Sunday, 31 January 2016

Afternoon Tea



Dear Reader,


Sadly Peter Carter is Britain's last traditional eel catcher since  he can no longer make a living trapping eels. Because there are so few eels left to catch,  the wicker hives and griggs, which are woven from willow, will now be redundant. Peter's family trapped eels for generations, in fact it has traced its eel fishing links back to 1475.  Eels hatch out 3,000 miles away in the Sargosso Sea around Bermuda, then they migrate across the Atlantic to the rivers of Europe, returning to die in the Sargosso Sea about twenty years later.   Apparently in Cambridgeshire, fishermen paid their tithes to the church in eels, supplying such enormous quantities in the 11th century that they helped pay for the construction of Ely cathedral.  Hence, I suppose, the name "Eely".   I have never tried an eel myself but it is said that they are delicious, so let's hope that somehow, with managed breeding and fishing quotas, future generations will be able to enjoy eating these delectable creatures.


                                                                           *

Afternoon Tea

If the woman had had
choice of mother,
she would have chosen
one who liked afternoon tea,
with scones, strawberry jam,
sweet biscuits, and hot Darjeeling.

But the mother of the woman
did not like afternoon tea.
She liked cocktails, excitement,
after dark and its secrets,
stirring things up, mischief,
and life's excesses.

As the woman knew
that choice of mother
was not negotiable,
she chose her friends
with four o'clock in mind.

                                                                         *

Very best wishes,  Patricia

1 comment:

Eugenie Teasley said...

The stories about the eels are fascinating! And I really, really like this poem. I'll join in with scones, please.