Pointless activities (HLD 221)

29 Oct 2020

I spent almost three hours today actively engaged in an activity that wasn’t ever going to achieve anything.

The activity involved specialist equipment that was quite vital, and also a bit fiddly, if I’m honest. It involved getting dirty and smelly. It involved standing around in whatever weather was happening at the time. It was never going to achieve anything other than us coming home afterwards a little bit more weathered, a lot more smelly, and strangely relaxed.

We went fishing.

I can’t begin to try to remember the time before today that we had gone fishing, and honestly the last time I’d been fishing on the Busselton Jetty was when my kids were quite young.

But fishing, and especially fishing in Busselton, is something that takes me back to my younger days, spending time with my Dad. We didn’t always go out to the jetty – the beach was good enough, but there were always lessons on putting your line together, whether you needed sinkers or floats, what sort of bait is necessary, and usually Dads special home made burley was deployed. There were further lessons in casting, in how to get retrieve your line when it gets caught in rocks or seaweed, how to extract hooks from the fish’s mouth, and so forth. It was a classroom, but a very enjoyable one.

Dad went fishing to actually catch fish. Good size one were kept in a bucket to bring home to clean and fillet – yet more lessons involved here. They were then proudly presented to Mum who was expected to make three or four puny fillets into an appetising and filling meal for 6 people.

She usually managed.

My first fishing rod was hand made for me by my Dad – a stick with a length of fishing line nailed into the end, and then wrapped around the length of the stick. It worked wonders for dangling bait in front of crabs when we went to various rocky beaches. I would eventually be judged as skilled enough to deal with an actual rod and reel, but it took a while.

My youngest son and I today spent time on the jetty, very keen to try to catch one of the two or three very large fish who were hanging around near us. In the meantime a good number of blowies and small tailor fish tried to commit suicide by attaching themselves to our bait and skilfully hidden hooks. There were all patiently detached, instructed about not eating food that is meant for much larger fish, and sent back on their way.

We went through two packets of bait, a reasonable amount of sunburn cream, intense interest from jetty walkers who seemed to think we were there to actually catch fish, and had a wonderful morning.

A pointless activity, but one we both enjoyed.

Do you enjoy similar pointless activities?

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