Wednesday, 27 October 2010

And this is why my parents only ever let us have *real* pets.

So, turns out Koi are really, really bloody sensitive.

The rental house we're in came with two ponds of Koi fish, and a gardener who knew how to take care of them. This gardener was, unfortunately, a Malawian on an expired work visa. He recently got arrested and deported, but he sent his brother to come and work for us. The brother told us his brother'd told him how to do all the things that need doing eg. the garden, fish and swimming pool.

Since the brother started working here the fish's water became more and more cloudy so I asked him if he knew how to clean the ponds on Tuesday and he said yes.

Since then, I have learned that Koi really don't do well with changes in their water. The pH and/or temperature changes of draining and refilling their pond is enough to kill them.

About 26 out of the 30 of them.

You remember the bit about them not being my fish, right? Koi sell for literally thousands of South African Rands each. This has not been a cheap mistake. Not one I'll make again, either; but mostly because I really don't see me ever owning or even living near Koi again.

It has been supremely depressing fishing the dead ones out of the pond with a pool net (they didn't all die at once, at first it looked like most would make it; then that some would make it, now I'll be lucky if the remaining four survive). I am yet to decide what to do with the dead fish. I was sort of hoping a cat would come and eat them in the night but noooo, those darn cats are only around when they're in a frisky mood and you're trying to sleep, or when you forget the car window open and they feel the need to mark some territory.

The house's owner isn't responding to my email, voicemail or various text messages but honestly, who leaves expensive fragile little fish with tenants; tenants to whom he doesn't explain anything about keeping Koi, at that; and leaves an illegal worker as the only person who knows how to keep them alive? I have no sympathy. Or maybe I'm looking for someone else to be mad at so I'm not so mad at myself; one of the two.

Stupid fish.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Lady of "leisure"

It feels like I'm busier than before I stopped working.

It's no-one's fault but my own, of course; I put off everything as something I can do "when I have more time", and now I have so many chores, errands and projects I don't really have any time.

I guess it's in part just the adjustment to having to actually manage my time properly! And then there was the first few days' battle to overcome the novelty of being able to sit in front of the TV all day watching downloaded TV series or playing Monkey Island.

I'm working on a stimulating and fascinating project which loads a Google Map, allows the user to search for an address; choose a radius and then returns geographic data for that area. It's been fun getting to know the Google Maps API and challenging to remember how to integrate ASP.NET with javascript, and I've got some other projects in the works.

I'm aiming to find another contract position for January; I don't know why I'm so reluctant to find a permanent post but I know that I very much am. I am extremely lucky to have the freedom to be that way, in that Steve's income is enough to cover our bills and he's awesome enough to give me the space and patience to figure out exactly what I want to do.