Life Without Fishing Nets

Those friendships we enjoyed, so casually, in a life, not overburdened with demands, allowed us room to celebrate with ease, a freedom we now find embalmed in photographs, and  some remaining artefacts. Me grinning with a new caught fish, the harbour as it once was, when fishing was the only industry, and tourists, rare beings indeed, wandered past and viewed us as if we were actors in some play

Now, these same tourists are the staple of the town, the fleet which was its heartbeat, replaced with pleasure craft, and those huts where skilled men sat and mended nets, become cafe’s laid out to catch your eye, and tease a coin or two for absent-minded snacks.

Time and change have no sentiment, allowing man to alter, as he sees fit, the rituals and ways which in the past, where thought to be the bed-rock of a character.  In old men sitting by the harbour, I see the commentary of change, a certain melancholy not entirely wrought  by age, and wonder as I watch them, how much we understand, as we lay their rituals gradually to rest, obsessed as we are by the desire to improve.

With growing urgency we seek the new, and dream of life free of germs or dirt, but these men who ploughed the oceans for their food knew back at home that Eden was underfoot, long before we, who followed them, trampled all in our search for some new Camelot.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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21 Responses to Life Without Fishing Nets

  1. Very poetic, this one. Definitely captures the feel of change and modernization and all that it brings.


  2. ksbeth says:

    yes, they were the wise men.


  3. This is written really well, with a swell of nostalgia which never falls into the trap of sentimentality. And then comes the final paragraph which carries a real sting in its tail.
    This is superb writing, Peter – a real reminder of the effect of Humanity. Excellent!


  4. genusrosa says:

    You write with such a beautiful, elegiac tone, and perfect restraint in your manner. Yet the question(s) you pose–without the actual blare of a question mark–persist with surprising power. The generation of doers, having done, now provide a moment of curiosity for the restless gaze of new generation. Armed, as it were, with knowledge of a moment in an instant, an answer to every question in the palm of their hands, and a fleeting appreciation for what it might have been like Back Then. This post makes me really miss my grandma, and her gnarled old hands; she was so skilled in so many things that I would have loved to learn to do.


  5. Yes, Sir Ducks – you are definitely becoming poetic.


  6. This, yes. And some of us are being warily watched as we plug along on our smart phones, while searching how to grow those ancient things we recall from youth. Personally, I’m working to “bring the soil back”, for the grandchildren who will inherit what we leave — or don’t. Absolutely profound and fabulously written. 🙂


  7. “…a freedom we now find embalmed in photographs…” You do have a way with words. They are your paint brush, my friend. Having just written about friendship, I feel the longing you so eloquently present here.


  8. OOOOOO,
    Camelot, Camelot! xx


  9. So appropriate to many topics. Thanks for this, Peter.


  10. I straddle the old and the new and I’ve turned my eyes back – but my children don’t have those memories. Being in rural Portugal in a small hamlet of lifelong smallholders that still live with animals under their homes and work the land till they expire, I am happily connected to simple things. Maybe the tide will be forced to turn back one day.


  11. Wonderfully written Peter and you raised a smidgen of nostalgia for me. The holidays that we used to have in Bridlington on the east coast every year were just the best, particularly the fishing nets!! I loved the smell at the harbour and the ruddy faced fishermen all in blue polo neck jumpers who took us from the south to the north side in their ferries (rowing boats) for 3d! 😊. Of course you could walk over but the ferry was much more interesting and exciting!
    Change happens whether we like it or not doesnt it, and I guess if nothing changed we would have nothing warm to look back on and life would be emptier for that I think.


  12. atempleton says:

    Elegantly written, succinct, and sadly true.


  13. renxkyoko says:

    Cell phones, e-books, video games, emails. We don’t get Christmas and birthday cards anymore. I get it, Peter Wells.


  14. As part of the generation that finds itself needing therapy for “technology separation anxiety,” this struck a chord with me. I often find myself yearning for the simpler way of life I knew only in childhood.


  15. This was very poetic and very well written. I needed a distraction, to read something wonderful, which is why I came here. I have definitely followed your blog my friend but never had time to comment. Today I’m super excited just to say I loved this post 🙂


  16. gotham girl says:

    Well done Duckie! On a side note…wonder how many photographs have been taken with “a grin for a new caught fish!”


  17. jmmcdowell says:

    Everything changes, but should we change simply for the sake of it? How much have we lost in so doing? Beautiful post!


  18. Pure poetry, Peter. Have a blog award. Go here and look at Laine’s blog for the full rules if you want to join in.


  19. Mélanie says:

    one word: excellent… HL = huge like! ❤ 🙂 wish you tons of inspiration, my very best and cheers, Mélanie


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