Thursday, 17 October 2013

surveys - what, how, why

So before we meet all the amazing Amazon animals, I think it would be helpful for me to explain the whats, hows and whys of the survey work we were doing. You will find these under chapter 3 of the Amazon Adventures.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Writing again

Sorry for the delay in the next Amazon episode. I have added a chapter 2 button continuing the story from leaving Iquitos. Enjoy!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Back again!

As my shed is now finished I have somewhere to settle down and begin writing again so I have made a start on trying to share the amazing time I had helping with scientific research in the Amazon flooded forest. You can find the first episode under the Amazon button. Rather than wait until I have written it all, which could take some time, I have decided to post a little at a time, as it is written. Happy reading.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Off on adventures once again

This will be the last blog for a few weeks as we are off adventuring again.
For those of you who enjoyed the story about Lammie and Algie, I have written a second story about their adventures which you will find under the Norway button. For those of you who haven't read the first story, it is also under the Norway button.

This story came about when I found a small broken branch of a tree, with the bark still attached, but with a deep jade green coloured centre. Alongside this on the path was a large area of reindeer hair, as if an animal had been shorn where it lay. I decided to keep the same characters as the first story. The Tengmalm owl came into the story as when we were in the grass roofed hotel, I heard a strange owl calling and by referring to the book, decided it could only be a Tengmalm. We then learnt that there was a Tengmalm living in a nest box which the hotel owner took Paul to see. Willowherb flowers grew everywhere but it was interesting to find clumps of a very pale pink variety, which were woven into the story.

Our adventures this time take us into one of the Earth’s greatest wild places, deep into the Amazonian rainforests of Peru. We will be based on the Ayapua, a restored and remodelled riverboat from the Rubber Boom era, working with a team of skilled Peruvian biologists to collect information about the wildlife populations in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, along the Samiria River, a major Amazon tributary. The research is helping to conserve the Amazon Basin's pink dolphins, giant river otters, monkeys, turtles, fishes, macaws and more.
From a motorized canoe, we will be undertaking tasks like conducting surveys of dolphins, fish, and river turtles. We will also count macaws and conduct land surveys of peccaries, tapirs, deer, monkeys, and game birds. Night time will see us searching for caimans with a spotlight. We will spend time meeting and talking to the local people about their fishing, hunting, and conservation efforts.
I’m not looking forward to the heat and humidity, I’ve experienced that before when I lived in Fiji and found it very difficult, but this promises to be the experience of a lifetime.

Watch this space . . . . . . See you when we get back!

Friday, 9 August 2013


I’ve started experimenting writing fiction stories based on travel experiences I’ve had and observations I have made. ‘Bailey’, which can be found under the fiction button, is based on experiences in Vanuatu, the Yukon and the River Orwell near Ipswich. 

Henry is based on a person I noticed when I visited a pub. His air of self-absorption seemed beautifully mirrored by the gathering gloom over the river so I put the two together. Most of the interesting characters there have a dog. Henry didn’t so I decided to give him one. Who was he, why was he melancholy? I transferred the fire he was sitting by to his own home. The log on the grate brought to mind a visit to a volcano. I was going to incorporate personal memories so tried to incorporate Vanuatu. I struggled to find a story line but then Maria appeared. She has remained very much a mystery ghost figure so I described the boat as ghostly to reflect her character. I decided to use flashbacks to tell the story making the actual time span of the writing little more than half an hour, the action starting very much towards the end of the story.
Henry’s trip to the wilderness is based on a personal journey. I read about Sheslay Mike before I went to the Yukon and we stumbled across the shack with his initials in by accident. As Sheslay Mike had gradually declined into paranoia I felt this could really happen. For more information for anyone interested in learning more about the Shelsay Mike story see

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Hi everyone

My last story from Nicaragua was maybe a little too scientific for some so this time I have chosen to offer a children's story. As Nicaragua has a hot climate, I have decided to go for  Arctic Norway this time. My story is about Lammie, an arctic lemming and can be found under the Norway button. I will be offering very different story formats and it would be helpful to know which formats people like so please do comment.