An Odd Choice Of Gift

When being asked this year what I would like for a Christmas present I chose something that I've had my eye on for years, a siamese fighter (betta) fish. Judging by peoples reactions when I tell them that I am getting a fish, it seems to be an odd choice. The present is from my parents and Anders because it is not just the fish, it's the tank, heater, etc. which all adds up cost wise.
Before making my decision I looked on the internet at various web sites and forums for information about betta fish. While much of the information is the same there does seem to be some conflicting advice around. It has been the same in various pet shops that we have visited too. We asked about betta food in one shop because we couldn't see any to be told they don't have their own food, they just eat generic tropical flakes (I had already found out that you can purchase food especially for bettas, thats why I was looking). Anyway we came to the conclusion that some of the chain pet stores don't know a great deal and are happy to just make a sale. After visiting every local pet shop for the last three weekends, I managed to find an aquatic shop not too far from us so we nipped in for a look. It was the brilliant. By far the best selection of fish and equipment that we had seen. The staff were friendly and helpful and answered any questions that we asked. We set up the tank then when it had settled we returned to get some little catfish as tank mates for the betta. 

The fish that I chose were these Julii Corydoras. Cute little things with lovely markings. They seem to have settled in nicely and are very active, always zooming around the tank. They can do a thing with their eyes which makes them look like they are blinking at you. A bit of a shock to see at first considering fish don't have eye lids.

We picked up the betta fish this weekend (I've named him Scaramanga after a Christopher Lee character). I chose this one as I loved the colours and he seemed to have a larger tail than the other fish (we were told he was a half moon type). He was very alert, trying to fight with the betta fish in the next tank. 

As soon as he was placed in to our tank he went to investigate the plants straight away. Must all be a bit strange because the tanks in the shop were completely bare. He seems to like them and even lies down on them for a little rest. I'm hoping that I will be able to hand feed him as he comes straight to my fingertip if I place it in to the water, he's certainly not timid. I hope he doesn't mind a lot of attention, he's had a fair few admirers today (even if my Mum said he reminded her of a guppy)

The Boy's Room

At last we have finished redecorating the boy's bedroom. I did begin to sort through their belongings earlier on in the year and as they are older now (aged 19 and almost 18) they were willing to part with more stuff.

These were just the books the boys no longer wanted to keep, some of which we kept for Little L and the rest we dropped off at a charity shop.
It took a while for them to decide on a colour because they knew that they didn't want a shade of blue or green again but nothing else was springing to mind. I suggested grey and they both said no chance. I went off and returned with some colour cards and funnily enough they both chose grey and agreed on the same shade.

This was the old colour in the room ( the hole was caused by my eldest boy when he helped me to take some shelves down. A rawl plug had got stuck in to the wall and he thought the best way to remove it was to give it a big tug )

and this is what it looks like now. The shade is called Bottlenose Dolphin. We replaced the blind but the lampshade is their old one.

The geometric print bedding set was from Matalan.

Anders made this shelf unit for Caleb to display his bits and pieces.

Anders also made a new TV unit because previously the boys had a portable TV then when my eldest first started to work he bought this one and the old unit was far too small. Another reason why they needed a new one was because their old game consoles used to be stored in the loft but if Anders ever went up there for something one of the boys used to ask for one of them to be brought back down for them to play on. Over time they all ended up just shoved under their bed. The unit has made everything more accessible for them, given them a spot to store the laptops (I used to just tip toe around them on the floor) and cleared out under the bed.

Above the TV unit there used to be four shelves but with those removed Caleb had a space to put his Jaws poster back up. My sister bought it for him years ago and I can't see him ever getting rid of it. Caleb had some Zelda tea towels that he had got inside one of his arcade blocks so I purchased a black picture frame from Ebay and mounted one of them for him.
Now all the bedrooms have been done I love to peek in the rooms when I go upstairs. Next year we need to tackle to living room.

Crafty Catch Up

Lately craft wise I have been trying to use up my scraps of wool by crocheting some granny squares which I will be then be making in to a blanket. I still have a lot more to go to reach a blanket size.

Also I've been crocheting some little hats for The Big Knit campaign. The innocent drink company pop these little hats on to their smoothie bottles during Winter and for every bottle they sell which is wearing a hat they donate 25p to the Age UK charity. This time I made 40 to post off. Some free knitting and crocheting patterns to make the hats can be found here.
To me it doesn't look like I've been doing much but adding in Winter illnesses to fight off, Christmas shopping, a family Christening (it was lovely to catch up with family members that I hadn't seen for a long time) and decorating the boy's bedroom, I think we have just been more busier than usual here.