Taking a wee break

I just spent a few days in Edinburgh. Scotland has been a weakness of mine for years now, but I had only visited the Highlands. This time, I stayed in town. Enjoy some pictures!

 

Holyroodhouse Abbey, close to the Palace

 

Holyrood Park

 

Holyrood Park (yes, this is still inside Edinburgh)

 

Holyrood Park, with a view on the city

 

Bobby, the faithful little dog who waited on his master’s grave

 

Old town

 

Well, this wouldn’t be a trip to Scotland if whisky wasn’t involved.

 

Dean Village

 

I recommend Edinburgh to everyone who likes old stones, green hills, the smell of the sea and double decker buses. There are many great places to visit, from castles and medieval streets to modern art museums. Or just wander in the streets, like I mostly did. It is a excellent destination for a long week-end.

 

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How to Fish for Sea Bass when You’re a Bunch of Morons

This may be a bit of an unsual post, but I honestly couldn’t resist. My family is beautifully weird. Don’t worry about not getting the fishing vocabulary, they don’t get it either.


— Interior Day – Living room in the family house in Brittany —

Mathieu, Julien and their father are sitting around the coffee table. Julien is reading a fishing manual and Mathieu is preparing his fishing gear. Whenever they visit, they like to go fishing on the sea side with their dad, hoping to catch on or two sea basses for dinner.  
Every fishing session so far has been a spectacular failure. 

MATHIEU
The sea bass is a crepuscular fish. We need to go at night, with the rising tide.

JULIEN (flipping through the manual)
When Marc goes fishing, he’s in the water at 6 am.

MATHIEU
Yeah, OK, see, I don’t believe in Marc’s technique. He had one happy accident with beginner’s luck, but he doesn’t know jack about fishing, just like us. I’m telling you, the key is the lure. (inspecting a hook) Should I buy a spoon?

DAD
Mathieu’s setup is like a Christmas tree.

MATHIEU
The sea bass is festive!

JULIEN
Ha! Listen to this: “To find fishes under the surface, let your spoon hit the bottom then sway it up and down, with long or short movements depending on the bass’ mood. Jigging is a very efficient technique to catch small surface fishes as well as larger, deep water ones.”

MATHIEU
Ha ha ha!

JULIEN
I suspect that book to be absolute bullshit.

DAD
Jigging, that’s what I do! I wiggle that line up and down and everywhere. The sea bass doesn’t give a flying fig about jigging.

JULIEN
I keep telling you, the solution is soft-shell crab. We need to fish some soft crabs under the rocks and put that on the hooks.

MATHIEU
Will you ever shut up about your soft-shell crabs?

DAD
OK, I think I’m going to be bold and try using a “sliding cigar”.

MATHIEU
Forget it, what you need is a multihook for trace fishing. We should totally fish with a boat.

DAD
Oh come on, there are plenty of fish on the shore. We should probably get further into the water though.

MATHIEU
Right, I’ll stand for two hours freezing my balls off in 50° water. What’s next, hunting seals?

DAD
Well, there are some seals on the Île-aux-Moines.

MATHIEU
Great, you’re welcome to go fishing on your rock and get surrounded by the incoming tide like last time. I’m staying in the dry.

DAD
Hey, we got out. We didn’t even had to swim. We just hadn’t realised how fast the tide comes in.

MATHIEU
I think that rather demonstrates just how we’re a bunch of clueless morons. But hey, we made some old ladies laugh with our bags on our heads.

JULIEN
You can talk, ‘I’m staying dry’. Two throws in, you’re going to tangle your line in the rocks and have to get in the water to clear it out, just like each time.

MATHIEU
OK, maybe. Which reminds me I have to put my swimsuit on. Damn, I’m going to get my feet grated on the rocks again. Do you have a pair of sandals I can borrow, dad?

DAD
No, but I have welly boots.

JULIEN (pointing at the manual)
Hey look, that lure is cool. Isn’t that what you have, a rapala silver magnum?

MATHIEU
Yes it is. Wait, what the hell is that setup? The buldo goes on top?

DAD
Of course it does! Where did you think it went?

MATHIEU
Oooh that‘s why it wasn’t working! I need a paternoster to correct that. Do we have one around?

JULIEN
Hey, do you think they make soft-shell crabs lures? Why wouldn’t they?

DAD
I think the soft-shell crab thing is more about the smell than the shape.

JULIEN
Well, coat it with surimi, then!… Ooh, better: we entice the fish with surimi. Just throw a few bits of it in the sea and the sea bass will come running.

MATHIEU
Do you honestly think surimi tastes like soft-shell crab?

JULIEN (ignoring him, takes a lure setup out of the box)
Mathieu, what the hell is that?

MATHIEU
Oh, my old setup! Careful! I spent hours building that. Maybe I’ll use that instead, I don’t have a paternoster to make my other setup work.

DAD
Three lures? Isn’t that a bit much?

MATHIEU
One blue, one white, one red. I call it the Patriot.

JULIEN
Are you hoping a right-wing sea bass will see it and give it a conviction bite?

MATHIEU
Good point, maybe I should have tried to find a lure with ermines. Bretons are regionalists.

DAD
I think the sea bass is laughing its arse off with our bullshit.

JULIEN
Yes, precisely. At first, this was all a light and funny pastime. Now, it’s personal. I won’t let go until I’ve brought back a freaking sea bass to barbecue. My manliness is now at stake.

MATHIEU
Hey, do have an extra spoon? I have an idea to make the Patriot irresistible.

JULIEN
Seriously, you piss me off with your ridiculous setups. I’m sure you’re the one who makes all the fishes run. They’re peacefully loafing around under the rocks and here you come splashing and wiggling your neon lures at them like it’s Las Vegas.

MATHIEU
Yeah, well bring me a sea bass with your crabs all Dunkirk-style and then we’ll talk.

JULIEN (to Dad)
Can we stop at the store on the way to get some surimi?


This dialogue was transcribed as faithfully as possible in-between laughing fits, without my wonderfully stupid-ass brothers and father knowing. I hope they’ll forgive me for this.

To this day, we still haven’t eaten any barbecued sea bass.

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