Thursday, 28 August 2008

This has nothing to do with clothes but I won!

I am sorry for adding this into my blog but I wanted to share my good news with all my friends in blogland.
Earlier this month I entered the Guardian (a British broadsheet newspaper) Travel Writing Competition. I just found out today that I have won the Family section which will be published in the paper this Saturday.
Here is the entry and a pic to go with it!

The Return of King Crab

For 20 years my husband has held on to a small, tarnished silver cup.
Wherever we move this ageing relic follows.

“What is it dad?” asks our 11-year-old daughter.

It turns out that in 1975 my husband had been crowned King Crab of Cemaes
Bay after winning the annual crabbing competition in the most northerly
town in Anglesey.

The rugged resort was where my husband and his four siblings spent every
summer. Unlike ours. Our summers have been France, Italy, Spain and
Sardinia. But the credit has crunched and a UK holiday beckons. Cemaes Bay
it is.

We pick up the keys for The Studio Cottage from the landlady of Ye Olde
Vigour pub.

“It can’t be Cerys,” gasps my husband.

“Paul, I don’t believe it. How are you? It must be more than 20 years,”
she adds.

A long conversation follows and I begin to feel cheered as she refers to
holidaymakers as “visitors”.

And our children begin to believe the impossible - their dad was once a boy.

Three hours later after a marathon beachcombing session where we find
crabs, mudskippers, baby lobsters, a baby eel and rock pools we head

The following day we visit the small pier and the harbourmaster’s cottage
to arrange a fishing trip.

The waters are a little choppy but we manage to find our sea legs and our
13-year-old swaps the thrill of a mobile phone beeping to the pull of a

Safely back ashore, my husband catches sight of a plaque commemorating the
life of a local fisherman. He stops and is instantly transported back to
the day of his father’s funeral when he was just 13.

The young boy found great comfort from the reassuring presence of several
Cemaes Bay fishermen who had made the long trip to Liverpool for the
service. One of those men is the name on the plaque.

We walk back along the headland and to White Lady Bay, named after the
rock which creates the shape of a lady’s head.

Past and present merge as we explore beaches, coves and caves. Our
youngest two wade bare-chected through the River Wygyr with fishing nets
in hand like latterday Huckleberry Finns.

Finally, the big day dawns. King Crab must face his toughest test. Our
four children are handed buckets and crabbing lines to challenge for the

At noon the high tide rolls back to shore, seagulls scream overhead and
the five intrepid crabbers cast their lines.

After a slow start there are two clear winners. Our 13-year-old and his dad.

At 26 crabs each there has to be a decider.

A small crowd gathers and within seconds Joe feels a pull. Inch by inch he
carefully pulls in the line before plopping the unsuspecting crab into the
crowded bucket.

There is a new King.

King Crab is dead. Long live King Crab… until next year’s rematch.


Stacy said...

Great entry!! Congrats!

Michelle@Life with Three said...

That is fantastic -- and quite an honor! Kudos to you!

The Daily Wear said...

Great Read! Congratulations girl!

Sheila said...

Congratulations! That is an excellent little slice of life - very evocative, but also with nice emotional resonance. Thanks for sharing it with us!

workthatwardrobe said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. It was a big surprise to win. I wrote about a trip we had before we managed to find some cash for our summer break.

notSupermum said...

Congratulations! It's a great piece, full of warmth.

Della Street Dreaming said...

What a great story. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! How exciting!

see you there! said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful story. It was nice to have a little glimpse into your family as well.