First day of spring! A good day to write a new blog post
First day of spring! A good day to write a new blog post. It’s a lovely time of year when everything comes to life. I was delighted to see the first clump of frogspawn in my pond yesterday (a nice Mother’s Day treat). I was beginning to panic that none of my Hissing cockroaches had produced babies this year but just last week it began and now I have plenty. My Tail-less Whip scorpion has been obviously gravid for weeks and I was beginning to think something was wrong but all of a sudden, I found her with lots of little babies clinging to her back. I think everything has been a bit delayed by the cold spell of weather this year. Of course, the clocks go forward next weekend and then it really will feel like spring. What with the cold weather, bank holidays and strikes (still looming over us) it has been a difficult time for posting out bugs. I like, and also need to be organised so having to keep changing my posting days has been a real pain.
Everything seems to be going well in the bug room and my “master plan” is still in place. I am seriously looking at what I get in and weighing up the time each creature is likely to take me in care and how saleable they are. I may have slipped up a bit this weekend when I purchased some new Horse-head grasshopper. They are very cute and I got them from a super supplier but I’m now panicking that I may not be able to sell them before I go on holiday next month and I will therefore be leaving my daughter with more time-consuming bugs to look after. The idea was no more “leaf eating bugs” but I do panic so perhaps they will go like wildfire. I mentioned them on Facebook recently and there seemed to be interest in them.
My spiders and scorpions are doing really well, obviously my breeding stock is not shown on the website but I do have some super arachnids that I am in the process of ‘hopefully’ breeding. As most of you will know I have never imported but it is actually quite difficult to get new bugs now that we have come out of the EU. I mostly rely on finding new stock at shows and of course I try to breed everything that I sell. I used to swap with other breeders but the price of Special Delivery postage is quite prohibitive these days. I remember well the days when you could post something first class and it would always arrive the next day, those days are sadly gone. Last week I was waiting for a parcel of crickets, I really needed them to feed my animals on a specific day as I was incredibly busy last week and due to the weather I had to change my posting days. When the parcel hadn’t arrived by lunch time I had to arrange for someone to be here as I had to go out. I came home and still no parcel! I then asked several of my neighbours if they had received any post and they hadn’t. The parcel turned up the next day, thankfully the crickets were fine but it caused all sorts of problems for me and this parcel was sent first class with live insect stickers all over it. From what I can ascertain it seems that my local office may be working to rule, I had suspected that we were not receiving daily deliveries for some time. Really, just what I needed.
I am a dreamer and I’m always having great ideas that generally turn out to not be that great J However, offering to take a photo of the actual tarantula that I have for sale may be the best idea I ever had. Lots of people apologise for requesting a picture but honestly, I want you to. I try to position the spider next to a ruler (not always easy when a spider keeps running around) and it stops people being disappointed that a spider is not the size they were hoping for but I have realised recently that it helps me too. On spider feeding day each week I set aside any that I think are close to moulting and I put them on my “soon to moult” shelf, I then take that spider off of my website and put back on when it is safe to post again. However, the system is not perfect, it isn’t always easy to know if moulting is imminent and occasionally I forget to take them off the website. This results in a disappointed customer and me needing to refund their order (disappointing for me too as PayPal keep their fees and therefore leave me out of pocket). I am finding that more people are paying by bank transfer and I really appreciate this as I obviously receive full payment on these orders J
I have been doing more talks for the WI (Women’s institute) recently, this is super as I get out to meet people and take a few bugs with me too. It’s a shame that I had to give up the vast majority of my Ginny’s Jungle events but I really needed another pair of hands, there is only so much one person can do. I did one talk last week and one the week before. It was interesting when a very nice lady asked me how I make enough money in my business and I suppose the answer is “I don’t”, clearly after all these years, I am never going to get rich! I do think my recent changes have been absolutely necessary to keep going, my talks are all about the changes that my business has gone through over the years. It was change or give up in the end. I have said before that I can talk about the animals and myself but I can’t disclose what else goes on in my life with other people. As I get older myself, I seem to be caring for more and more people in my life but I don’t want to give up, I love my bugs and still get great enjoyment out of breeding them and I have some super customers, many I have known for years. Just recently I was chatting to a lady and giving advice, as she was putting the phone down I heard her say “what a lovely lady”, it certainly made me feel good and I get zillions of super reviews so I’m going to keep plodding along but I need to be more sensible about managing my time and let’s face it, I am not good at it!
I do like to quiz (I am part of a pretty successful pub quiz team) and I always watch the Chase. My husband and I often laugh at the titles people give their jobs these days. We turn to each other and say “works in an office”, which is what people used to say but now it seems that their work needs a name. I often think that we don’t know what another person does on a daily basis and it fascinates me. I told you I was a dreamer. Anyway, I can tell you that I am always, always busy but never too busy for a chat on the phone with my lovely customers! (it’s the mountains of emails I could do without and people constantly asking what sex the spider is – I don’t know and don’t want to know as we all want females! – clearly a topic for another day J)
Lastly, I received a large order for cockroaches from a lady last week and the comment with the order was “for Mother’s Day”, now that’s a lady after my own heart!