The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Dead fish stink


Photo: Garden pond

Photo: Garden pond

The only time that I can remember that Danny was really angry with me in the past was when I left a large sack of sand and cement in his car. When he had to make an emergency stop there were disastrous consequences.

As you know from tales about Jalopy I view vehicles as moving storage devices. Jalopy still holds the complete decorators kit from spare rollers, to plastic wood and window putty. If you have time and patience you will find everything that you need for hanging and trimming wallpaper and even those insulated mugs that will keep a refreshing cup of tea warm on a chilly day.

During the last heat wave I was looking after The Chicken Lady’s smallholding. Her husband S keeps a lot of fish. In fact there are nine tanks dotted about the house, garage and garden. One of these tanks is a large fresh water tank and unfortunately two of the bigger fish couldn’t cope with the heat and died. The first was carried home in the boot of D’s car and removed on arrival. When I noticed the second one, I was on my bike and without a bag to ferry the poor fish back home. So I put it in an old feed bag and hid it under the tank.

The last evening that I was there, I spotted the bag and tossed it in the boot of the car. Two days later I remembered the fish as Seraphina and I were discovering the delights of the Norfolk coast. The smell by now would be a bit overpowering when D drove into Newmarket for the post run. So I left him a message on his mobile.

As we drove past the cottage on our return we noticed that D’s car was parked on the drive with the windows, doors and boot open. My heart sank. Would he be really angry?

He wasn’t. In fact he was quite amusing about it and joked that I would get up close to the stench when I went shopping the next day.

Never go shopping on a showery day in a car that has been a tempoary morgue for a dead fish.If you open the widows you get wet. If you close them the fumes will put you off fish and chips for months.

  Leave a reply


  1. Magic Cochin

    Driving back from Alsace with a ripe Munster cheese in the boot on a scorching day is an aromatic experience I don’t recommend!


    (this is still making me giggle)

  2. *milk

  3. Never accidentally (or even on purpose) spill ilk in a car. You will never, ever get rid of the smell.

  4. Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm

  5. So do you think you’re cured of leaving things in Danny’s car?

  6. donnyrob

    quite similar to kate, a friend of mine handed a company car back to a firm he was leavin with a bag of fish bits tied under the bonnet! i think the move was quite permanent

  7. Magic Cochin

    I’m trying not to cry with laughter Fiona… Danny is a gem not to have exploded!!!!

    I admit to treating my car as a shed on wheels – and don’t understand anyone who puts cushions in their car.

    The thought of your whiffy car is making me feel sick…


  8. Veronica

    Oh dear! Both those stories brought tears of laughter to my eyes 🙂 So funny, but I can well imagine it wasn’t at all funny at the time. Tell Danny he has the patience of a saint!

  9. KateUK

    A friend of mine left a kipper hidden down the back of a radiator in the the flat he left after a rather,er, acrimonious, end to a relationship….

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