In addition to my son, I wish a happy birthday to five Facebook friends. They are Nellie Curran who lives in Carlow, Ireland: Robbie Carroll who lives in Waterford, Ireland: Elaine Kirkbright who lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England: Christina Fridstrom who lives in Stockholm, Sweden. We also wish a happy birthday to Bill Brown, who is the partner to my Facebook friend Isabell Delgarno who lives in Corby, Northamptonshire, England. We hope that today’s birthday brigade enjoys their special day. Thank you all for being my Facebook friend.
My song today is, "I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)". This song was co-written and recorded by American country music artist Brad Paisley. It was released in February 2002. The song reached the top of the ‘Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart’, becoming the third Number-one hit of Paisley's career. Paisley wrote this song with Frank Rogers.
While still a student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee in the early 1990s, Brad Paisley had been asked to participate in a student concert. Having primarily sung ballads, Brad Paisley decided to add a novelty song to his repertoire. Frank Rogers, a fellow student who would eventually become Paisley's record producer, agreed, suggesting that they should "write something that will make them laugh", and the two then began to write the song. Their collaboration resulted in "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)". This is a moderate up-tempo song, centralizing on a male character whose lover has threatened to leave him if he goes fishing instead of staying home with her. Having chosen to go fishing instead, the character then states that he will "miss her when [he gets] home".
Whereas attending weekly football matches, or walking the 18 greens of the golf course is often a source for marital dissension in many a Great Britain household most weekends. In the USA. the most predominant male hobby to make a wife a weekend widow by keeping her man away from his home and family is ‘fishing’. Americans raised in the south are often raised close to a river and clear water where the fish swim in large number, There is nothing that looks sweeter and is more enticing to any southern man on a warm sunny day than the flowing attraction of a peaceful river, a tree shade to perch oneself beneath, and without any sight or sound of a woman, child or another human intruder for miles around. Relaxation and the cool flowing river go together, and when fishing and fine weather is added to the attraction, a southern man’s fancy can be said to be heavenly packaged.
Having practiced Relaxation Training since the age of 11 years, the activity of fishing was something that I quietly promised myself to one day try out, but another decade would pass by, and I would be living in Quebec, Canada, before I decided to take the bait. I strongly suspect that fishing would have continued to remain off my agenda for another decade had I not spilled my coffee in a café in Quebec that I visited most days on my way either going to or coming home from work.
My introduction to the rivers of Quebec had been initially aroused by Moira, a waitress in the café I regularly visited. Moira was a young woman a few years older than me and being an attractive woman with long black hair and a body to die for, invariably led to me having a second cup of coffee most mornings before I continued my journey. After three weeks of café visits, we had silently established that a mutual physical attraction towards each other clearly existed, and the silent smiles we would regularly exchange each time Moira passed my table to serve another customer started to communicate much more than is ever spoken between a café waitress and an occasional customer.
The first time we spoke beyond saying ‘Good day' to each other, I had clumsily knocked my full cup of coffee accidentally on the floor. The fault was clearly mine, but Moira was so understanding. As she got me another cup of coffee, she whispered, ”It’s on the house”. That was the moment when we both realised that we were engaged in a game of romantic poker and that neither of us would depart the love casino until we had played out the hand which fate had dealt us.
After the coffee-spilling incident, we knew it was only a matter of time before we would date. We naturally spoke more each time I visited the cafe, and although we had only been acquainted a mere matter of weeks, on the days she was not working at the café, my pleasure in having gone was infinitely less than I had grown accustomed to. Moira was beautiful in body, independent in mind, and possessed the spirit of a snow leopard.
Moira and I dated twice by attending a local cinema, followed by a café snack somewhere in town. We would talk a great deal and she would proudly tell me about her own happy upbringing. Like most Canadians, Moira liked the English accent of my voice. She spoke a lot about her early family years and said that her father had first taken her fishing as a young girl aged around seven years. They would go fishing together for all of the years she lived at home until she married.
She had got married at the young age of 18 years. She was pregnant at the time and planned to postpone her college place until the child was old enough to have childcare. Although she felt that her husband was too immature to take on the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood, being the child’s father, she nevertheless felt they should give it a go. Within three months of their marriage, it quickly became evident that their relationship would not succeed unless he changed significantly. Moira sadly had a miscarriage halfway through her pregnancy, and this traumatic event proved to be the catalyst for the couple calling their marriage a day within a year of walking down the aisle.
Then, out of the blue, she suggested that we spend a weekend together out in one of the Quebec mountain valleys. Moira had made me an offer that the romantic side of me would not allow me to refuse. I instantly agreed and we booked a log cabin for a long weekend together. Moira knew a place out in Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsular where salmon is fished in its rivers. The salmon caught can vary between 20 and 40 pounds in weight. She had always threatened to take me on a fishing trip, and the weekend she surprised me with her offer, I was well and truly up for whatever followed.
We rented a log cabin and she said she would show me the ropes. She even selected a suitable rod, basket, and choice of bait for me, along with the other gear required like waterproofs and wading boots. On the weekend in question, we travelled to the beautiful site in her car (I did not drive then), and arrived just after 6:00 pm. We made a late dinner and planned an early start for the following morning, wading the salmon rivers of Quebec.
The upshot that while we had both allocated our weekend for a spot of fishing, the things that Moira was supposed to teach me were quickly substituted with other, and more romantic activities which included making up log fires, drinking copious bottles of wine, and spending lots of time in bed during the day and the night time, during which she told me stories about her own upbringing, and the close relationship she enjoyed with her parents, particularly her father. We spent most of the weekend inside the log cabin, and we returned from our weekend, never once having touched a fishing rod or laid eyes on anything resembling a salmon.
I have often heard the old chestnut about throwing out a trout to catch a salmon, but this was the first occasion that salmon had been used as the bait to catch a man who Moira fancied. Well, what did you expect me to do after all the preparation Moira had put into our fishing expedition? I was far too much of a gentleman, and she was too much of a woman to allow anything to spoil her planned weekend.
One month later, I had moved to Toronto and I never did go fishing again in waters beyond my depth. Come to think of it, Moira was the last woman whom I was ever associated with who was older than I was. While this is the first occasion I have brought this weekend spent with Moira to public attention since it occurred over 55 years ago, I have occasionally wondered if Moira faithfully retained it as a private memory of her romantic past lost in the recesses of her mind, or whether she ever discussed it as women are often prone to do with best friends on a boozy night out on the town with the girls.
If the weekend was ever discussed by her, like all good anglers seeking to impress ‘present company’ of their ability to successfully bait and net her catch, I have no doubt that when it came to discussing the size of ‘this’ and ‘that’, the word ‘whopper’ was probably used by her on more than one occasion. Like all true anglers, Moira would possess enough fishing skills to cast out any line she wanted to, and to reel in half a dozen sex-starved minds into the bargain. She was aware of satisfaction levels that only the true fishers of romance ever encountered, and she knew that she would have no difficulty elaborating and exaggerating the overall experience she handled like a lady that weekend of Spring 1964 in a log cabin of love, in the mountains, woodlands and surrounding rivers of Quebec.
It is a well-established fact in all fishing circles that every angler who ever lived (whether male or female) has a tendency to exaggerate the size of their catch whenever telling the tale with their river friends after having imbibed a few glasses of wine in convivial company. In fact, the more often the tale is told, the bigger the fish caught becomes. Come to think on it, Moira might have discovered something I did not know then.
Love and peace