a burgundy zine

Simon Holding’s Passion for Performing

By: Simon Holding

Cromwell (male guinea pig) and Aristotle (female guinea pig)

Source: Simon Holding | Not You Mate

Simon Holding of Not You Mate details his lifelong passion for performing Show & Tells with his Guinea Pigs.

Source: Simon Holding

I was incredibly surprised to receive an e-mail from the editor of The Burgundy Zine last week. She had seen my blog and wanted me to write for you – yes, YOU! Well, once I had a bit of a think I said, “Of course! That’d be great.”

Let’s get things out the way – my blog is notyoumate.wordpress.com I am married, have two young kids, I am probably twice your age, and I live in the south of England.

One of our guinea pigs is called Cromwell. He is a purebred Californian. That’s about the only American link I have – apart from going to Florida in 1992 on a family holiday, doing all the tourist stuff… We also saw the Triple Header of Guns & Roses / Metalica / Faith No More at the Florida Bowl. That was a rather amazing evening.

I don’t think we are very similar so far, do you? No, of course we are not. However, we probably share some things, such as the drive and commitment to do something amazing – call it a passion, if you will; something we truly enjoy.

My Passion

If you click onto my blog (nearly at 1,200 views for the month as of today), you will see picture after picture of our pet guinea pigs. As of today, we have 14, but this number is constantly changing.

We have pregnant female guinea pigs and many of their youngsters go to new homes. We have a very good checking process for this.

I also do (rather awesome) ‘Show & Tells’ with these fabulous pets of ours. I go into schools and nurseries determined to fill the room with smiles and laughter with our cute animals.

I enjoy the performing side massively – it really is a passion. It’s such fun.

I have 4 key points that I try and aim for with the School Shows (this is for an audience of 5 to 11-year-olds, mind you):

  • Amuse
  • Entertain
  • Inform
  • Educate

As you can work out, this gives me a lot of scope to throw guinea pig facts, figures, and ideas at these very interesting young children. You have to capture their attention within seconds – not minutes, it’s seconds.

A Bit of Context…

I got my first guinea pigs ’round the age of 7-years-old in 1978….so yes, I’m really old. Guinea pigs were apart of my life from then on through early 1995, when I decided that was it.

I had done a little bit of competitive showing, breeding, and supplying to pet shops. I had lots through those years, not just one or two – maybe 150+, if you add every single one born as well!

Then we add in wavy lines, through to 2018, when we got seven guinea pigs – all linked to me starting to perform little Show & Tells. It’s gone from there, and I do all sorts of shows now. See my blog for lots more details, and more importantly the pictures.

If I can leave you with one piece of advice, I encourage you to have a passion. Run with it, enjoy it, and have lots of fun!

“Youngsters” born in Jan 2019

Source: Simon Holding | Not You Mate

Bug’s Two Cents

Stumbling upon Simon’s blog was a delightful blast-from-the-past for me.

I’ve owned three guinea pigs throughout my life, although it’s been quite awhile since I last had a guinea pig (or any pet, for that matter). His content immediately brought back memories of my beloved, calico guinea pig Coco; my little brother’s more monochromatic guinea pig Oreo; and the runt of our litter, MooMoo.

To this day, I still love animals. I often find myself delving into the rabbit hole of baby animal compilations on YouTube, as I’m sure you have before.

Naturally, I was thrilled to stumble upon someone who is truly passionate about their pets – and even more thrilled to have to opportunity to feature their content on my site and in the next issue of The Burgundy Zine!

Thank you again, Simon. I look forward to keeping up with your furry friends on your blog.


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