Just lately, the “to do” list seems to have got longer and longer and I seem to have got somewhat behind in just about everything so, in order for me to get abreast of it all I worked yesterday and today which has not been without success.
This morning while getting stuck in to what seemed to be acres of painting, I was listening to the BBC discussion in which they announced that fishing rod licences had dropped in number over the last few years quite dramatically. They were putting this down to people not having the same interests as they once had which all seems rather a shame. I know my two children liked nothing better than to pack a picnic with their mum and myself and the four of us with rod and net in hands would all trudge off down through the fields of meadow grass towards the river to partake in the most magical of outside amusements and always the indication that you had spent long enough there was the sun going down and their mum saying “Goodness, we have been here all day”.
Fifteen years on the kids have traded their nets in for rods and the joy and the fun is as great now as it was then. In fact, I will be going down for a couple of hours later myself for a nice summer evening’s fishing.
Listening to the radio I could not help but wonder, certainly not comprehend, just how children’s lives have changed over the last thirty years. Whether it be jerseys off thrown on the ground to make pretend goal posts or rolled up sleeves in the Ian Botham style, bat and ball and any old sticks for wickets. It was almost a game in itself just finding the wickets. It appears to me that something of the great outdoors has been lost in transit somewhere and as a nation I can’t help feeling we are so much worse off for it. It is always very noticeable to me that when you are privileged enough to see children outside playing in gardens it is because their parents are expecting visitors and are trying to put over the message that “our kids play outside, our kids are not always on Playstations.” The sad point of this observation is instead of Timmy arguing with Tommy whether the goal was good, bad or indifferent or whether the wickets were bowled, knocked or just blown over the art of a good disagreement overcome by a good douse of sporting argument has been lost and with it a vital part of a learning curve in a childhood that can never be regained. Although Playstations, Gameboys and these incredibly complicated games are no doubt fun, one can’t help to come to the conclusion that they are indeed the finest babysitters ever invented. Kids can lose hours, upon hours, upon hours and while they lose that time totally engrossed, they are losing the art of communication and all the basic social skills that are needed to get on in these ever increasing global markets than ever before.
So to go back to the chaps debate on the radio this morning, my take on the whole situation is for football, cricket and the beautiful sport of fishing takes just a little bit more effort to get up and get at it.
Great fun to catch and even better to eat.