At the time of writing this blog, that was my view. I was sat on the most comfortable piece of rock I could find, watching the sea. Watching the sea involves all of our senses, you can see the waves, you hear the rolling waves and then the crashing onto the shoreline. You can smell that delicate algae aroma, as the sea brings in the seaweed, and the feel of the cool water and the damp sand and the taste of the salty air, which always makes me thirsty. (Thats my excuse for either a G&T or a cider, and I’m sticking to it!)
In the past month, I’ve been very honoured to have been made an Association member of The Fishermen’s Mission, a charity which is so very dear to me, and on this day I managed to be a part of the 135th AGM, via the wonders of modern technology. Its been a rough year for all charity organisations during this pandemic, so hearing the amazing stories of fundraising and support is something quite heart warming.
Also, hearing first hand struggles from fishermen regarding not only Covid 19, but the shocking winter gales and political upheaval that has had a toll on not only their own livelihood but also the lives of their families. Reflecting also on the lives that have been lost at sea, young men who went out to do their job, and never came home. Its a sobering thought that fishing is still the most dangerous job in the UK during peacetime.
To that end, I do believe that fishermen, women included, don’t get the respect that they truly deserve.
People may wonder why I am so passionate about “the fish mish”. I am so fortunate to know many fishermen since becoming a fishmonger, and I learn about how the fish gets to the counter, and how it gets to our plates. Without them I wouldn’t have the career that I have and love, a job which I look forward to getting up for and trying to encourage more people to eat the very fish which is caught by the fishermen who need our support.
I heard so many inspiring stories from the ones who were awarded the fundraising awards. From a kayaker who raised over £14,000, to a fisherman to set a weight loss goal and raised money at the same time, buisnesses who gave freely of their equipment to help to renovate the only Fishermen’s Mission shop in the country.
The Fishermen’s Mission is celebrating its 140th year this year. The lovely Kirsty Masters has set the challenge of 140miles in May. You can sign up to that, via the Fishermens Mission website, and you’ll even get a medal at the end!
In that past 2 years, I’ve done a walk from Stoke, where my fish counter was, to Grimsby, which incidentally was just over 140miles. I attempted the Yorkshire 3 Peaks with my uncle to try and raise money for the Fish Mish.
This year I set the challenge of losing 9 stone, inspired by the amazing example of Darren, the fisherman from Brixham. I’m still working away at that, losing 2.5 stone at this current time, but I need to do more.
A challenge is something which pushes you to your limits and then that little extra. I can’t swim. I have all the grace of a floundering hippo, and that’s probably unkind on hippos! I had an awful swimming instructor when I was in primary school, who scared the life out of me. My abundance of curly hair did not want to go in a swimming cap either. Being knocked by waves off a Cornish beach about 30 years ago didnt help matters. The incoming wave knocked me down as I braved the water, only to be knocked back down under the water as it went back again, also I’m ever so slightly self conscious about being in a swimming costume. So, what challenge do I want to push myself to do? Learn to swim!! I’m actually laughing as I’m typing this, thinking “really???” but then I’m sat here, looking at the waves thinking, “yes, really”.
Fishermen, their families and the community they are a part of do so much, why not give something back. If this past year has taught us anything, its to support those who need to be supported.
Please check out The Fishermen’s Mission website, as well as the Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn too.
You can follow me too on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, just look for the Girlyfishmonger 😊💕🐟