I am currently taking part in the 5 Photos – 5 days challenge after being nominated by Dorne at https://dorneawhale.wordpress.com.
Welcome to my final (slightly delayed) photographs for this challenge. Yes, you read correctly, for this post one photograph was just not enough to tell the story, so you’re in for a treat of six or so, some of which are over seventy years old so please forgive the quality.
Firstly, the rules are as follows:
‘Post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo. The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose. Each day one must also nominate a fellow blogger to participate in the challenge.’
Day 5. Iron Men and Wooden Boats
I tell my son his roots go back to the island where my mother was born, to the island where his great-grandparents were born and lived all their lives. I tell him that the he is as strong as the granite rocks that their house was built on. Then, looking at these photos today I think I need to add an addendum to this statement. His soul is part of the sea fished by his fore-fathers all their lives.
This was the time when fishing was brutal and dangerous. A time when you had to be tough physically and mentally. My cousins, a few who are professional fishermen today, readily concede they work in relative comfort and safety, with their warm spacious cabins, kitchen and dining area and a bridge worthy of a Nasa spacecraft.
No such luxury for my grandfather. No heavy duty machinery to help with the lifting, just a basic winch. The physical work was unbelievably hard and raw, for days out fishing in the cold winters of the North Sea only to return to cramped conditions below deck.
And yet, these were some of the happiest days for my grandfather. Isn’t that wonderful? Life at its simplest, most basic, living every moment to the full, every second counting and the whole experience creating close camaraderie between the fishermen.
A museum on one island displays the history of the local fishing over the past two centuries and they have recreated the inside of one such typical boat which my grandfather owned. Talking to his great-grandchildren whilst going around the museum I saw my grandfather’s eyes shine with happiness and then glaze over with memories of time passed, people passed. His words intense, burning their vitality onto our brain.
He spoke of days spent out at sea and once, landing with a catch in Aberdeen, only to send a telegram to his wife, no, he would not be back just yet. The fishing was again so good the following week, that there was another telegram advising of a delay in returning home and then out they sailed from Aberdeen, heading to the sea and to the herring. Four weeks later he returned home to face a few seconds of scolding from my grandmother, followed by her and the children’s joyous love and hugs.
I would like to nominate Jo at https://restlessjo.wordpress.com to carry on this challenge. I hope she enjoys the challenge as much as I am and look forward to seeing her photographs / writing posts!
I want to thank you all for following me on this 5 day photo challenge, which has been inspiring and led me down writing and memory paths I would not have taken otherwise.
Finally, I would like to give special thanks to my mother for the title of this post. Stuck for ideas I gave her a call and she immediately gave me this title; something she thought of many years ago to describe her father and his fellow fishermen.