In Lerwick, Archie MacDuff stood looking out of his kitchen window. The rain lashed hard against the glass, driven by the force 4 gale that was blowing. It looked like a nice day for fishing.
Archie came from a long line of Orkney fishermen. His family had owned a number of small boats, and for more years than anyone could remember the MacDuffs had sailed in all weathers to fish. Their fish were always the freshest, and the first to harbour.
Archie knew that tradition alone would take a MacDuff to sea. His father Hamish had lost 3 boats in his lifetime, all sunk in the harsh waters of the North Sea. 2 taken by the atrocious weather, 1 lost after it was towed backwards for 40 miles after catching a Soviet nuclear sub in its nets. Hamish still cursed that day, as the fish market paid for catches by the pound, and landing a 44,000 ton super-sub would have made him a rich man, let him retire, and move the West Indies and open his long dreamed of llama farm.
Archie’s grandfather Muriel (it’s a long story to explain why, but let’s just say his mother had wanted a girl) had had his boat torpedoed by a German U-Boat. He had survived by inflating his sporran to make a life raft.
Life was hard for the MacDuff’s, but they were hard men, capable of seeing anything through, no matter what the weather.
Meanwhile in Bookham, Matt peeked round his bedroom curtains. “Oh it’s a bit damp” he said, and immediately rang his cycling buddies to cry off.
I’ll let you draw you own conclusions!