Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Thanks fur the memories

It is with a heavy heart that I have to relay the sad news that Hodge, the guinea pig, who first featured on this blog back in the spring, sadly passed away earlier this evening. I arrived home to find two inconsolable children shedding great lumps of tears at his loss. In a cruel twist, it was the younger son's pet who perished, having jumped out of his older brother's hands and fallen from height in an ill-fated bid for freedom. So as well as the trauma, the seeds of fraternal resentment may also have been sown in that moment. I hope not, I never resented my own brother for anything worse than making my Lego at Christmas before I had the chance to. But that was years ago now, 2 or 3 anyway, so it's virtually forgotten.
Hodge: much loved, he will be sorely missed
The children were allowed to play on the Xbox this evening by their mother as a special treat. 'Do you think that will cheer you up?' I asked. 'No, but it might help take my mind off it a bit' sobbed one, craning his neck to peer over my shoulder and focus on his counter attack on FIFA 15, as I attempted to be a supportive dad. The other one didn't seem any happier by the end of the game, his World Legends XI having been soundly beaten by Arsenal. Probably not the best therapy, with hindsight, in his fragile emotional state.

As for Hodge, well, he has been lying in state on an armchair, wrapped in his favourite towel, almost too long for me to be entirely comfortable, though I daren't say so for fear of being accused of insensitivity. For similar reasons, options for the funeral have yet to be broached. The garden's a bit small, and it would really rub salt in if we got up one morning to find him excavated by a fox. The well travelled Steve Smith suggested a sky burial, Tibetan style. Thanks Steve, but with the Wareham vulture population being what it is, I think we'll pass on that. I would prefer interment on a grassy plain, in keeping with the natural habitat of his genetic ancestors, but pampas is a pretty scarce habitat in Dorset. Ultimately, of course, it won't be up to me, and I fear nothing less than a full gun carriage to Westminster Abbey will be contemplated by his bereaved owner.

To be perfectly honest, I never really wanted the kids to have pets, partly to protect them from this kind of upset, but to be fair they have looked after the little critters really well and showed no sign of getting bored of the daily slopping out and grooming routines as I had expected. So I really am feeling for them, despite having teased about their furry charges on occasion via this medium. And, after a suitable period of mourning, I hope eventually to be able to add to the photo year list again.

OK, mourning over.

What, too soon?
A twirl around the Radipole Lake car park on Sunday, visited after my pipit-bothering session, added some ballast to the photo year list: Common Gull #29
No Caspo, unlike my last visit, just a Herring Gull #30
Lesser Black-backed Gull #31
A reliable spot for Mediterranean Gull #32
Pied Wagtail-Gull #33

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