Horrible white stuff
Horrible white stuff, oh how I hate snow! This whole week has been dominated by the weather. I said last week that I was incredibly busy and this week has been no different, other than I have not been able to send out orders. I posted a few orders on Monday and everything was fine, it was cold at that time but there was no snow here. Since Monday the snow has just kept coming and going, not enough snow to stop me getting out of the village but enough snow to worry that my customers may not receive their animals the next day. It is so difficult to assess how other parts of the country are doing, they may be clear or knee deep in ‘the horrible white stuff’ so I decided it just wasn’t worth the risk to the animals. Snow or no snow, it has certainly been cold, cold, cold. I was hoping to post a few orders yesterday but I’m glad I didn’t because late-morning I received an email from Royal Mail saying that they had suspended the Special Delivery next day service due to the bad weather.
Next week is set to be much better so I will work my socks off to clear the backlog. Unfortunately, I have an appointment on Monday morning that I just cannot cancel so I will have to work around it. If it snows next week I will cry! Did you see my Facebook post on Monday? I sent my daughter out to pick Privet for the stick insects and when she got back she was freezing cold and had a tear running down her cheek. I grabbed my phone and said, must take a quick picture for Facebook. Between us we are doing very well with social media, she is taking care of LinkedIn and Instagram and I’m doing Facebook. Yesterday Georgie and I did a photoshoot with various spiders to get a good shot in celebration of reaching 200 followers on Instagram and then we enlisted Georgie’s boyfriend Josh to help with the end of month review competition (he was ‘snowed’ off work). We had a good laugh and the winning name in the snowball was Chris F. There were 12 entries in January and 13 in February, each product review is greatly appreciated. I am delighted that so many people are taking the time to review their orders. I am always working on ways to improve the website, I have a list of questions for Super Simon, my website guy. I hope to get a chance to call him today but if not, I will certainly speak to him next week and update you in next week’s blog.
This week’s photo is of my stunning, huge Asian Black Forest scorpion trio. I bought them at the tarantula exhibition in January and paid a premium for them but I wanted them for potential breeding. It is now pretty impossible to obtain Imperial scorpions, they are much easier to breed as they will happily live together. Some of the Asian Heterometrus scorpion species are equally stunning but they prefer a solitary existence and are prone to fighting (and literally killing each other). The second problem with Heterometrus scorpions is that they are generally imported as adults and there are many different species. I cannot tell by looking at them which ones they are and I often doubt that the importer has a clue. I have received batches of them that clearly look a little different but they are all labelled as the same species. These ones didn’t come with a species name but I was assured that they were all the same species and also sexed as two females and one male, an ideal ratio for breeding. I have spent a considerable amount of time on the care of my scorpion friends, initially I set up a large cage with plenty of hides and food. The cage had dry areas, damp areas and warmer, cooler areas too. I first of all placed one of the females in the cage, when she seemed settled I introduced the male and after a week or so I introduced the second female. In the weeks that followed I checked on the scorpions every morning and they were always in their own little hide as far away from each other as they could get and then yesterday I opened the box to add some new food and found them all huddled together under a piece of bark, success! I am really hoping that in time they will mate and produce a new generation of huge and healthy, Asian Black scorpions.
My daughter is still around to help me at the moment
and it does make things easier. It is great having someone to walk the dog,
take the parcels to the post office, pop to Pets at Home for crickets, clear up
the house etc. but it has also highlighted how much work I do and the fact that
it just doesn’t pay enough. I would love to employ my daughter but things would
have to change drastically, I would need many, many more orders, the Ginny’s
Jungle parties would need to really take off and I don’t see it happening. This
has always been a one-man job and the business is essentially ‘me’. People
regularly say that they would like to come and help me with the bugs but
honestly, the bugs I can manage, it’s everything else in my life that I need
help with and that’s where my daughter comes in, running around doing errands,
helping with my mother-in-law and sister and other people that I care for, so
that I can concentrate on my business, looking after the daily needs of the
animals, replying to texts, phone calls and messages, packing orders and all
the other ‘stuff’. I don’t know what I’m going to do when she goes back to
I can’t believe the snow as I look out of my office
window, it is swirling around the garden in white clouds now. My daughter and
her boyfriend have just set off to walk Teddi. They are all wrapped up in hat,
scarves, coats and my heat packs tucked in their pockets. Evidently it is -7,
well that’s it, far too cold for me, I will be working in my office with the
heater full on or I will be in the bug room, I’m not venturing out today. How
many days is it until Spring???