I am currently writing another hedgehog book, while I wait for the revision for Beauty in the Beast to appear. This time I am doing it for love – I am pretty much paying the publishers for the pleasure. But I love the series it will be part of from Reaktion Books and really could not contend with anyone else writing it! It is far more about the iconography of the hedgehog and the way we relate to it – and not about my personal ramblings … though hopefully it will not be without humour. And today, after hitting a low in discovering that my ‘A Prickly Affair’ contains a mistake (I suggested that Nungunungu was Swahili for hedgehog when in fact it means porcupine – and the real word is Kalunguyeye) I found this amazing website – The Cursing Hedgehog – from Finland. I have written to the artist, Milla Paloniemi, for permission to use images in the book – these two in particular:


I am finding it fascinating how the hedgehog takes on so many different characters around the world – which is good news for the book!

I should not be doing this – I should be concentrating on Beauty in the Beast, but I just had to pop this up here. I am regularly asked about the noises that hedgehogs make, and I do have some tape somewhere of a male pet African Pygmy hedgehog singing like a rather excitable bird, but that is for another time. For now, I just wanted to share the link I found that revels in the wonderful snuffling that is tragically vanishing from our hedgerows…

To avoid all the conflicts I suffer, trying to get hedgehogs mentioned in every entry, I have decided to establish a new blog to cover the work I am doing on the NEW BOOK … so if you would like to see what else is going on – visit:

http://beabeautyst.wordpress.com/

Frustratingly someone is sitting on the ‘Beauty in the Beast’ wordpress url … does anyone know how to try and shift an unused url?

There should be loads of interesting snippets from the up and coming book, so subscribe and await glorious details of my time with beavers, bees, badgers, bats and other animals not beginning with ‘b’ …

Its been a long time since I have written here and there is good reason for this – after a little time spent pondering and prevaricating, Simon and Schuster have agreed to publish my next book – which meant I had to start writing it …. oh, and researching it … which is where I am now. And then there is the issue of the title too … I have had a few ideas that have failed the ‘google test’ … that is, when googled, other subjects come up that my distract potential readers from my good words …. So ‘Animal Passions’ failed … I should have thought that one out …. and so did my new word … turns out that other people had got there before me … ‘Faunacation’… the idea of being an animal – oh well, at least now I am happy with my latest (just got to see if the editor is) … ‘Beauty in the Beast’ … I am writing about my meetings with lots of people like me – people in the UK with passions for different animals – and everyone is trying to persuade me that, while they understand the attraction of hedgehogs – the solitary bee, sparrow, badger, water vole, bat, owl, robin, porpoise etc etc is far more interesting and far better at ‘selling’ a love of the natural world.

But this is not the purpose of the post … that is to announce the arrival of my first hedgehog – that will enable me to entertain all the more effectively. And also to indicate that (nearly) everyone’s favourite polymath has similar leanings to me … this might be the closest I get to Stephen Fry!