Virginia Cheeseman - Latest News Blog
I regularly post to my news blog on a Friday. Check back every week to see what's happening at VirginiaCheeseman.co.uk
Where to start? It's been quite a few weeks since my last blog and lots has happened in that time. I had a lovely week in Cyprus at the beginning of the month with my husband and saw lots of interesting bugs and reptiles. I put some notes and photos on my Facebook page and got plenty of likes. Last week I had a disaster in my bug room and got lots of interest and much needed sympathy when I posted it on Facebook. There was a huge storm, massive downpour and all of a sudden rain poured in through the ceiling, flooding everything in its way, electrics and all. I lost lots of equipment but thankfully I managed to save all the bugs. It took days to clear everything up and I had a Ginny's Jungle party booked in my bug room, for the following weekend. The party went well and everyone was happy with the event. I really want to do more parties and school visits and perhaps “Bug Keepers Experiences”. I need to cut back on the number of animals that I keep, the amount of time that I spend on their care is crazy and it's really become too much for both me and my family. If I made the money to match the time then I could afford an assistant but sadly I don’t, so everything is down to just me!
Back by popular demand. I have had some really nice emails pointing out that people understand but really miss my weekly blog or weekly whinge as I call it! Anyhow I have decided to keep going but at a slower pace. I aim to write a monthly blog (monthly moan perhaps?J) I'm also thinking of putting it on my Facebook page and then it could be more interactive. I had an email this week from one of my customers suggesting that I might like to have 'guest bloggers'. I'm not sure I totally understand so feel free to tell me if I have got completely the wrong end of the stick. If anyone wants to write their own blog about their life and bug keeping I would be quite happy to put it on the website.
I have so much going on in my life and very little that is suitable for sharing in a blog that is open to all! I'm still plodding along and when things settle down I will get back into the swing of it. I know there are lots of people who enjoy reading my blog at the end of each week but I just need a bit of a break. If you miss my weekly whinge feel free to give me a call, I'm always happy to chat.
It's been a while but I'm back. Operation over and slowly on the mend. Lots of new animals are coming in throughout the next few weeks. I had scorpions, spiders and giant millipedes come in yesterday, I will be sorting them out and getting them listed on the website today and lots of captive bred tarantulas are due next week. I may have been down but certainly not out. My two weeks off were spent catching up on paperwork and generally getting things in order in the bug room as well as convalescing. Everything is looking pretty good now and the bugs and beasties are thriving. I certainly have plenty of captive bred (by me!) millipedes and they are selling well. As always, I have a large number of cockroaches but I have noticed a drop in their sales recently. I have no idea why? At one time, I thought about getting lots more species in (I really like cockroaches, most people go ‘Yuk’ however they are related to the praying mantis and most are really cute if you look at them closely) but I'm glad I didn't now. It is so difficult to predict what will sell next, it seems to go around in circles. Times are hard for many small businesses at the moment and with two operations in six months, I have struggled at times to continue but I love the bugs and ‘most’ of my customers have been great and really supportive. I greatly appreciate every order that comes in and the help that people have given me recently with improving my website. Things like pointing out mistakes, submitting product reviews and making suggestions about care notes etc.
Everything is 'Springing' to life. My male snakes have gone into mating mode as I call it. They are constantly bashing around in their tank both day and night. I have two female and two male Corn snakes but since letting them breed and not being able to even give the babies away, they are kept well apart in separate vivariums. I went into the woods across from where we live yesterday to collect bramble and found that the shoots are growing into pretty, bright green leaves. I have seen it mentioned many times that the new leaves are poisonous to stick insects but I don't recall ever having problems myself. I always try to give my stick insects a mix of old and new leaves but the old leaves are often so dry that the stick insects make a beeline for the new fresh ones. I have plenty of frogspawn appearing in my pond so I'm happy.
Competitions abound, I have drawn the ‘monthly review’ winner and Teddi helped draw the ‘monthly mistakes’ winner. There were only 6 reviews this month (4 from the same person) but I do appreciate each and every one of them! The winner was Curtis and again this month the winner was fairly picked out of the hat and it just happened that he wrote a single review. The other winner was Hani (only 2 entries received L). Both will be sent their postage code in an email, this will entitle them to free postage on their next order. I too have won a competition today, a £100 Tesco gift card! It is actually the second I have won in this super Tesco competition (buy a pack of Plenty kitchen roll and enter the code online). With all my animals, I get through a great deal of kitchen roll, I use it for cleaning, drying cages, lining cages and packing bugs. I have though bought enough packs to keep me going for several months now.
Spring is in the air at last, only 24 days to go but who's counting J. My garden is full of snowdrops, crocuses and primroses (the weeds are also appearing unfortunately). The bugs are doing well, some will breed all year round but many seem to wait for the spring. I assume it is the longer, brighter, days that triggers them off as the bug room is hot all year round.
It’s all celebrations and presents this year and I’m certainly not complaining. Last Sunday was our Ruby wedding anniversary and instead of counting myself lucky if I get a card, my hubby bought me a beautiful pair of white gold earrings with diamonds and rubies. We went to Richmond park for lunch with our son and daughter in-law and came home to our daughter cooking dinner for us. A wonderful day and very restful, I even found time for my yoga class in the morning.
Another successful week with lots of orders placed and several new reviews received. I’m always full of ‘good ideas’ (as I see it) but some ideas work and some don’t. The monthly review competition has worked better than I could ever have hoped for, so I am now running a new monthly competition. I added the details to the slip of paper that I send out with each order, explaining how to enter but it looked too messy so I have given up on that, I am mentioning it here and I will put it on my Facebook page when I get a chance. Basically, I would like you to let me know if you find any mistakes on the website such as spellings, wrong dates, updated tarantula names (they seem to constantly change). It is very difficult to proof read your own work and there is an awful lot of information on my website.