Ferg and his friends were a great group to meet and host, and having met them almost on a daily basis, I would have been more than happy to supply them with sharp knives had they asked me in one of our encounters. Admittedly, it is not the first time that our large groups mix cutlery and plates from one apartment to another, or even use these in the barbeque area where these then find their 'new' home, away from their originally intended place and use.
As for the turtle pond, I will have to agree with Ferg, but only partially. the part of the pond where the turtles are located was in actual fact part of the side garden. As the time we only had 2 turtles which enjoyed the much larger koi fish pond. Friends of ours, who were also breeding turtles as pets, brought 2 over to our house as these had overgrown their home in the flat they were staying in. The story followed again by other friends bringing other turtles over, but when we saw that these were now 'attacking' the koi fish and disturbing their tranquility. It was then decided to remove part of the garden and to create a small turtle pond for the 6 turtles that we had. The rest is history because more friends of friends heard about us, and what was once a craze to keep turtles, now became a burden on these people.
There is no sanctuary on the island to keep such animals in their care, and instead of these having been abandoned by their previous owners and left to die, we had decided to 'invest' in creating a pond for these little creatures. The pond is cleaned every week and fresh water is replenished. These are fed daily and we recently also had a vet looking after one of these for a week in his care at his clinic.
What Ferg may have failed to notice is the fact that the pond has a ramp from water level to a platform where these can sunbathe; at the same time, this ramp also allows access to the side garden of approximately 15 square metres where these can roam about at their leisure.
Despite what one may deem as limitations, the turtles are very well kept. It was never our wish to go to the extra expense of creating a pond for these, other than the running costs for keeping and taking care of them, but because we are animal lovers, and also because there is no other place where these can be kept, we decided to go the extra mile.
We have, since about a couple of years ago, refused to take any more turtles, and somehow we feel sure their fate is less fortunate than the ones we keep.
I am sure that Ferg will look at the whole issue differently after having read our reply and recognize that we are very sensitive to the way we keep and take care of our pets (incidentally we also own and take care of a large (but loving) English Mastiff called Ted, a Persian cat called Gucci, a Bengal cat called Phoebe, koi fish, the turtles, and a couple of stray cats that come to visit us during feeding times).
Once again, I extend my best of wishes to Ferg.