Friday 1 November 2013

FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

Two weeks ago I travelled over to Lowestoft for an interview about my new book Frenzy a Daniel Jones story and also for a photo shoot. The first plans for taking the pictures on Lowestoft fish market went out the window when some job's worth stopped us, but never mind we got a photo of me, the book, and the market in the back ground which ended up being used in four different newspapers.

The interview was between myself and the journalist Kathryn Bradley. It was held in the Volunteer public house, an old hunting ground of mine in my youth, and as we are both professionals we only had a soft drink.

Kathryn had recently moved to the town from her native Yorkshire and was very charming. Her reassuring voice matched her sensual manner, and her skill at writing shorthand was just amazing. As we talked she copied page after page in that magical writing without hardly looking down.

One thing we did talk about was the comradeship that existed in the fishing industry and what a shame it has all but disappeared. Of course this has happened in many other communities, and industries, from mining, and steel, through to ship building. It's a shame when any company closes down and people loose their jobs, but it's a lot more destructive when the whole industry closes because people can move between companies looking for jobs, but whole communities can't move looking for work. So when this happens the whole community is strangled.

It was such a shame to see the old fish market derelict and it had an effect on me more than I had expected. I knew it had gone down hill fast because at lot of my friends who relied on fishing lost their lively hoods, and left town looking for work not just in new areas, but in completely new jobs as well.

For the next few days I had sleepless nights after suffering from some funny dreams. Well not so much funny as more disturbing to be truthful. In one dream I was on board one of the fishing vessels which Colne shipping used to own. I was on my first ever fishing trip after volunteering to spend two weeks at sea, but after just a few hours I was being violently sick down the toilet. The toilet became blocked because of this, and as more people used it to empty their bowls the fuller it got. I kept being sick as it kept filling up. In the end it was full of nasty things and I had only two choices; to be sick outside on the deck as the boat was rocked by a violent storm, and be washed over board, or to stick my head into the toilet.

I woke up in a cold sweat, and my heart was beating fast.

It was the early hours of the morning and I tried to get back to sleep, but it was no good. I kept tossing and turning, and in the end I gave up, went down stairs, and made myself a cup of tea. With mug in hand I settled on the sofa, put the laptop on a pillow, then rested it on my knees, and started to work on my manuscript to Doom a Daniel Jones story.

As I wrote the dream kept creeping back into my thoughts and I thanked God that I'm an author who has the pleasure of writing in comfort at home, and not a fisherman bobbing about hundreds of miles off land at the top of the North Sea, while the wind is blowing, and your life hangs in the balance.

There were some other dreams too with another one which involved myself, some fish, and a boxing match!

No doubt there is some Freudian reason behind these events, but who cares? Not me because since my birthday celebrations there have been no more.

It was an enjoyable interview. You can miss the comradeship with one of the draw backs to being a writer is the isolation. You can spend five days at home looking at four walls while the children are at school, and the wife at work. This is why I try to get out and about as much as possible either through voluntary work, stewarding at football or verger, and as this is my Friday posting, why I will be heading to my local pub this afternoon for a drink or two, and a good old chatter with my friends.

So if you are going out too this weekend have a good time, and try to be good, and if you can't then don't get caught.

Sweet dreams


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