“I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was pure magic”

Art editor Martine Tinney’s lightbulb food moment was at six years old – feasting on fresh lobster and crab!

 

“I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was pure magic”

When I was a little girl, every summer during the school holidays we’d go and visit my mum and dad’s friends, Edie and Les.

They lived on the tiny isle of Portland, off the Weymouth coast. There’s only one road onto the island, and once we’d travelled over the bridge it felt like we were in another country, miles from anywhere. It always seemed hot and their house overlooked the sea.

Martine Sailing

Les had a small fishing boat and in all weathers he was up and out in it, casting his lobster pots or hauling them up to see what he’d caught. His catch was lobster and crab that he’d sell to local restaurants.

"At six years old I didn’t realise what a banquet we were having, and how spoiled we all were."

I remember Edie and Les’s garden had a great big oil drum filled with boiling water. All the lobsters went in black and came out pink. I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was pure magic. We would then sit and eat as much fresh lobster and crab as we liked.

It was amazing – so sweet, juicy and fresh. At six years old I didn’t realise what a banquet we were having, and how spoiled we all were. No wonder my mum and dad wanted to visit them every summer.

That’s where my love of shellfish came from, and I still have such happy memories. It wasn’t until I was older that I discovered Les risked his own life every day – he couldn’t swim!

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