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Gerry Maguire Thompson is author of humorous and serious books which have sold over half a million copies worldwide in twenty languages.

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NEXT BOOK

Nature’s Year: Rewilding an Urban Garden

“I warmly recommend you read this book and let yourself be carried away by the beauty of the small, anecdotal stories about everything that comes to live in a small city garden.”

Magnus Sylvén, co-director, Global Rewilding Alliance

Book cover design

This is the illustrated story of the development of a successful wildlife habitat in a small urban garden and the transformative experiences this has brought to the author’s life, told over the changing seasons of a calendar year

Extracts

INTRODUCTION

This is the story of our wildlife garden in the city, told over nature’s calendar year. The garden was established some years ago and steadily becomes more and more wild. Every day brings new insights, surprises and drama, as we get to know the wild creatures ever more intimately and learn how nature works in all its miraculous intricacy and wonder. The journey brings a great deal of joy and comfort in these often challenging times.

From this I hope you may, if you wish, learn about how to create a rich wildlife haven of your own, and in so doing bring great benefits to yourself, your local wildlife, your urban habitat and even the planet. A good part of it is just getting out of nature’s way and letting her do her important work. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Book illustration

 

Jan 5th

The sparrows are out in force today, with fine weather after a day or two of rain. I never tire of watching sparrows in the garden. They’re a large and growing flock who seem to never leave the garden. All their needs seem to be met here: food, protection, nest-sites, safe roosting – and lots of opportunities to bicker at one another.

I get immense joy from this connexion with all the inhabitants of our little wildlife haven, and from the intimate insights into their lives. Most days there isn’t anything rare or exotic to look at; much of it may seem mundane or commonplace, but when you become immersed in it over a period you see all kinds of subtle stuff going on. I hope this will come across in these daily observations.

This natural richness shows that we must be doing something right in my role of custodian and maintainer of the garden. There’s a satisfying sense that we’re moving at least this little patch and its surroundings in the right direction; we’re playing some small part in the necessary effort to reverse humankind’s habit of ecological destruction.

Book illustration

 

Feb 6th

Looking out into the garden I see a sparrow-hawk crouching on the ground with a sparrow in its talons; it’s spreading out its wings out in masking posture to show it’s not about to share this meal with anyone. When it’s sure the sparrow is dead it flies off with it.  Sorry, sparrows, but predators need to make a living too. These sparrow-hawks are stunning birds that occupy the top spot in the local food chain, and their presence indicates a healthy eco-system; I know that with the ever growing numbers in this garden the sparrows can stand the loses and still increase.

 

 

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March 17th

One of my favourite plants is Lesser Celandine, the classic harbinger of spring, in full blossom now. It’s a member of  the buttercup family with vivid yellow glossy petals  and heart shaped leaves.

Wordsworth loved Lesser Celandine so much that he wrote an ode to it. The plant is also known as Pilewort – you can guess what that’s helpful for. Perhaps Wordsworth had special reason to be grateful to the plant.

 

 

Book illustration

 

 

April 6th

Late last night we took our dog out. In the garden she began to barking at something – it was a large hedgehog; she’d never seen one of these because they’re so very scarce. We watched the animal from a distance – excitedly. A hedgehog visiting your wildlife garden is something you endeavour to provide the right conditions for, but whether it happens is beyond your control, so this is special.

We brought the dog back indoors and stood watching the animal, spellbound; after a while it began to move. It stayed in the same spot, sniffing round, then found something and chomped on it. It wasn’t bothered by us; hedgehogs don’t have great eyesight. I noticed something small and white falling down in front of the hog; it found and ate it. The hedgehog had positioned itself underneath the mealworm feeder, filled during the day for the birds; every now and then a leftover worm would  manage to climb up the side and drop down to the ground. This hedgehog knew what it was doing.

The birds didn’t get any mealworms after that. Hedgehogs are just too special.

Book illustration

 

May 8th

Late yesterday evening we heard loud huffing, puffing and snorting in the garden, and saw that our big male hedgehog was on a date with a smaller hog, presumably female. As we watched we learned the correct answer to the age-old joke ‘How do hedgehogs make love? … the female can flatten down her prickles for the duration.

But how to tell the difference between male and female hedgehogs? The male has a penile sheath in the middle of his abdomen, looking rather like a belly-button, and the penis is typically retracted into this – unless he is lonely and (as the guide to hedgehogs puts it) ‘self-stimulating’. Did you know that male hedgehogs self-stimulate? And how do they do that? Carefully, one presumes.

Book illustration

 

June 1st

In the garden the breeding season continues apace and the wildlife is showing great vitality. The second wave of baby sparrows are now fat fledglings, fully feathered and flying well, and able to find their own food; but many still prefer to chase their mothers, demanding feeding and calling incessantly. These latter individuals  are all males and their mums are completely ignoring these demands. Perhaps in sparrow circles they think of it as man-fledging.

 

 

 

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July 7th

The male blackbird started singing at 4.10 this morning: it’s beautiful and uplifting. I know this bird is  probably only saying, “this is my territory so you’d better all piss off” but it’s doing it so beautifully; I never fail to feel joy listening to it, especially at  dawn and again at dusk. Who knows, perhaps the bird feels joy too: the joy of telling others to  f**k off? As indeed I do, sometimes.

Anthropomorphique, moi? Certainement.

 

 

 

book illustration

 

Aug 2nd

It’s interesting to see how little the garden and the wildlife have  been affected by the current heatwave. I’ve noticed over the years that this garden is naturally  resilient to extremes of weather. The woodland-like surrounding hedge provides shelter from wind and shade from sun, and I’ve never seen any plant showing signs of heat stress in any of the considerable heat events we’ve had over the years. And we’ve never watered. Likewise, the deep rich leaf mould seems to be able to absorb endless soaking from the weeks of torrential downpour at other times of year, without any flooding or water lying. It’s  testimony to how valuable a part natural ecosystems can play in handling increasing different extremes of climate; this garden is not bothered by any of it. The mature  nature garden – like the rest of nature when unspoiled – has a kind of self-adjusting stasis of near-perfection.

book illustration

 

September 17th

I love the commonplace species like sparrows and blackbirds to bits, but this wild urban garden throws up something a bit special once in a while. Today it was an Emperor Dragonfly, Anex Imperatur: Britain’s bulkiest and most stunningly beautiful dragonfly. It  spent time coasting round the garden in the morning sunlight, catching flying insects in the air around the flowering ivy. This magnificent creature is coloured apple green and sky blue with black markings, and is 70 millimetres in length. The sighting is particularly unexpected as we’re far from any of its usual larger scale watery habitats. Maybe it’s drawn here by the richness of flying prey, which it not only catches but also eats on the wing. A truly wonderful creature.

 

October 7th

The garden birds are fully feathered and less shy now after their late summer moult when they stayed in cover a lot of the time. On this sunny day they’re all out in the garden feeding at once, but in different ways.

The whole sparrow tribe are fighting together for access to the seed feeder. The wood pigeon is below, hoovering up everything they knock down to the ground. The female blackbird is turning over leaf mould to find worms, while her mate is pecking at the fermenting windfall apples for its daily tipple of fruit alcohol. The squirrels are foraging all round the garden and carrying stuff off to their cache for winter. The wrens forage for invertebrates in the bark of the elder tree, while a pair of bluetits are finding insects on other shrubs.

Book illustrationNovember 15th

Have been observing the ant colony in the garden. Ants have an array of extraordinary and highly effective ways of preventing and dealing with outbreaks of viral infections in their extremely close-knit social communities. They employ antibacterial tree resins in construction of their nests. They do social distancing as a matter of course, and  limit contact between different ant work-groups such as workers/ foragers/ nurses. When an ant is ill with an infectious condition it will stay away from the nest. If an individual shows sign of illness at home they will spray it with formic acid; if it cannot be saved it will be killed and disinfected. Perhaps humans might learn something from this approach.

 

 

Book illustrationDecember 21st

Winter solstice. It’s pouring with rain. I put the bird seed feeder in the porch so that the birds can source dry seed there. But now I see a woodmouse scurrying back and forth between the feeder and the woodpile where it lives, building up its larder for winter. I built the woodpile for hedgehogs but they haven’t occupied it; so now its being used in a different way, and meanwhile the hedgehogs have been attracted by other resources. It just goes to show that you can create wildlife opportunities, but you can’t tell who will take them up.

A big lesson for me through this challenging year, inspired by the examples I’ve seen all year among the wildlife in the garden, is the importance of adapting to changing circumstances. It’s all about living in the present and being flexible – as all wildlife critters must do their best to do.

extract ends

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You can read more of Gerry’s writings – and support the work – on his Patreon subscription web page:
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PREVIOUS BOOKS

Cats are from Venus, Dogs are from Mars

Cats are from Venus, Dogs are from Mars by Gerry Maguire Thompson

Gerry’s best-selling parody of love, romance and sexual relationship between men and women – 60,000 copies sold; twelve translated editions including Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech and Estonian. Illustrated by Madeliene Hardy

“The perfect antidote to books about relationship”

Read a sample extract here

Reviews

“I read the book to our cats and dogs. My wife and our rabbit listened too. It has helped us all!”
– Bernie Seigal, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles

“A hilarious parody”
– Hilary Boyd, The Express

“It really touched me”
– Shelley Love Bonkers, author of My Heart is a Big Fat Pink Balloon.

Astral Sex to Zen Teabags:
an illustrated new age Spoofapedia

Astral Sex to Zen Teabags, by Gerry Maguire Thompson

Findhorn Press; two editions and Spanish translation
illustrations by Anne Ward and the author

Reviews:

“Witty and informative”
– Time Out magazine

“Loved it… very funny, and  timely”
– Sue Townsend, author of the Adrian Mole books

“I laughed my head off. This is a wonderful look into the ‘New Age’ movement.
Tongue-in-Cheek, but cutting through to truths. This is a wonderful time to
raise endorphins with a good guffaw.”
– The Messenger

“I found reading it to be a good lesson in not taking the soul-searching path too serious. This is something hardcore seekers need to be reminded of now and again. A well-rounded life includes a generous portion of joy and laughter”
– About.com

“Once in a lifetime comes a book that will totally transform your life, help you to find your true direction and reveal to you the very mysteries of existence itself. This is not that book. However… it is the funniest, most brilliant tongue-in-cheek guide to New Age jargon yet published.” — OM Yoga

“In this funny compendium of definitions of New Age jargon, Thompson draws out plenty of our chuckles.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, spiritualityandpractice.com

The Weekend Shaman, and other dodgy characters

A humorous send-up of mind-body-spirit archetypes, illustrated by Anne Ward

The Weekend Shaman, by Gerry Maguire ThompsonThe Tantric Sex Freak, from The Weekend Shaman by Gerry Maguire Thompson

Reviews

“New-agers will be cringing at the uncanny accuracy of Thompson’s descriptions. The antidote to the sometimes venomous parodies is the affection with which the book has obviously been written. Have a laugh at this book – and at yourself”
– Fortean Times

“This is perfect for anyone who is sanctimonious, with a knitted pullover”
– Big Issue magazine

“Thank heavens for The Weekend Shaman! Far too many people seem to have left their sense of humour behind. And laughter, they say, is often the best medicine!
– Here’s Health magazine

Inspirational Gamechangers

Inspirational Gamechangers by Gerry Maguire Thompson et al
Inspirational Gamechangers by Gerry Maguire Thompson, Turkish edition

Interviews with such foremost global entrepreneurs as Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Muhamma Yunus, Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Wales, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, James Dyson and others. They all give advice on how the rest of us can get our businesses to do better.

photos of wellknown entrepreneurs interviewed for the book

Published by Financial Times Publishing.
Foreign editions include Chinese.

Reviews:

Featured on Forbes.com:
“It’s not a bad place to start if you want to be an inspirational game-changer”
– Andrew Cave, Forbes.com

“An excellent, inspirational book”
– Peter Desmond, Growth International

“A really interesting and unusually human book about business”
– Rita Clifton, Brandcap

“Packed full of practical advice, invaluable insights and tip tips, this unique book highlights the lessons we can all learn from the icons of modern business”
– The Business magazine

“Contains business inspiration and know-how from thirty influential global entrepreneurs, offering practical learning points for start-up businesses in any field”
– Start Your Business magazine

“Compelling insight into entrepreneurs. Thompson and Mellor have produced a well-crafted, tight and useful insight into the mindset of entrepreneurs. One of its key strengths is that the authors take a methodical approach to the task with the individual features on each subject ranged under headings such as critical challenge, impact and influence, and key learnings.”
– Frank Dillon, Irish Times

“Contains business inspiration and know-how from thirty influential global entrepreneurs, offering practical learning points for start-up businesses in any field”
– Start Your Business magazine, Sept 2015

“Packed full of practical advice, invaluable insights and tip tips, this unique book highlights the lessons we can all learn from the icons of modern business”
– The Business magazine, Oct 2015

“Ideal for busy executives who want to skim through the wide variety of approaches taken by their chosen few….the selection of
entrepreneurs is good and that makes the book worth reading”
– Scottish Business Insider Oct 2015

“A really interesting and well researched collection of case studies about remarkable people and their achievements…there is much in the book that bears careful consideration by aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone that wants to make a difference in their chosen field of endeavour”
– Krishna Waran, International Network of Transition Catalysts

“First hand and first class advice from the worlds top trailblazers, disruptors, value adders, community players and influencers…written in a well structured, easy to read format.”
– Clive Bonny, Strategic Management Partners

Meditation Made Easy

A simple guide to mindfulness meditation, published in a number of languages

Meditation Made Easy by Gerry Maguire Thompson

The Shiatsu Manual

The Shiatsu Manual has sold over 100,000 copies in 11 languages including German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch; Republished by Eddison Books as The Shiatsu Box

The Shiatsu Manual by Gerry Maguire ThompsonThe Shtiatsu Box set by Gerry Thompson

Other titles

Chinese Horoscopes by Gerry Maguire Thompson

The Celtic Oracle by Gerry Maguire Thompson

Gerry’s work, humorous and serious, has appeared in diverse publications, such as:

Wall Street Journal

Boston Globe

San Francisco Chronicle

BBC Radio Times

The Guardian

Architects Journal

The Bookseller

Resurgence magazine

FUTURE BOOKS

Great Post-it Notes from History….that nobody noticed

Great Post-it Notes in History is a humorous exploration of the question: What if the great historical figures we think we know so well used post-it notes – but these notes weren’t always noticed?

Humorous postit note from Brutus friend of Caesar

Here is an imagined selection of those post-its never spotted by those they were intended for; how different the world might be today if the intended recipients of these small but crucially important documents had paid a little more attention.

The  collection includes post-it notes left by such eminent historical figures as:

–          Adolf Hitler

–          Alexander the Great

–          Julius Caesar

–          Ludwig van Beethoven

–          King Louis 16th of France

–          Michaelangelo

–          St Paul the Apostle

–          Horatio Nelson

–          Karl Marx

–          Marilyn Monroe

–          Gustave Flaubert

–          Abraham Lincoln

–          Helen of Troy

–          Moses

–          Mahatma Ghandi

–          William Shakespeare

–          Joseph Stalin

–          Albert Einstein

–          W A Mozart

–          Leonardo da Vinci

–          Genghis Khan

–          Winston Churchill

–          Frederick Nietzshe

–          Sigmund Freud

–          Elvis Presley

–          Confucius

–          Anne Frank

–          Cleopatra

–          Jane Austen

–          Florence Nightingale

–          Emmaline Pankhurst

–          Audrey Hepburn

Cats are from Venus,
Dogs are from Mars
……the ultimate template for human relationship
volume 2

book illustration

Her: “I can’t believe you don’t even know why I’m annoyed!!!”

Read extract

 

You can get exclusive access to more of Gerry’s writings – and support the work – by subscribing on his Patreon page:


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You can access Gerry’s books and writings and
support his work by subscribing on his Patreon page: