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I don’t know if I’ve bored you with the tale of Tonka the special needs, one eyed, roaming tortoise, but in brief he turned up on our lawn last August and we had to learn a lot about tortoises overnight. Take it from me that we really do know a lot and have had almost constant contact with The Tortoise Trust, which is run from Fulham, a handy place to keep tortoises.

Anyway at first I loved Tonka and cared for him with every scrap of my being, collecting clover and dandelion, bathing him, making a little hut for him and then a huge box to live in over winter (too stressed to hibernate), buying him a heat lamp blah blah. I loved him and Sarah wanted to get rid of him.

Now, I care for him with every scrap of my being collecting clover and dandelion although no clover since it’s winter, bathing him, moving his little hut up and down stairs and bedtime and morning, turning on his lamp, lighting his gas fire blah blah. Sarah loves him and I want to get rid of him. It’s not that I hate him. It’s just that he costs £100 a month to keep and we don’t have an entire room because his vast double coffin shaped box is in it. You have to be really passionate about tortoises to keep one, and I’m not. Neither am I  interested in building him the enormous, railway sleeper walled enclosure that he will need come spring time. I have pointed out that Sarah can’t even lift a railways sleeper so guess who gets to build it anyway?

I have been running a continuous briefing campaign against Tonka for some time but I can’t detect a crack in Sarah’s determination that we keep him and I do all the work.

It is also snowing again, and we really have had enough of this. It’s all very well spotting the first green shoots of an emergent new year, but then it dumps ice and snow all over them, and we’re all back in the gloom and depression of cold and dark.

It has given all the really stupid climate change deniers an excuse to say ‘nyah nyah, where’s the global warming then?’ which is appalling given that they’ve clearly never read the science.

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