It's been a momentous fortnight for the County Hall poker fraternity - we managed to get four of us (count 'em, four) on a single 1c/2c table one midweek night last week and could even have played some decent poker, if we hadn't spent the time shouting hilarious abuse at one another on MSN messenger. It was especially heartening to hear Matt refer to Scottish Dave as William Wallace during one good-natured rant ('We may take your chips, but we'll never take your freedom!' - okay, so you probably had to be there to fully appreciate it.)
The fact that this non-event is the central focus of my first blog entry for weeks should tell you everything it needs to about my life just now, but that isn't perhaps the whole story. I was recently saddened to hear news of the tragic death of an acquaintance and I am also currently embroiled in the personal difficulties of at least one other person that I know well. But these are not stories I want to tell, or indeed dwell on for any significant amount of time. While joy remains in the seemingly insignifcant detail, I'll stick with that, thank you very much.
I've found an aquatics shop very close to my house which sells live food, and today my fishies enjoyed only their second-ever live feed. Having several hundred bloodworm dropped into the water is the tank equivalent of a food fight at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and it makes for riveting viewing. I swear I could have watched the tussling between the guppies and the dwarf frogs all night without ever getting bored.
The other thing that makes me massively proud is that while all my friends have long since lost the novelty of being parents to real human beings, I am a fish daddy for the first time! I have seen a single fry floating near the surface, starting out a few days ago at barely 2mm long, and this evening I have seen a tiny guppy, perfect in every detail except for being about 1:20 scale of its counterparts.
I am overjoyed by this development - there is at least one other pregnant female in the tank (she's swollen like a tiny barrel, bless her) and I have no idea if this single fry is the lone survivor from a previous birth, a miraculous lone birth in its own right, or is simply one of a group hiding in the tank. Either way, I'm thrilled to be a guppy daddy. An observant friend of mine pointed out yesterday that she saw a shoal of them hiding under a plant - I have yet to catch sight of them if they are there, but I'm eager to see what they will grow up to look like. As the females were most likely pregnant when bought from the shop, the offspring could be any colour, and a splash of something rare and exotic would be another welcome addition to the tank.