Blog

Can there really be a New Normal?

As part of the Guardian’s A New Normal series they have a short online survey where you answer questions about your post lockdown attitudes towards flying, and travel generally, and to what extent lockdown may have impacted on those attitudes. I decided to fill it in, just because there was still coffee in the pot and I couldn’t be bothered to ...
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Arriving at the frontiers of feeling: my life as a reader

The Guardian Online has a ‘Bookmarks’ weekly newsletter to which I subscribe. Once every few weeks or so it runs an article called ‘Books that made me’ where they ask a well-known published writer a series of book-related questions, such as which books influenced them, or  made them laugh, or which ones they’re ashamed not to have read, and so ...
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Back to Nature… again (Part Two)

I’ve always been keen on the small. Maybe it’s because I’m not much over five foot myself, but I’ve always preferred small houses, small cars, small decorative items rather than grand installations. The miniature rather than the wall-sized painting. The pearl earring rather than dangling hoop. It’s the same with the natural world. Although I appreciate everything, and know everything ...
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Back to Nature… again (Part One)

My third-wave nature sensibility has both nothing and everything to do with the current state of social isolation under Covid-19. What seems like a thousand years ago, as a socially isolated only child - no siblings, few extended family members, and not allowed friends - I played out for hours on end in the woods, fields, and river banks around ...
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Just popping back a hundred million years…

It’s not often you get the chance to jump in the car, drive for fifteen minutes or so, step into an ordinary house in an ordinary street, and arrive 100 million years before even your most distant ancestors were the proverbial twinkles… The adventure began as Robert, guardian of the ancient treasure, sat me down at his suburban dining table, ...
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Birthday Treats

In my last blog post I said I was listening, and somebody or something has definitely spoken, and been heard! This week - my birthday week - I’ve had two of the most glorious days of my life, visiting two special places, experiencing the natural world in all its Spring vibrancy, and meeting some friendly people. The first of these ...
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The time is now…

In case you thought it was, climate change is no longer just one of those issues a few hippy folk drone on about. Even if you were not a climate change denier, you may have been unwilling, unable, or uniformed enough to realise the seriousness of the situation. Now, as Spring unfolds (a new Spring? a different Spring?), the UK ...
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The Curious Tale of the Performing Water Vole

I'm thrilled to report that three pieces of my nature writing are to be published in an anthology later this year, so I thought I would celebrate with one of those pieces here. And any excuse to post photos and words about water voles suits me! So here they are: As with many of the other native British species I’ve ...
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