Forgot to mention. Had word from the far North this afternoon that the father-in-law has cracked it - HE'S CAUGHT A FISH!!!!
Ray has been fighting against all kinds of adversity for six weeks now. He's 79, insists on walking the couple of miles to the beach with all his tackle, waving aside all offers of a lift, clambering over rocks, wading in thick banks of seaweed in search of angling Nirvana. He's bloody determined and if the Communist Party had half-a-dozen more like him we'd all be on the collective farm right now.
He's spent hours tweaking his bottom tackle - not as exciting as it sounds, ladies - and. . . err . . . making sure everything is OK with his rod. (What is this? Carry On Westray?) Less time and effort goes into preparing a Formula One car.
In that time he's caught. . . sod all. Trust me, Captain Ahab and Moby Dick had nothing on our Ray. Even a trip out on a fishing boat with our friend and wildlife slaughterer/survival expert Nick drew a blank. (Nick filled two drawers of our freezer with mackerel and pollack)
Apparently, Marcus (who seems to have a sense of when we are getting frustrated with things) turned up yesterday asking if Ray wanted to come out on his boat for the afternoon. A few hours later, a tired, but very happy father-in-law was deposited back on the doorstep, having hauled in a double-figure catch.
Better get busy building that smoker then