Gone fishing

Earlier this summer, after weeks of grey skies and gale-force winds, there happened along a still, clear, airbrush-perfect evening.

"I'm heading out the East Neuk to go fishing," said Dr G, "Want to come?"


"Yeah. I don't really want to catch anything; I just fancy going to the sea."

"And to the chippie afterwards?" The chippie being the famous Anstruther Fish Bar, home of the chip buttie.

"Of course!"

And that is when my brain did a freaky little flashback almost ten years. "No!" I blurted, all panicky. "You go. I'm staying put."

Since we got hitched Dr G and I have gone to Anstruther about twice a summer. I'd eat my fish and chips and enjoy every crispy salty piping hot morsel. No big deal, just one of those treasured rituals. But this time round I went into crazy full-on freakout mode. I've got to get my lard under control. That'll never happen if I eat fish and chips. I'll never get back into my winter coat. I'll be a wobbly failure forever.

I grumped on the couch while Gareth organised his fishing gear. After ten minutes it occurred to me, Dude, am I really back to this bullshit kind of thinking?

I mean, a sunny evening in Scotland is rare as a copy of Heat magazine without an article about Katie Price. You can not just sulk on the couch with a salad on a night like that. And furthermore… did I really want to become a diet-obsessed hermit again, hiding away in the house for fear of running into tasty calories? Did I really want my life to be that bloody DULL? Whatever happened to the good old days of balance and moderation? Let's bring 'em back!

Did you know in the United Kingdom you are never more than 70 miles from the sea? Historian Neil Oliver told us so on the BBC series Coast, and he would never tell a lie.

So I ended up going and it was a quality evening. Sitting on rocks, watching the sunset, getting out of my head and into the fresh air….IMG_0891

Wondering if Scottish jellyfish are as lethal as Aussie ones…


Watching Gareth land a rare seaweedfish….


And marvelling at how the clouds arranged themselves into a letter G to celebrate Dr G's astounding catch.

The fish and chips were pretty good too πŸ™‚

44 thoughts on “Gone fishing

  1. No photoshop AT ALL. I couldn't believe it! I took about 25 photos of it.

    Gareth didn't seem half as impressed despite me yelling, "IT'S A G!" but then again he didn't have his specs on!

    (I will have to post you a copy of Heat!)

  2. That sunset photo is AWESOME, I love it. If you were in Australia and watching channel ten news, you could send it in to their weather pics comp and win a Lumix camera. And the only reason I know they do that is cos I often catch the weather while waiting for The Simpsons to start, not cos I watch Channel Ten news… Looks like a lovely time out!!

  3. WOWSA!

    FIRSTLY – I will wee myself if you send Carla a copy of Heat!!!!!!!!! She BETTER tweet a pic of her reading it!!

    Secondly – of COURSE you had to go you giant numpty! I am glad though that you’re back to blogging that kinda thought process that is so organic to yoooou! loves it. Is this not what you’ve been nattering about all along?

    Finally – mmmmmmm fish + chiiiiiiiips *dribble*

    lovelove xxxx

  4. Looks and sounds like a great evening – so glad you didn’t miss out on it!! Am already drooling over planned fish and chips tomorrow evening! If the plan changes someone WILL PAY!

    Lesley x

  5. Beautiful pictures. I’m going on holiday to Loch Lomond in 3 weeks and this makes me even more excited. There will definitely be fish and chips on the holiday.

  6. I can totally relate to this post. I just read “French Women Don’t Get Fat”, and it was GREAT– it was about enjoying life’s pleasures but savoring them with elegant moderation, not denying yourself but not stuffing your face mindlessly with mediocre-crap food. Your trip to the seaside was exactly the kind of story that would be in that book. I’m trying to channel my inner Frenchwoman now, having extremely high standards about the way food tastes, taking excellent care of myself, eating with relish but with dignity, too. It’s a lovely way to live!

  7. I’m so happy you decided to go fishing instead of sitting on the couch. Love the photos. Especially the big “G” in the sky.

  8. Loved this post! Do you know I haven’t had fish and chips since I started this whole thing??? They’ve been on my mind lately, though, as I visited Pubsgal and she told me about a great place over there on the coast.

    The cloud G is amazing. But I was impressed by that wonderful jellyfish picture you got too.

  9. Oh, lovely…I like the pics. I believe my Opera Company is planning to come and perform in the Fringe Festival next year. How far are ya from Edinburgh?

  10. Nice work. I’m still trying to adjust to my husband’s new hiking speed. Too fast for me (his fitness hike-mode) so it’s really not fun, so I don’t go. Well, what I NEED to do (and have done once, but need to make it a habit)is GO with, bring my tunes, and hike my own hike. It’s often in a National Park, for god’s sake and I’m staying home? To do an exercise DVD in my livingroom? (or not?) So, nice lead. I’m officially vowing to follow. =)

  11. I’m glad you realize how lucky you are to live so close to the ocean. I am 1100km away from the nearest one myself.

    And doesn’t fishing burn calories??

  12. Photos like this make me remember the land of my birth so fondly – but then I remember the rain and the cold so I’ll stay here in the land of your birth!! But we will catch up at Christmas and I’ll finally meet the Lainster unless she goes haring off to Aberdeen with Angus!!! Zxx

  13. Oh I love the Anstruther fish bar, love it, love it, love it. As soon as I can get access to a car we are going straight there to eat fish and chips by the sea and if it’s cold to eat fish and chips inside with a cup of tea – can’t wait!


    p.s – the G cloud is brilliant.

  14. I have a question about the chip buttie. How do you not choke swallowing a mouthful of it? It looks like it would form a very good bonding cement when mixed with saliva after chewing. Is there anything else on it? Does it come with sauce?

    Then again, maybe as a sauce fiend and not a starch fiend, I’m missing its beauty. (I see pasta/rice as a vehicle for sauce, veggies, and meat, unlike my bf who sees pasta/rice as something to eat unto itself.)

    I’ve def caught myself pulling shit like you describe… resisting going out bc of impending greasy doom. I’ve found compromises to work… like I get a salad with my protein of choice (fried fish, meat, whatever) which is enough to sate my grease tooth and a drink. Then I’ve (a) gone out w my friends, and (b) not gone totally crazy while getting my veggies, so (c) everyone wins. πŸ™‚

    (And by everyone, I mean all the voices in my head.)

    BTW, that cloud formation is spectacular!

  15. good for you shauna…your post made my day and reminded me not to lose my head.

    see why i keep you around? πŸ˜‰

    hugs and salt air,
    long beach, ca

  16. Thanks for your comments everyone!

    @M – I guess you could say the chip butty is well lubricated so it goes down easily. The chips are fried, obv, and the roll is buttered, so it works. But not something you could eat very often! I put ketchup on mine which is not the done thing, apparently πŸ™‚

  17. Shauna: So stellar that you made the decision to “live” and have a great time with your husband in what I think is a beautiful part of the world. Good for you.

  18. Hi I just recently read your book and have been trying to listen to your podcasts. I just wanted to let you know that after reading your book I was impressed at how you got down to a weight that you thought was right for you and didn’t worry about the number on the scale. I’ve always been up and down with my weight mainly because I love to eat the fatty foods. I had lost 45 pounds before I read you book and realized from your book I can be happy with the way I look without being that magic BMI number. So I just wanted to say thanks for the reality check.

  19. Love your thought processes, great (though slightly messy) minds think alike!
    Fish and chips are my FAVOURITE food. It would be my death row meal. With a glass of wine or five. I have not yet figured out what I would have for dessert if I were on death row. Something to ponder.
    And the chips must always be with ketchup or brown vinegar or preferably a little of both.
    (ok now I am drooling on the keyboard)
    Amazing how we put ourselves off good experiences for essentially pretty stupid reasons. It is writing them down for all the world to see that makes us realise the error in our thinking.

  20. Great pictures! Usually if I want a break at my self defense trainings, I usually just go out and enjoy nature. Hiking, camping and fishing. There’s really no more relaxing thing than doing being close to nature. You’re awed by the great beauty and it’s really a nice memory to have. That is what makes me want to do it all over again when life’s pressures are really hard to bear any longer. It’s my comfort.

  21. Sorry to be negative, but why did you suggest the chip butty in the first place? You could have gone fishing without it.

  22. @Monkey – No worries! I wasn't suggesting, I was asking if it was part of his planned itinerary. Just old married fart word association – for us, East Neuk = Anstruther Fish Shop, hehe. Hence his "of course" reply πŸ™‚

  23. Shauna, this is just exactly the sort of post that made me love you in the first place. So glad you didn’t give in to the stinkin’ thinkin’ and just let yourself enjoy.

  24. Wow, I can’t believe that cloud became such an amazing “G”! As one who struggles with dieting, exercise, and simply losing weight, reading your entry about your continued struggles even after making it through your diet has really inspired me. What a pity it didn’t inspire me earlier this morning before I ate that Top Ramen for brunch.

  25. You are going to love Baltimore – lots of water, fish meals galore, and I’m fairly certain that I saw a cloud forming the letters “DG” this year when I was there. πŸ™‚

  26. Spectacular pics, but you had me at the chip butty! How I miss the old fish & chips shops around Brisbane. I’ve yet to find anything to compare to them in Texas..but I guess in the long run, that’s probably a good thing!

    You should be super proud of yourself for getting off the couch and spending some quality with your hubby! It looks like you had a bloody brilliant day out! :o)

  27. I’m so glad you decided to go and it looks like it was lovely. πŸ™‚

    I could relate to this post like you wouldn’t believe. I do not want to go back to the hermit lifestyle (which isn’t much of a “life”style at all), and would rather get out, see the big beautiful world and enjoy the things I want to eat in healthy moderation. Life is too short to spend it all with my food scale, inflexible food rules and the guilt monster hanging over my head.

    Hugs to you! I think you are doing so well!!

  28. Thanks for the link to the lovely Neil Oliver. We end up watching Coast and the like as the middle ground between our preferred whodunnits/romances (me) and tanks/guns/Hitler(him) but you reminded me there are some compensations in the compromise like the archeological eye candy that is Neil. OK, I have a sad life.

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