I first began keeping fish many years ago, back in St Patrick's Ryhope (near Sunderland). My first pond was simply a hole in the ground with a plastic sheet to hold the water, then I graduated to a concrete swimming bath affair; and finally at Ryhope I hired a small machine and excavated a large pond, covered it with a proper membrane, and finally I had a real pond. When I came to Barnard Castle, I bought a four thousand gallon tank, bought some fish, and I was away again. Then I got the chance to retrieve the fish which I had to leave behind at Ryhope. At first I put them all in the tank, but since they were swimming shoulder to shoulder, I asked a professional to build me a decent-sized pond. And here we have it. There are something like thirty to forty fish in here (they refuse to stay still while I try to count them!).