The end of 46 Days

At the beginning of March I had a crazy idea. Instead of giving something up for Lent, I would try to do something every day. The idea for 46 Days came from there. Today is the 46th and last day.

I thought I’d have a look back through the last 45 days and see what’s happened:

0 people offended (that I’m aware of…)

1 holiday booked

1 disastrous week of night training

1 graduation attended

1 Margot Leadbetter moments

2 bouts of nostalgia

2 guinea pigs (Charlie and Lola) arrived

2 fish (Eddie and Bob) bought

3 fish (Maisy, Eddie and Bob) died

3 Easter bonnets made

4 3rd birthday parties attended

4 One Born Every Minute liveblogs

5 separate illnesses (2 for me, 2 for G, 1 for R)

6 twinny observations (I could have written hundreds of posts on this)

7 Friday photos

8 rants (I’m amazed there aren’t many more)

That’s a fairly average seven or so weeks in the HoT. Ok, so you don’t buy guinea pigs and kill off goldfish every day, but everything else was pretty normal…for us at least. It’s a nice little snapshot of our lives.

I only missed one night – when I was away for work – and I made up for it the next night with two long posts.  I have to say, as the weather improved dramatically in April I found it much harder to generate enough enthusiasm to sit down every night and write a blog post. Last night I ‘cheated’ and uploaded the Friday photos from my iphone whilst slumped on the sofa after another busy day. Thank Steve Jobs for the WordPress app!

I speculated at the beginning of all this that a period of sustained creativity might make me want to do some creative writing. It hasn’t, but only because I haven’t had time after writing 46 Days posts. There are a couple of ideas percolating in my brain but I can’t commit them to screen just yet.

Instead I’ve been exploiting my creative mind in different ways. I’m really into card-making at the moment. If there’s an event coming up I’ve probably made a card for it! My cards aren’t going to make me rich and they definitely look ‘home made’ but I hope people appreciate the effort. I attempted my first scrapbook – a graduation present for my Mum. I love getting creative with photos, bit of paper, a stack of embellishments and a ton of pritt stick. I have also made great progress with my latest cross-stitch and am already thinking about the next stitching project. I might do something really challenging this time…

As I get older I can no longer sit in front of the telly of an evening once the girls are in bed. I have to be doing other things, so that I feel my evenings aren’t wasted. That reminds me…I have very strict rules on my ‘me time’ activities. They are all done in the evening in the precious few hours I have when the girls are asleep and before I go to bed. During the day I’m either spending time with the girls or working.

I’m looking forward to having a few nights off (maybe even a week or two) from blogging – or the tyranny of the blank page (which only affected me twice in 46 days) and the feeling that I ‘have’ to write something. I might try something similar later in the year. November is my bogey-month so I might try 30 Days or something like that to ward off the SAD.

That’s all in the future. Now, I’m off to make a Mojito and await our take-away delivery.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Bob’s gone to the big tank…

…in the sky. Yep, we’ve managed to kill off another one.

I noticed that Bob was moving rather strangely in his tank when I got home from work yesterday evening and Dh put some of his medicine in the water. It was all a bit ER for 30 seconds – I practically got the defib equipment out whilst shouting ‘FULL BLOOD COUNT, CT SCAN AND CONTACT NEXT OF KIN GODDAMMIT!’  The jump juice seemed to perk him up a bit. Bob, not Dh. I announced his departure on Facebook (again, Bob. Not Dh), and five minutes later had to issue a retraction as Bob seemed to undergo an Easter miracle and rise from the depths…of his tank…and start swimming again.

Dh checked on the Bobster before he went to work at the ungodly hour of 5.30am this morning and he was a deceased fish. He had fallen off his Spongebob house. He was now sleeping with…well, Maisy and Eddie.

I HATE fantail goldfish. We know the water is good as we’ve been so careful with it. The filter works. He was fed appropriately. He had medicine when he was looking a bit droopy. What else could we have done?

R noticed the empty tank this morning after breakfast and I briefly explained that Bob had been very sick and had to go away, like Maisy and Eddie before him. She looked sad for about 10 seconds until G piped up: ‘Can we get Miffy now?’

Anyway, Dh and I have discussed it and we’re going to get to normal bog-standard cheap as (fish n) chips goldfish. You know, the yellowy-orange sort that we all had as kids. Maybe not just yet though.

FYI, Charlie and Lola the guinea pigs are thriving* and now eat from our hands. They are infinitely easier to look after than the infernal fantail goldfish

*Have I doomed them by writing that?


Meet Bob. He’s R’s new fish.

He’s another fantail and seems a lot feistier than poor old Eddie. He’s settled in really well, although Maisy is sulking a bit because he’s got a more wafty tail than she has. We selected him because he looked perky and because he looked roughly the same size as Maisy. Eddie always looked a bit….runty compared to his tank-mate.

Hopefully Bob (name chosen by R) will last a lot longer than his predecessor.

RIP Eddie the goldfish

At 10.45 last night Eddie the goldfish went to the great big fish tank in the sky.

I went to get a glass of water from the kitchen and noticed that Eddie was swimming rather strangely. He looked like he was being buffeted by a huge tidal wave and couldn’t control his swimming action. Dh and I watched him for a little while, feeling completely helpless. I hoped that he would recover himself and start swimming normally again but he started listing to one side. His final act was to fling himself towards the filter cover and that was to be his final resting place.

Eddie wasn’t ‘just’ a goldfish. He was R’s goldfish. Eddie was much wanted and waited for. R showed great patience and maturity in the six weeks between Maisy’s arrival and Eddie’s eventual appearance after all of the dramas with the water. It seems cruel that he only lasted two weeks in what should be perfect conditions for a goldfish. Maisy seems fine but I keep checking on her because I’m concerned that she may have whatever it was that saw off Eddie.

Dh sent me upstairs while he dealt with Eddie. After the deed was done Dh and I discussed how we would break the news to R. Dh initially favoured the ‘hospital and sneaky replacement’ option. I argued (forcefully) that R wouldn’t buy it for a second and that she should be told the truth. We agreed that we would just tell R that Eddie was very sick and we couldn’t make him better so he had to go away.

This morning dh spoke to R and I explained the situation to G. We told them separately because we knew that G, in her usual, oblivious way would just say something like ‘Maisy’s my fish and she’s fine’, which is exactly what she said. I told her that R would be feeling a bit sad and would need some cuddles. R didn’t quite believe dh until she saw the fish tank. Dh and I felt quite emotional as Eddie’s departure hit her and her face changed. G gave R a hug and told her she could help to look after Maisy.

R’s been pretty down today, veering between being very upset and extremely naughty. She internalises things far more than G does, so I thought it was better to be upfront with her because she hates being fooled and feeling silly. We’ve told her that she can get another fish and she’s already thinking of names. Bob seems to be the current favourite.

Eddie – your time at the HoT was too short. You were bullied by a prima-donna female and I’m fairly sure she stole your food and flapped her massive tail in your fishy face. I hope the fishy afterlife is kinder to you.

Guinea pig manor

After a week in their warm, cosy indoor cage Charlie and Lola have been turfed out into their Spring/Summer quarters  – the rather grandly named guinea pig manor. It’s been lovely to have them inside with us as it’s given us all time to get used to each other. On a practical level it makes sense for them to be outdoors most of the time though. Plus if they’d lived in the house for very much longer the dining room would have started to get a bit smelly.

Dh and I have been sharing feeding and cleaning out duties and the girls have been getting involved as well. They love stroking the piggies and have been helping to change Charlie and Lola’s bedding, straw and food. C & L love broccoli, celery and cucumber so the girls help to wash the veg and put it into the cage. G would dearly love to hold and cuddle C & L but they are extremely wriggly so we’ve reached a compromise where one of us holds them and G snuggles into us. R loves observing their behaviour and keeps up a running commentary on C and L’s movements. She frets that they’re not using their salt lick and playing with their toys but finds their (massive) straw consumption fascinating.

Aside from being totally different cosmetically, C and L have very different personalities. Lola is extremely feisty and doesn’t really fear anything or anyone. She spends much of her time gambolling around the hutch like a newborn lamb. Charlie is much quieter and more timid but loves cuddles – when you can get hold of her! She’s a bit of a speedy Gonzales.

Just a quick note on the goldfish. Maisy and Eddie are doing really well and Dh actually allows R and G to give them fish flakes every other day. I think they felt a bit upstaged by the piggies and Maisy seems to be shimmying around the tank more enthusiastically now that C and L have moved outdoors.

I keep thinking about one of the animals in the adoption section of the pet shop. Hobo was a lop-eared rabbit that appeared to have alopecia. He had bald patches on his head but the information sheet next to his cage said that the hair should grow back in time. G was quite fascinated by him and insisted on going to visit him on the numerous occasions we went to the pet shop. Normally the turnover of animals in the adoption bit is quite high but Hobo had been there for a few weeks. Last week R and G sat next to his cage for ages and chatted to him. If he hasn’t already, I hope he finds a suitable owner soon. I was half tempted to suggest to dh that we adopt him but guinea pigs and rabbits don’t really mix…

The new tank-mate

Ladies and Gentlemen….

After six weeks of fish-based agony, Eddie has FINALLY arrived. Dh took a water sample for testing yesterday and the pet shop finally deemed it suitable for a second fish. FYI, the fish are better looked after than I am – Dh puts bottled water into their tank because apparently ‘London water isn’t very nice for them’. <insert LOLs here>

This morning, Dh took the girls back to the pet shop so that R could select Eddie. Here he is (bottom) with his lady-friend Maisy  (top):

Eddie looks tiddly compared to Maisy. She’s managed to grow considerably since she arrived in January, despite being on reduced rations for most of that time. He’s also a fantail goldfish, but his tail is fused and he doesn’t have the double tail ‘wafty’ effect that Maisy has.

Dh is rather happy because they are likely to outgrow their tank in the next year or two and he’ll just have to buy the larger, hexagonal tank that he originally wanted.

I’m happy that R finally has her own fish. She’s been very grown-up and patient about it through the saga of the multiple trips to the pet shop and endless chatter from G about Maisy.

Now that the fifth and sixth members of the HoT are here, my thoughts are turning to the extension of our pet menagerie. Watch this space…