Thank you, everyone, for kind thoughts and words. I'm still rather sad without my little troupe of strohi, it's just not the same waking up to no fish tank and no little faces going
When we went back to finalise things at the old house, Slammy the Flatmate from Not-Quite-Hell-More-Like-Somewhere-More-Boring-and-Slimy told me that I owed him for all the cleaning he'd had to do (though I said I was actually there to do the cleaning, and seeing as he hadn't actually cleaned anything at all for the past two years we'd lived there, I was expecting to be at it for a while...) and so I wasn't getting either my bond or the 3ft fish tank back until I paid all remaining utility bills (which, oddly, came to about the same amount as the bond which I'd said he could keep to cover the bills, plus the cost of a new fish tank).
I laughed. Told him that I'd rather been expecting this sort of thing, and walked away.
In the taxi on the way home, Daughter spotted Irish at a bus stop we were passing and hollered for the driver to stop. We told Irish about Slammy and the fish tank, and the bills and the bond, and he kindly offered to go back to the house and shake Slammy by the throat until he coughed up the key to the shed, where presumably the fish tank was being kept hostage.
I politely declined, having decided that really, it was all around better just to walk away and be done with it.
So now I need a new fish tank for the fish I don't have any more and the pleco that I do.. though I get the feeling Om-nomnom might just as well live happily in a plastic tub as long as there's wood to chew on and the odd algae pellet floating down once in a while.
Small and at times strange dramas and small but profound tragedies aside, things are going swimmingly over here at the new house. Tomtom is very pleased to have landed in a dogless environment, and is once more Lord of the Yard and the Comfiest Comfy Spot on the Sofa.
Cole's tank has sprouted like nothing I've seen before - this NPT thing really is a very good idea.. - though I keep finding shrimp that I am fairly sure I didn't actually put in there.
Cleo is as fat and sassy as ever. She is now Lady of the Kitchen Bench Next to the Toaster, and so gets a lot of attention in the mornings.
And Aang will soon have a tank makeover, I think, and come to live in the loungeroom until I find another 3ft to fill the space where the other one isn't.
Daughter is exhausted. I think the strain of tolerating Slammy was a burden she only truly felt once we'd put it down, as I did -- though being an adult, I tend to carry such things more lightly. But she's happier, and that makes the place more sunny, no matter the weather (which is currently awful but was actually very nice all during the move, thanks to the Weather Fairies, which I'll tell you about next time..).
Irish, poor thing, has had to work long hours through all of this, and spend his spare time carting boxes about and fetching things from the hardware shop and so on. But he too is happy to have a peaceful, Slammyless home with no sweet but ill-behaved dogs leaping about, no inanimately malevolent ceilings looming like cartoon anvils overhead just waiting for providence to allow them to fall and squash us all like so many beetles, and a very good fish and chip shop just a half a block away.
LBF - I looked up the ideii.. gosh, so beautiful. If you're happy to hang onto her a little while, I must replace the 3ft for the sake of the plants and pleco. When I do, I'd love to offer her a home. Thanks for that. I really do appreciate it.