They crossed the road to the Red Lion and went into the restaurant where they served a Sunday lunch. Paula could not eat all of her meal as there was just too much and Paula gave Doug some roast potatoes and most of her roast beef.
“Would you like a cup of coffee after your meal asked the young girl who was serving them?’
“A pot of tea would be nice thanks said Paula.’
“The girl nodded then disappeared into the kitchen.
“I’m stuffed now said Doug as he pushed his plate away.’
“I’m not surprised after what you’ve just eaten.’
“Sea air gives you an appetite.’
“I think we will need to walk back again to burn this off said Paula.’
“It’s not that far back to the car.’
“I only have little legs you know.’
“Yes, but they are shapely.’
“You’ve been looking haven’t you she playfully pushed Doug as the girl came back with the tea.’
“Shall I be mother said Doug as he picked up a tea spoon and stirred the tea before pouring.
“Would one like one lump or two madam?’
Paula laughed as she told him that she did not take sugar at all.
“More for me then he said as he spooned in four lumps from the bowl on the tea tray. He added milk then passed a cup over.’
“You have got a sweet tooth I see.’
“Yes, I like my sweet tea at sea; we have these big mugs which hold about a pint of tea and we try and drink as much of it as we can because once the gutting starts it can be up to ten hours straight without a drink or food.
“Don’t you ever stop to go to the toilet?’
“Well you know if you have to go, you’ve got to go.’ but usually we carry on you know; until we are finished and all the fish are neatly stored away and then we clean up the boat and ourselves.
“What do you do when you are not fishing then?
“There’s nearly a mile of net that has to be checked and repaired because when the net is dragged across the sea bed it can get torn on the rocks. If there is a large break in the net then all the fish escape so it is all hands to repair it before it can go out again.’
These nets can cost up to five thousand pounds so they have to be looked after. Without the net we wouldn’t make any money so we have to take the job seriously. “Then there is the oiling and painting of the boat to keep her in good nick.’
“You called the boat her why.’
“All boats are referred to as women because they look after us; they keep us safe in their bosom. They have moods just like a woman too and can inflict their wrath upon you if you don’t treat them with respect.’
“It is very strange the way that sailors think; my father was in the merchant navy and he talked just like you do.’
“Is he home at the moment?’
“No he died two years ago now’
“My father is in the South Atlantic delivering stores to the Falkland islands.’
“Tough work said Paula; Ron Lee who you saw tonight was in the Royal Navy and they would escort ships all around the world.’