Crazy April, what a busy month that was. Perhaps everyone wanted to buy new pets because the weather was such rubbish? We had a couple of sunny days but it was mostly cold and wet here. I still used a few heat packs in my orders this week, absolutely crazy and unheard of at this time of year. The website review competition was drawn this month by my able assistant (mother in-law and not all that able). The winner was Joanne, who wrote a very nice review on her Mexican Red Rump tarantula.
I had a lovely time in Dorset last weekend, the weather was awful but I was determined to see an Adder (the sole purpose of our visit). The area where we saw the Adders last year is owned by the National Trust, they didn’t think we would see any on such a dismal day but I said I would see an Adder or die trying! After hours of trudging up and down the hills, searching every nook and cranny (with my eyes, not my hands, I would never live it down if I got bitten). I did find three Adders and also a Grass snake. I was the first visitor this year to see a Grass snake so it got written up on the board of animals to look out for. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of the Grass snake, I was far too excited and my jumping up and down scared it off but hubby was with me too at that point so he saw it, not just me. You may have seen my post on Facebook. There were several comments on the photo I took of my husband looking thoroughly fed up and bored, sitting on a bench. I however had a great time and have now joined the National Trust as it was such fun and well worth the money to preserve such a super place. It does make me sad that I cannot imagine a place anywhere near London allowing Adders to thrive. Although they are supposedly protected the vast majority of people think it is fine to kill them on sight!
My daughter looked after the bugs while we were away but now that she is back working I have lost my helper. April was an incredibly busy month and I do feel that having my daughter around to do the mainly non-bug jobs allowed me to get on with my work and this most likely generated more orders. It is a busy time of the year but this April was exceptional for sales. If only I could get some of these orders in the run up to Christmas when my work just dies (this is the same every year, hence going on holiday in November).
There is a constant flow of stock at the moment, new animals come in as orders flow out. Tarantulas are always popular but I also seem to sell a very large number of millipedes these days. I’m trying my best to breed as many as possible and I think people appreciate it. Most adult millipedes that are sold in the UK are wild caught but it would be good to change that. Millipedes are long lived but do often take several years to mature. Millipedes are especially popular with children, I have certainly found that when doing my Ginny’s Jungle parties. I had a flurry of parties booked for April but nothing booked in May as yet, that’s probably just as well as I don’t have much time to fit anything else in!
The BTS (British Tarantula Society) annual exhibition is coming up soon and I will be going along to buy new stock. I don’t think I have ever had such a long shopping list for a bug show. Quite a few species of tarantula that were once common seem to have become scarce now. I have a list of the animals that I would like to find there, not just tarantulas and I have another list of items that my customers have asked for. I am looking forward to the show, it is always great to catch up with people, especially those that I don’t get to see very often and some that I have only spoken to on the phone or by email. The show isn’t too, too far away, unfortunately it looks like all the London shows have disappeared for good (most of you reading this probably don’t even know that there were several large bug shows in and around London). I guess London is just too expensive and the traffic problems would make any venue difficult to get to. Bug shows are still popular and people travel long distances so there also needs to be a large car park to accommodate everyone.
I acquired new tarantulas last week, several species of captive bred millipedes this week, who knows what I may get next week? We have yet another Bank Holiday on Monday, they drive me crazy as they totally muck up the post and it’s not a day off to me, as I work from home and will doubtless just keep going as usual. I am doing my best to only post orders for Europe (outside the UK) on a Monday so with that in mind my next posting day for these orders will be Monday 14th May. After the Easter break with the two Bank Holidays I found that a number of my orders sent overseas on the Tuesday, did not arrive until the following week, when I would generally expect them to arrive before the weekend. I’m always changing things to see what works best. I have shelved the idea of putting up the minimum spend on my website for now as I really don’t want to cut out my younger customers, who often save up their birthday money, however busy I am!
I’m sure I still have plenty to say but as usual I’m conscience of all the other things that I need to get on with. My mother in-law has an appointment at the opticians this morning, her second this week, unfortunately she suffers from Macular Degeneration and therefore needs help with many tasks these days. I haven’t had a chance to feed all my larger tarantulas this week so I need to get them fed and watered today. I need to do a bit of a stock take as I have sold so many that I need to check numbers, sizes etc. I also need to re-house some into larger boxes that have been vacated as sales have increased.
Hope everyone has a super Bank Holiday weekend and the sun shines everywhere. This week’s photo has to be one of the Adders that I saw. Stunning!