Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Can a weekend be perfect without going fishing ?

Ask me that exact question say ten or fifteen years ago and I would replied with a big time "no, not a chance". I often look within and ask myself whether I really am obsessed with fishing as much as I used to be when I could think almost nothing more than going fishing as much as I could physically and mentally take. Am I any less into fishing because I don't fish as much as I used to, indeed does the amount you actually go fishing equate to how much you love it ? Well I don't think it does. It used to be that way for me I suppose, but thanks to lure fishing especially I know that I am even more obsessed than I used to be - but I don't go fishing as much. Can that make sense ?

I have just had what to me was a perfect weekend yet I never went fishing once. OK, so I still think about fishing probably an abnormal amount - yet I find myself thinking about how life changes and how one develops as a person through life. Pretty deep for a Monday morning eh, but it really got to me as we came off the beach at about 6pm yesterday afternoon with the sun shining, the kids as happy as can be, and a view along Whitsand Bay about as good as it's ever going to get. Can life possibly get any better ? Neither my wife or I are remotely interested in a flash lifestyle and she never gives me any grief about going out fishing. We just don't work like that - ok, I once went fishing fourteen nights on the trot one winter when she had literally just given up on London and moved down to be with me in Plymouth, but it was more a case of me needing sleep because I could not act like a human being rather than my then girlfriend hassling me not to actually go fishing. With me having to spend roughly three to four months away from my family each year for my work I guess you could say that we are ok at doing what needs to be done to live how we live and just get on with it if that makes sense. We try as hard as we can to live a simple and relatively uncomplicated life, but of course we don't get it all right. When I am away I am away and my wife and two girls are great at just getting on with it, but the flipside is that when I am home I actually work from home and therefore as much as I need to be very disciplined, I am around a lot of the time.

So what is a perfect weekend ? Very different for all of us I would imagine. It does help when the weather is just sublime and you can spend nearly the whole time outside enjoying it. My wife and I continually talk about how lucky we are to be living in a part of the world where people actually pay to come on holiday, but it's our choice to live here and by no means as I said have we got it all right. It's right for us though. Saturday morning in the garden (still can't believe I can get a kick out of gardening), barbie for lunch, afternoon on the beach with the kids swimming and surfing, plenty of dog walks, some friends around for supper Sat evening where I did butterfly lamb on the barbie, Sunday morning messing around in the garden again, beer chicken on the barbie for lunch, then off to the beach in the afternoon where we met up with some friends and our collective four girls. Nobody else around on the beach where we went and the kids just ran wild/swam/surfed/rock-pooled etc. for hours. Picnic tea on the beach for the kids, put them to bed absolutely knackered, and then watch the cricket highlights from an awesome day's play. Not one single second of fishing, yet I went to sleep with the feeling that we had just a great, great couple of days.

Yes, if the weather conditions had been epic for a bit of bass fishing then of course I would have gone out, but I suppose that life for me has become a more rounded mix of stuff that I love doing. I could never imagine the fun that just hanging out with my family could be, but I value my time at home like you would not believe. And on the flipside of this I look forward to say my time over in Ireland like you would not believe as well. Fishing obsesses me more than ever yet I don't mind not going out as much as I used to, indeed I think that with my photography as well that I have learnt how to almost maximise the time that I do spend fishing and kind of make it mean more to me. Does that make any sense ? Whatever the case, I hope you all had a fantastic weekend doing whatever you were doing. I bet you all did very different stuff to what we did here in south east Cornwall, but isn't that what life is about ?