What a surprising title … but this is less to do with hedgehogs and more to do with Hedgehog II GTX … as in one of the most inappropriately named items of footwear I have ever come across. I wrote about this in my book – A Prickly Affair – and was reminded when I went by a shop window in town today and saw this:

Apart from the peculiar marriage of hedgehogs and off-road trail-running shoe – what really annoyed me was that no one at The North Face would answer my simple question of WHY … why choose that name. Oh – and my subtle hint that I would look just great in them seemed not to have been noticed by their marketing department … which is good, because I tried them on and they are made for people with pencil feet – thin thin thin – I am blessed with modified spades on the end of my legs – square – a bit like me really.

Unrelated to shoes – but the RSPB put out a press release which quotes me and it was fascinating to see how appalling the journalism in even some of the best written papers can be. For example, The Daily Telegraph manages to muddle rather key facts: “Hugh Warwick, a hedgehog expert at the RSPB, said intensive farming is forcing hedgehogs from the town into the country.” So, apart from the fact that I am not at the RSPB, I am intrigued as to how intensive farming might be forcing hedgehogs out of towns!

Any more strange hedgehog stuff out there? Please let me know. Thanks.

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!