Friday, 29 April 2016
The origin of 'Left Field' began 18 years ago when my wife, Anne Aylor, and I were on holiday on the Croatian island of Mljet. We were taking a much-needed break from our all-consuming work at the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar. Anne was working on her second novel, The Double Happiness Company, and I was staring from our balcony at the harbour jetty below where a fisherman was smoking a cigarette and not catching fish. I started to tell Anne about my ex father-in-law's brilliance as a fisherman on another Croatian island. Without telling me, Anne stopped work on the Yukon chapter she was writing and began touch-typing my monologue. With her encouragement, this was to become the first completed story in my book and today has the title: Ivo's Boat. “Fishermen can often be seen standing side by side on harbour walls looking as though they are pissing into the sea, but Ivo wasn't one of them. He had respect for the intelligence of fish.