New Family Member


It’s Voldetort!

Welcome to my new Horsfield tortoise. She’s so cute and super tiny!


Tortoises make great pets. Considering they’re reptiles they’re actually quite easy to look after. For around 4 – 5 months of the year they sleep (when they’re old enough – when they’re really little they just go torpid but are still awake). They eat mostly weeds (with fruit and veg as treats) and pretty much look after themselves. They just need heat, UV, shelter, bedding and food and water. The only time they cause a problem is when they wake up before it’s warm enough to live in their outdoor shelter and end up wandering around my kitchen for a month or so.

We already have one Horsfield tortoise (Tabitha) but we don’t plan to keep the two together. I cannot stress this enough – tortoises are pretty much solitary animals and will fight, bite and show aggressive behaviour to each other if kept together. If a boy and girl tortoise are kept together the male will aggressively mate with the female constantly which can cause all kinds of injuries and may even result in death. Apparently two female tortoises can be kept together (we believe Voldetort is a girl but she’s a bit too little to be able to tell) but we would never house them together, especially when Voldetort is so young. Tabitha has already spotted Voldeort wandering around outside her pen and displayed ‘head bobbing’ which is basically show of aggression so at the moment we don’t let them near each other.

Tortioises are notoriously stupid and often do the funniest things. Here is Voldetort getting wedged between two rocks in my garden:


Tortoises are also amazingly strong, can run much faster than you would think and are really good at climbing. If you put them in a polystyrene box they will punch their claws into it and will climb the sides to freedom! They’re generally not aggressive to people as long as they’re used to being handled and will live in captivity for at least 80 years. They can be really fun to play with and will reward you with hours of hilarity.

Remmber Me?

Hello everyone!

I’ve been away from here for a few weeks due to illness (my partner had tendonitis and couldn’t walk for two weeks), sunshine (the UK is in the middle of a heatwave right now – no one has air con so we’re all tired and miserable about it) and just general business.

The garden is looking really lovely right now, especially at night when I’ve got my candles lit and the garden lights are on. Last night we sat outside talking until 11pm, with the scent of the sweet peas and petunias wafting over us. Lovely. I think it’s so important to spend time as a couple chatting things over instead of silently staring at a tv screen.


As you can see (just), my experimental sweet pea wall seems to be doing pretty well. Top tip – cut all the flowers off once every 10 days or so to ensure it keeps flowering. And keep deadheading!


Is everyone else enjoying their gardens right now? Has anyone got any top tips they want to share? Comment below!

Godiva Festival

I love the Godiva festival. Every year it gets bigger and better. I can remember the days when it was one stage, a few local bands and bring your own beer. Now, It’s a full on commercial enterprise with some big name acts as well as lots of promotion of local and unsigned artists. Also, it’s completely free!

This year we had some unforseen issues on the Saturday (a power cut from a broken electricity meter) so we finally got there in the late afternoon. We bought some beer (they really need to get more bar staff or make the bars bigger, the queue took forever) and had a look round the local/vintage/craft stalls. We caught the end of the Mystery Jets set (really good) and managed to get really close to the front to see the Charlatans. Their gig was excellent. The Charlatans were one of my favourite bands growing up and they played all their hits plus a couple of new songs which sounded really good. I was surprised at how young the crowd was and how into it they all seemed. I just about managed to avoid the mosh pit but there was a great energetic vibe without it getting too violent.

Unfortunately I was ill on the Sunday but I really wanted to go to see the launch of the Coventry City of Culture 2021 bid. There was some great acts on too like Sound of the Sirens and Emma McGann plus I wanted to check out He is a Pegasus. Oh well.

If anyone is from the West Midlands they really should visit the Godiva Festival. Beer, sunshine, great bands, free entry…what more could you want?