Village Life

“Look into my eyes – you’re going to take me for a walk”


A walk through an English Village on a Late Spring Evening…

“I reckon we could have our own show, or at least maybe our own proverb.”

High as a kite

A green patchwork of potential

A thistle, its niche found, watches over as the bell sounds

In or out? No need to decide.

And, as the sun calls it a day, there is some last-minute pollen to be collected

A bee’s work is almost done for the day

The sun-gold yellow of the laburnum glows as the laburnum-yellow of the sun fades into a warm night.

Have a Happy Summer* everyone!


* Other hemispheres/seasons are available.

Categories: bees, birds, Universe, wildlife | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Why I walked 21 miles for Wildlife

A week ago (28th April), I completed a 21 mile walk to raise money for Denmark Farm Conservation Centre. Surprisingly, I suffered few ill-effects and was able to drink beer and eat chocolate again some thirty seconds after finishing. Last Wednesday, I strolled around Denmark Farm and tried to capture a little of why I want others to support the place as I do….


Denmark Farm is a haven for wildlife whose habitats are being destroyed by Human activity…


… even common not-very-pretty wildlife…


…. as well as the classic stuff.


Preservation of these habitats needs some Human intervention, and that costs money, even the dull stuff like fencing


We also monitor wildlife as best we can to see the difference we are making


And I have a wonderful place to come and write when there’s time!

If you would like to support Denmark Farm, we have volunteer days, a wide variety of courses, and holiday accommodation (Eco-lodge, glamping, camping). And if none of that appeals, you can always bung us a couple of quid on our donations page. THANK YOU!


Categories: bees, birds, Sustainable Stuff, volunteering, wildlife, Writing | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Why I’m Walking for Wildlife


It’s a waste bin, it’s the Earth – go on, guess the symbolic meaning…

I promise this will be my almost probably last post about my sponsored walk! On 28th April 2018, I will walking from Aberaeron (in West Wales, UK) to Lampeter (er, still in West Wales, UK). I thought you should know why (apart from the obvious “because he’s totally bonkers” reason).

Wildlife worldwide is in crisis and it isn’t just cute furry animals, pretty flowers, or the other living things lucky enough to have come under Sir David Attenborough’s scrutiny. There is pretty much no order of life that hasn’t been negatively affected by human activities. One of the problems that humans appear to have is why the loss of an ape, a snail, a frog, a tiny water-borne flea or a mammoth elephant might matter.

When I say every living thing is connected to every other living thing, some of you will roll your eyes and zone out, probably thinking I am a lost hippy from the 60s. OK, feel free to do that. It doesn’t change the fact that every living thing is connected to every other living thing. So what you do to stuff affects everything else, and vice versa.

Places like Denmark Farm provide a sanctuary for wildlife, a place where nature happens, despite human activities. If it were to close, it wouldn’t be too long before another native habitat of a pile of British flora and fauna would disappear forever.

It seems no government ever really cares enough about the global environment to protect its native wildlife. It gives huge grants to companies to build infrastructure deemed “essential” whilst failing to see anything other than political and financial gain. Conservation Centres like Denmark Farm struggle on, feeding the rural economy and maintaining the precious ecosystem as best it can. Without that most unnatural of things, money, it simply cannot survive just like the short-tailed bumblebee (declared extinct in 2000).

Here’s the bottom line: destroy the flora and fauna and you cease to have a viable planet to live on. Unless there is some infrastructure company about to build us a new one (where are the Magratheans when you need them?*) then being able to travel from Leeds to London in an hour or so will be utterly, utterly pointless.

That is why I am Walking for Wildlife, for Denmark Farm and the Planet Earth.

Please give generously at:




  • Legendary planet builders, according to Douglas Adams.
Categories: bees, birds, insect, Sustainable Stuff, Universe, wildlife | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments


Mellow Yellow - taking a rest

Mellow Yellow – taking a rest

I am still attacking the freshly edited first draft of Kirkenes Blue so that means lots of time spent pouring over the document time spent taking photographs of the life in the Limery – purely for inspiration and to make the alpha brainwaves start, er, waving.

The other day we had a visitor in the form of a honey bee (as opposed to a bumbling variety) and most welcome it was too. These guys are under threat from left, right and centre and yet are a hugely important part of the ecosystem that keeps us all alive (if only we would let it!).

A quick wash and brush-up

A quick wash and brush-up

Here, the Limery’s own gigantic courgette plant provided respite for this bee from its busy day – in fact I suspect that the bee just stumbled upon it, the leaves are that big!

Is there no flying thing in the Limery that isn't hairy??

Is there no flying thing in the Limery that isn’t hairy??

And what is any Curcurbita without a bee?

My runabout, shown next to the courgette plant for scale

My runabout, shown next to the courgette plant for scale

A curcur-ita. Obviously.


Categories: bees, gardening, General silliness, Writing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Actual Bum of the Flightle Bee

View of a Bee Hind

View of a Bee Hind

When technology works, it can be really fun (also when it breaks down, that can be really fun too because you can take it apart). Three or so years ago, I bought a tablet computer on which to “do my writing”. The idea was simple (like me) – a nice portable device on which I could write using a stylus-type pen, a device I could train to ‘read’ my handwriting so that I could then convert my scribbling into digital form, ready for the creation of the next novel.

It didn’t work that way. The device I purchased, whilst being OK and having a detachable keyboard, didn’t have reliable handwriting recognition software for it (it had some, but no-one who used it thought it worth the money). So I used it, primarily, for games. Quite crummy games.

Last year, when I went back to Reading for a contract, I bought myself a new camera, a Ricoh WG30, which has wi-fi on it. Great I thought, I can transfer pictures easily to my laptop PC. Only that didn’t really work because Ricoh neglected to design the thing to be sensible (I’d put some technobabble in here to explain, but you’re probably already wondering what the hell this has to do with bees, so I won’t).

The other thing that the camera could do (allegedly) was be remotely controlled from your internet browser. Obviously, this didn’t mean the one actually already loaded on your tablet, but hey, that’s technology for you. I found a browser that DID work and now – well, now you see the point of this mini-rant.

She's got legs... and she knows how to use them

She’s got legs… and she knows how to use them

I have been able to set up the camera a centimetre (‘really close’ in proper distance units) from the flowering leek plants in the garden and then sit in the Limery with a cup of tea watching patiently. These pictures are my very first attempt (there are about a hundred others, all out of focus, with no bees or discernible image).

It's soooo furry!

It’s soooo furry!

The detail produced from such a small camera is astonishing. I was really surprised when I enlarged these pictures and could see the pollen and the hairs on the bees’ legs, and their ‘fur’ in general.

I also set it up to monitor the back of the garden bench as the birds like sitting there as they wait their turn at the feeders. Clearly this sparrow thought it would be funny to moon the camera. It was right.

A Sparrow gets in on the act

A Sparrow gets in on the act


Categories: bees, birds, camera, gardening | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

Create a free website or blog at