After years of tolerating the Hub and his tropical fish, I have finally succumbed: my name is Tilly and I love my goldfish. So, apologies to nephew David and his lovely wife for messing you around, but I’ll see to Bill myself, thank you very much.
And Betty, of course; she’s the companion we bought for Bill. Or HE’s the companion: turns out the Hub is not as good a sexer as he thought; on reading the book that came with the new fish tank we bought because the original was plastic, cracked and too small and the plants we bought took up all the room, he learned that his method for discerning the sex was faulty i.e. he had no idea what he was doing and might just as well have held a wedding ring on a string over the tank and decided that male was right twirl and female left.
Then came the accessories, donated by a kindly Freegler. Freegle is the English independent breakaway offshoot of Freecycle; a sort of retaliation for 1776 – no authorisation without representation (no money changes hands so it can’t be taxation).
Bill & Betty now have a castle and some slate tunnels and it’s my bet the Hub is thinking that as soon as Callie the Eternal Gerbil pops her clogs, he’ll have a use for her giant tank and the seventeen other fish castles now residing in the garden in an old carrier bag. I’m sure it has been his plan to get me to keep Bill & Betty all along; he’s always liked owning fish. He has asked me almost every day if I had decided to keep them and I finally said ‘yes’ this morning. He had me out of the house and into the pet shop before I could say ‘I’ll have some chips with that’ and we now have Bill & Betty & Jock & Viv.
Jock & Viv get their names from my good friend Vivienne, who always leaves complimentary comments on my posts, and her husband, who once gave the kiss of life to a goldfish and inspired a poem. I won’t post it again because I’ve posted it twice already, but you can read it . It was one of my favourite poems I have written and I was really touched by Jock’s heroism, and Viv is just lovely, so I can’t think of a better tribute to them. I hope they forgive me.
We now have a dog, a gerbil, two kids and four fish. We may be getting another dog because Toby is still nervous around them and it would help socialise him. We will definitely be getting two more fish because the boys want one of their own now that we are keeping them; but I draw the line at having any more gerbils or kids in the house.
Which reminds me: I am really looking forward to having my niece and nephew staying for a couple of weeks in the summer holidays. Someone’s got to look after all the pets while I have my nervous breakdown.