Sunday 8 April 2012

Pet cemetery

Pet Cemetery
The goldfish is dead; long live the (other) goldfish. At 6pm on the evening of April the 7th, the father of Miss Ruse was called to a fish tank in a bedroom north of Bristol, there to pronounce Minnie the fish ‘dead on arrival’; dead on my arrival, it’s not like the fish could go anywhere. I’d expected a body afloat, not a ghost floating through a former home. Unsure of what should follow I asked my daughter, who fishing out her former pet requested a burial alongside Humphrey (the guinea pig) for the following day, Easter day, which entailed an overnight period of lying in state for the deceased. I can recommend Tesco re-sealable sandwich bags.

I am on the downward slope of my extended weekend yet nowhere near the arbitrary schedule imposed to complete Tender Is The Night. Unexpected deaths aside, I’m not too concerned as it’s achieved the desired effect of making me read, and when finished I can decide on Gatsby, recently read and Fitzgerald’s most famous, or this last and less well received of his novels. Of course I don’t really have to choose but I’m tending towards the latter. It’s decline and fall repeated; though extrapolated from where I am in his story, Dick Diver’s descent looks terminal in comparison to that of Logan Mountstuart whose own decline, whilst it might sometimes have been self-induced, was mostly one that afflicts us all.


  1. Commiserations. A guinea pig died while I was away for a week once, and my youngest saved it, in a cardboard box, in a warm shed, because I performed the preferred passing-on ceremonials.

    When your daughter discovers the opposite sex, you won't have to bury anything else in the back garden. Unless she has really bad taste in boys, that is.

    (He shouldn't have hit the cop. He was never quite the same after that.)