What a year!
What a year! Who would have thought that the threat of Coronavirus would last this long? It is clearly here to stay for now (perhaps forever?) and continues to cause chaos for us all so it seems a good idea to write a new blog entry. Although I cannot see who is reading my blog, I can see how many people have viewed it and continue to do so, even though I haven’t written anything since the beginning of lockdown in March.
I am still going and no doubt will continue to do so, in one way or another. I would love to get back to doing my Ginny’s Jungle events but it isn’t possible with the current restrictions. I have had lots of enquiries but I can’t see how I can do animal events with social distancing in place. Groups such as the WI are keen for me to give talks via Zoom or suchlike but it is not something that I can imagine doing, in fact I think it sounds boring and I am really not good enough with technology or interested enough to learn it J I am now allowing visitors to my bug room. I think it is fine, with face masks, taking customers details and using hand sanitiser (when leaving, not while handling animals, especially those that breath through their skin). Obviously, people don’t need to come into the bug room, I’m happy to pre-pack the bugs and have them ready to collect at the door.
The postal business is still trundling along, it’s not easy to get new stock with no bug shows. I really miss them, both meeting up with people and of course choosing new animals to try and breed. I have had lots of people asking me to source animals for them but I don’t import and I like to see creatures before buying, so without access to the shows I’m a bit scuppered. On the bright side, I have managed to get in new tarantulas and have plenty for sale and I have done incredibly well this year breeding many of my bugs. I have done especially well with millipedes and have sold lots. I have also bred plenty of assassin bugs, isopods, scorpions, jumping spiders, cockroaches, beetles so as you can tell I’m still keeping busy. It is hard work looking after my menagerie and sadly at times my sales have been quite low. Everything in this new world is just so uncertain, I’m not sure how things will go once the furlough scheme ends and people have less money and also how coming out of the EU may affect my business. I am not sure if I will be able to send my animals outside of the UK as I would not want them held up, if they need to go through customs after we leave.
I certainly consider myself so much luckier than many others, our mortgage is paid off and my husband still has a ‘proper job’. It is horrible that people everywhere are suffering as a consequence of the virus and the restrictions placed upon us. I was delighted when my gym reopened, I was there on the day that it closed and again on the day that it reopened. It isn’t quite the same as it was but the staff try really hard and everyone is doing their bit to keep the place clean (I have said that I do more cleaning there than I do at home). They have just reopened a few classes, which is great but I think I went a bit mad this week and my legs have been killing me for the last couple of days J It is fascinating to see how differently people view the threat of the virus, we obviously all have different experiences and varying risk factors. There are many members at my gym who have chosen to keep their membership on hold until they deem it safe to return. As they say “it would be boring if we were all the same”.
Halloween is fast approaching and it is usually such a busy time for me and the bugs but this year things will be very different. I have certainly noticed that my sales of Hissing cockroaches are hugely down this year. They are such amazing pet bugs, big, impressive, easy to care for and totally harmless but with no parties, group events, handling sessions and such like, demand has plummeted.
I hope I don’t sound too miserable, I’m fine, honest! I have had so many lovely emails this year, so many good wishes and so many great reviews posted on my website. It is really uplifting, I have been trying to encourage people to call me rather than email their questions and it seems to have worked, I have had some super chats with customers (someone said to me yesterday that talking about the virus has become the new talking about the weather). It could of course just be that people are at home and more able to pick up the phone!
Anyway, I’m off for a massage soon, I thought I deserved a treat and it will certainly help my poor achy old legs, I really do wish you all well and Happy Halloween.
The photo is of the autumn leaves in the woods near our house. I have been busy collecting them up and even dragged my husband along this week. I need them for leaf mulch to feed my multitude of millipedes. It really is my least favourite job, people think I’m nuts. There is no good way to explain to passersby why I need the leaves but my husband said that while he was helping me, I should say I need them for an art project, rather than mention feeding them to giant tropical bugs. Oh, must just mention that we had new next door neighbours move in last week, they don’t know what I do yet!