Trout, New Year’s Resolutions & Sunsets

I’ve been thinking about my blog lately and trying to decide which direction to take it. I have no formula to follow, no set topic or subject to write about. I could write only about my books, or the writing journey in general. I could write book reviews, or about my thoughts on movies and TV series. I could include random facts, sayings I like, or personal struggles or thoughts. But I don’t really want to restrict myself to writing about only one of these things. I have many blog post ideas that pop into my head, but I very rarely write any of them, wondering where they would fit into the subject of my blog. So this year I have decided that the theme of my blog can be anything that pops into my head. Probably a little of all of the above. I apologise in advance.

In this blog I have decided to tell you about the difference between salmon and trout. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

The fish in question. Weigh in if you think I’m wrong in assuming it was a Rainbow Trout.

Over the holiday period my family and I headed up to canals, the same ones mentioned in Girl Beneath Stars, to do a bit of fishing. I’m not a big fan of fishing, mainly because I would rather sit and read than have a line in the water, but on this occasion I caught a rather large rainbow trout, 15lb* actually, which a lot of fisherman go their whole lives trying to catch. Anyway, I posted a photo on social media of one of the fish we caught, and somebody promptly informed me that the fish is not a rainbow trout, but instead a salmon. This annoyed me ever so slight as I was unsure how someone could tell more about a fish from a photo than my father who has fished the canals all his life. So I looked into it a little. Salmon and trout belong to the same family and it is often hard to tell them apart. Salmon usually have more curved tails whereas the trout’s tails are more square. The easiest way to to tell the difference between salmon and trout (when in doubt) is to count the number of rays on the anal fin. All trout have 12 or less rays in this fin, whereas salmon have 13 or more rays. Unfortunately, I never counted the rays on the fins, so I guess we will never really know for certain, but considering the fact that all salmon in the canals would have been in salmon farms at one stage of their lives, any salmon caught would have had worn tails from brushing against the nets. Also all the salmon in the farms on these canals were female, so there was no chance of any escaping and breeding.
Now don’t you feel better for knowing that little random fact? If anyone ever questions whether you have caught a salmon or trout, you can answer them definitively on the subject.

The other thing I thought I would write about in this first blog of the new year, was New Year’s Resolutions. Did you make any?
I have always steered clear of this tradition as usually if I want to make changes, I do, regardless of the time of year, and over here the New Year is in the middle of our summer holiday period. Hardly the time to be cutting back on the wine and chocolate. If I were to make a resolution, more often than not, it would have been about my weight. Like a lot of people, I have struggled with my weight over the years. Just recently I was looking over old photos and noticed how my weight fluctuated up and down. I am an all in, or all out kind of person. I either have extreme self control, or none. So this year, rather than worrying about my weight, I have decided not to be a slave to my body. What I mean by that is I will not let my weight dictate my actions. There have been times in my life when I have refused to go out for a meal with my friends as it would break my diet. Or times when I would start to panic if I hadn’t been to the gym in a few days. This was being a slave to my body. My self image, the way I looked, my body, dictated where I would go, what I would do, and what I would eat. On the opposite end of the scale, during the times in my life when I was bigger than I was comfortable with, I was still a slave to my body as I wouldn’t go swimming or give certain activities a try for fear of what I would look like doing them. So this year, my resolution is not to lose weight, but instead not to let my weight control my actions. If I want to go swimming but am feeling like the dessert I ate the night before makes stomach stick out that little bit more than usual, I am going to go swimming. If I’m in the middle of a diet and my friends ask my out of a meal, I will say yes. I will not be a slave to my body. Yes, I plan on being a little healthier than last year, (especially these last couple of months) and yes, I would like to get back down to what I weighed at the beginning of last year, but that is not my goal. My goal is to live my life to the fullest, no matter what my size.

I’m going to sign off with two photos I took of Lake Pukaki. The first is of the last sunset of 2015 and the second is the first of 2016. I couldn’t get over the beauty of the sunsets up there. At first I thought it was simply because of the beauty of my surroundings, but then I realised that it was probably just because I was actually outside enjoying them rather than stuck inside cooking tea or watching the news. Anyway, I hope you find them as beautiful as I did . . .



I hope to write more blog posts this year, but I’m not promising anything. They will probably be more like this one, filled with the useless thoughts that float through my head.

I hope the new year finds you well.

Abby Wilder lettering

*I’m not sure why I still refer to fish size in imperial rather than metric. I guess something things just sound better in imperial.
6.8kg fish just doesn’t have the same appeal, does it?