We bought new fish today. Meet Goldie, Patrick Moor and Fish.
This means I’ve lost the Battle Over the Redundant Fire Place twice now.
When we decorated the lounge I wanted the fireplace to be filled with logs like this:
But Husband refused. He said that the logs would attract spiders. (Searching for an appropriate example of a log-filled fireplace I’ve just found that I could have easily made a façade, which wouldn’t have been an arachnid welcome beacon. Dammit.) And besides, Husband wanted a fish tank. I’m not a big fan of fish tanks, especially when I’m the one who has to clean it out.
We reached stalemate and did nothing.
And then one Christmas Grandy resolved the situation, by getting Boo to give me a fish tank as my present. That’s right – have you got a completely unwanted gift, but dont want to be criticised for making such a bad choice? Just get a cute child to give it. The receiver of crap gift is going to have to be grateful forever. (The same tactic was deployed by Husband when he failed to buy me a Pandora bracelet and instead bought a green plastic ring.) And so the redundant fireplace became home to a clutch of fish.
Oh deep (Christmas) joy. Especially as the chore of cleaning it did indeed fall to me. Funnily enough no one else wanted to lug buckets of water containing fish poo from the lounge to the utility room on a regular basis.
The damn things lived for years too. Despite a 3-year-old friend of Boo’s running straight into it at full pelt on a play date. Despite a cascade of dust and brick falling onto the tank one Christmas as a dead pigeon fell down the chimney.
I convinced Boo it was Santa doing a recce, to check that her presents would fit, as she stood wide-eyed as the room filled with brick dust. (I should point out that the chimney above the tank is blocked off and Boo didn’t actually see the dead pigeon, otherwise her tears that I put down to shock probably would have been more attributable to fear that she was going to get a dead pigeon as a gift.)
But despite the assault the fish tank remained in tact.
And then last year I decided that I’d had enough of cleaning the tank. Someone else (namely Husband) could do it. After all, he was the one so besotted by the tank that he’d taken another one off the hands of a work colleague. Fortunately he never got round to setting the second tank up, otherwise our house could easily start to resemble a Sea Life Centre. But it clogs the cupboard under the stairs along with the massive speakers he acquired from God-knows-where for a stereo system we don’t possess. Harry Potter would have been left homeless were he to have been deposited on our doorstep as a baby.
Under the remit of Husband the water grew murky, and yet still the fish lived. They developed dubious-looking patches which healed with water treatments, but still the tank grew worse. And then eventually – finally – Husband changed the water. Within a week two of the fish had gone to visit the giant fish tank in the sky. Less than a month later the third fish joined them.
Just the thought of plopping sound of fish-down-the-toilet makes me want to retch.
Husband cleared out the tank, scrubbed the glass and re-filled it. I obviously still wasn’t going to get my logs. We went to the fish shop and bought a couple of plants. But the tank has remained fish-free for about six months.
But today, devoid of anything better to do, I decided if we were going to have the fish tank then we might as well have fish in it.
I suppose they are quite cute.
Noodles was fairly non-plused, until midway though dinner he leapt from his seat and ran over to the tank.
‘FIIIIIIIIIIISSSSHHHHH!!! HELLO, FISH!’
I don’t suppose I can get him to clean out the tank, can I?