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We’re all stressed and panicking over Covid-19. My Dad is self isolating because he is in his 70s and diabetic. My son has been sent home from work with a cough, so he’s stuck at home too. I feel guilty for being grateful neither of them lives with us.

There are so many small businesses out there, now struggling, or failing, because people are simply not buying. This is a hobby for me. I have a paid job, and my employer has said we can’t work from home, at the moment. I, and others, disagree with the decision, but if we want jobs then we have to go in.

But for other people these websites are their livelihood, their main income.

So, for so many reasons, I am taking the shop offline for now. Ebay sales will suspend once the last listing has ended. I’m just not prepared to be going to the local post office and putting others at risk. Of course, it’ll all come back once this goes away. And it WILL go away, in time. It’ll go away a lot faster if we can all just stay at home. Close the doors, batten down the hatches, look after each other from a distance, and stay as well as we can.

Use the time to get out in your garden. Deep clean the house. Binge watch stuff on netflix. Play board games. Have a virtual pub quiz with friends over skype or whatsapp. I’m heading outside to build a new raised bed for veg, move the compost, and generally tidy up out there. Then I’m settling in to rewatch old Silent Witness on BBC iplayer.

We can get through this.

If you are an online small business and you want a shout out on Twitter, just tag me on there and I’ll push your name out. Digital products and downloads for preference.

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Hedgehog rescue

For the past couple of years we’ve taken in a hedgehog over winter. UK Hedgehogs are in steep decline, and we need to do as much as we can to help them. So we work with the local Hedgehog rescue when we can.

Hedgehog rescue

Last summer was warm and wet, and autumn was the same, resulting in a larger than usual number of late litters for the hedgehogs. Through October and November we took in 5 tiny hoglets. All under 200g and far too small to survive winter without help.

They were already in serious trouble when we got them. Each time we assessed, removed ticks, treated for worms, kept them warm and fed. But sometimes that just isn’t enough, and sadly we lost 3 of the 5. One had so many ticks he was too weak for us to help. Another came in too late, he was suffering from serious hypothermia and died within a few hours. A third developed cage stress, which is horrid to see. We try our best, but these are wild animals, and they don’t appreciate being caged. He died too. Hedgehog rescue, any wildlife rescue, is often like this.

So, we were down to 2. Although a little tricky to maintain, we got them healthy and stable. We name them as they come in, and the two survivors were Fidget, a female, and Prickle, a boy.

Prickle was tricky. He’s been up and down through the whole time he’s been with us. He hates company, doesn’t like being cleaned, and he’s had some worrying health issues. But, weighing in at over 1kg now, he’s doing ok and we’re looking to release him in the next few weeks.

Fidget was an easy B&B – feed, water, keep clean. Until she suddenly developed cage stress, stopped eating, and started losing weight. We did everything we could, but she wouldn’t settle. Around 2 weeks ago we took the decision that if we released her early she’d have a slim chance outside. It was far too cold, and there’s not much food about, but if we kept her indoors she would certainly die within a few days.

She’s been living happily in my back garden ever since. We put food out every night for her, and we see her foraging. It was a huge risk, but after consultation with the local Hedgehog rescue, we decided it was worth it to give her a chance.

We made her a special house, and I’ll share how that was made, another time.

Hedgehogs are starting to come out in some places now and would really benefit from a shallow dish of fresh water, and a bit of food. Cat food is best, poultry flavour, not fish.

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New site – Welcome!

Making a new website is always fun. This is a brand new site, and I am still testing various things.

But, it should be fully functional and you are welcome to browse. The shop should be working, I’m just working on the behind the scenes stuff.

This is to test the social media links, for which I need a new post. So, if you’re seeing this on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, please let me know.