Beyond the lush farmland of Sandy Point and towering above Shallow Inlet, the Prom presents itself as a greener pasture despite its seeming isolation from the mainland. I can’t believe it has been 20 years since I watched the Prom dissipate the mist that grips with vapour like hands.
I would say the happiest times of my childhood were spent here on the farm with my seven sisters and mum while dad was away at war. The combined muscle of my not quite teenage slim frame and eight females was never enough to keep 600 acres of farmland in check. Fortunately for us, Uncle Jack helped mum with the heavy farm work despite having to maintain his own farm 3 miles away in the Fish Creek direction. Every time I offered to help Jack fix the plough or hunt the foxes that picked off our lambs, he patted me on the head and told me to go and look after my mother – suited me.
I would walk down to Shallow Inlet with my fishing rod and a pocket full of live worms. I’d catch the best flathead when the perfectly curled waves from Bass Straight broke and made their way to me on the inward tide. My mum was always more than grateful for the tucker. Once, I proudly brought back a flathead that was as long as a newborn lamb and she said,
‘Robert, we’ll be eating, nothing but fish for a week. You’ve saved us a chook again.’
While I fished there was plenty of waiting time between catches. I would stare endlessly at the Prom, transfixed by the magical rainbows that glittered through the surrounding mist. In the evenings I would paint the Prom’s fading colours and in the mornings, its fading darkness.