I’ve always been a mad-keen fisherman. Not just me either. If anything, my boy was even worse. Used to drive the missus mad, it did. We’d be out every day we could, sometimes starting as early as three in the morning, sometimes not getting back much before daylight. Night fishing was a thing for us. Joe, my son, reckoned the fish bit better when they were half-asleep. Don’t know that there was any science to back that up, but the trend these days seems anyway to be to ignore or even ridicule science if it doesn’t say what you want to hear. But Joe loved to be out there at night and I loved Joe, so who was I to argue?
After a while, my wife, Joan, seemed to get used to what we were doing and stopped complaining or tutting every time fishing was mentioned. From that day on, if anyone ever deserved the title longsuffering it was her. Flipping saint, if you ask me. Never once complained; always happy to make sandwiches and flasks for us. The only thing she asked is that we stuck to what we said. If we said we’d be back at daybreak, she didn’t want to see us if it was still dark. If we said we were going to be out all day, woe betide us if we got back before she expected us. We had to leave when we said we would, as well. At one time I even thought she was glad to see the back of us, but she explained that it was just a case of keeping us honest to our word – and that was an important life lesson for Joe. I couldn’t argue against that, could I? The house was always spotless when we got back and dinners were somehow nicer after our trips, especially the long ones – one time we were away for three days straight and Joan was ever-so attentive and loving after we’d got back. I could tell she’d really missed us.
Joan was, I always thought, a lot more tolerant of our fishing trips than most of our neighbours and friends. Seemed to me any time I saw any of them in the street they wouldn’t look me in the eye – and I’m sure they were saying all sorts of things behind our backs when Joe and I set off for any of our trips. But maybe I’m being silly.
Joe’s all grown up and left home now. Got a family of his own, he has, and made me a granddad three times over. I’m so proud. Joan insisted I carry on fishing, with or without him. She thinks I still enjoy it, though it’s not the same on my own as it was with Joe. I think she just wants me out of the way so she can get on with her housework in peace. I can tell she appreciates it, though.
You know; the more I think about it the more I’m convinced that there couldn’t be a more loving wife than Joan when I get back. Not loving like – you-know – we haven’t done that for years, but caring and attentive. Sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to deserve such a wonderful wife.
I just wish I knew why all the neighbours look at me so strangely…
This was written in response to Kreative Kue 236 published on this site.