First of all. I know. I'm the world's worst blogger at the moment. I have a list of draft posts which only consist of titles for all the things I want to write about but they just remain that, drafts. I'm having serious problems with my work/life/blogging balance at the moment. I have lists for everything I want to do and blogging is always on it but it always gets bumped off because there's always yet another e-mail to send or another pile of ironing to do. I know I need to work on it.
Anyway. Let's start off easy shall we?
Sadly pets (and when I say "pets" I mean "cats") are out of the question for us at the moment. We live on the 1st floor of an apartment block in a one bedroom flat and these are not ideal conditions for having a little furry friend. This flat is also rented and pets are strictly forbidden. Like strictly forbidden. They go into specifics in the contract - nothing furry, nothing reptilian or amphibian and nothing with gills.
But then it went on to say that none of those things were allowed without asking the permission of the letting company.
Now technically this did mean that we could ask permission for a cat but we decided that much as we would both like one (The Person would never admit this but my crazy cat lady-ness is rubbing off on him.) the conditions aren't right just now. But we did some thinking and the decided that there was a pet that we could probably handle and which the letting company would probably be on board with...
May I present to you Andrew and Marcus....the goldfish
You might think "Goldfish? You massively boring twat. And also how easy to look after?"
But let me tell you we've had a stressful wee week with these two.
Many moons ago I bought a goldfish with my parents - we went into a shop, bought a tank, bought some gravel, bought a fish, happy days. My fish was called Feelers and he lived for 7/8 years. No filter. No special tap water liquid. Just a fish.
Now it's impossible to buy a tank without a filter and when you try and get the fish at the same time you're told you can't because you have to have had the tank set up for a week with the filter running before you put fish in it. Good one.
So having bought the tank and deciding not to use the filter because a) I don't want the electricity bill any higher than it is already, and, b) There wasn't a plug socket free anyway, we returned to the store (hoping the same staff weren't on duty as the night before when we bought the tank) and selected our fish.
I spent the next 2 days convinced they were about to die.
They hardly moved. They wouldn't eat. The water looked incredibly cloudy all of a sudden.
I began to suspect that my gung ho "filter schmilter" attitude might be the undoing of me.
As a last resort we emptied out half the water and put new water in. I don't know how or why but they immediately became different fish - happier fish, zooming about and being active fish. I'm baffled but the change was so instantaneous I can only assume it was the water.
They are still a little nervy if you go up close to the tank. Although to be fair if I was a fish and someone's looming face appeared at my tank I'd probably do a runner too. But they are getting better and I think they might be figuring out that most of the time I'm coming up to them to feed them.
And they totally have personalities too. Marcus is kind of clingy and follows Andrew about like a little lost puppy, bugging him and trying to push him up to the top - I don't know what that's about.
The Person and I feel pretty proud of ourselves. These fish are officially the first pets either of us has owned since leaving our parents behind and striking out on our own. I think that means we have ticked off another box on the checklist that will allow us to apply for our Grown-Up's Card.
Although I feel a little worried that if I was this worried about two goldfish, what the hell will I be like with a real-life cat? (Or, heaven forbid, a small person?)
PS The names? They don't mean anything. We just thought they were funny names for fish. We actually have a back story for them - their full names are Marcus DeVallier and Andrew Crispin and they met at Harrow. Andrew gained a place at Cambridge to read Mathematics and Marcus hoped to do the same but unfortunately failed the Oxbridge exam and had to settle for a place at St Andrews. They fell out of touch but then found each other again when Andrew wanted to invest in Marcus' internet start-up business and they're now the best of friends.
So that's nice isn't it.