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By: C D Pressdee

Tales of the Tides

Pages: 160 Ratings: 4.8
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On a warm spring day in the 1950s, twelve-year-old Jason, an only child from the Midlands, arrives for a holiday in a small seaside village where his father lived as a child. Staying with his uncle and aunt, he plans to explore the rocks at low tide which his father remembers from childhood. Soon he meets Joe, an old man who once was an expert fisher of the shores. Joe becomes a mentor for the boy as he can describe, from memory, the layout and secrets of the rocks. When he starts to investigate the shoreline, a shy Jason meets Abby, a lively young Australian girl. As their friendship grows, she comes to realise that he has a secret and is escaping from something he’d rather not talk about. With more confidence, Jason becomes adept at catching shellfish. Yet he encounters unexpected trouble, even in these beautiful places, and will have to draw on his new resources to confront possible obstacles ahead…

C D Pressdee was brought up in Mumbles and attended Bishop Gore Grammar School in Swansea then the University of Wales, Cardiff where he read Economics, achieving a BSc (Econ) Hons degree.


Combining an interest in business with his lifelong passion, he started a seafood business exporting shellfish to most European countries.


His restaurant, The Oyster Perches, was the first in Swansea to gain entry to the Good Food Guide 1974 and was acclaimed for the use of local produce from Gower and South Wales. In late 1975, he opened the Drangway in the oldest area of Swansea (Drangway—a local word for a narrow lane). It had entries in Michelin with a Red M, the Good Food Guide and Egon Ronay.


In the late 1980s, he moved into marketing, undertaking many consultancies for the Enterprise Initiative, and became a registered consultant with Cranfield Business School. He undertook consultancies and food promotions throughout the UK and Europe. He staged food events in the European Parliament, Brussels; at the British Embassy, Paris; the International Celtic Festival in Lorient, Brittany and created a beach buffet party for 500 at the Mipcom Television Film Festival in Cannes.


In the 1990s, he took part in many assignments in Yemen, working on cultural exchanges with The British Council in Sana’a and Aden, and travelling through most areas of the country. Recently, he did an extended restaurant and hotel consultancy in Bali, Indonesia.


During this time, he also wrote regularly for the Western Mail, Daily Post, The Times, Financial Times and numerous other publications. He won a Glenfiddich Award in 1990 as Regional Writer of the Year.


His food books include: Streetwise Cookery, Welsh Coastal Cookery, Food Wales and London Oyster Guide.

Earlier works of fiction are: Reflections of a Vampire and Devil’s Recipe.


He has taken part in numerous radio and television programmes and series including Floyd on Great Britain and A Feast of Floyd. He was a weekly contributor to Streetlife on BBC Radio Wales, and BBC Wales TV See You Sunday, and BBC2 Summer Scene, live from the Garden Festival in Ebbw Vale. He presented Nightbites on ITV and Hedgerow Harvest on UKTV.


Currently, he lives in Brighton, after 25 years in London. He continues to write and undertake consultancy in the food business both in the UK and abroad. He returns every summer to the Gower Peninsula.

Customer Reviews
4.8
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Dr Richard Thomas

    I greatly enjoyed 'Tales of the Tides'. It captures beautifully many episodes from my young life, so happily spent exploring the rock pools and marine life of the Gower peninsula. Conger eels, bass, lobsters, dogfish, wrasse and many more magical creatures are brought to life. I remember very well the respect we had as children for the aggressive velvet swimming—or 'fiddler'—crab, which could deliver a very nasty nip. Nicely illustrated too.

  • Richard Stockton

    In this delightfully evocative story the author takes us back to our childhood holidays of shrimp net and bucket, grazed knees and peering into rock pools.
    The shy Jason befriends the old fisherman Joe, allowing Pressdee to impart his considerable knowledge of aquatic life on the shoreline and beneath the waves.
    The lad's friendship with Abby forces him to face the darker aspects of his young life and consider what is his destiny.
    The book will appeal to many who will recall those halcyon summers and stimulate those younger readers, who have yet to discover the mysteries of the shore.

  • Anthony Harrison

    This is a lovely story of a shy & lonely boy that took me back to my childhood visiting the beaches and waterways of my home. The characters are vividly portrayed and Joe reminds me of an old boat captain and fisherman who showed us how to find numerous creatures to take home for dinner, especially prawns and crabs. The story vividly creates a vision of how the main character gains confidence in himself against a backdrop of bullying and how he overcomes such fears. There are so many wonderful descriptions of the lives and adventures of the creatures of the seaside and their fight for survival. The book is also full of fascinating information on the curious lives of the sea creatures and will not only rekindle childhood memories for those who spent their holidays by the sea it will entice you to visit the seaside and discover these creatures. This book is a must-read for all ages and is adorned with beautiful sketches of the sea creatures.

  • Andrew Hetherington

    What a lovely book - a joy to read. It brings back so many happy, childhood memories of being brought up with the Gower coast on our doorstep. The author obviously has far greater knowledge of the seashore than I ever did! Also, it is beautifully illustrated which adds to the charm. I would recommend this book to all, old and young. A most enjoyable read.

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