Tuesday, 28 February 2012

...tnorF ot kcaB

     Oh dear! What with other things on my mind, work on the study went tnorf ot kcab today. (That's 'back to front' in case you didn't catch on...). My car had to go for the annual MOT test today, so, as any of you who have ever taken a child to the dentist will remember, I had that "please, no treatment; please, no treatment" mantra running through my mind all morning. Then there is that moment when The Specialist looks up from his clipboard, fixes you with his Specialist's eye, and says, "That's fine. Everything is OK". The weight is lifted. The sun comes out from behind the clouds. Birds sing. Bees buzz. Children laugh. A spring returns to your step, and, by way of a Thank You, you wink at a plain girl. All is well with the world.

And it was cheaper than I expected, even though I didn't need any work doing, so I treat myself. Details below. I got home, went upstairs and painted the window casing, varnished the base for the fireplace, dyed the panel for the back of the fireplace, and then thought, "Great Scott, now I am unable to do any sanding, as the dust will land on the newly treated surfaces. Oh, bother!" Back to front, do you see?

By way of compensation, I made my new friends at home. My treat was a small box of locusts. When I was a boy, I was mad on wildlife. I kept tadpoles in an enamel bath in the back yard and marvelled as they metamorphosed into frogs. I kept lizards in jars. I went to school with a caterpillar in the turn-up of my shorts, and a spider in a matchbox in my pocket. My favourite book was Geoffrey G Watson's The Junior Naturalist's Handbook - I had it on permanent loan from our local branch library, even though I had memorised the whole book. So, as my dotage approaches, I'm returning to my childhood. There are other invertebrates about to arrive, but to get the ball rolling, I lashed out £2.45 on a box of about a dozen locusts. I set their home up with a coco fibre substrate, a dish of bug food (yes, yes, I know, locusts aren't bugs - bugs have sucking mouthparts, locusts have mandibles...), and some ivy and bamboo leaves. Within ten minutes they were feeding, so I suppose they are settling in.

My new chums' new home.

A close up.
One little chap says, "Hello".

Arty soft focus close up.

Undoubtedly, I'll drone on more about creepy crawlies in due course.


  1. wow they look well smart were did u get the tank frm and hw much was it x

    1. Hi Tom,
      I got the tank at Pets at Home for £6.09. They also do a medium size one and a large one (for about £8.50 and £12.00).
      For less than twelve quid you can get the tank, dry bug food and the locusts - they also need grass to feed on, or almost any green stuff (cabbage, lettuce, ivy etc.) and so don't need water.
      Locusts are sold as live food for lizards, mantids and other carnivores, but why not keep them as pets. They don't like to be handled, but neither do goldfish!

  2. All down to you saving money from your wonderful son-in-law with his not what you know, but who you know info!!! xcx