“Daddy look, Geraldine has got so much bigger!” Gigi’s comment hung in the air like a query of birdsong.
“Yes, she’s had a real growth spurt this last week,” Roddy replied from behind me, and I turned around.
“Who are you guys talking about; who is Geraldine?” I demanded, wondering if someone had smuggled in another pet without me knowing. Until that moment I was happily minding my own business weeding the driveway but overhearing this exchange I was suddenly on full alert, as I had no idea what anyone was talking about. Gigi turned and looked at me with that expression, the ‘Mummy you are so silly’ sort of look, as then she proceeded to very matter of factly state that Geraldine was a garden spider who lived in the hibiscus beside the house.
Yes, of course Geraldine was a spider – how could I not have known that. Silly me. I mean everyone names their spiders who just happen to live outside in the garden, right?!
Welcome to our world; I often think we are perhaps all just a little bit crazy, for it has to be said this is not your typical household. It’s one that keeps us on our toes and bemuses and captivates most people that come here, it’s just that it’s not altogether entirely conventional. But then it’s good to be different, isn’t it?
And it’s not just Geraldine who has entered that hallowed hall of fame, where small creatures are given a name and treated with reverence. Other spiders have titles too; there was Henrietta who lived for quite a while in the downstairs loo and terrifiied Hetty every time she went in there,
and there’s Gertrude who lives outside the study window in the mirabilis,
and Desdemona, a fearsome wasp spider who casts a spell of fear and anxiety into the world of pests and creepy crawlies by the front door.
Visit us here and you never know quite what you might encounter. Naturally there are cats and dogs, as they are a huge part of the story, but then you all know them – they’re super intelligent and they’ve even written their own blog posts, and yes, this is Clara, who will be telling you her own story soon.
The four of them seem to spend a vast amount of time snoozing in the midday sun, conveying a somewhat misleading impression that everything here is tranquil and calm with never a care in the world.
Evie even seems to think she is something of a human, and regularly takes her place at the head of the table if I turn my back for a second
and pop-up grooming salons seem to appear out of nowhere.
Sometimes, I have to hide my face in mock despair; there are those moments when everything is running smoothly, when we’re enjoying apéros with friends in the garden and the conversation is animated and lively, when dinner is in the oven and everything is under control and then someone utters those fateful words, “Daddy, quick, look. It’s a BIG one!!”
I turn and inwardly I silently sigh, I know it’s an insect of some sort and I also know that if it’s a ‘good’ one, then dinner will be delayed! Conversation stops, Roddy inspects the creature and makes a dash for his study and retrieves one of his special collection pots. The ‘thing’ is caught, the children crowd around and everyone oohs and aaahs at the size and colours of the said specimen. It will be kept on stage until it has been photographed and then it will be released in a suitable location. Our guests, if they have never been here before, stare with unmasked naked surprise as Roddy calmly states this is a Nonplexus maximus (or something) – I mean, bien sur, it’s normal to know the names of our common garden critters in Latin, French and English, n’est ce pas?!
And that scenario I’ve just outlined is the QUICK diversion; for unfortunately there are times when the creature is unrecognisable, or when we are actually rushing out the door, when everyone is heading for the car in a race against the clock, and those fearful words are uttered. We will be late, again. I just know it. And there are instances (I have to be totally honest and admit) when I quickly rush past something rare and wondrous, without saying a peep, and steadfastly ignore what I have seen, knowing only too well that we cannot afford another deflection. I cannot mention to anyone I have seen a bug, for if I show it to the others they will certainly tell Roddy; it seems perhaps I am alone in my conspiracy to keep things running as normally as possible.
We had better not forget the chickens, thousands, millions of people keep chickens, it is totally normal, except ours are treated like kindred spirits.
One might just find a chicken in the kitchen
or a rooster in the hall
and an innocent face holding one as if it were a teddy bear.
We have a family of hedgehogs who live at the end of the garden. Occasionally a youngster will stray a little too far and we have to take it back to it’s family home and only the other day I walked into the kitchen to find Roddy, ably assisted by the children, giving a dragonfly that had fallen into the swimming pool a quick blow-dry with the hair dryer!
Since Roddy’s interest in insects has grown and his love of photographing them, scarcely a day goes by that is ‘normal’! Gone are the days when I was allowed to kill a bug, and I just keep quiet about those that I vacuum up silently! Except of course the mosquitos, they are still game on!
The pond is another constant source of interest, we made this when we first moved here, using old stone from the garden and encouraging as much wildlife as possible. Frogs arrived and then toads, we introduced mosquito fish and goldfish, but everything else just found it’s own way, I have no idea from whence they came but it seems they like it here.
We have Cornelius, the frog
and Larry the lizard!
Only the other day when I opened a window to let the clear warm autumnal air circulate around the house I squealed in horror as a green tree frog jumped through the open space and landed on my foot.
Millie has recently started up her own aquarium, introducing stock slowly she started with four Amano Shrimp. Then she added three Plio fish, Joséphine, Constance and Soléne. Am I even surprised they have names? No, of course not, I would be more surprised if they didn’t!!
No one can tell any of them apart, aside from some are fish and some are shrimp. Needless to say I have no idea who this is, but click to play for you might be watching, Gildas, Bénédicte, Nibbles or Magellan!
Quite a few people have recently told me that our family reminds them of The Durrells, the tv programme based on the book My Family and Other Animals written by Gerald Durrell. The tv series is, I believe, about to be shown for the first time in the USA. If you havent seen it, watch it, there is more than a passing resemblance to our family and you might just be filled with a like minded desire to know all about everything living that surrounds us.
Inquisitive minds and inquisitive faces.
Madness aside however, most people seem to enjoy any time they spend in our more than crazy household. Impromptu dinners turn into late night parties, what starts out with 8 people turns into 12 in no time at all and there are always umpteen children, but you know what I wouldn’t change a thing!
113 thoughts on “My Family and Other Animals”
Better than brilliant, you would all make an excellent televsision show and if not then at the very least a book!
Ha ha, thank you, at the very least I hope we bring a smile to someone’s face!xx
Sounds like an idyllic household to me and I’ll bet your kids remember with both fondness and gratitude their childhoods. So different, stimulating and creative.
I really hope so, because that is all we can ask for, I remember my childhood with such happiness and fondness and all I want is for them to do the same. xx
I love it that all those animals seem to have the run of your house which, by the way, looks nothing like the Durrell’s place in Corfu as featured in the television programme.
It’s such a wonderful learning environment for your children.
Hi Sheree, oh I know it looks nothing like the Durrell’s place in Corfu on the television programme, that place is truly magical, the setting, the peeling walls, the entire set up. But I think friends meant the same fascination with anything that moves! It is a fabulous thing for children to be interested in everything around them, it is amazing how much they notice once their eyes are opened. xx
Susan, it all sounds so wonderful…spiders and all!
It is so enchanting to me how every living thing is welcomed into your home.
Since I happened upon your blog over a year ago I have been impressed not only with your wondrous ❤️ but the continued impact you and your family have on all of us!
The Hay’s Family truly cares about ALL Living Things!
The pictures are lovely.
Enjoy the upcoming weekend. Once again thank you for a heartfelt post! ❤️🎃🌻❤️
Thanks so much Stephanie, it is magical, I hope someday you will come to France and over in this direction so I can give you a guided tour!! There are some things that are not welcome in our home, mice!! I loathe them with a passion and thank goodness have never seen any here, that is why we initially got our two cats, I cannot abide mice at all, but it is the country and people do get a mouse in the house occasionally, I am just keeping my fingers firmly crossed that we don’t here!! xx
Susan, it’s finally official we are kindred souls! I LOATHE and I mean LOATHE Mice! We have a cabin in Wisconsin and unfortunately it does get mice. It’s a “hoot” when I get in bed at night I always pull the covers ALL the way back to check for the little “critters.” So far so good!
I hope your Fall has been as lovely as we have here in Minnesota! The colors are almost “peaking” and so far have been stunning!
And yes…I will get your way within the year. I thought I was going to send you an email in May to say that I was going to come when my husband and I were in Bordeaux. Unfortunately, he had an unexpected (though I think it’s never expected) triple hernia operation. Up until a couple days before we were to leave for Normandy, Provence and Bordeaux I thought for sure we were going to cancel! He was a trooper but it was a compromised trip.
So, I do appreciate the invite and would LOVE TO COME! You are simply WONDERFUL!
We are indeed, Roddy knows if there is a mouse in the house (never here thank goodness but in previous houses) his life is impossible until it or they are all gone. I will literally jump on a chair and scream, me a farmer’s daughter who grew up with mice and yet I still cannot stand them! Our autumn colours are still very muted here, I don’t think it is going to be a great year for colour at all, leaves seem to be starting to drop now, I think we may just go from one thing to the other without the spectacular in between, it has been so warm. Gosh what a trooper he is but also what a shock just before you travelled. Hopefully he is fully recovered now. Next year for sure xx
Just as country family life should be. We have been known to have ponies and lambs in our kitchen too in numerous occasions, oh and piglets too!
Ha ha, I remember when I was growing up I would sometimes ride my pony into the kitchen! It was always a great adventure, and we often had lambs in a cardboard box warming by the aga during lambing season. But never piglets. Perhaps it is these memories that make me love that the children enjoy so much about the living world all around us here! It certainly does them a lot more good than harm. xx
Such a wonderful view into the everyday life at your French Oasis. I’m reminded of the days when my children were small and we lived at the farm. My daughter kept her pet lamb in her bedroom, rabbits in the kitchen and a private collection of toads in a box. Although, we did draw the line at allowing horses in.
The best of times, yours reminds me of when I was growing up, my parents were farmers and so we often had lambs which needed bottle feeding and some extra warmth in a box by the aga! It really is the best type of childhood! xx
Susan, the life you describe does sound just like a novel. Such a beautiful setting with engaging people…interesting wildlife….it sounds rather wonderful to me. I’m looking forward to the movie.
Ha ha, Ali, well you know it is quite true, crazy but lots of fun!! xx
Fear not. You are not alone. It sounds just like our house, and the household I grew up in. I love the photo of Roddy and his Heath Robinson insect photography set up.
I thought you might like that one Susan! I had another I sneakily took out of a bedroom window this summer when he was showing a friend how to do this and that with macro photography and insects, but I lost the photo! Your house sounds much like ours, wouldn’t have it any other way! xx
I always enjoy your posts about the animals, especially the chickens as you haven’t written about them much recently. How many do you have now? I am sure that rooster looks new?
I did think that I haven’t really included the chickens much lately, they are very much a part of our life all the same and providing us with lots of fabulous eggs. xx
What a wonderful existence and upbringing for your kids, taking them back to nature is surely the best way to allow them to enjoy life to its fullest. Hats off to you and Roddy, looks like you are doing a great job.
Thanks so much Shari, I do really believe that this lifestyle is extremely good for the children and yes, they do absolutely love it too, so we are all very very happy! xx
You live in a fun loving and adventurous family, but I feel you are all well balanced unlike the Durrell madness.
Keep enjoying the nature which surrounds your home with your beloved critters…..Just be joyful. 😍
Thanks so much Patricia, I do know what you mean, the Durrell’s made a fabulous TV programme but yes they are all quite mad! We’re a little nutty but in truth yes we are all fairly well balanced and rather normal really! Always joyful and feel very blessed every day. xx
needed a spider warning on that post!!!!!
Ha ha, I take it you don’t like spiders!! Don’t worry I don’t either, but I am getting used to the, it’s rather like mice, if they are outside they are just fine, it is only inside that I cannot stand them!! xx
I happen to love a certain kind of crazy…..and yours is that certain kind 🙂 The photographs in this post are superb…..absolutely loved the whole thing. Janet 🙂 xxx
Thanks so much Janet, it is a little crazy, but I just love it, wouldn’t have it any other way! Hope you are having a good autumn xx
I am also a lover of wild animals and the only one in my family. The other members are most likely to run from insects and other creatures. I generally just let the wild critters come and go in the yard. I have some tiny spiders in the house, that love antique furniture, and have reproduced for generations. The Durruell’s are in season two in the states.
Your spiders sound as if they are very much at home! Roddy would be most impressed! I am not too keen on the big chunky spiders in the house, those with thick black hairy legs, if they are outside they are just fine!! xx
Just loved this post!!!!!!! Of course, Susan, I say that about every one of them. You paint such a gorgeous picture of your lives in words and photos and such a big thank you for the effort and time you put into it. SO appreciated. We raised our three in the suburbs of Washington DC so no unusual pets like chickens..just the beloved Wheaten Terriers, anoles and hamsters. But, whatever you are surrounded by, I don’t think there is a more important lesson to teach your children than respect for living things, be they human, animal or plant life. Our kids played soccer on a field with a weeping willow and so many strangers’ kids pulled on the branches of that tree til they stripped and broke them. (Had they been friends’ children, I would have stopped them.) It hurts me still to think about it. Such a gorgeous tree so mistreated. But, weeds are my mice! They have no place in my garden or anywhere and although I don’t do it, as I drive around on my errands I often fantasize about weeding the islands in the streets or even my neighbors yards!!!!!! Yes, silly, but why try to tame these flights of fancy.
Thank you Anne, you have just made me laugh, I can just imagine you with your war against weeds, if you come back to France there are always plenty here you can get to grips with!! I totally agree with you in teaching our children respect for all living things. I hate it when kids just break branches of trees, I don’t actually think most of them even understand or know what they are doing. Your children sound as if they had a lovely upbringing too, aren’t our children all so lucky. xx
So interesting. Your chickens look like they’ve spent a morning at the salon compared to my two in my garden lol. So love The Durrells and was so sad when the last series finished. As for the spiders I think rather you than me but they certainly make a good photo.
The chickens in the kitchen were the pair of Frizzles and the rooster is a frizzle too, I love their outward turned feathers, makes them rather interesting! The others are all regular hens, the two different types seem to complement each other. We all loved watching the Durrells on a Sunday evening too, I believe there is another series being made? I am fine with spiders so long as they are outside!! xx
I hope so, Sunday evening arnt the same without it. x
I totally agree, it was such fun family viewing. xx
But then I got engrossed in Victoria, and now that has finished too! I never watch tv, except on a Sunday evening!!! xx
I have loved watching Victoria too, I fancied myself as Mrs Durrell, not sure if two chickens in the back garden count but they keep me happy and fed.
Ha ha, Mrs Durrell’s life looked idyllic in a slightly mad sort of way, but I also just loved that setting, the house, the sea, everything, it was just perfect Sunday evening viewing, great escapism! Not so sure that two or ten chickens even count, but who cares, they keep us in eggs as you say and keep us amused! xx
Definitely..lots of interesting amusing antics to blogg about x
I quite agree, wouldn’t be without our chickens for anything. xx
love, love, love your blog, the pix of the spiders and bugs your husband takes, your children are beautiful and i love the chickens and roosters in the house…i love all of nature and thoroughly enjoy reading your blog…hopefully someday i will be able to visit france and see this magical countryside…thank you!
Thanks so much Mary, I really hope someday you get to visit France as well, let me know, I will gladly show you around. xx
Thanks so much Sue xx
So Mme Durrell – who is going to grow up the serious novellist and poet (Lawrence) and who the endearing zoo owner with all those evocative narratives under his belt – or hers, of course since I guess with a 4-1 ratio the doppelgangers are as likely to be female from your nest! This is a delightful tale of the co-existence of man and beasts and beasties and the fact that we can get joy just from allowing ourselves to be freely. Eccentric you probably are, but delightfully so 🙂
Ahh well that would be telling, I had an answer, I started to write and then I realised I might be wrong, ‘don’t be too quick to judge’ came to mind, and I realised I don’t actually know! I don’t think I have ever been called eccentric before!! but you are probably right and I really don’t care, I have no problems with a chicken in the house when I was growing up I used to ride my pony into the kitchen, it all seems rather normal!! xx
Years ago when I lived in discreetly Streatley-on-Thames a dear friend described me as eccentric. I was mortified and chewed on it for weeks because I thought I’d done such a great job of being normal. A few weeks later at une soirée bien arrosé I asked her why she thought I was strange and she said ‘Heavens it’s a compliment … ‘ and she meant it. Your normal is delightful xx
Isn’t it funny when one hears the word eccentric I think we always tend to think of an elderly person, I know I always do!! But you are so right the true meaning of the word has nothing to do with age at all, it is just one of those words that I think is so often completely misunderstood; guilty as charged!! xx
Join the club …. well actually you are in it whether you like it or not – and it is SUCH fun xx
Ha ha, I think I am still struggling with this!!! But if you can’t beat em, join em!! Have a great weekend. We need to figure out train or car, it is definitely time! xx
IOU an email …. will try and stop butterflying around for long enough to send it!!! Enjoy yours and yes, it is over time xx
Ha ha, when you have the time!! xx
Can’t help but snicker about the vast difference between our husbands: My dearest takes a lighter (!!!) to spiders and webs upon discovering them; and Roddy’s desire to photograph them, up close and personal. Love the pic of your little cherub holding the hen. Have a lovely day!
I wonder where you are Karen? I think I would do the same if I was in Australia for example, I remember when we were there, we had a tiny spider inside the car, both of us were so quick to get rid of it, fast!! However, I still think Roddy would be keen to photograph even the deadliest, whereas I would be terrified! Hope you too have a wonderful day and upcoming weekend xx
NEXT you have a PIG LIVING IN THE HOUSE!
AS my husband who is in ITALY now says……..”NO ONE BELIEVES HIM!”I respond by saying THEIR LOSS!!!!!!!!
I would love love love to have a pig live with us, I will show this to Roddy but I know he will say no!! We have a route we take almost daily and there grazing on the marshland are two small black ponies, two goats and an adorable pot bellied pig, we have seen them every week since we first moved here. Every time I see them I am reminded that I want a pig and I am always envious of yours! xx
What a hilarious blogpost! Certainly one of those slightly crazy families, but we all are haha! I love your many animals and the insect photography is GORGEOUS! Keep writing about your dear pets! Xxx
Thanks so much Josephine, I think we are all kindred spirits in a way and our slightly crazy family’s keep us interesting! That’s how I look at it!! xx
Love it – life in a menagerie! Wonderful photos!
Yes absolutely and wouldn’t have it any other way! Have a great end to the week xx
You know those days when you just ne d a good laugh as a pick me up, well this hit the spot completely, roared with laughter, very well written, thank you.
So happy to oblige Bev! Seriously, it is always good to laugh out loud, hope the rest of your day continued in a happy way xx
Susan I adored this post. My children grew up as yours (only in the US of course), surrounded by animals, dogs, cats, cows, horses, rabbits..you name it. They played in the creek, and watched very very little tv. I think they have been forever grateful for having been raised that way. Your children are lucky souls! That pup of yours is adorable!!
Thanks so much. I so agree with you, I think this is such a great way to grow up, I grew up on a farm and remember nothing but fabulous times about my childhood. Your children sound as if they had much the same, the best way for sure. xx
Your kids are so lucky, even if they don’t fully realize it yet they will do, when they are older they will be grateful.
Thank you so much Peggy, I really do think they do realise how lucky they are, it is such a lovely place to grow up. xx
Every time I finish reading one of your posts I feel fuzzy-warm and the world seems a happier and more ‘normal’ place! To see your two daughters so earnestly on a photographic discovery tour of whatever they have found in the grass instead of having their heads in their iPads or iPhones shows the wonderful balance in life you and Roddy have taught your family. Can thoroughly understand everyone named: I even do that to inanimate objects. Poultry indoors. . . brings forth that extra smile . . . and Evie: hmm, that glass of red was not full ere you got up from the table, was it . . . 🙂 ?
It is a good life and as you say anything that gets them away from the iPhones and iPads is always a good thing. Discovering something new in t he grass, playing with a digital camera, there is so much to be learnt and it is a fun journey of discovery. Now Evie, I think she would drink the wine if she could, I swear sometimes she thinks she is human!!! The number of times I have got up to get something, turned back around and found she has taken my place, with that look that says butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, I belong here!! xx
Delightful post, Susan. I’m on board with everything except the spiders. Not my favorites, even though I know they do eat bugs. What I really hate are millipedes! They can move like lightening and when you kill them, their zillion legs keep moving for much too long. 🙂
I know what you mean, they are not my favourites either, I can deal with them if they are outside, but if they are in the house, they have to be gone and quickly!! I remember in the Caribbean seeing a centipede that was about 4″ long, apparently they can be very dangerous, hate the things!! But mice and rats are my all time worst, I scream like a baby and leap on a chair if I see one! xx
We periodically get mice in the basement (where we have our “pantry”). I’m quite adept at getting them out of the traps without touching them, but the other day, one was still alive when I happened to walk downstairs. I wasn’t thrilled with that!
Just reading this makes me cringe! I do have a complete phobia about mice which considering I grew up with them on the farm is crazy. I truly cannot even touch a mouse trap, even new and not set in a shop, it just makes the hair on my arms stand on end!! You obviously need a cat living in the basement!! xx
We love The Durrells, 2nd season just started in The States. Please tell us that you have not poisoned anyone with your Scotch Eggs.
Ha ha, no, not to my knowledge! But I am sure you have heard the phrase “mad dogs and Englishmen in the midday sun” I mean who would leave a scotch egg out in full sun with that heat!!! xx
So cute!!! All the animals, except the spiders (hehe).
I do agree, I am not a spider fan either, although I do find them fascinating to look at so long as they are outside!! xx
This is a wonderful post! Thank you! I hate having a mouse in my house–it has happened. And spiders also belong outside. We used to have a neighbor who would arise at 5:45 each morning and completely clean the outside of her house and property with a broom to remove all spiders, webs, and cobwebs. Imagine that!
Me too and it has happened to me as well, but never, yet, fingers crossed here at this house. Last summer one did enter through the kitchen doors, I was sitting at the table and saw it as it crossed the threshold. I screamed so loudly that it turned around and ran for its life, never to be seen again! The cats do a great job though, and long long may it continue. I hate them with a passion. I cannot imagine having to go through that rigmarole every morning so early, fortunately the spiders are harmless enough here! xx
What an enchanting life! I love how all of the creatures have names.
Thank you, they are all named and so long as those that are meant to live outside remain outside then I am more than happy! xx
Lovely post, it is great to see that appreciation of the world around us is still being practiced. Your stories reminded me of when I was at intermediate (11 or 12yrs old) I had been sent outside the classroom because I had been “naughty” and when the teacher came out to hear my apology for disrupting the class he was very frustrated because all I could say to him excitedly was to look at the cocoon under the seat as it was hatching! I always remember the look on his face, I used to wonder what it meant, but now I know, sheer exasperation!
But how brilliant, yes this is the sort of thing I would have been sent out for too, in fact I remember those days of standing facing the wall in the corridor outside the classroom, perhaps a little too well!! I think watching a cocoon hatching would have taught everybody far more than what they were probably learning! Hope you are having a good start to spring, I am assuming from your email that you are in NZ? xx
Extraordinary commentary on extraordinary photographs. Wonderful, Susan, thank you as always for a moment of happiness in the middle of the day. Roddy is welcome anytime here to photograph our insects. I know we have a bee in the dunes that is a ‘seaside’ bee and very localised – I often see people traipsing around with cameras trying to find one, and we have a couple of spiders too that only live close to the shingle. I shall have to pay more attention next time I bump into someone who tells me what they are doing. I must say that Roddy’s camera looks quite piddly in size compared to what I see here though. Does he not need an enormous lens for those small insects?
Hi Phil, well I am glad to see insect hunting and photographing is alive and kicking in the UK too! I have never heard of a seaside bee, which perhaps is not surprising, but I will show your comment to Roddy because I know he will be interested and will have far more to say, especially on the subject of his camera!! Have a great Sunday xx
Roddy is taking the most amazing photographs. You are giving the children the most wonderful childhood that they will remember forever.
Thanks so much, Roddy is very talented with his insect photography I agree, we are all constantly awestruck by his photos. xx
I absolutely love the look at your fish tank Millie! Would love a more in depth look soon.
Susan, I’m surprised you have yet to gain any sort of snake or snail as a pet!
Ha ha Helen, there is no way I would have a snake as a pet, Millie does have some tiny water snails in her tank and we do have the silver painted snail who has lived in the garden for over two years now!!! That’s quite enough for me! xx
Incredible storytelling Susan! I think we all have the urge to go out and buy new furry friends now!
There is nothing quite like them, I still struggle when I see kittens and puppies for sale, I always want every single one! xx
So this was an unexpected surprise. I do enjoy your animal posts and your husband has a keen eye for insects. A welcome change thank you
Thanks so much Sharon, I try to keep things as varied as possible and also to ensure that the posts always reflect our life here in France, that’s why there might just be a post about almost anything!! xx
I don’t like spiders, I don’t think I could even stand and take photos of them. But your puppies are lovely and your kids are very cute. I do enjoy all of your writings and you are very lucky to live such a nice life in a beautiful country.
I don’t like spiders much either but so long as they are outside I am quite happy to observe them as they are actually quite beautiful. We are truly very lucky to live here and to be able to raise our children here. xx
So I laughed out loud much to the amusement of my hubbie when I read about you giving a dragonfly a blow dry. I can just picture it. Such a shame you didn’t get a photo of it! Love the picture of Roddy, he looks very studious what is he photographing this time?
I would love to have got a photo of it, but I was in such a state of surprise that it never even occurred to me to grab the camera, I was too busy just watching the dragonfly slowly being revived, its wings dried and then to watch it fly away was magical. He was photographing a spider he had found! xx
LOVE the Durrells which is currently being broadcast on PBS (Season 2 just premiered recently). Talk about a collected menagerie, thanks to Gerry. When we lived in an apartment and couldn’t have dogs, we did own resident tarantulas named Gomez, Hannibal and Rosie, the last one who managed to escape. The lady downstairs moved shortly thereafter. LOL And then there was Guinevere, the cockatiel who lived to be 21 years old. Quite remarkable given she was being handled by grabby little small kids all the time. Roddy’s insects are fabulous and I always enjoy all your pets.
I love your names, I wonder if the tarantula scared the life out of the lady downstairs and forced her to move! I think I would be pretty traumatised if I saw a tarantula in my apartment!! Guinevere sounds like she was a real character, no doubt she loved all those grubby little hands and relished the attention, hence her ripe old age! Love that you named everything just as we do, it’s the best way! xx
😊 Oh yes, we named all the odd critters. The pet rats were Hercules & Adonis (I had forgotten about those boys) and even the stuffed bear was given a proper name. Guinevere was a pill but liked me and my son. She hated my daughter though and actually use to hiss at her. As for the lady downstairs, I think the escaped tarantula didn’t encourage her to stay. We always suspect she hid under a refrigerator and eventually died from lack of food and water. So sad, she was fascinating to watch when she came out at night.
I would draw the line at pet rats of any sort, a mouse, a rat, they scare the living daylights out of me, it is their tails! The story of the tarantula is so sad, it’s funny how we come to love these creatures that so many people fear and hate! xx
Love the photos and laughed at the names of spiders, fish etc. You should meet my sister she also names the plants!
Bring her over to France with you!! Although I personally have never quite got as far as naming a plant, not that I can remember anyway, although I do know for sure that the children have names some of their cacti but that is another story!! xx
Wonderful post! I do hope your children someday realize what wonderful childhoods they have!
I think they really do appreciate it already, they seem incredibly happy and I know they love having the chickens and a large garden and they all love living in France. Can’t ask for much more than that, if they have happy childhoods then I am happy! xx
Absolutely brilliant posting from top to bottom!! Just magical….the children…the yard… the animals…creatures…
I did not know that shrimp ate so deliberately! Or that one could hold a wild hedgehog! I’m left with the usual state of calm and reflection.
Thank you, as always!,
Holding a wild hedgehog is always great fun, but one has to wear gloves, not so much for the prickles but the fleas, hedgehogs are notorious for being covered in them!! xx
Blimey Roddy, now I’m REALLY scared…. I even considered ‘culling’ you from my Flickr friends, I jump up to high heaven every time one of those fear-inducing spiders shows up on my screen 😉
Luckily you also have plenty of cute and wonderful pics of your feathered and wooly friends, I often pick one for Hero Husband’s iPad’s screensavers. For a moment at least! I took some unsuspecting cows’ portraits when we spent our choral week in Lenk i/Simmental in October. Those cows always look at you as if they were deeply pondering meaningful thoughts, even though their munching movements would rather point to a quiet contemplative digestion!
ha ha, you should try living here Kiki, wow betide anyone who tries to kill a spider!!! xx
I don’t kill spiders…. never did, never will. That doesn’t mean I have to name them and love them. A big fat one was discovered only days ago when I cleared some pieces of stuff in the cellar and this fattie just scuttled away. Normally I try to trap them with a jar or glass but didn’t have one handy. I always carry them outside and let them go in the garden where I find the ‘right’ environmet – so please don’t make Roddy hate me 🙂 🙂 🙂
Then you are better than me! Every time I suck one up in the hoover I think of the old saying, “if you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive” I’m not particularly superstitious, but I do think of this and worry just a tiny bit!!! I especially hate the big fat hairy ones, apparently they are house spiders, but they scare the living daylights out of me!! xx
I’m proudly announcing that Evie with her glass of red is now greeting me on HH’s iPad…. There is a cuteness overload in your pets’ collection – not to speak of your kids 😉 bien sûr!
Oh wow, she’s famous!! xx