Monday, October 5, 2009

Aquarium Watch! (Un oeil sur l'aquarium!)

A rainy Monday in October; first rainy day in Paris in weeks. Good time to keep everyone up-to-date on Le Fish's watery living conditions. I - Mom that is - also need something to help me stop dwelling morbidly on the fact that early this morning my eldest son flew the coup! Max was off to Roissy at 5am with his classmates. They are going on a school trip to Helsinki! (For those of you who, like Stella, have not had the privilege of going all the way through the excellent French school system, Helsinki is not in Holland but in Finland!)
Un lundi pleuvieux d'octobre; c'est la première pluie que nous avons à Paris depuis des semaines - à part les torrents de marrons, bien sûr. C'est un bon moment pour vous mettre au courrant des conditions de logement aquatique du combattant de Henry nommé Le Fish. De plus, parler de Le Fish est aussi un bon moyen pour moi - alias Maman - de me changer les idées. En effet, je dois essayer de ne pas penser sans cesse au départ funeste de mon fils, Max. A 5 heures ce matin, il est parti pour Roissy d'où il s'est envolé à 7 heures avec ses camarades de classe vers Helsinki en Finlande (et non en Hollande, Stella!) .
Now, all we have left is Max's empty room to look into (although some of us might be room-sitting or at least, computer-sitting, while Max is gone...)...
Maintenant, il ne nous reste que sa chamber vide...et son ordi!
One of the last things he did before leaving was make cornes de gazelle with - BIP - and his friend Jean. (When - BIP - makes cornes de gazelle with Max and Jean he doesn't need his maks and cape, you couldn't see him even if you tried, those boys are so BIG!)
Une des dernières choses que Max a voulu faire avant son départ au froid pays de Finlande était des cornes de gazelle. Ici, on le voit en train d'en faire avec - BIP - (un commis de cuisine qui a demandé que son identité reste anonyme) et son ami Jean.


Cornes de gazelle confection with Max and Jean is sort of like leash dancing with Katie and Cady : haiku withstanding, only the very best action-photography can capture the essence of it! (editor's note : for anyone who doesn't understand the Katie and Cady reference - or for anyone looking for good Beagle Haiku - just click here.)
La fabrication de cornes de gazelle par Max et Jean est une bonne occasion pour un photographe amateur de tester sa capacité à capter sur pellicule l'art des cuistots de haut niveau en pleine action :
The finished product was scrumptious! Especially when served with fresh figs and mint tea!

Le résultat final fût délicieux! Surtout quand - BIP - a fait le service et a ajouté des figues fraîches et du thé à la menthe! Mmmmm...


But wasn't I trying not to think about Max? Quick! Back to Le Fish!

Mais, si mes souvenrirs sont bons, ce post devait me faire oublier Max... Bon, retour à nos moutons ou plutôt à notre Betta Slepndens!

Remember original home, a modest little fish bowl on Henry's desk?

Ceci était sa première maison chez nous : un joli petit bocal sur le bureau de Henry. Et il y était huereux et Henry aussi. Mais au bout d'une seul nuit...

Remember his first home? A modest, little fish bowl on Henry's desk? Le Fish was happy there next to Henry's bed but after just one night...



...the water was all cloudy and had to be changed.

...l'eau était devenue trouble et on a dû la changer. On s'est demandé si ce n'était pas parce qu'il y avait très peu de place entre le haut du bocal et l'étage audessus et donc...


...nous avons déménagé le bocal de la chambre au salon où Le Fish fût heureux sur le piano pendant au moins un mois! (Il y inspira même une peintre de passage chez nous...)

...so we moved him to the livingroom where we set his bowl on the piano. He was quite happy there for almost a month! (A passing painter friend of ours even did his portrait!) But, if you recall, Henry then talked me into buying a bigger fish tank for 10 euros at a sidewalk sale. Turned out that tank didn't hold water so we took it off Henry's desk and put it in the kitchen with the firm intention of fixing it someday. And - because I had promised to and because Henry who is a very persistent young man would not let me forget that promise - we did!



...Ceci est l'aquarium de 50 litres que Henry et moi avons acheté à une brocante de quartier fin septembre. Malheureusement, l'eau fuyait de celui-ci jusqu'à ce que Henry le répare!

So now Le Fish has a fish Palace! 50 litres of water to swim up and down in! Playmobiles and marbles and seashells and aquarium toys and even a golf ball to swim around and discover! Oh the joy!

Alors aujourd'hui, Le Fish a plus qu'un modest bocal, il a un palais pour poisson! 50 litres d'eau et des Playmobiles, des billes, des coquillages, des joujous d'aquarium en plastic et même une balle de golf s'il veut s'amuser! C'est Byzance!




In this tank, Le Fish can't disappear but he can multiply!

One fish!

Dans son palais, Le Fish ne peut plus disparaître totalement comme il pouvait dans son bocal mais il peut se multiplier!

Un combattant!

Two fish!!


Deux combattants!!

Three fish!!!

Trois combattants!!!

Four!!!!

Qui dit plus????

Unfortunately, the very next morning, the water, all 50 liters of it, was cloudy again. And changing 50 liters is way harder than changing 2. We tried to get the water pumps that came with the tank to work but as of this morning they haven't begun pumping yet...

Malheureusement, après juste une nuit dans son palais, l'eau dans le nouvel aquarium était de nouveau trouble! La barbe! Changer 50 liters, ça n'allait pas être de la tarte! Nous avons donc essayer de faire fonctionner les pompes qui faisaient partie du lot à 10 euros mais ce matin encore, elles ne marchaient toujours pas...

So, poor Le Fish is once again back in his little fish bowl on the piano and, for the moment, he doesn't even have one single marble to poke his nose at. Oh cruel world...

...Pour l'instant, le pauvre Le Fish est de nouveau dans son petit bocal sur le piano et pour l'instant il n'a pas la moindre bille pour s'amuser. Quelle déchéance!

Eh bien, ce soir, comme nous autres, pauvres mortels que nous sommes, pour toute consolation, Le Fish a le souvenir d'un temps meilleur où il nageait en haut, en bas...

Tonight we're hoping that Le Fish, like all the rest of us lowly mortels, has at least his memory of brighter days to console him, that one bright day when he swam up, up, up and then down, down, down...

video

6 comments:

  1. A school trip to Helsinki, really? Wow. That sounds like an interesting trip but what an odd time of years to be off on such a long school trip. Can't wait to hear more about it.

    And, Le Fish--Flame, as I like to think of him--is really stunning, like a flame... That larger tank did look wonderfully luxurious. I know you were worried, Henry, about a fish like that getting bored in just a bowl. Sorry to hear that the larger, luxury tank isn't working well yet. As far as I know, Wendy has the same trouble with Charlie's water getting cloudy every couple of days.

    Maybe you can just use the small tank as his home most of the time and the larger one as a sort of special play area for an hour a day... like a walk for a dog.

    By the way, that picture of the Scottish fisherman that Omi got for Malcolm at the Highland Games, it looks great sitting on the Piano, next tot he fish tank, as if the fisherman is going after Le Fish (Flame). Nicely done.

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  2. One other thing. I love seeing young men (ten and older)in the kitchen, making food, and especially baking!

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  3. The Gettysburg Family is feeling mighty guilty about the ten gallon aquarium that's sitting upstairs all empty...with the filter still running. However, even without fish, we've moved beyond cloudy to trimmed in algae...meaning we have to clean it before we can get more fish tenants. When I say we, I actually mean Gettysburg Mom.

    He is a mighty handsome fish!!

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  4. Yes, handsome he is, but oh how sad and forlorn looking in that last picture. He seems to be gazing longingly at the outside from his now greatly diminished and bare water world. Perhaps, though, he is merely daydreaming of what was for a brief and shining moment and might yet be again...

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  5. It delights me to see that you've added French commentary. Teaches me to recall the shards of French I still have. Now to add another language: Ich bin sehr froh dass Du auch in der Franzoescher Sprache kommentierst. Es gibt ja in deiner Familie solche, wie z.B.--BIP--die den Englischen Quatsch nicht mitmachen. Someone there will translate for you, perhaps Maman-en-loi?

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  6. Bueno, bueno, bueno... si vamos a empezar con otros idiomas, no puedo mas que añadir unas palabras in español. Y, como es un idioma muy similar a la tuya, supongo que no habra ningun problema. Por lo menos, Max podra traducir, no?

    Oye, y Max, como fue tu viaje a Helsinki?

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