Picture: Ginger the tortoise

Gosh I can hear you say, they have only just got married!

Well let me tell you, two kids are more than enough – our house seems like a hotel with multiple kids drifting in and out at all times of day and night as the new thing is “sleepovers” – an excuse to get out of chores and homework as well as eating everything in the cupboard.

We have however had the patter of tiny feet this week – the arrival of Fred and Ginger.

My wife has always been on about two animals – giraffes and tortoises. Whilst I would love to have a giraffe, she had to make do with tortoises for her birthday as a suprise.

When I was a kid, me and my brother had a tortoise each. These things just walked around the garden and ate everything, then we would stuff them in the airing cupboard over winter and that was that.

What a different story today. I arranged for the little blighters to arrive after our Italian trip, but before then we were sent an extensive owners manual with loads of do’s and dont’s – frankly it scared me to death (and Karen too!).

I bought them from a really helpful company The Tortoise Shop who talked me through the original purchase and have provided phone “support” already to a panicking new mother!

I decided to get two tortoises as I am a great believer in not having a single animal as I am sure they loose their will to survive and have a better quality of life etc.

When they arrived, Karen and her mate Donna of WhyNot Jewellery were worse than two kids – I have never seen anything like it. I was left to build the enclosure and get the lights etc set up while they sat and “warmed them up” – the poor things were sent by TNT and spent the night in a box on a van!

Once placed in their enclosure, they sprang to life and literally ran around, and they started eating, and eating ,and eating…..in fact they only stop eating to bury themselves and sleep (a bit like the kids really).

They are very cute and each one has a little personality developing – well as much a personality as you can expect from a tortoise.

Our dog walks have now taken a different turn – we now go out armed with carrier bags and foraging equipment to ensure a ready supply of their favourite munchies….are we mental or what?

By the way, they love dandelions!