Requiem in Pisces

Jimmy, the fish who brought love and laughter into the hearts of literally some, passed away quietly during the night. He (we presume he was a he) was thought to be about 5 but his precise date of birth was never known. His owner, Bonusbarn, was described as “consolable”.

Jimmy is known originally to have been part of a pair, but the other half died very soon after moving into Bonusbarn’s bedroom at his old house, under circumstances that were never fully explained. When asked for his reaction, Jimmy’s mouth was seen to open and close a few times but no words came out, so overcome was he with emotion.

Soon after moving in with his owner’s stepfather, Jimmy moved into enlarged premises of his own, which themselves were placed in the main living room so that all his new family could enjoy his wit and wisdom, though they soon got bored waiting and went away. He spent the rest of his days quietly swimming around his bowl, being constantly amazed whenever he swam past the toy sign saying “no swimming” and composing his memoirs.

A telling tribute to his character was paid by the friends who looked after him while his adopted family went to Sweden earlier this year. At the same time his hosts were also looking after another friend’s hamster, which they discovered to have a habit of horizontal projectile urination, such that they had to surround the entire cage with newspapers. “Jimmy was a much better house guest,” they were heard to say.

He will lie in state until this evening, his bowl covered with clingfilm to stop him smelling preserve the scene for forensic analysis, and then be buried in a private ceremony. Donations to Tesco Garden Centre.

Occasional recipes: fish with a chorizo crust

Originally from The Hairy Bikers, whence this is lifted with my annotations. Very rich and of course totally missing the point about eating on fish on Friday to be penitential. Anyway:


  • ½ lime, juice only [half a Tesco lime produces about 3 microns of fluid. A whole lime. Much better.]
  • 4 firm white fish fillets (not steaks) such as haddock, monkfish or cod
  • 150g/5½oz day-old white bread, crusts removed
  • 250g/9oz cured chorizo, skinned and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced [as usual they totally underestimate. I used 4. Minimum.]
  • 1 unwaxed lime, zest only
  • 2 tbsp flatleaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • lime wedges, to serve [put another way, you need at least two limes, one to juice and zest, one to get the wedges from. I forgot this last night and only got one lime, so sacrificed the wedges. Not such a big deal, except that the bread/chorizo crust is very rich and you really need the extra lime juice to cut through it.]
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  2. For the fish, pour the lime juice over the fish fillets. Leave for half an hour while you prepare the crust.
  3. For the crust, cut the bread into chunks and place in a roasting tin. Place the chorizo on top of the bread.
  4. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. As the heat increases, the fat from the sausage will run into the bread chunks. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  5. Once cool, place the bread and sausage into a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs [whee! They go round and round! Again!]. Add the garlic, lime zest, parsley, parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Process again to combine the ingredients.
  6. Place the fish, along with the juices, skin-side down in a roasting tin. Press on a thick layer, about 0.5cm, of the crust.
  7. Cut the butter into small cubes and dot over the crust.
  8. Tightly cover the roasting tin with foil and bake the fish in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Serve with chips or [barbarians] new potatoes and a rocket salad, and the lime wedges.