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
It's been a while! Seems ages since I wrote my last blog. I have been concentrating on getting 'Ginny's Jungle parties' off the ground and I have my first party booked! I have also been concentrating on caring for family members who are sadly in very poor health.
Due to popular demand I am writing a blog this week (even though I did say I wouldn't in the school holidays). I have been really busy setting up Ginny's Jungle bug parties but my regular bug business is also going well, which is nice. I haven't yet had a bug party booked but the website is up and running, the Facebook page is there and I am picking up 500 leaflets later today. I have been interviewed for one local magazine and I have another in the pipeline so everything is on track for the party business to be up and running for the Autumn and hopefully it will keep me going throughout the colder months without having to rely entirely on the postal business.
Downsizing my life! Well I’m giving it a go as there clearly aren’t enough hours in a day. The bugs are doing well, apart from the poor ‘new mum’ Tail-less Whip scorpion who I put in with my adult pair (Fred & Joyce) last week. They clearly took against her as when it came round to feeding day, I opened the cage to a very sorry sight, she had been attacked and half eaten! I had removed her from her babies ‘just in case’ but I thought (mistakenly) that the adults would be fine together. It seems that they are scorpions after all and will tolerate each other if they have been living in a colony or grew up together. They always seem to be such placid creatures but I suppose like other arachnids they come alive at night and hunt. I will certainly be more careful in future. I have never seen any cannibalism in the young ones but then I have never had any problems with the Heterometrus or Pandinus scorpions as juveniles.
Sun at last, could this be it? The day that summer finally arrives, it has done nothing but rain here recently. Storm after storm and everywhere is completely sodden. My garden seriously looks like a rainforest, the plants have grown into giants and the weeds (wildflowers as I prefer to call them) seem to have taken over. Thankfully the bugs have stayed dry and the power has remained on while my husband has been away for the last ten days, he returns later today. We have had so much trouble with the roof on my bug room, there is the permanent leak in my office but a bucket solves that, I’m just pleased there were no break through floods in there, as we have had on numerous occasions. The power problems also seem to be linked to water and rewiring is high on my hubby’s ‘to do when he gets back’ list.
All on my own, it’s that time of year again when my husband has gone to Spain with his motorbike friends and my daughter has gone to watch the Le Mans car race in France. I am desperately trying to catch up with all the paperwork piled on my desk, some of it dates back to April and some letters are unopened! I have really got behind with everything lately, as ever the daily bug care has to come first or they will literally die but I clearly have too many bugs as I never seem to get much time for anything else. I finally have the leaflets printed for my Ginny’s Jungle parties and they look brilliant, almost too good to just giveaway! I need to sort out the wording for the website and then it will be up and running.
Sorry, brief blog this week. I simply don't have the time as we are off to a wedding today. I was planning on writing the blog yesterday but having my great-nieces after school and then my mother in-law for dinner really didn't leave any time. Next Friday I will be all alone, my hubby will be whizzing around Europe on his annual motorbike trip with his friends and our daughter will be at the 24 hour Le Mans car race in France. It will be considerably longer than 24 hours for her as it is the highlight of her year and she will be camping there with friends. What’s the term? Petrol-heads? Why can’t they just love cute animals like me? Our son is the same, he’s looking at new cars and thought he would bore me with the details this week. He did show me a photo of a purple one that briefly caught my attention. I received my new little friends this week, that I mentioned last week. Some scorpions, spiders and millipedes. Among them a ‘new to me’ species of giant millipede from Madagascar. They are stunning with orange and yellow segments, they came to me with the name Madagascar Ringed millipede which doesn’t do them justice. I put a photo on Facebook a few days ago of the four species of millipedes that I now have from Madagascar and it reached over 1,500 people. I think that might be my second most popular post after the stunning Wolf spider that I came across in Cyprus, I think that had more than 2,500 views! I am making a big effort with Facebook and when my family have deserted me for boring car/motorbike events I intend to knuckle down and get my new Ginny’s Jungle website and Facebook page up and running. I realise that my bug party business will only have local appeal but I am grateful to everyone who commented on the Ginny’s Jungle logos on Facebook this week. With your help my logo is now chosen. That’s one job done but many more to go. I was interviewed for a local magazine on Tuesday. The lady was very nice, not really a fan of bugs but she wrote a nice piece and hopefully it will boost my bug business and perhaps result in some party bookings. I am running a bug event on Monday evening at our youth club (no money, I helped set it up so I can’t really charge the kids – sorry “young persons”). Ok, I’m sure I could go on and on but it will have to wait for next week as I need to get ready for the wedding and set off. Sadly, yesterday I discovered that “Pudding” my huge, pregnant, Shiny Burrowing scorpion was dead (you may remember she was housed in our dining room before I went to Cyprus). I have no idea why? There is still so much to learn about scorpion breeding, I haven’t discussed this for ages but I will make a note and continue the topic next week!
Half term mayhem but I haven’t done too badly this week, I am slowly but surely getting back on track after the exhibition. I didn’t go too mad there but I did get a fair amount of new animals and it takes time to house them all and get them entered onto my stock list and then uploaded to the website.
The BTS Show was super. The new venue was excellent. There was plenty of space to move around and see everything and everyone. Sometimes bug shows can be terribly crowded with not enough room to move between the stalls. It often feels like trying to get a drink on a busy night in a bar, you can see what you want but you can’t actually get near enough to place your order. I didn’t do too badly at the show (I was repeating my mantra to myself – no more pets), I mostly stuck to my shopping list but I still spent several hundred pounds on new animals, so as you can imagine, I have been chasing my tail all week. I got some lovely bugs, tarantulas, jumping spiders, stick insects, snails (including two of the biggest snails I have ever seen, perfect for my bug parties – I think working pets are ok?), millipedes, scorpions, etc. I was so tempted by these gorgeous little crabs that I saw, they were so cute and their eyes were looking at me. It took a lot of will power to walk away from them. I would actually have had a couple if I could have kept them with my Land Hermit crabs but they obviously needed damper conditions. I put a photo on Facebook and it reached over 1,000 people so I’m not the only one who thinks they are adorable. A guy kindly identified them for me, they are Magadapotamon humberti, a type of Fiddler crab from Madagascar. One day I would love to visit Madagascar, they have so many unique animals there. The millipedes that I got recently are from Madagascar, they are stunning, especially the Red Fire and Giant Pill ones.
Not enough of me to go around! If I had a clone everything would be fine but as it is there are not enough hours in a day. The major problem this week is that I have hardly been here enough to get my work done. As you all know by now I love lists, I have a daily “must do” list (22 items – I’ve just counted) and I enjoy ticking off the jobs as I go about my day. This week I had full ticks on Monday and Tuesday, then it fell apart for the rest of the week. Wednesday I was asked to go into my great niece’s class to talk about and show some bugs, I actually visited two classes and the preparations before and the putting everything away afterwards took more or less the entire day. Yesterday I sent off my orders and then sadly had a funeral to attend in London. This afternoon I will yet again need to be elsewhere.