Its been a long time since I have written here and there is good reason for this – after a little time spent pondering and prevaricating, Simon and Schuster have agreed to publish my next book – which meant I had to start writing it …. oh, and researching it … which is where I am now. And then there is the issue of the title too … I have had a few ideas that have failed the ‘google test’ … that is, when googled, other subjects come up that my distract potential readers from my good words …. So ‘Animal Passions’ failed … I should have thought that one out …. and so did my new word … turns out that other people had got there before me … ‘Faunacation’… the idea of being an animal – oh well, at least now I am happy with my latest (just got to see if the editor is) … ‘Beauty in the Beast’ … I am writing about my meetings with lots of people like me – people in the UK with passions for different animals – and everyone is trying to persuade me that, while they understand the attraction of hedgehogs – the solitary bee, sparrow, badger, water vole, bat, owl, robin, porpoise etc etc is far more interesting and far better at ‘selling’ a love of the natural world.

But this is not the purpose of the post … that is to announce the arrival of my first hedgehog – that will enable me to entertain all the more effectively. And also to indicate that (nearly) everyone’s favourite polymath has similar leanings to me … this might be the closest I get to Stephen Fry!