It was with no small degree of trepidation that I poured my first glass of ‘Old Prickly’ – the Snuffly Hedge Grog from the Hobsons brewery of Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. Brewed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the ale was lighter in colour than I thought it would be. And there was a pleasing aroma as I took a deep breath.

I love a good beer, so why be worried?

Because I have been somewhere very similar before. Have a look at my piece on hedgehog whisky to see why … and you might understand why. In fact in the blog entry I was a little polite to the drink. On revisiting it I can attest it to be one of the foulest excrescences – rarely have I seen anyone finish even the the merest dampening of a glass without a grimace.

So what would the beer hold? On its arrival I was excited ….

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I was rummaging through a pile of unfiled paper on my desk and came across a copy of The Lady from April 2010. The magazine was in my mind already as they have just published a very pleasing review of The Beauty in the Beast – apparently I have ‘some fine stylistic touches too – a bumblebee is ‘furry, like an impossibly light mouse‘.’ and that the book should be ‘Read it in the garden, with the sun on your face and perhaps be spurred on to help protect Britain’s most vulnerable species.’

So as I flicked through the pages of horse riding poshness I was thrilled to be reminded that they had reviewed A Prickly Affair … and described it as a ‘quirky, entertaining, mad, informative and ultimately serious book…‘ which I have to say rather got it I reckon! Read More →

The Beauty in the Beast is now most definitely launched – but things keep happening to stop me getting back to work! I am about to head up to BBC Oxford to be a guest on the Jo Thoenes show … wonder if I will get away with any rude jokes this time?

Then, on Sunday, my first real outing with THE NEW TALK … I did a rehearsal at my launch event last Saturday which went really well and thanks to the creative and delicately framed feedback, I am happy to make some substantial changes. But Sunday, the 13th May, is the first festival, the Swindon Festival of Literature. I did a show on this day of the festival a few years ago – the Children and Families open day – and it was great fun. The venue, Lower Shaw Farm, is worth a visit, even without the presence of me and my stories of gentle eccentricities of my fellow wildlife lovers. Read More →

What a good combination! I really enjoy being on Fred Macaulay’s BBC Scotland Radio show – over the years I have been accorded the title of ‘eco-worrrier’ – and last time I was signed off as the ‘conscience of Macaulay and Co.’ So it was a delight to be let loose for 15 minutes on the show – you can still hear it here for another 6 days – go to 41:45 and then I begin. Somehow I let slip a rather rude joke … but kept talking so people did not have too much time to dwell upon it.

And then – today we have the wonderful British Dragonfly Society giving my book a nice plug on the front of their website. It is a shame that this beautiful animal did not win as it would have made for a brilliant tattoo!

What next? Well I have recorded interviews with BBC Hereford and Worcester and also with BBC Kent – I am a guest on BBC Oxford next week – and for any Oxford folk, I will be at the East Oxford Farmers Market on Saturday – selling The Beauty in the Beast to those who queue for bread and vegetables.

More to follow as it follows…. hope you are enjoying the new website.