Wednesday 17 June 2020

Happy Memories Triggered by a Fishpond

I was having a mooch around the garden wondering what to do first - if anything!

Then I had a flood of memories from, well, many years ago. I remembered making the fish pond, photo below.

Yes, I know it doesn't look like a fishpond, what with all of the plants on show. I'll come back to that a little later. What first activated my memories were the three bricks: two reddish and one yellowish / whiteish.

The bricks came from northern Germany.

My wife was born in northern Germany and on one of our visits we had a trip out to see where she was born - which was in the house below.

When we reached where the house should have been we found it had just been demolished to make room for the Nordstrasse (North Road). Such a shame as it looked to have once been a lovely thatched house. 

We took three of the original bricks away with us and transported them back to Cornwall. Luckily we had our car with us! We had travelled to Germany via Harwich (about 350 miles from Cornwall) followed by 16 hours on a boat to Denmark. From there we drove to northern Germany. 

So that's how the bricks became part of our 'fishpond'. They now need a good clean!

Now for the fishpond that never was!

On the way back to Cornwall we stopped off in west London to see my parents - so this goes back many years. Our son was with us and he would have been about five or six. Just along from where my parents lived there was a big travelling fair so we had to have a look at what was going on. 

We had a go on some sort of stall and won a prize - which happened to be a goldfish! This delighted our young son. Luckily my mother still had a fish bowl from when I was a child. We were therefore able to transport the fish back to Cornwall quite safely.

All well and good, but after being home a few days I foolishly announced that I would build a fishpond in the garden and it would include the bricks we had transported home from Germany.

It didn't go to plan! The fishpond I created leaked and then the fish died. He never seemed a happy fish (fairs etc. aren't allowed nowadays to give fish and the like as prizes.)

My fishpond became a place for plants.

I tried several times to stop it leaking before I finally gave up. I, of course, should have used a rubber lining.

Anyway, that was all a long time ago but it's good to look back at times. It reminded me of my wife's mother and brother and my own mother and father, all of whom have since died. I remembered happy days when my son was young - to think he now has two fast growing children.

But life moves on.

The plants in the photos are from my garden and the apple tree below was the one grown from a pip. See my post Growing An Apple Tree From A Pip

Apologies for rambling on so long today.


  1. I don’t consider this rambling at all, but if you insist, it is the very best kind. I love reading about personal experiences and memories of the past. It’s wonderful that you have the bricks, and if need be sometime they can always become bookends. One of my fondest summer memories as a kid was going to a fish hatchery when we visited my grandmother. We always got a fish, put in a tied plastic bag of water. Sorry your little pond didn’t work but you found a delightful solution!

    1. Hello Ann. I remember fish in tied plastic bags. They were, as I have written in the post, prizes at fairs. I also remember from a child, what was then called the Rag and Bone men, who went from house to house asking for old clothes and the like in exchange for a goldfish in a bag. They usually had a horse and cart.

  2. It's interesting how small things can bring back a memory from long ago and, in this instance, an intriguing story too. I enjoyed reading your "ramble" and also the photo's that accompanied this post.

    1. Thanks David. I guess we all have more time now to look back at memories from long ago. I remember when a teenager I wrote a poem about 'memories being the food stuff of the old' never thinking that I would ever be old. Such is life.



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