Friends with Fins
Two posts in a day! I was just trying to get to bed when I started thinking about how annoying it was that the WH Smiths I went in today didn’t have Practical Fishkeeping magazine, and then I though “ooh, I might write a little blog about fish.” Fishkeeping is one of my hobbies, a bit odd, I know, but it really is quite fascinating. Back when I was at grammar school I didn’t have much of a social life (*cough cough* any at all *cough cough*) so I needed something to fill the void at weekends etc and that was fishkeeping. I’ve always loved fish, just goldfish to begin with and then tropicals. Mum was a super clean freak, so furry pets were largely dismissed. Fish made a good alternative. I don’t know when it started, but I know ever since I had my first fish when I was 7 or so, I was hooked (no pun intended there, seriously.)
I remember that day mum and dad said we were going over to Nan and Grandads to give them some tools back or something like that. We got in the car and off we went, but pretty soon I saw we were going the wrong way for Nan and Grandads. I pointed this out of course, but was told just to be quiet and see what happened. I obeyed. They could have been planning some kind of family suicide thing, into the canal like Richard Hillman on Corrie, but thankfully not. No instead we turned up at a Pets at Home, and I got my first ever fish tank, and two fish. The tank was a Hex-a-fun plastic thing, with silver gravel and the stereotypical plastic plant, and a little ornament of a chinese pagoda (don’t ask me why, probably mum wanting it to look “nice” – it was around that time that chinese stuff was really trendy.) And the fish were goldfish, one was a Black Moor (black with googley eyes) called dino, and the other was a red and white fantail called saur. Yes, I also loved dinosaurs. And you know what bit of it I always really loved? What bit always excited me? When the fish were in their plastic bags on the journey between shop and home. I always loved that bit, and I still do. It’s still my favourite part. I love how they look in their bags, all bright and shimmering. I honestly can’t explain it but there’s something about that bit that I absolutely love. Sort of lucky then that a lot of them died ( 😦 ) because it meant that I could keep getting new ones and keep seeing them in their bags. That’s awful of course, I hate that living things died under my care, and I do feel sorry for the fish. I think my inferiority complex (sure I’ve got one somewhere,) empathises with them. Always the underdog, the fish. You can catch wild ones and just leave them suffocating, or “kindly” dash their brains out. You can have dozens upon dozens die on you and not be arrested by the RSPCA (imagine if someone had kept buying puppies and they kept dieing!) Not to mention the poor things are constantly being ridiculed for being stupid, having 7 second memories or something silly like that. They really don’t, honestly. My fish recognise me when I come near, they’ll come up and say hello, and they won’t do that for just anyone.
I did take a bit of a break from it, but now I’m back, and I’m very happy to be so. It’s an addictive hobby, i warn you, but it is so rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone. You can’t stroke them, and you can’t cuddle them. But they can be your friends, and they can make you feel happy and good in that way that only animals can (honestly NOT a beastiality reference.) And, on the plus side, you never, ever have to walk them.