Thought I’d have a break.
I’ve been slogging away at a new book all day long (Catching Crabs if you’re interested – sequel to Nasty Pasty!)) whilst it’s been persisting down outside.
Anyway, just in case you’re wondering, a bit of proper fishy news to help you down at the mongers; boy George (as opposed to Boy George) tells me that down at the real fish counter, hake’s pretty good at the mo, cod’s still as dear as buggery, and plaice is coming down as it’s coming in to spawn. That’s the word on the street down at P.I. fish cellars.
I forgot to mention last week that the luckiest gal in North Cornwall and I had a nice little task to perform when we were over in New England. An eleven year old boy from Nantucket had thrown a message in a bottle into the sea over there back in February 2014 (nothing to do with Stink or Sting or whatever he’s called whatsoever!), and by last September unbelievably it had washed up on Port Gaverne beach (five minutes walk from P.I.) where it had been found by a local farmer who does a bit of lobster potting on the side.
It had taken eighteen months to cross. It took the Pilgrim Fathers sixty days, and us seven hours in a plane! So we took it back to him – he’s a teenager now – and his folks came and said hello and gave us a tour of the island and the Whaling Museum. And when the missus asked him what he felt about the whole thing, he just said that it gave him…hope!
Bless. Ain’t that a nice story?
We also met up with dear ole Rick Spencer and his wife Sarah, friends of the FFs from when they visited P.I. in 1976 and we all went over there on the rampage a year later.
This time we did a tour around the Vanderbilt Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island together – nothing special; home from home really.
Anyway, Rick was one of the resident musicians in the group Forebitter, who played in the fabulous Whaling and Sailing Museum at Mystic seaport, and Sarah still works there now; a fantastic place to visit if you get the chance.
If you have a singing group of your own its worth listening to their back catalogues for inspiration. Jeremy’s song Silver Darlins on Proper Job was based around one of Forebitter Dave Littlefield’s melodys (a song entitled Luce Brothers), and we gained lots of inspiration from them (including the French filth that is Le Capitaine De St Malo!). Cheers chaps!
We’ve always touched on a few whaling songs in the FF’s (Blood Red Roses, The Last Leviathan), and so it was good to go out on a whale watch from Boston. Trouble was, a coachload of Amish folk arrived from Utah and they came on the voyage as well. Fascinating – well, I’m a great people watcher, and frankly they were far more interesting than any whales. What are the chances of that happening though? Fifty odd Amish verses twenty whales? Well, obviously the whales were much larger (generally, although one was a fine great woman), but they didn’t balance any beach balls on their noses or sing any high-pitched arias, and although I didn’t catch any of the Amish breaching or spouting (they’re not terribly demonstrative), it was rather like going back in time, and the Amish won hands down. I must add that they seemed to be most gentle, courteous and polite people, and not all standoffish.
And, no, Harrison Ford was not there…
Bill and I wrote a song about a whale on our Roscarrock album, First and Last; it was entitled, The …errr…Whalefish. We were very pleased with it. Maybe we could think about an FF’s cover version, we’ll see.
It was all about a sperm whale that washed up sick on P.I. beach in 1827 (true story), and how the village kids gathered around it, fascinated by how it had got there, probably all the way from Nantucket. Some things never change, eh?
‘We dreamt every night of questions and more,
To ask the great whalefish beached on our shore.
On equinox spring, you floated by tide,
As flotsam you lay, with we at your side,
We at your side.’
Getting ready for the next mini-tour. Maybe see you at Hastings, London or Milton Keynes? Looking forward to them all!
The Walrus of Lurve x