Meades Family
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This site last updated:19 July 2015.
Welcome to the Meades family homepage. We are Rob in one house, Alice in another house, Hazel (aged 18) and Leo (aged 15) in both houses. We live in Saffron Walden, which is just south of Cambridge in the UK.  We're interested in reading science fiction, watching films (from Scooby Doo to Pi), keeping marine fish, keeping lizards, trapping moths, writing stories, playing with toy cars, gardening, model railways, autonomous robots and drinking beer. Details of the bits and bobs on this website are given below.  This site can be quite picture-rich and includes streamed videos so those with dial-up links please be aware that it may be slow (sorry).  This site also includes in-line videos so, if you are using Internet Explorer, make sure that in Tools->Options->Security->Custom Level, the ActiveX controls and plug-ins section, Display video and animation on a webpage that does not use external media player is set to Enable.  

Below, during the summer months you will find moth stuff, and you'll also find a new project on astrophotography along with the slightly older project on robot building.  The highlights follow...

We began lizard keeping with Norman, a bearded dragon, who sadly passed away on Friday 13th February 2009.  We would heartily recommend bearded dragons to anyone who desires an interesting yet non-allergy-generating pet that is suitable for children.  And you simply have to watch the arm-waving and head-bobbing videos on to appreciate quite how bizarre these pets can get.  Norman himself bobbed, though he never waved.

We have since kept several Panther chameleons, most recently Ramone, an Ambilobe Panther chameleon from Madagascar, born on 16 June 2009.

Ramone the Panther Chameleon from Ambilone Norman the bearded
Moth trap at
                the bottom of our garden at full moon Rob has wanted to build a moth trap since he was ten and a few years ago took the opportunity to do this before he reached the age of forty. As a small boy interested in entomology this would not be surprising, but as an adult he was amazed at how exciting it turned out to be. You need to build a trap (see link below) and put it out on a nice warm summers evening.

When you get up in the morning in midsummer you will  find up to a few hundred moths sleeping inside it. And not just the little ones you find attacking your lamp shades indoors - you are likely to capture large hawk-moths. If you trap regularly over the period of the summer you will notice the rise and fall in populations of moth species from week to week.  Fascinating.

Poplar Hawk MothPoplar
                  Hawk Moth, face-on close-up  

We've kept a marine fish tank since February 2002 and have designed a new 260 litre tank with sump, pump and skimmer in the built-in garage next door.  More details on the system below.  Some of our past fish population are pictured here (we also have increasing varieties of corals).

Regal Tang Cleaner
                ShrimpPurple Firefish Pyjama
                Wrasse  Yelloweye Tang 

Site Contents

  1. Moth stuff - how to trap moths and the results of our moth trapping, updated 5 July 2015. 
  2. Fish stuff - our marine aquarium and its progress, updated 18 March 2013.
  3. Lizard stuff - progress on keeping lizards, updated 19 May 2011.
  4. Robot stuff - progress on the design and build of RoboOne, an autonomous robot, updated 23 April 2015.
  5. Astro - progress on astrophotography, updated 28 June 2015.
  6. Locust breeding stuff - progress on our attempt to breed locusts, updated 26 January 2009.
  7. Other photos from our garden - photos of interesting stuff we've come across, updated 5 July 2015.
  8. Hazel's gallery - updated 21 December 2014.
  9. Leo's gallery - updated 16 June 2013.
  10. Unhealthy obsessions - some unhealthy things to make and do, updated 30 June 2013.
  11. N scale railway - updated 7 May 2007.
  12. Formicarium - updated 2 December 2007.
  13. Our life stories in 100 words each - updated 19 May 2015.
  14. Recipes for the things we often cook - updated 19 July 2015.
  15. Family photos & history - requires login (not working at the moment as a power failure took out the server).
  16. Rob's dad's songs - some old recordings of Rob's dad singing some even older songs.
  17. Beer and cider recipes - Rob has lapsed, so this was last updated 3 March 1998.
  18. Drabbles - if you don't know what one is, click to find out.
  19. Piper J3 Cub model plane - Rob only flew the model twice back in 1996, but it was immense fun to build so he's kept the pictures here.

Worthy Links

  1. Saffron Screen - Saffron Walden's cinema.
  2. Saffron Walden County High School - Hazel and Leo's school, and also home of:
  3. Saffron Hall - a brand new state of the art concert hall in Saffron Walden.
  4. Saffron Walden - local council website.
  5. - loads of pictures of moths at rest, essential resource for identification.
  6. - not just birds, but lots of other stuff including forums where you may get help identifying moths.
  7. - a great place to identify the eggs, larvae and pupae of British butterflies and moths.
  8. British Butterfly Conservation Society - information on butterflies and moths in the UK.
  9. - monitoring moths in the UK.
  10. Essex Field Club - they also do moths.
  11. - the A to Z of bearded dragons, including the famous arm-waving and head-bobbing videos.

Notify Us

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Mail to: Rob, Alice or all the Meades family in Saffron Walden (Google Earth view here), Essex, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1799 521124

Copyright notice:  the contents of this site are copyright © The Meades Family 2013.  If you'd like to use anything here, you must ask us first.  We're not likely to object, but we would like to be asked. Thanks.