March 3, 2021

What was going on in the garden a year ago this week? March 1st  2020 Spring is well under way and warm weather predicted for much of the month. The sparrows are in their mating colours. The plumage of the house sparrow is mostly shades of grey brown,  giving them good camouflage as a prime prey

February 25, 2021

Winter is passing; how was it for the garden wildlife? Winter is all about survival for resident and visiting garden species; reproduction is on the back burner – but not for long. It’s all about finding enough to eat and trying not to get eaten. It’s been a somewhat mild and wet winter here on

February 22, 2021

recording of a nightingale singing, recorded by the author:   Why does birdsong sound so beautiful to us? Everyone loves to listen to birdsong, but have you ever wondered why? To other birds, birdsong doesn’t sound beautiful – it’s full of either self-advertisement – “Look at me, I would be a fantastic mate for you”

January 5, 2021

This is how it began. Every Tuesday morning, I travel to the delightful Sussex village of Ditchling for yoga class; I’m the only man among thirty delightful Ditchling ladies. At the end of class, another delightful group of Ditchling ladies takes over the space for a choir rehearsal. As part of this activity they make

December 31, 2020

How to Create an Amazing Urban Wildlife Garden – what we’ve learned in 15 years Gerry Thompson In 2002 we moved our family home from Brighton UK to a nearby town. The reason? – we didn’t have a garden. Our new home had two gardens, neither very large. The rear would be the domain of

September 25, 2020

I am the world’s greatest linguistic pedant. That’s why I do appreciate this wonderful cartoon by Horacek: For examples of my own linguistic pedantry, see the following link: annoying things people say  

August 1, 2020

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become

July 25, 2020

Do you remember when New-Agey stuff was all the rage?  I remember it all right. I had the time of my life – but it was weird. I happened to be in California during those times – an excellent karmic choice, as it turned out; wild and wacky and wonderful. I was on a big

The Ballad of Connaught Avenue In Shoreham town there is a road It’s great to be a member of Where friendship dwells in each abode In Connaught Ave there’s so much love This lockdown thing has brought much grief And things there are no stockpiles of But human contact brings relief For Connaught Ave has

March 26, 2020

Annoying things people say…all the time I’m a linguistic specialist; my specialism is identifying how wrongly people express themselves noticing when people do things wrong, and getting annoyed at it. I am very good at my job. Why can’t people simply use language correctly?

July 1, 2019

Gerry runs a workshop for Hatchery Writers in Brighton. In this practical session explains how humour works and how to be funny. Then he sets the writers exercises to do. Finally, we hear some of the results they produced in the course of the two hour session….

January 21, 2019

I’d like to tell you a story about my friend Jemima Postlethwaite – a story of house purchase, feng shui and amazing miracles. I swear, every word is totally incredibly true.

December 7, 2018

Okay, here’s why it all goes wrong…. Society offers us a fairy-tale mythology about romantic relationship, and most of us buy into it. It’s surprising how deeply rooted yet this mythology can be in many of us – even though we might not admit it. Here are the basic points: