Brian and Elaine, just in case anyone should get the wrong idea, had separate interests, thank-you very much. Brian had bowls and golf, model trains and fishing. Elaine had charity work, square dancing and bingo.

The caravanning trip would be a test of this determined independence—their holidays always were. On the third afternoon, in a one-horse town, Brian heard about big snapper biting off a headland further north.

‘What am I supposed to do all night way out here?’ said Elaine.

‘You could always come. I’ll set up a rod.’

She looked at him suspiciously.

‘I won’t tell anyone.’


By ten Brian was ready to pack it in. The only bites he’d had were crabs stealing his bait. Elaine gazed at the stars, her rod lying beside her where it had been since the first cast. Call this fun.

‘C’mon Love, reel it in and we’ll get going.’

She picked it up and started winding. It gave a little wobble, then a jerk. ‘Is it s’posed to jump around like that?’

Brian was over in a flash. He reached for the rod.

‘Oi, what do you think you’re doing?’

‘You’ve got a fish. A good one too I’d say.’

‘And all mine,’ Elaine said. ‘Now get your hands off my rod and calmly tell me what to do.’