All going well, by the end of this week we’ll have sand between our toes, sun on our faces, rod in hands. We’ll abandon our watches (and perhaps even shoes) on the barge and drive the length of Fraser Island scanning the horizon for dingos, sea eagles and breaching whales.
I love these pretence-free holidays. I’ll swap my funky felt hat for a sensible number with a chin strap. Somewhere on the drive up the Island, my phone will morph into a camera. I could put it away altogether but I love snapping photos of the girls proudly holding the catches aloft.
The world would be better off if it adopted some Fraser Island values. Old cars are valued for their durability. Patience is the order of the day. Function is favoured over fashion. Stuff isn't easy to come by. Things that last are prized.
You’ll likely have seen a meme doing the rounds on Facebook that says the world needs more photos of girls holding fish and fewer photos of people holding phones in front of bathroom mirrors. It struck a chord with me.
I’m raising two girls in a world full of social media and selfies. Soon enough they'll have access to an internet audience waiting to offer them their opinions on their clothes, their hair, their faces. Willing to encourage them to try the latest trend (of which I won't be able to keep track.) On Fraser Island only ducks sport duck faces, maybe that's part of the appeal.
Before I'm accused of adding to the myriad of opinions about what young women should and shouldn't do, I'd like to be clear.
I’m not anti-selfie.
I'm not anti-fashion.
I'm not anti-face paint.
There's every chance my girls will grow to save their money for issues of Vogue and spend countless hours practicing new blending techniques in the mirror. Perhaps they'll instagram each other's outfits.
If that's their bag, I'll be happy for them. Until they're ready to make decisions based on what makes them happy and not what they think they should be interested in, I'll be here making the case for sunscreen, longer shorts and low maintenance hair styles that don't make us any later in the morning than we already are.
Me? I’d rather hold a fishing rod than a make up brush. I prefer my own insta feed filled with the flushed excited faces of people who just landed the catch of the day.
There are so many benefits for spending the morning fishing. Here’s seven reasons I’d like to see more people (especially girls) get into fishing.
Fishing is accessible. Fishing is one of those truly inclusive sports. Regardless or your age, your income or your fitness, there’s a version of fishing for you.
Fishing is exciting. No matter how many times you’ve done it, landing a fish is a thrill. The hooking, winding it in, wondering what your prize will be. It's like unwrapping an underwater present.
There’s always something to learn. Baits to experiment with, new rigs to try, spots to find, oh so many knots to learn. Studies have shown that learning new skills can help protect the brain from ageing. You'll remember to thank me for this advice in fifty years!
Being outside is essential for our well being. The human body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by making it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. One third of Australians are deficient in vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a suite of illnesses including softened bones and osteoporosis.
Importantly for me, studies have shown that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D may lessen the frequency and severity of MS symptoms.
Fishing is the original mindfulness practice. Long before guided meditations and adult colouring in, fishers were practicing mindfulness. You need to be present when fishing, there is no room for multitasking when you're waiting for a bite. It’s like the fish have appointed themselves mindfulness coaches; guaranteed the moment you turn away to get a drink or some more sunscreen, they’ll nibble. Just to keep your mind on the job.
The cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears and the sea. Fishing sometimes even combines all three!
Fish. You can't match the flavour of fresh caught fish. Floured and fried, crumbed and friend, battered and fried, baked; there are so many superb ways to cook seafood.
A few months ago I put a call out to readers who agree the world needs more girls holding fish. They entrusted me with their photos and the result is this video. It's filled with those flushed, happy fishy faces that I think the world needs more of.
Thank you to everyone who shared a picture for the video. Feel free to share it wide and far.
If you join the girls holding fish revolution, I'd love to see your pics - tag them #girlsholdingfish and I'll check them out.
I’m hoping my two will continue to be girls holding fish. As they grow I hope that their time on Fraser Island will have instilled in them an appreciation of simple things like hats with chin straps, durable old cars and the thrill of hooking a good fish.
want to hook up?