Good news – the missing orfe appeared. It slowly floated into view yesterday afternoon as I stood by the pond attempting to unblock the stone toad which spouts, or not, water into the pond. We had a dozen fish in the pond twenty years ago but the numbers have dwindled to three orfe and one goldfish. They used to produce fry but not any more. I think these survivors are same-sex guys or gals.
I’d decided that when these remaining fish pop off I wouldn’t restock the pond, but instead turn off the pump, save on the energy bills and just leave it as a natural wildlife oasis. But now I’m not so sure. I thought, yesterday, that it might be nice to start again with another dozen babies? I have never added to the pond because new fish and fresh plants can bring disease. A decision for another day.
I was thinking this morning, in the early hours, about the kind of person I am. Wondering if I am a little too independent? Can you be?
I’ll give you an example.
In the last days of pregnancy my blood pressure shot up through the roof, mainly because we had just moved into our new cottage and I refused to let go of the paint brush or stop retrieving chucks from the farmer’s field, by way of climbing over a barbed-wire fence. I was taken into hospital for a week. It did zilch for the blood pressure because I never stopped fretting about my animals and would my husband look after them properly. They let me out at the weekend (short-staffed) and just before I was due back in on the Sunday evening I went into labour, due I am sure, to me moving a massive pot urn, which my husband had brought back from his two-year stay in Africa, all the way up the stairs and on to the landing.
My husband dropped me off at the hospital and I then spent the next sixteen hours in agony. And I mean agony.
The staff was overworked, tired and couldn’t, it appeared, come to the same conclusion to the outcome of my labour. They asked continuously if they should fetch my husband and each time I said no. I’ve always been this way. A sole battler. Matt was born at eight am on the Monday morning He looked liked a raspberry. They’d had to suck him out by vacuum extraction. He stared at me, unblinkingly, from his fish-tank cot and if the little guy could have spoken I reckon he would have said, ‘Of all the mothers in all the world … YOU’RE my mother?’
The point I am making is this, I had Matt at eight in the morning and I didn’t tell his father until four in the afternoon. There was no point at which I wanted him there. I needed to do it on my own. Give birth. Have time to see that Matt was OK. That’s strange isn’t it? I don’t really know why that is. Perhaps I’ve inherited my father’s stiff upper-lip gene. Maybe I’m just weird. Or maybe I’m scared of dropping the stiff upper-lip around the people who know me? As they say …whatever!
Then I got to thinking about my ex husband.
We first met when he came out to examine a horse of mine. He wasn’t a horse vet. Pretty scared of them, actually. We got chatting and we toddled off to the cinema on our first date . I met him at the cottage where he lived. I thought, on arrival, that we would be late for the cinema because he was dressed in a non-ironed pink shirt and purple cords and I thought he still needed to change. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? Would anyone go on a first date dressed like that? Don’t they say dress to impress?
I needed the loo before we left so I tottered off in my cool dress and posh heels. I never wear a dress now. I don’t possess one. I found the bathroom and almost had a heart attack. In the bath, soaking in something foul, was a badger pelt. He explained later that he collected ‘things’ and that he’d come across the dead badger two nights ago, on a country road, when he’d been on call.
He had a weaver bird’s nest, again from his stay in Africa and many trinkets. But his love was for skulls. He would often be found, deliriously boiling the flesh from a curlew’s head or from some other ‘precious’ find.
We were boating in Cambridge and came across a dead swan. The temptation to take its head was huge but not realistic. Anyone finding the decapitated creature would have assumed that was why it had died. Thugs. Bastards. Unholy shits. So that was a no no.
He was also an entomologist and had many collections of pinned creatures.
Funny – the things your mind digs up from the depths and brings to the surface for you to have another little think about. I think my thoughts are random. Is that a random thought?
The washing machine is bleeping at me. Back to Earth. Nothing more grounding than pegging out pants and socks. And that’s another thing. When Richard comes home today he is in for a roasting. How many times do I say (bellow) don’t leave your socks screwed-up in balls and inside out? Do all men do this? Should I really have to poke around in his smelly socks? Lord, the boxers are challenging enough.
Take care my lovelies x