The helpful folk at WordPress – who host this blog – have sent me a summary of the stats for last year. And for a beginner in this world, I am quite pleased … they appear below. But before I get there I want to reveal something that the stats-keepers have also been collecting. And that is the search terms that people put into Google et al – and then end up arriving at my site. I would be interested to know which you think are the most unlikely – and also the most impressive … here are some of my favourites (editorials in brackets):

  1. contrary between swallow and sparrow in ancient egypt (I am just copying what is there … if you can understand how this got to me, please share)
  2. where do hedgehogs originate
  3. the cute storybook with hedgehogs in the bottom of each page
  4. punk beijing china hedgehog
  5. gothic hedgehog tattoos
  6. natural looking dog paw prints tattoo with shading (dogs???)
  7. hedgehogs chewing on leather
  8. dead sparrow
  9. new book about opera (well that one should be obvious …)
  10. unsocialised lemur (how did this end up with me???)
  11. stephen fry (this was the second most popular search – and I am guessing there are some disappointed people out there … )
  12. osborne thieving bastard
  13. ben fogle tattoo (I am not sure if this was someone looking for a tattoo of Ben, of just to see if he had a tattoo … it had better be a hedgehog if he does! And how did it get used 23 times?)
  14. hedgehog jokes (nearly twice as many people searched for this as they did for hedgehog hugh … there might be a message in that)
  15. hedgehog taxidermy ebay (I guess that one is not too hard to explain – but interesting that I am not alone)
  16. slug slime feet
  17. hedgehog marijuana (have I even mentioned marijuana? And what is hedgehog marijuana anyway … I would be happy to experiment)
  18. parasitology jokes
  19. fat eating capitalist cats
  20. flagelist (help me on this please …)
  21. hedgehog hugh!! (I love that someone has searched for me with exclamation marks!)
  22. prodded poppies
  23. scared of 5 rhythms
  24. greenpeace hedgehogs
  25. how much is a hedgehog worth (they are priceless … and that is enough of this … here follow the year in stats)

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meterâ„¢ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,800 times in 2010. That’s about 24 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 45 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 64 posts. There were 41 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 93mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 12th with 314 views. The most popular post that day was countryfile and empathy.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for hedgehog jokes, stephen fry, hedgehog feet, hedgehog hugh, and hedgehog tattoos.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


countryfile and empathy April 2010


How much is a hedgehog worth? February 2010


Stuff about me … November 2008


hedgehog feet April 2010


Why the exotic pet trade is wrong and undercover investigations are so important January 2010


I was lucky enough to be sent to a pretty posh school – Marlborough College (I like to think of it as a Richard Strauss sort of school – the composer said “I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer!” … though coming from the person who magicked the Four Last Songs into the world, or made me weep during der Rosenkavelier, that is unimaginable self-deprecation … where was I, okay – so Marlborough, not up there with the likes of Eton, but left me confident and with a taste for marijuana and Wadworth’s 6X).

But I did not fit in at Marlborough. And it is fascinating finding out (relatively recently) about my biological family how, despite the best efforts of my parents to mould and coax me towards a conventional life, so much of my biological heritage has emerged in my character.

So much I did at the school was rattling the cage of the status quo – going on a trip to Greenham Common Peace Camp, for example (with the one liberal teacher there) was fairly indicative of the small car-full of dissent the school tolerated. Though I think I was scarred for life by the Amazon who came charging through the undergrowth in a fury as we-three timid boys were walking around the base and unwittingly trespassing on a women-only patch of mud.

Back to the vague hedgehog-related nature of this post – I have just received a copy of ‘The Marlburian’ – the magazine for Old Marlburians. Throughout my entire time at the school I do no think I ever graced the pages of success – but now, I have a lengthy review of A Prickly Affair in the pages of this august journal. And I feel strangely satisfied.

Better still that I do not know the person who wrote such a glowing review, “passionate yet gentle, authoritative but accessible, and deeply personal.”

In response to my verbal trickery in summing up my trip to China he says, “If Hugh Warwick ever tires of the role of naturalist, a glittering career awaits him in spin.”

And that is probably one of the things I gained most from my time at the school – an ability to talk my way out of trouble … so it was worth it in the end (even if this is not quite the equivalent of the Four Last Songs.)