Saturday, April 4

Fish on Good Friday - A Story about Barra

After writing the previous piece about Good Friday. I find I am delving close to the same topic again. Good Friday - whether you are a Christian or not, it is a day for eating fish. That's what our family did yesterday in Brisbane - first with Thai Fish Cakes, lovingly made by my daughter, followed by whiting cooked in butter by her father.  Both were good though the whiting was a tad disappointing. I might have used different breadcrumbs and perhaps a mixture of butter and oil.

I was amused to read about a great debate about barramundi - a great Australian fish, which is caught naturally in the wild and also now farmed.   Folk have their own preference.  

For me, I don't mind.  I just love barramundi - fresh barramundi.  Some restaurants do it well - other's disappoint me.

As someone who loves fishing, I'd love to catch one, one day, but at the moment I am in the wrong place in Australia!

As I was passing through a town called McKinley in Queensland, some two years ago, I was listening to ABC Radio and a news item aired talking about the lack of rain and hence the lack of barramundi.
The Walkabout Creek Hotel at McKinlay

Inside the pub




My car outside the pub
Apparently the professional fishermen who went out into the Gulf of Carpentaria, were lamenting the lack of fish.  They generally are "washed out" by rains, and no rains mean no fish.  Devastating.

As I drove through the little settlement of McKinlay, in northern Queensland, I sat the Walkabout Creek Hotel - made famous by a grand Aussie movie "Crocodile Dundee".  Of course, I had to stop and did so as you can see from my car in front of the pub.  Not seen in the photograph, were two or three 4 wheel drive vehicles towing boats - they too had stopped at the pub, and we virtually walked in together.

Apart from the lone barman, we were the only folk there.  I ordered a beer (Ginger Beer) as I don't drink the other stuff!!!  They guys ordered beers and like me wandered around to look at the memorabilia on the walls.  We started chatting.  

I learned that they had driven up from New South Wales for a week of barra fishing in the Gulf.  I told one of them about the radio interview I had heard some hour or so earlier.  He was crestfallen.  He went to the other guys and told them that I had given him the news that there was no barra because of the lack of rain.  For a few seconds, there was silence as the shocked blokes considered their folly of driving so far for fish that would be hard to find!  Then one of the blokes laughed and said "Don't worry, we've got the beer!" and life went on, just as it had before the announcement of the fishing drama. Typical Aussie blokes!!!

I think I laughed for the next few kilometers after I left the hotel!








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