Yep. The snows have melted. The ice on the pond has broken up, and the 15 dead fish removed and ‘recycled’. The final toll was 18 fish, at least one of which was killed by a marauding heron. Except for two of the fish, the remainder were all 8 to 12 inches long. These were BIG fish. I console myself with the fact that this was the coldest winter in over 100 years (apparently), and I now have an excuse, in the Spring, to go and buy replacement fish (smaller ones, though, as the cost of these things would have been in excess of £300 for the larger ones).
Life has been quiet since Xmas. I submitted a grant proposal, actioned yet more from the relentless stream of submissions to the journal, went to Germany to give a talk, prepared NIH reviews, bought train tickets, booked hotels, failed (I believe) to secure a sizeable discount on new coffee machines (yes, plural coffee machines), and no doubt failed at many other things too. The Xmas lull was lovely - I did no work for a few days and would have gladly continued the life of leisure. I am already looking forward to next Xmas. By which time my latest acquisition will most likely be long gone. I’ve decided that beards are over-rated, high-maintenance, and no replacement for the joy of handing over hard-earned cash for new gadgetry.