Well, that was disconcerting. Tortoise Club was a presentation by two vets who specialise in reptiles and exotic animals, both with a particular affection for tortoises, who spoke about diseases. Darlings, we’ve been through worms, gout (who knew?), chlamydia, liver failure, follicle stasis (something like that, I got a bit lost) and being egg-bound. Not to mention the poor tortoise who was attacked by a dog and had to have a leg amputated. She’s doing very well, they attached (superglue?) a set of Lego wheels to the underneath nearside corner of her shell and she whizzes around nicely, especially around corners, where she can turn on the proverbial sixpence, like a taxi.
I am glumly resigned to having Edweena live in the drawing room with us from January, it’s clear that it’ll be too long for her to sleep until the weather is warm enough for her to go outside. Assuming she lives so long, that is. I didn’t quite realise how much illness tortoise flesh is heir to.
Having arrived home half an hour ago, I’ve rapidly polished off a piece of raspberry cheesecake and ice cream, a glass and a half of red wine and four pieces of salt liquorice. Oh, and a bit of local cheese. I’m not sure that a very modest, early dinner is a good idea. Now I’ve made tea, but milkless, sugarless, weak Lapsang surely hardly counts as anything? Since he asked, persistently, I gave Ben a bit of liquorice – not a whole piece, just a little bit. He was deeply unimpressed but it stuck right in his teeth and he couldn’t spit it out. It was very funny.
As was Tortoise Club, in the end. I started by being disconcerted, then alarmed, then horrified. But the picture of the poor dog-savaged one with the wheel for a leg brought on an unsuitable attack of levity and the sight of the unshelled eggs removed from the one with follicle stasis or whatever it’s called when they just sit there, a cluster of yolks with a single complete egg attached too, left me open-mouthed, especially when the vet said that, though her ovaries had been removed, reptiles were unusual beasts that could regrow almost anything, so she might lay eggs in the future. Oh, and that milk thistle is good for a sick liver, but the tincture you get from the chemist contains alcohol so you both heal the liver and give it cirrhosis, both at the same time. Then I chortled shamelessly.