Earlier this month I enjoyed my first experience of speaking at the Hay Festival in Wales - and it was my first time visiting it too!
Well, I actually passed through Hay with my parents when I was about six and, completely bamboozled by the choice of books, left clutching a jigsaw of an astronaut - possibly the only visitor ever not to have parted with money at Hay in exchange for a mountain of books.
My talk was organised by the lovely folks at Flying Eye Books following the publication of the Amazing Animal Atlas and, after removing my wellies and saying hello to my nephews who very sweetly came to watch, I was up in front of four hundred brilliantly loud and knowledgeable kids talking about shipworms, aquatic moles, and where the very finest animals live on planet Earth.
Hay really is something else - I was so impressed with festival, how friendly the entire site feels and the lovely places you can stay in the area!
On top of this it was a lovely opportunity to say hello to my friend Ben Garrod, accidentally steal Richard Dawkins’ chair, and completely miss that I was signing next to Mary Beard… all whilst expounding the virtues of knowing at least a little bit about tenrecs.
I can’t wait to go back!