Alison Craig: Hooked on the fishing lifestyle

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So I waved the long-suffering husband off to Madeira for a few days’ fishing.

He is obsessed with all types of fishing – loch fishing, river fishing, trout, salmon and once in his life ten years ago when on holiday he caught a 465lb marlin by mistake and unexpectedly became the Caribbean Deep Sea Fishing Champion of Trinidad and Tobago and was instantly enthralled with deep sea fishing. A once in a lifetime experience.

And then he heard that Captain Frothy De Silva who ran the boat from which he caught the 465lb fish now runs a boat from Madeira in our summer months and as fellow fish fiends David has kept in touch with him all these years until finally five days ago he was off with a smile as broad as he is long that he was off to hook up with Frothy and give it another shot for the first time in ten years!

On day one they caught tuna, kingfish and then (drum roll) on day two he caught a 550lb blue marlin – it looked like something from creature of the black lagoon. He was also spotted brandishing a mahi-mahi which is one of the best fish to eat – just as well really as it’s hardly at the front of the queue when it comes to looks.

The marlin was duly tagged and released so it will live to fight another day but what a beast! So David is now the happiest man on the planet.

How do you follow that? Well he’s going back next year and frankly as his long-suffering wife I have to encourage it as he left as a stressed, hyperactive, iPhone, laptop-addicted man to calm, smiling ­Ernest Hemingway type minus the propensity to swig rum from the bottle at 8am in about five days flat. He has appeared home in a happy human form. What more can a person ask for?

Massive Attack of love for roads

TRAVELLING by road is a joy to those who don’t, can’t or won’t fly. We had the remarkable experience of being in Luxembourg for breakfast last week after seeing Massive Attack, pictured, live the night before and by midday we were back in the UK – I know, it makes your head hurt doesn’t it?

If we had been flying it would have taken hours, checking in, going through increasingly stringent security, hanging about for the designated going through the tension of being herded like cattle into a pen to wait until boarding commences when you are then squashed into a seat that’s far too cramped.

So from Luxembourg we got up early, drove for three hours to Dunkirk, got straight on the boat and were in England by 1pm lunchtime. So I just thought I would fly the flag for the boating world, shipping world, ferry world.

We then had a leisurely drive north popping into see friends in Yorkshire for a pint of coffee and arrived late but happy back in Edinburgh.

Aye Aye Captain.

This Mr Sloane is very entertaining

ON Sunday afternoon I settled down to delve into my Sky Planner having not seen telly for what seems like an age. I am getting fussier and grumpier so it’s seldom I can sit riveted for hours on end.

Mr Sloane is the funniest, most moving, heart-warming, hilarious comedy drama I have ever seen and the whole series is now my all-time number one.

Starring Nick Frost and Olivia Coleman and written by the award-winning Robert B Weide it is laugh-out-loud funny. As one episode ended I looked at the clock and thought no, I will wait until tomorrow to see the next one, then I’d have a wee preview – and then watched the lot.

The only downside is it’s on Sky Atlantic. Series one has six episodes, every one a winner, so I recommend you find it however and wherever you can – and watch it. Never mind DVDs its DVTs to watch when you start on this.

Velo, goodbye

THIS may be a very ignorant question but why is the Tour De France called the Tour De France when it is starting in Yorkshire?

I am a cycling ignoramus, make no mistake, but they don’t have the Dubai Grand Prix in Wick, do they? The numbers of people lining the streets to see the cyclists was monumental. Years ago, on holiday in France, the race was going right past the bar we were in so we all shuffled out and stood behind the security cordons and wham, wham, wham, they whizzed past. They go at a fair speed, but travelling hundreds of miles to see a clump of bikes going past faster than you can actually see them is beyond me. So I am off to work on my sit up and beg in my yellow cardi – tour de Edinburgh – until next time

. . . have a good week.