Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Is it just because I'm getting older ?

I'm not going to lie to you and state that I was once as agile, graceful and fearless as a mountain goat, because that would be doing these magnificent animals a gross disservice. Relatively fearless I might well have been when bouncing around all over the rocks and climbing down any kind of cliff to get to the fishing, but effortlessly graceful I was not !! Functionary perhaps, and I could get around just fine, but agile ? Depends on how you define the word, but I distinctly remember never really thinking for one second about whether or not to climb down a particular cliff or clamber around some point. If there were fish down there or I liked the look of it then down I went, although I do remember some years ago now when a couple of Irish lads took us somewhere west of Cork and I actually said no to going down the side of a cliff that I think even a mountain goat might have balked at. That was a one off though.......

I turned 39 earlier in the week, and while getting older has never bothered me for one second (what would be the point ?), without a doubt over the last few years I have found myself hesitating sometimes when it comes to clambering up or down to certain spots, and I also see myself being that tiny bit more cautious when moving around on the rocks. But why. I used to have this kind of thought process in my head that essentially went "f$&k it" when I needed to do something a bit hairy and I would just go ahead and do it. Sod the consequences almost. But I am not sure I have that "what the hell" attitude so much these days - if I saw a load of 10lb plus bass all wanting to commit suicide on my lure then I reckon I would pretty quickly go down anything with no thought at all though !!

Does this slight edge of caution come from having children, or is it simply because I'm getting older ? Perhaps there is something within a parent that goes at certain situations with a degree more caution (10lb bass committing hari-kari excepted). Do any of you feel like this, or is this just me ? There was a spot that I fished with Del in the Isles of Scilly over the weekend for example that a few years back I would have never even thought twice about going up, but last Saturday I looked at it and thought about it before committing myself. I actually thought about slipping. It wasn't steep and it wasn't hard, but I can distinctly remember thinking of the potential consequences of slipping. OK, so I did go up it, but years ago I never would have thought twice. Does that mean I am finally growing up to become a mature adult who won't find a film like Stepbrothers funny any more ? Does it mean that I will finally put all extreme metal aside, buy a collection of beige cardigans and carpet slippers and slip on some Coldplay or similar easy listening drivel ?

Nope. Not a chance. But there is something in me that is slowly changing and I don't know why or how it is rearing its head. Perhaps as Del says I need to "grow a set", but for instance when I am in the water with sharks around us like say in the Seychelles it doesn't really bother me, and especially if there is a great big South African that I can stand next to - on the basis that they get hit first !! Yes, there have been a few "interesting" shark situations in the past, but if anything I find it hugely exciting. Why then do I find myself even thinking about a particularly steep and/or tricky climb these days when I never used to ?

We are going to pick our puppy up on Sunday, and as you can guess there is some serious excitement going on here at home. We all miss Jess like mad, and we don't quite function properly as a family without a dog. I will try and get some photos of the new arrival up here next week. Very, very excited.......

Henry Gilbey9 Comments