Saturday March 5, 2005
“Oh dear,” I said as I opened the living room curtains this morning. “That’s very sad.”
“One of our goldfish has died. Floating on the top just under the ice, all limp and forlorn.”
“One of the white ones, I think. Hard to tell.”
“No matter. Plenty more left. I’ll go pick it out and give it a decent burial when I’ve had me breakfast.”
“You are a splendid chap.”
It was only a very thin, broken layer of soft ice, and most of that was gone by the time the ceremony was carried out. Picture it. Two grown blokes, fussing over the death of an ornamental fish in a garden pond. You’d think the rest of the fish would make something of the event, too, wouldn’t you? But, no, they just sat deep in the bottom, sheltering under the great mass of oxygenating weed that’s grown from three strands in less than a year, and gulped. Gormlessly. Hey ho. That’s what fish do.
“Coffee time?” asked Graham.
“Too right. It’s perishin’ cold out here, and my feet are freezing.”
So we repaired to our nice warm kitchen, switched the Gaggia on, and soon enough I was sat sipping good strong espresso and Graham was slurping up a large low-fat latte.
“Darn it,” I said.
“I missed a good photo-opportunity there. Deceased goldfish, floating. Very metro-manga, that could have been.”
“Don’t see you as a metro-manga photographer, somehow.”
“No. Perhaps you’re right. I don’t promise that I shall not have a go next time, though.”
“That’s your privilege.”
“Yes indeed. That’s my privilege.”
Not long after, I settled down to eBaying once more, adding to the inventory of bits and bobs I have for sale and, looking cautiously over my shoulder to be sure there was no-one there to catch me, putting in a bid for a rather special coffee mug with a big picture of an orange cat on the side. Just the kind of smile-making jolly thing for a cold winter’s morning. Yeah. I know. Naughty. Nice, though.