Friday 7 August 2015

My Family and Other Animals

When I was around ten years old I got to the age where I would go and stay the night at friends' houses. This was when I discovered that I didn't like being away from home overnight. I didn't really overcome this fear until I went on the an exchange programme when I was fifteen (and even then I took one of my mum's cardigans to wear at bedtime!).

My constant companion, whenever I went away overnight, was Gerald Durrell's "My Family and Other Animals". The copy below isn't that copy, that was a Penguin orange and cream version, I think it is still at my Mum's house being held together by cellotape.

I read this book so many times that Gerry, Larry, Leslie, Margo, Mother, Spiro and the animals and birds were an extended family to me that I could fall asleep accompanied by in strange beds.

A family friend who spent a lot of time in Jersey used to give my brother and I membership to the children's club attached to Gerald Durrell's zoo on the island. Occasional magazines which had a pen-friend page gave me an early taste of making friends in other countries; I had pen-friends in France, Spain and Turkey. When I was about 16 we visited Jersey and went to the zoo, to see our adopted Canada Goose (amongst other birds and animals).

Reading this book so many times helped to develop my love of animals, both my pets and the wildlife in our garden and visiting wildlife reserves, zoos and more.

My Family and Other Animals 

There will be a series of posts on the theme of "...other animals" introducing the animals and wildlife in my life.