not even utter the w word because she understood it. Many was the night we walked that dog down the lane talking about everything and anything under the stars.

Has your garage got a flat roof that is fairly strong? If so that is a lot of extra space to grow stuff on!

Maybe more browny points than you can score though!