7 Quick Takes #36

— 1 —

The week began on a massive low, as it was this week in which my firstborn would have been due, had I not miscarried in November. Since that time, I’ve been grieving and healing and attempting in my own, small way, to contribute to a collective effort to break down the barriers surrounding this subject and de-taboo-ize it. So many people go through the heartbreak of losing a child in pregnancy, yet (in my experience, and as shared with me by others) it’s only when you go through it yourself that people come out of the woodwork and reveal their own losses.

I just don’t understand why this is so hush-hush and why so many people have felt they’ve had to go through the process and the grieving, alone, not letting anyone know what’s happened, as though by doing so, they’d be admitting a weakness.

It baffles me.

— 2 —

Off my soapbox and into gentler waters – literally. I’ve been super-excited about getting a fish-tank this week. 

I’ve had the tank for a while, but never the money to accessorise and run it. In closing my business, I reaped the reward and got back the money which had been tabbed for tax (though when you earn as far under the taxable limit as I have done, it’s purely a paranoid precaution). 

Enter a trip to a local store, one hour of delightful browsing and one (surprisingly expensive though I should have seen it coming) transaction later, I was good to go, and spent a delicious end of the afternoon (or, if you’re Sheldon, ‘prevening’)  with a friend, rinsing sand, playing with gadgets and trying to plant little sprigs of carpeting plants in appropriate areas.

Then that moment when we realised that the cables wouldn’t reach the extension plugged into the socket on the other side of the room. That was a thinker.

Fortunately, Husby was on the ball. Problem solved, tank plugged, and voila!

— 3 —

You’re quite right – there are no fish in that tank.

For anyone who’s bought fish (and had a good salesperson) or for anyone who knows about fish, this will make sense.

For anyone who’s not au fait with the subject, when you first set up a fish tank, the system needs to be left to mature for 1-2 weeks so that all the helpful bacteria can get colonised and are able to manage the water quality and the filtration of ammonia. In developing this lovely status quo, there will be both a nitrogen and ammonia spike at some point within the first week or so, which would likely kill (or at the very least, highly stress) any fish put into the tank too soon.

But for those who’re interested, here are the fish I hope to have within the month

Gold Ring Danios (3-4cm) – a shoaling fish, a bit more unusual than the more common zebra danio, and (like all danios) absolutely bulletproof, so a great first fish.

Cherry barbs (3-4cm) – another shoaling fish, small, pretty and bright (though they can be bullies, so don’t put them in with any long-finned or long-barbelled fish)

Corydoras (5-6cm) – yet another shoaling fish, but this time bottom-dwelling, these sweet little catfish will help keep the muck off the sand and will add interest to the bottom of the tank

Fan shrimp (8-9cm) – a big, solitary bad-ass, but awesome to boot. He’ll hang out under the bogwood and around the rocks, waving his hands to remove edible particles from the water (helps with filtration, yo!)

— 4 —

I took part for the first time in the Yeah Write weekly challenge, and it was absolutely fascinating. I thought that I would be completely obvious as the newbie in the gang, but the writing really varied (of course, it’s all opinion-based-judgement, as the entrants vote for their five favourites of the other entries) and it was a great experience.

The chosen ultimate winner was Le Willow Wimp, who is a recent add to my blogroll, whose writing I find deeply profound and wonderfully descriptive and evocative in a way I’ve rarely come across, and who I am very pleased to be getting to know.

She recently wrote a piece about being a Third World Blogger, and I found myself holding up a mirror to my attitude to the abundance I enjoy and finding it severely wanting.

— 5 —

This here weekend here might just be the start of summer in Britain! It’s meant to hit 24C tomorrow, so YAY for at long last seeing some large, blue skies and that shiny hot thing up there.

— 6 —

I am discovering more and more that I *adore* the conversations which can be had in the comment boxes of blogs. This week I learned that I am ignorant about the parts of language (verbs, nouns, pronouns, past-participles etc) and that each time I think I’m smart, someone smarter comes along and puts me (nicely, as a rule) in my place.

I also have learned that comments from good friends will provide a wealth of information, support and suggestion for how to combat some of the puzzles I find in life.

I also don’t know how to make sure a comment box shows up on my friend’s blog, which is a pity, as they’re wonderful things.

— 7 —
Tomorrow is our FIFTH (can you believe it?) weekend of the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. Not a person involved hasn’t enjoyed it, found the challenge, or found the attitude change a wonderful blessing.

Ten Things of Thankful


It’s open all weekend, so you can join us on either day and start taking part in the wonderful conversations we have. Happy weekend to you.


For more no original Quick Takes at all, visit Conversion Diary!
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20 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #36

  1. Hahah. You're doing well to get them done in bulk today though.

    I think people do buy the fishtank for the look of it, but I imagine they'd take the Dutch route and have a planted tank with no critters. Easier to maintain and such, you know.

    When Husby was diagnosed with Type 1, he was very keen to raise awareness about it, as there were so many misconceptions which go with hearing someone has 'The Diabeetus' but the circumstances surrounding the 'getting' of Type 1 are so very different to those surrounding Type 2.

    I get your point about not forcing the issue with people who aren't ready to talk, though.

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  2. I'd imagine a combination of the emotions one's felt having a miscarriage (as you and others have described) plays a significant role in the discussing of it. Mixtures of pain, sadness, shame, guilt, etc. It is one of those topics that someone may join in and share with when prompted (and that is a strong maybe sometimes), but not one they so easily bring up themselves? I've nothing for real comparison. When I was diagnosed as having Type 1 Diabetes I didn't tell anyone I didn't have to. Didn't want to discuss it, but over time after accepting some things it became easier to discuss about it. This is naturally a condition that may easily present itself as foods you need to eat or taking insulin. If there weren't obvious, continual signs of the condition/disability/experience I likely wouldn't tell anyone until feeling ready, if at all even then.

    Looks like you are all set with your fish tank. I never knew that about a fish tank (the waiting 1-2 weeks) and am glad to have learned it. Not that I will ever get a tank and have fish, I always like learning new things 🙂 Do people ever buy and have tanks just for the looks of the tank without ever buying any fish for it? For some reason that sounds appealing to me…

    I love Shanique's posts and am ashamed I'm so far behind. It's awesome you are doing the Yeah Write challenges! I thought about it, but figured the interaction involved would be too demanding. I can barely keep up on a daily/weekend hop and end up replying a few days later. As you've come to notice I'm sure >.< Speaking of which… Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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  3. Sorry to hear of your loss, Dyanne. The more I learn about ante-natal loss, the more I realise that there really are no guarantees. It's a terrible thing. This is the crux, though – we feel awkward about it. So it gets covered up, thereby causing more awkwardness around the subject. Seems to be a bit of a vicious cycle 😦

    I do hope you're right, that the stigma will lift from both. It's so important that we women band together on miscarriage – men's brains are so very different in the way they process the loss of a child and I think that it can be a very isolating experience within the marriage. I certainly needed other women around me when I was going through the worst of it.

    Life is hard (yours has been doubly so) but we are now in a unique position as ambassadors.

    P.S. Bazinga!

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  4. You are exactly right about people coming out of the woodwork and revealing their own pregnancy losses after you have gone through it yourself! It is oddly taboo to speak about miscarriage. I don't bring it up very often, but I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks (my son was 19 months old). I had made it through that first trimester and thought I was home free. I think, personally, I don't want to make anyone feel awkward by bringing it up, but I'll talk about it if it COMES up.

    I don't think anyone fully understands what you go through emotionally unless they have experienced it themselves. I know my husband TRIED to understand, but I know he was sometimes frustrated when I would suddenly start crying.

    Breast cancer used to be a taboo subject, too, and now it's downright popular (and damned if I haven't had both breast cancer AND a miscarriage!). Maybe the social stigma that has been lifted from breast cancer will also lift from miscarriage.

    p.s. Know one of many reasons why you are awesome? Because you quote Sheldon Cooper!

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  5. I love plecos and we had them when I was a kid, but they never lasted and I always felt bad. I'm a bit wary of them now!

    The cleaning thing. Yeah. I'll have to get on top of that one, but I have a snazzy long-handled thing to help it along.

    (How *does* she do it?)

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  6. Your happy non-birthday post was amazing and beautiful. I'm glad that the week has eased you to gentler waters and won't sully your excitement over your tank over complaining that they can be quite a pain to clean. Best fish we purchased was the placostomus (sp?) because he really helps to keep it clean. Great choices on the fish you chose!
    I really am looking forward to everybody's thankful things this week. Such an excellent idea. And yes, Janine has super-powers. I think she is the first commenter on 8/10 posts I read – always. Amazing! 🙂

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  7. Heheh may I refer you also to my pet rock comment, above?

    I get goosebumps for certain pieces of very beautiful music or poetry, or stunning pieces of writing or weddings or an especially gorgeous natural thing. It's not weird at all – it's the body's equivalent of jaw-dropping, I think. 🙂 I'm glad you liked the post, just sorry I had to write it.

    And you're very welcome. Long may your star be in the ascendent.

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  8. Hah! In which case I'm glad you didn't get one! I hear that you can still get excellent pet rocks – they're the best listeners going. Not so hot on the cuddles though (although, nor are fish).

    The plants are pretty though. You can get some fabulous planted tanks, especially by the Dutch, where planted aquariums are a 'thing'.

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  9. We talk about all sorts of other things – women are meant to be the great communicators – and yet on this topic particularly there seems to be some kind of unwritten rule that means the issue gets swept under the rug and talked about behind hands, but never out loud, never acknowledging those lives, those children we've lost. I'm still baffled, and still writing. This is my new soapbox, I think.

    Fish are quite an undertaking, but mostly in the setting up. Once they're in, if you look after them right, they'll be fine. But bear in mind that even the humble goldfish is meant to have a lifespan of 20 years (which shows how often they're not treated right and die young as a result). They're still easier than a mammal of any kind. But less easy than the tarantula.

    You could be right about Janine…

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  10. I was thinking about getting a fish. My friend said please don't. Don't murder an innocent little fish. Now I know I probably would have killed it caz I didn't know fish were so much maintenance. Your non-birthday post was heart wrenching. I had chills all over my body as I read it. (That's a sign that things affect me. I always get goosebumps even for good things) Is that weird?

    Thanks for being a constant source of encouragement 🙂

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  11. I'm glad you explained why there are no fish as yet. I was very confused as to what was exciting about a fish tank with no fish, but it's MUCH more exciting when you know there are fish coming! Probably a good thing that I started a blog instead of getting a gold fish to talk to; it wouldn't have lasted a day!

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  12. As far as #1, sadly I think that whole we must be perfect woman complex we suffer from makes miscarriage at taboo subject. Which is beyond ridiculous. I think it is great that you are shedding the light on a tragedy that should allow others to comfort, not be hidden as something we 'don't talk about'. Kudos to you.

    #2 I had no idea getting fish was such an undertaking. I always thought they were supposed to be the easy pet. Well easier than not having one at least.

    Lastly, I think Janine does have some sort of magical sensor that lets her be the first commenter everywhere on the globe 🙂

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  13. Whoaaa! Simultaneous posts from us there (look at the time stamp! Awesome, now I have two of these in two days (Clark and Christine did this yesterday))

    It'd be great to see your Ten Things if you've got time to join in with us – I bet they'd be fascinating and full of wonderful.

    Glad you're enjoying it so much, it's so lovely to have a place to outpour to.

    And yes, I have, on the whole. I hope you have too 🙂

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  14. Are you secretly SuperWoman? I think if there was an award for 'Most first comments' over here at Considerings, you'd have it in the bag 🙂

    Looking forward to your link-up tomorrow – I always enjoy your Ten Things, and yes – isn't it a great way to end the week 😀

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  15. If I can get my act together, I'll try to do that blog hop this weekend.
    Second, I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, your words and your process of healing.
    Third, I hope you've had a great week. 🙂

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  16. Glad for the most part your week was so good and am so linking up again tomorrow morning with you all!! I have said it before, but will say it again that I truly love ending my week this way!! So thank you so much for that 🙂 🙂

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