Thursday, 17 March 2016

Fishing in the Aire (from a fiction to come)



In the dank vegetation of the River Aire at Keighley I smell my childhood. Sat on the muddy bank, me and dad, waiting for trout to bite; midges and - their supposed antidote - tobacco smoke from Dad's  Meerschaum pipe. A tatty unattractive spot on the slow brown river. A rogue band of teenagers smoking and swearing downstream. Dad told them to clear off, and they did, apologetic, for there was always something in his voice that made people do what he said. The fizz and crackle of a short fuse. From time to time, after long tacitutrn intervals we pulled wriggling life out of the  waters, daylight bounced on the chainmaille scales. Then we unhooked it, returned it and watched that blade of daylight slip back into the dark.

Fishing, for me and dad, and many like us no doubt, was as much a reason to sit in peace and silence at the water's edge for hours as anything else. But we usually sat in silence, me and dad, whether fishing ot not. That silence was the space of a conversation that never happened. 

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