Cast a Cold Eye



dominion over hake

There is a verse in the opening chapter of the bible that has been bothering me.

“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

It is this command to subdue the earth and have dominion over other creatures that troubles me as it seems to legitimize treating other creatures as natural resources to be exploited for our enjoyment.

I was looking at the words on the STEP Bible software :-

Subdue =to subject, subdue, force, keep under, bring into bondage
Dominion =
to rule, have dominion, dominate, tread down

The idea of subjecting, forcing, keeping under, bringing into bondage seem like aggressive even violent words, especially since they are words given before the fall of man.

Similarly the idea of having dominion, dominating, treading down don’t seem to be words that are in tune with the idea of the lion lying down with the lamb. It seems like a rough way of living with little affection.


On Sunday  night a kind lady popped around  with fish  that had just been landed from the North Atlantic.
She kindly gave us a big white box of some type of fish and some prawns.
The box was unmarked but checking a book I reckon it was probably hake. Reading on book then said:-

‘We all have our weaknesses, certain things – like roulette, scrumpy or chocolate – we can’t quite  trust ourselves to be around. The Spanish tend to lose their heads over fish, and none more so than hake. Merzula, as they call it, is their fish of choice, bordering on a national obsession – and now bordering on an international ecological disaster… much of it is caught by Spain’s extensive deepwater fleet, the biggest and most heavily subsidised in the European Union. Few species apart from cod and bluefin tuna are under more pressure”
The River Cottage Fish Book, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nick Fisher

The verse in Genesis with the idea of dominating and treading down doesn’t seem to fit easily with the idea that we should fish gently and carefully.

And that was a command in the Garden of Eden before sin had entered the world. Now that sin has entered how much more aggressive and violent is mankind?See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out.


langoustine/ Dublin Bay Prawns


They’re really nice but

a) too expensive for what you get
b) shelling them is annoying. I was grumpy afterwards.

Plus they’re creepy to look at, though also beautiful

I just cooked them in salted water and dipped them in mayonnaise, but the big bag of farmed mussels you could pick up for the same price is better value.

So no more Dublin Bay prawns for me thank you very much. Unless of course you’ve shelled them and are paying for them in which case, yes please!

The Islandman

I really can’t write properly or poetically and the thing that hurts my head the most is when I try to write a review of something such as a film or a book. My head is hurting as I want to write about a book I finished reading this afternoon called ‘The Islandman’

The reason it mainly hurts my head is if I try to set the scene and remember facts about the book such as where it was set and who the main characters where. Or basic spelling. Like is it ‘were’ or ‘where’? And that is before I venture into factors such as the Gaelic spelling of  place.

Well basically it tells about life on The Blasket Islands as remembered by an islandman, Tomas O Crohan/Tomás Ó Criomhthain at the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century.

The thing that struck me about the book is the harshness of the life this man lived yet how content he was with his lot. There is a willingness to make the most of what is at hand, when it comes to hand.

Towards the end of the book he writes

‘We are poor simple people, living from hand to mouth. I fancy we should have been no better off if we had been misers. We were apt and willing to live, without repining, the life the Blessed Master made for us, often and again ploughing the sea with only our hope in God to bring us through….I have made no secret of our good traits or of our little failings either, but I haven’t told all the hardship and the agonies that befell us from time to time when our only resource was to go right on’