and This, my friends, is that story . . .
I want to see if I can earn an income equivalent to the national minimum wage by catching fish from the sea. I want to do it for the buzz, and for the story that it will become, and because I think that if such an enterprise were possible it might offer me a better way of life than many of the low-paid opportunities on offer around these parts, where I live, here in Cornwall. I also sense that our waters are being fished more and more brutally and I'd like to see if there might just be a gentler way.
But it won't be so easy.
Even if I did know how to catch fish, which I pretty much don't, in the UK you can't just fish from the rocks and then sell your catch (at least; not legally). To sell fish legally you need to have caught them on a registered commercial fishing boat.
And in the UK, licensing a commercial fishing boat can cost a prohibitive bob or two. And then once you've invested in that license, there's a massive jungle of red tape and regulation engulfing the industry - in the protection of our fish stocks and their guardians.
And if that weren't enough to put a chap off, once you've waded through that quagmire of officialdom and cast your rod, there's the daily dilemma of how to sell your fish, while they're still fresh, in a competitive market where at times a mackerel that might retail at £3 can be bought at auction for as little as 10p.
But despite all these hurdles I do have a notion; that I can learn how to catch fish, that I can swashbuckle my way through all the red tape and regulation, and that I can entice the lovely people of Falmouth - and it's Surrounding Area - to buy my lovely fresh fish at a fair price.
So I'm going to give it a go.
I've got two sheets of ply, a fishing rod,
and a tolerant wife . . .
Let's see if it's enough