Through the Brain Barrier

            During a week in June, my approach to birds changed radically. For years my interest in birdlife had been limited to garden visitors such as robins, wrens, chaffinches and blue tits. Rarely had I bothered about those further afield. Indeed, during walks in the countryside it is ‘disinterest’ that…

How Rosie Won Me Over

This story is about Rosie, who, for seven weeks, came to stay. Several months ago Ollie, our youngest son, decided he wanted a dog. Through emails and photos he was offered, and fell for, Rosie, a tiny Lurcher puppy, but there were conditions - he would have to collect her almost immediately. Here was a…

One Man and his Dog

  This story tells of an episode that occurred in a tiny village in Brittany. It is here, in Tréguennec, that we now spend much of the year and where we witnessed a series of events that brought feelings of pride and shame in equal measure. Although the episode is now over, thoughts about it…

Blackbirds with Influence

This is the story of four blackbirds who share our lives in Richmond. One was the source of conflict; two helped resolve the difference; the fourth was a present given to mark the resolution. The conflict, which although important to me may well appear to others as trivial, centred around a full-sized painting of a…

Mr Fox takes a Break

Unlike Rome, which plays host to wolves, or the suburbs of Berlin, where the intruders are wild boar, my patch in south-west London boasts an urban fox. With his lush orange coat speckled with white and grey, George - or should it be Vivienne - is impressive and, in his demeanour, takes the description of…