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Monday, 15 August 2016



                                                         MEMORIES OF THE YEALM


                                                           Thomas Hoskyns Leonard

           Brod always told me I remembered things wrong, But he's just a big bully. I'm sure

that we sailed into the Yealm after those naval officers tacked us all around Eddystone and into

Fowey in a force nine gale. But Brod denies it, even as we approach our dotages. And I certainly 

NEVER saw rabbits bouncing around my cot when I was a toddler, Gaslighting, that's what it is!

 And he was the one who saw ghosts coming out of the wall of that slum on the Beverley Road.

 That was after he'd cracked his  skull falling off the garden wall, that was.

         And I do remember catching that giant sturgeon by the Mewstone, shortly after Jack

had kicked me in the gut while I was playing rugby at Marsh Mills, Yes I do! And I wonder who

else besides the sassy gym teacher had anything to do with that piece of life-altering destruction?

         Yes, it was Autumn 1960, shortly after Argyle had drawn three-three with Middlesborough

 at Home Park, that Mummy, Daddy, Brod and I set off across the Pool from the boathouse at

Newton Ferrers, The  Yvonne was an ancient fourteen foot wooden skiff, with a Seagull outboard

motor attached, I was always so embarrassed when I compared it with the sea yacht owned by

Captain Fosslethwaite Festerton, and with all the luxurious houseboats moored on the estaury and

draped with all those sweaty bodies of the rich and wealthy.

       While we were crossing the sand bar, Brod insisted on getting out his rod and trying to catch

a mackerel with his fly tackle. He caught a gull in full flight instead.

       "It's all your fault, Tommy," he yelled, giving me a poke,

       "Behave yourself," howled Daddy, clouting Brod around the ear,

        "Do calm down, dear," said Mummy. "That's bad for your blood pressure,"

        "He thinks that I look like Cliff the Biff," groaned Brod, bursting into tears.

         We finally got as far as the Jurassic Cliffs by Silver Cove, which overlook the Mewstone

 and Wembury from the coast. Mummy threw a line overboard and caught a large wrasse

 which had been trawling the seaweed on the bottom.

         "That's wonderful, darling," exclaimed Daddy, landing a pollack. "You'll win the fishing

competition with that,"

          "Unless Ginger Ives catches another of his damned conger eels," said Mummy.

           "There he is!" sniggered Brod, "He has a couple of basking sharks in tow,"

            And then there was a mighty tug on my line, Daddy shook in his wellies when a giant

 sturgeon reared its head above the waves, However, Mummy seized the grappling hook,

caught the bastard in its gills, and helped me to haul it in, I stuck out my hand only to

get it pierced by those fucking vampire teeth. Now here's another life-time scar to freshen

your memory, Brod!

           Two fellows in a cabin cruiser helped us to take the sturgeon into Old Cellars Beach,

While the crowds were still applauding, the most beautiful mermaid I have ever seen popped

her head from out of the waves, and said, "Well done, Tommy!".    



                                          Brod, Mummy, and Tommy on the 'Wanderlust," 

                                 owned by Daddy's customer 'Humph', a very rich dentist

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