Snails Step Out

Home made bug catcher

Lots of lovely rain last night meant lots of snails. The the excitement surrounding the pillbugs has worn off a little but snails are the new “It” creature around here. There’s nothing more thrilling for the junior entomologists than watching a snail devour a lettuce leaf – just as was enthusiastically theorised. So I thought they might enjoy watching a little of the BBC’s My Family and Other Animals (which I mentioned in September) and true enough, they watched with wonder, but then Amelia started getting scary ideas about having huge towering collections of cages full of wildlife in her new IKEA Expedit shelves. 

I really liked the movie – it’s charming with its quirky characters, deliciously decaying Greek villas, 1930s textiles and clothes and, of course, (as Alicia pointed out to me when I suggested it for her ultimate list of movies to watch for the interiors) there’s Matthew Goode.

So now Amelia is talking about hermit crabs, and the resurrection of the old fish tank as well as all the little creatures which scurry out from the undergrowth as I weed garden beds. What she’d really like (she keeps telling me) is a dog and a tortoise – just like the young Gerald Durrell – and that other great animal lover, Eloise.

Meanwhile, as the builders standing on top of the structure next door staple-gun with abandon and sing along to Bon Jovi’s Dead or Alive, I will continue to dream of swanning around on Corfu (pre-World War 2, particularly).

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21 Responses

  1. Erin says:

    When we used to live in California, and when my children were really little (they are still pretty little), we used to have snail races and watch their shiny trails grow long behind them. In the middle of the night, after one such Snail Race Extravaganza, my daughter shot straight up in her bed screaming bloody murder. When we asked her what was wrong she screamed, “Get them off me! Get them off me!” When I asked what, looking at her with utter terror and alarm, she replied, “The snails. They are all over my back!”Did I mention that she is prone to sleepwalking and talking? She went on a pencil gathering expedition just last week.

    We kept many snails as pets! Enjoy!

  2. Penlope says:

    Hi, I too love the moovie, the book, the characters (portuguese translated version)… you name it.Im introducing it to my 5years old girl, because shes so afraid of little bugs. I was glad to see that someone else loves it too.

  3. Paisley Jade says:

    My kids love snails too at the moment! My son even did a post about them on his blog! (

  4. Emma says:

    Our Ducky also appreciates when snails come out after rain.(Although I assume your children do not eat them like she does! :S)

  5. Muddlepud says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a snail in person. What a neat photo! And I can just picture a drawing of a little girl in her bedroom surrounded by stacks of cages full of critters, in an almost Dr. Seuss sort of way!

  6. Allison says:

    My Family and Other Animals is my enduring favourite book. Others come and go, according to my life stages, but that one remains.That image looks like it must be a good representation of the book, but I am very scared to see it in case I spoil the imagery I have in my head.By the way, your blog is a real treat. The first I ever read and always one of the first I select when faced with a never ending list on Bloglines.

  7. megan noel says:

    oh! i love that movie – and the books that inspired it! and the audio books of the books that inspired it! i have wanted to go to visit pre – WWII Corfu since I first read those books as a teen-ager 🙂

  8. Prue says:

    It might be time for you and Amelia to find a creek and catch some tadpoles too…

  9. Nichola says:

    Now i want to see the movie.

  10. Lori says:

    ah, jack will will be jealous – he has been hunting for his own “land snail” all summer! just too dry in my garden, i guess. ;^)

  11. Christina says:

    Oh Hell, the builders are playing Bon Jovi! You have to go over and ask them to turn down the radio, in my experience that lasts for about 3 hours tops, then the sound creeps back up, but three hours with out Bon Jovi is a good three hours*L*

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Very stylish bug-catcher! My kids like to play “snails-in-a-bucket” which means getting as many as you can, in a bucket. You could always try Philip Glass at full bottle vs the builders, but it oculd get ugly.

  13. susannah says:

    I’m especially keen to see the movie now!It’s all about the ‘pet’ bugs here too. Ultimately my little Eloise has also asked for her very own Weenie and Skipperdee (it doesn’t help that she thinks is an Eloise). Fortunately she seems content to pretend…for now….

    I like the suggestion of tadpoles though! LOVED tadpole catching and watching as a kid.

  14. Jodi says:

    My chookies love snails, big snails, little snails, slimey snails, sleeping snails. We love to watch them fight over them, then try to figure out how to get into them.

  15. cranky says:

    Girl, trust me – make sure you mention the time period for your Corfu dream as modern day Corfu is…overrun with Americans on gap years getting drunk and having sex on roads.If you want a modern day Greece sigh, try Crete = beeeeautiful!

    I am having a neighbour moment too – I just went out the back to ask if they could get their dog to stop barking (non-stop howling and barking for 15min whilst they stood less than 2 metres away chatting!!!) and got a mouthful. “We just got told off!” she sang out to her husband. “No – they’re not the OWNERS. They’re JUST TENNANTS!”

    Just tennants. I love living in Sydney. Not.

  16. Stacey says:

    I read My Family and Other Animals in college–I read a ton of books in college, but this is one of the few I remember! What a great story. I’m going to have to see this film.Glad the kids are having fun with the snails. Reminds me of the giant slugs we used to get in our garden. Fascinatingly icky!

  17. Cybele says:

    Loving your blog for a long time now! But this post in particular makes me very happy, and a little jealous. I read and re-read Gerald Durrell’s books and love them more every time. In fact my husband bought me this very DVD for Christmas 2 years ago but failed to notice that it was for British (and now I learn, Australian) DVD players only. I was so terribly disappointed that I asked someone to transfer it to something I could watch and then they lost it. But now that I read this post again I think there must be some way to 1) order it again 2) watch it on my American DVD player.

  18. paula says:

    buaaaa! i hate snails! you can put a little glass with beer al the level of the grass. they will be a lot into the glass!

  19. Amy says:

    Just had to mention that I love those sweet curls on Lily! I seem to recall Amelia’s hair was more punk rock, which was great too. 🙂

  20. Maddy says:

    As I’m feeling under the weather this could be the very movie I need to curl up on the couch and whie away the afternoon.

  21. rachellake says:

    I’m going to have to netflix this movie, I could use a trip back in time.I was on Corfu this year and it is lovely, once you get past the tourist traps. Henry Miller’s Colossus of Maroussi is another pre-War Greece dream that has inspired the last four summers that I’ve spent living in/exploring Greece.

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