We got one of those Butterfly Garden sets where you buy a butterfly netted enclosure, send the included voucher off to the company and within days you receive a pot of five tiny caterpillars. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. We've done the butterfly project before, it's sweet, but it's not life affirming.
This time we watched those teeny creepy crawlies transform into ....well, hairy beasts really. They got huge. After a good few days they turn into chrysalides and then it got boring for a few days.
But then, the magic happened and a new relationship formed between me and one of the butterflies. This was my Weird Moment. Gradually each one shed its skin and transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
All were perfect except Paul. Paul had a damaged wing. I called him Paul after Paul McCartney, who was in Wings. (Naff aren't I?!)
Now this disabled butterfly and his Painted Lady siblings were soon freed into our warm sunny garden.
Four of them took off happily, after fluttering around my children and gently landing on their faces. All except Paul.
His disability meant he couldn't fly far.
He stayed put on my hydrangea for a full hour. I helped him on his way again but he didn't get far. Eventually I realised he wasn't going to survive for long in our garden, so I decided to bring him into our home and he became a house butterfly. He joined in with most things:
I became rather attached to him.
But I think I realised I was slightly losing the plot when Paul joined me and my friends for lunch one day and then sat on my finger and watched old Ab Fab re-runs one Friday night.
There I was, glass of wine in one hand, Paul on the other. He was my actual pet. One that didn't have fur to trigger my asthma. Didn't make a mess, noise or bite. I didn't even see him poo. He was beautiful, I saved his life, we had a blast.
Here we are ACTUALLY watching Ab Fab...
The husband thought I was a loony. But to be fair, Paul was probably just making him jealous.
Sadly Paul died a week later. Ants got to him after I tucked him up in bed in his netted enclosure and put him under shelter in the garden one balmy night.
I raced down the next morning (like the boy in The Snowman when he discovered his icy friend has melted) to feed Paul his daily nectar, and............
It wasn't so much Walking in the Air. Poor thing wasn't even Flying in the Air. I now hate ants. HATE them, I tell thee.
But Paul, if you are reading this, you were loved. Even if the conversation wasn't all that great. I guess sometimes looks ARE everything.