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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

A tale of two mice

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during the summer of 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home but the travel bug is still there. Join us for occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint…

Once upon a time two little girls wanted a pet. After much research on the net and hours workshopping their mum they became the proud owners of two fancy mice, Cali and Chillie. Unfortunately the very first time we cleaned out their cage we managed to lose Chillie under the kitchen skirting board.

For the next four weeks we set humane mouse traps to try and get he back. Sometimes we caught a mouse and after much discussion would decide it was the wrong colour and so we'd set it free. The only time we didn't have this debate was when we trapped a slug...

At last Chillie turned up in the trap looking suspiciously fat despite seeming very hungry. We quarantined her just in case she was going to have babies - and she has. We are now very excited about taming them, but also extremely nervous that she may be such an unsettled new mother that the babies don't make it.

All pets challenge normality: even the boring stick insects proved a problem when they went into reproduction overdrive each April. This time Lola cried herself to sleep fearing we'd disturbed the mouselets too early, I'm guilty about keeping animals caged and Pete will be anxious that we have landed ourselves with as many fancy mice as we have mice under the floorboards.

So, next time we want a pet we're going to improve our organic veg garden and learn to enjoy useful, truly wild visitors such as ladybirds, shield bugs and spiders - even if we keep on hating the snails and slugs and the irritating cats that use our seed beds as lavs.

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