Cleaning up Cecile

On Christmas Day, one of our visitors mentioned what an interesting shade of lavender our octopus, Cecile, was. That was when I realized she really was too dirty.

We bought Cecile just over a year ago, in the run up to Christmas. La Serpiente Aquatica Negra fell in love with her almost immediately, flinging herself onto this squashy new pink object in the house at every opportunity. Well, as she couldn’t walk at six months it was more that she’d flop onto Cecile, but it was still cute.
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Things I learned at the end of the year

Last night I stayed up way too late, reading Madame Bovary. The Christmas period is a good time for rest and reflection, catching up on sleep and getting organized. Not for depriving yourself of sleep by rereading French novels. Needless to say, La Serpiente Aquatica Negra awoke at seven as usual and came to wake me up, when I should have been asleep or mourning my exploded bicycle inner tube.

This was my last weekend to run MacRitchie this year, and instead I was on the sofa, groggy and gloomy. So instead, we went over to our friends’ condominium to use their swimming pool while they were away. This taught me several things.
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A big bang

I finally admitted to myself that if I haven’t ridden my mountain bike off road in the last two years, I’m probably not going to do so in 2015 either. So today I bought a pair of slick tyres, because while super tacky downhill mud tyres are all well and good, they don’t make you go particularly fast when you’re commuting on flat tarmac. Rather than feel guilt about wearing my tyres out, I bought new ones to put on instead. Then I’ll have a quite ridiculous looking bike: six inches of travel front and back, designed for hurtling down mountains, on tyres designed for riding very quickly on very smooth roads.
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Christmas 2014

We failed to continue several traditions this year. We didn’t get out for an early morning walk in the park (although we did go for a walk near our flat, and saw some chickens). Our daughter didn’t turn her tongue black by trying to eat Christmas cards. And my wife didn’t make cinnamon rolls that didn’t rise because the yeast wasn’t activated, unlike last year.

On the positive side, La Serpiente Aquatica Negra enjoyed opening presents (it took a while before she grasped that there were good things inside the shiny wrapping paper) and both I and my wife got some lovely presents. My wife bought me a copy of Games Workshop’s reissue of Space Hulk, a game I was obsessed with as a youngster, a quarter of a century ago, so I’m looking forward to playing that again soon (what could be more festive than super futuristic battle monks fighting monstrous horrors in Spaaaaaaace?) and there’s lots more books in the house, along with a substantial haul of chocolate.
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