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.