"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>Herman’s lump of poo.

>Nothing much disgusts me these days – I put it down to having brought up 3 children. As a parent you end up dealing with vomit, wet underwear and quite a lot of poo in every shade you can imagine and every single consistency that exists. Parenting makes you a stronger person, I think, but that could be said for people in certain jobs who are childless, for example nurses, ambulance men and women and the police force. We all have a bond: vomit and shit.

I’m not too fond of either, but can deal with it because I have had to in the past and so carry on dealing with it. But Herman managed to tip me over the edge.

As I was force-feeding him his chicory one day, I noticed that after he’d lifted the back of his shell somewhat, he’d left a rather large lump of steaming shit. Proud that his bowels were obviously functioning well meaning that things were all good and healthy in that department, I carried on feeding him. Fortunately, tortoises can eat rather quickly and I do enjoy our ‘one-to-one’s’. Soon he’ll be calling me ‘mummy’.

After a while, Herman had had enough and turned around to trundle off to the depths of his welly. I was amused as suddenly the steaming turd that was still glistening under the lamp was in his way. Ready to see how he’d circumnavigate the black blob, I was absolutely repulsed when I witnessed my tortoise opening his beak and gulping back his own shit. One minute it was there, the next – it had entirely gone. Down Herman’s throat.

Believe me. I’ve not kissed him since.