The Fisherperson

Mostly little bream get caught on days like this. Days when it’s down from the 55c in August and getting on to only 36c. Bright like a star the sun shines down through the salty haze of the gulf. 

The fishermen are covered head to toe with woollen balaclavas and jeans as a kind of heat shield for the morning.  

The prawn bait is cut and skewered onto small hooks on a side line up from the large sinker. Shallow ripple water stretches out as far as you can see – sometimes through to the lights of Bahrain on the other side. The rod whips over head and the cast reaches out about 40 meters. It’s heavy enough to provide some tension on the line but ok for a little bream to nibble around and take the bait.

But it’s not all about the fisherman or woman since generally only the women wear black but then everything else so bright it may not actually be black.

No there is the reflection and static nature of time. The scene could have been shot for 10minutes with almost no change. Waiting for the fish to bite. 

I couldn’t wait – a shore kitten skittish on the rocks took this opportunity to jump up on the Seawall and snaffle the hits of shrimp left lying around.  He saw me and scampered off to the cooler shade of the wall. 

Yabbie Dam Dreaming

Dreaming out the window close, and onto the frosty misty oval, with the emply flagpole post,  at my desk, always a mess inside, and with a burly teacher on a chalkboard neat writing, and information being offered in lines of text verbose for us all to take note.

Perhaps we could escape from class, after, and go up to the yabbie dam to yabbie with string and meat. The muddy water glistening in the sun, with at the shallow end, a glimpse  of a yabbie crawling up to catch a bit and then yanked out by the claws and jaws, with yabbie on string and into the bucket in the mud. Cries of joy of course, having caught a Yabbie, dang the cold, the ice and the wet.

But yesterday Jacko wanted to build a raft, with a couple of logs, and rope, to float out on the icy Yabbie Dam.  So we dug out some sucky logs and slimy bits all over, went slip sliding along the muddy bank in school clothes already grey, and now wet and a mess, with our jumpers all slimed up from the algal on the logs, so slippery.  But still we made the logs fast together with a rope, but not stable to stand on.  Our limited engineering, although environmentally sound, was not for the faint hearted.  We managed to drag it around, and if you lay on the slippery slimer logs, you could paddle across the frigid dam in the cold rain from above, and look down through the green into the Yabbie kingdom below.

Still, we enjoyed the secret break from school, with enough risk to exercise our imaginations, and cunning.  How to avoid being caught by prefect-ures and dominating curly teachers, who would whip a cane out as soon as look sideways at the bedraggled students coming in, just fresh from the Yabbie dam, with a bucket of Yabbies, we might get the chef to cook on the side, so they turned all red like a poor students lobster.

Now back to history, the history of the civil war, the anthropology of mesopotamia, and still we wonder on it, with the chalk and writing, and having to copy it all to learn it.  No one ever wrote nothing about how to Yabbie, and how to build rafts from logs and twine, and how to catch them with meat on a string.  You just knew, and without ever having written it down, I could do it all again tomorrow, without a refresher course.