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16 October 2014

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Living with Bugman

By Jenny Kidd
June 2002, Cardiff
A digital story from Capture Wales

Enthralling and appalling?

Jenny Kidd tells us what growing up with an entomologist in her family was really like.

Sound - flying bees

"My father has never ceased to amaze me. When I was small I found the way he chose to earn a living both enthralling and appalling.

In my childhood innocence I knew only that he was only a doctor of insects... a job that involved spending his days putting flies legs in plastercasts and performing other such commendable acts of kindness. It was not until I was older that I learnt that there was in fact a name for what he was - an Entomologist.

I was eternally horrified by the way my father embroiled us in his latest experiments... always neglecting to tell us what he was up to.

As a child I never knew what to expect when opening doors. The fridge door concealed unexpected pots of 'aphids'... and the garage was often home to buckets of riving maggots.

Once, I even opened my bedroom door to be greeted by a swarm of wasps frantically avoiding my father's latest invention - a sticky substance that coated my walls.

Throughout these traumatic times, my mother maintained the patience of a saint. Gradually his passion crept into his three little angels.

We too devoted our time to the plight of animals worldwide... with limited success. I remember spending an exhausting day rescuing frogs from the water and putting them in the sun to dry. A practice that unfortunately lead to certain death.

A similar experience was had the day we saved more than a hundred daddy longlegs from their natural habitat... the air.

Horrified as we were by the nature of our father's passion, it appears we wanted to be just like him. His unswerving enthusiasm as well as his eccentricities have always completely mesmerised me... and I wouldn't change a thing about him."

Jenny Kidd

How would you describe your story?
My story is a wee bit silly. It takes a look at the way in which myself and my two sisters viewed my father's job when we were little. What on earth does the word entomologist mean to three tubby toddlers?

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
I chose to tell this story because when I think of my childhood, the memories included are some of the first - and scariest - that come to my mind. My father has had a phenomenal impact on me, and the course my life has taken, and I wanted to let him know that. Although, as yet, I have been too shy to show it to him!

What was the experience like?
The whole experience was absolutely fantastic. I think we all learnt a lot about ourselves, as well as how to use new and exciting software. The support from the team was invaluable, we could not have done it without them!

Your comments

"Dear Jenny It's nice, in a word." Alim Al Razi, Bangladesh.

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