I only named two of my fish.
Chippie the weather loach was my favourite. Busy nibbly little sod. When he popped his clogs, the last of my interest waned. This evening, Max and I approached the tank to begin syphoning the water and bagging up the remaining fishies, and the other named fishie must have understood on some level that they were moving. He had chosen to stay forever. Brian the clown loach was floating on his side, stone dead. Someone had eaten his eyes.
I picked him up with a spatula and flushed him. “What ceremony else?” He would perhaps have have had a little more thought attached to his send-off had I had a spot more time to think. But with one evening left in London, not packed yet at 7pm and a huge tank to move first, I had other fish to fry.
We rounded them up and bagged them. We sucked out the water and put it in buckets. We carried the tank down to the lift. We loaded it into the car. We then carried it up three flights of stairs and triumphantly deposited it all. I was already sweating like a pig. Success though. I won’t be able to revel in the space we made as I had to get the cabinet in a second trip, hoik that up the stairs too and then get the fuck on with packing.
I’ve got my passport. Mobile chargers. Clothes. I’ve even got a toothbrush.
It’s only like two weeks or something.
iPad. Kindle. Bluetooth speaker. Satnav holder. I even remembered my driving licence. It’s not like I’m off to Bogota this time though. Just to Ayrshire.
The moon was huge as I was pelting around London dispensing with fishes and loading up my cases. One day off the flower moon. A bright omen as I remove more tricky stuff and streamline.
The fish were lovely for a while. When I was home predictably and before the algal bloom. I couldn’t fight the algae. It moved in stealthily and suddenly it clogged everything and made the water brackish. I persisted as Chippy seemed to like eating the stuff, but then two expensive Fluval U4 filters packed up within a week of each other and I threw my hands up.
“A fish is for life, not just for lockdown.”
Well, at least it wasn’t a puppy. And Max is brilliant to take them on, and it makes some sense as his life is more predictable than mine.
And now I’m on the Gatwick train, after about three hours sleep, and an uber to Victoria. This is only an hour late. Breakfast at the airport?! And I might allow my first coffee for a month. Although I don’t need them anymore so it might be good to keep it that way…