Fishing - An Expensive Sit Down

The pleasant weather has brought the crowds out of their houses and on to towpaths of our local canal ways. In general the warmer climes bring out the best in people and we pass other travellers with a nod and a smile and an occasional 'thank you' to cyclist who offer us even the smallest of signal that they are steaming towards us from behind.

We like to think that we walk a good distance on these occasions but every now and then we see a sign that reminds us that the canal has a life outside of our experience of it.

Leeds is 19 miles in one direction whilst Liverpool is 120 miles the opposite way.

If it wasn't for such signs you could be blissfully unaware of the existence of either city as you walk through the Yorkshire countryside.

With renewed interest we started to look out for other signs on the towpath. Mrs M soon spotted one that informed us that we could fish for the day, if so desired, for the small price of £2.

I commented that this seemed a good price if fishing were your chosen hobby.

My bride did not agree and offered the comment 'it seems a lot of money just for having a sit down'.

I felt the need to defend the local anglers against such an onslaught even though I have not taken part since I was seventeen.

'Just having a sit down' I said somewhat exasperated, 'you could say a similar thing about most hobbies. Under such a system we might conclude:

The Cinema is merely £7.40 for sitting in a dark room.
Ten Pin bowling is just paying money to wait for your ball to be sent back.
And going swimming is just a more expensive way of having a bath.

Mrs M thought I was taking things too far but the point was made.

Knowing the value of your hobby is all about context. One man (or woman's) game of golf is another person's expensive long walk.

The same is true of canals; one person's three-mile stretch of inland water is another man's section of a Leeds to Liverpool highway. To be honest I am not sure if anyone travels the whole distance anymore but you get the point.

We travelled a little further in the general direction of Leeds, without any intention of visiting the city, and wondered if those engaged in fishing were getting value for money. After all if they weren't catching any fish it would make my wife's comment correct: two pound is a lot of money just for having a sit down!