Saturday, 26 December 2009

Compliments of the season

Hello!  Season's Greetings and all that jazz.   Hope everyone is having a pleasant time. 

We've been having a very quiet Christmas here, which has been (and continues to be) lovely.  My hideous racking cough has diminished, although every now and again it creeps up on me, leaving me wheezing, teary-eyed and panicky.  Mr WithaY has gone down with a merry festive head cold and has spent much of the Christmas period so far on the sofa with a box of tissues and the remote control to hand. 

No relenting on the Christmas tree thing, and to be honest, I've not missed having one.  When we were getting all the boxes of decorations out of the loft it felt like only a few weeks since we put the things up there, so maybe a year off will make us appreciate them more next time.

The fabulous free-range turkey was cooked to perfection, along with half a pig's worth of chipolatas, stuffing and bacon.  We managed to get through about 1/50th of it at lunch yesterday, so I can see a few curries in our future.  Fortuitously, Middle Sis and family have sent us some very interesting looking Malasian curry mixes, so we can try them out.

This is the first Christmas I think I can remember where neither of us got books as gifts.  In years gone by, I would get the new Terry Pratchett, and then spend Boxing Day reading it, but over the last couple of years I have been very impatient and bought them when they come out, rather than waiting a couple of months till Christmas. 

We did, however, get lots of DVDs, so we have spent the last few days sitting on the comfy sofas watching them.  Oh, and chocolate, which was handy whilst watching the DVDs.  The new Star Trek is still excellent, and I still want to run away and join Starfleet.  

It's thawed out now.  Tuesday and Wednesday were terrifying.  Coming back from a neighbour's house at about 11.30 at night, everything was covered in thick sheets of ice.  It looked as though a hose had been turned on over everything, and then allowed to freeze solid. 

Walking home was the most scary thing I have done for many years.  I walked along on the grass where I could, clinging to fences and gates all the way, but I had to strike out across the roads a couple of times, and it was really just luck that I didn't end up face down on the ice.  One of our friends was less fortunate and took a slip and tumble on the way to the party, giving herself some very nasty bruises in the process. 

Anyhoo, Mr WithaY was helpful, offering me his arm (which I refused on the grounds that if I was going down I would only take him with me.  Such a hero, me) and some sage advice on how to walk on ice.  You have to "straddle, and walk crabwise" apparently.  At one point I was in the middle of the road, feet slipping wildly, not making any forward progress, when a car turned the corner and headed towards me.  I stayed where I was, unable to get out  of the way, convinced I was either about to break my nose/head/arms on the ice, that or get run over.  The car slid to a stop, and the driver very kindly waited till I had got myself off the road before continuing slowly on his way. 

We went to see Father-in-law WithaY and the roads were like ice rinks, even in the Landrover we were sliding about.  But everything is thawed out now, thankfully. 

Other news:  We have fish in the aquarium!  Some little glowlight tetras, which are small and pretty, and very entertaining to watch.  We started off with eight, but one of them didn't make it, and had to be scooped.  The remaining seven are settling in, chasing each other all over the tank, sometimes swimming in a shoal, sometimes all off in different directions.  They seem to like the pipe where the water comes out of the pump/filter thingy, and queue up to take turns at being pushed away by the flow. 

I like it when they all gather in the corner of the tank and watch the TV.  You can almost hear them: "Ooh, CSI!  I haven't seen this one."

Tomorrow we are going to get some more fish, which hopefully will survive the trip home.  I think barbs are next on the list, but we will take advice from the nice young man at the aquarium supply shop.  Mr WithaY did the science stuff today, testing the pH and so on, and everything was ok for a new tank.  The plants are doing well, so we are taking that as a good sign.

It's all very pleasing, watching the fish.  And good for the blood pressure, apparently.  Just as well after three days of TV-watching and chocolate-eating, really.   Aaah Christmas.


Peter Kenny said...

Merry Xmas Lucy... On a fishy note(I'm a lifelong fish fancier) make sure you build the population slowly. Too many fish too soon will mean the filter won't be able to cope. This will result in the water quality crashing, and your finny friends speeding off to Davy Jones's locker...

@eloh said...

So many years ago, when I had a small tank, I had a dozen or more of these tiny little striped fish called neon zebras(?)... after having the tank for many many months... one night they ALL just disappeared without a trace. I still wonder about it. Nothing ever happened to any of the other fish.

I got the new Star Trek movie when it first came is wonderful.

badgerdaddy said...

But you could also get the wonderfully named Black Phantom Tetra -

They're like ninja tetras, apparently.

livesbythewoods said...

Thank you Peter! Same to you. We are being very careful not to overload the tank with fish, giving it a week in between each new group of arrivals.

Eloh, that is truly bizarre. You think maybe some of the other fish ate them?

Badgerdaddy, anything that sounds like a really cool ninja/stealth bomber gets a comfy spot in my fishtank.