MY top-secret crabbing location has been compromised after appearing on the telly over the last few weeks.
Until recently, apart from among the drawstring-net and raw-bacon/liver (delete depending on bait of choice) brigade, this was uncharted water. The modern-day Newfoundland of crustacean catching, if you will.
Then it went and landed itself a starring role in the county’s best, make that only, TV crime show, Broadchurch (ITV, 9pm Mondays), and before I can say: “Fetch my collapsible crabber and a pound of raw offal,” it has become more recognisable than some of the show’s actors.
Now everyone will be heading to my shelltopia, formerly an area attracting only a few hardy souls and a couple of gulls, as it lies directly outside the Broadchurch cop shop, in reality a block of flats by the harbour in West Bay. And so, gone are the days when I could hunker down wherever I fancied on the jetty, drop my line and wait for the satisfying heft of tricked crab. Followed, inevitably, by the unsatisfying weightlessness of crab-too-clever-to-be-tricked-again.
No more will I experience the sense of pride at my swarming bucket being admired by passers-by and dogs, nor that of cosy self-righteousness as my clicking catch is ceremonially released back into the murky waters, witnessed by a crowd of at least, oh, eight or nine.
Never mind. I’ll just have to fill the void with pointing to bits of West Bay and saying to anyone who’ll listen: “Look. That’s the shelter where pop-up therapist Beth Latimer’s (Jodie Whittaker’s) Dorset accent went towtallee an’ utterlee haywire.”
Or: “Hang on, isn’t that the tufted hillock where Broadchurch Echo Editor and token militant feminist, Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles), uttered that monumentally-terrible line about quitting and then firing a declining newspaper industry. Or something?”
Or: “That’s the garden-centre car park where poor old Lenny Henry looked ready to screech ‘Katanga, my friend!’ at any moment in a desparate bid to distract everyone’s attention away from his inability to play a convincing baddy.”
Or even: “There’s where DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) and DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) had their most wind-tossed hair dos of the series,” while gesturing towards the low wall where all the dramatic conversations and Scotch-egg-eating scenes occur.
All that aside, it’s stupidly addictive, lovely to look at and, because the main suspects’ characters are so obviously-drawn, it’s impossible to tell whodunnit; they’re all a bit fishy.
Unlike my future trips to West Bay, I fear ….