Monk, Tusk, Witches

Monk, Tusk, Witches. They are fish names to conjure with; a beautiful marine harvest which local fishermen have risked their lives to bring us.

Pierowall Fish is a wonderful little business on [[Westray]]. Fish comes straight from the boats at Gill Pier along the front of the village to a smart new processing unit at Broughton. As the leaflet says, easy to cook, fresh or frozen, hand filleted to ensure no bones and free delivery to Mainland Orkney and Isles depot. I decide to cycle to buy some fish as fresh as it comes for our supper. Down in the harbour in Pierowall, the main village on [[Westray]], I see Dunlin, Redshank, Turnstone and Curlew foraging on the shore as I cycle past. Seal pups are basking in their strange curly brown coats on the rocks close by, while watchful adults play in the seaweedy water. In the tiny shop I choose Monk – it’s the ugliest Anglerfish you’re ever likely to meet, but a wonderful firm white fish on the plate – and some smoked Haddock for a bit of flavour.

There’ll be fish for supper tonight – if I get back up those hills and through that rain on my bicycle. Whatever the weather, I’m spurred on by the thought that nothing I can experience compares to the hardship of catching it.

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