Everyone loves to listen to birdsong, but have you ever wondered why that should be so? And why some birds’ songs are more mesmerising than others’?

To other birds, birdsong absolutely doesn’t sound beautiful — it’s full of either self-advertisement — “Look at me, I would be a fantastic mate for you!” or venom and vitriol and swearing — “Keep away, this is my fucking (literally) territory !”

For a long time I found myself wondering why birdsong should sound to great to us. The question I always want to ask about these matters is, what’s the evolutionary benefit we…


Jars of the best home-made jam
Jars of the best home-made jam

I am a connoisseur of home made jam, and my ultimate favourite is plum jam. I embarked on a lifelong quest to find the very best home-made plum jam in all of Britain. It took some doing, but I finally succeeded. Here’s how it happened.

Every Tuesday morning I travel to the country village of Ditchling for yoga class. I’m invariably the only man in a class of thirty sophisticated ladies. At the end of yoga class, another set of Ditchling ladies takes over the space for their choir rehearsal. They bring their own wonderful home-made cakes, biscuits, chutneys and…


Photograph of wildlife garden
Photograph of wildlife garden

At the start of June 2020 I began to exhibit classic Corona symptoms: raised temperature, unproductive cough, shortness of breath, disruption of taste and general debilitation. I called the doctor; she said it sounds like Corona all right. I asked how long it takes to get over; she said they have no idea.

By the end of June my symptoms were getting worse; the doctor reckoned I’d developed a secondary lung infection on top of the Corona illness and prescribed antibiotics. These worked at first, but then I developed a second bacterial infection, treated with more antibiotics.

But by the…


The coming together of residents in an English street is celebrated in this uplifting poem

Here are the words of the poem:

The Ballad of Connaught Avenue
by Gerry Maguire Thompson

In Shoreham town there is a road
It’s great to be a member of
Where friendship lives 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 so much love

We formed a WhatsApp group right quick ’Twas started off by Sas n Dav To…


the story continues

Last December I wrote a post here, in all certainty that our lovely dog Rosa was in her last hours of life, sharing what it was to like share that precious time with her.

Rosa surprised us, however. The vet had said she was in acute kidney failure and there was no way she could survive. She had been on a drip feed overnight but shown no response. We brought her home in a seemingly lifeless state. However, she suddenly leapt up and slowly started being interested in life. She started drinking again, and then eating, and…


A humorous guide to help with your partnership issues

Two dogs enjoying a cuddle
Two dogs enjoying a cuddle

I’d like to share with you the results of my ground-breaking research into this fascinating topic as Professor of Mind-Body-Spirit at the University of Flakey, Arizona. These results show where humanity has been going wrong with personal relationships, and may also point you in the right direction for building intimate partnerships that suit your particular personality right down to the ground.

My research has shown that 91% of all wishes for improvement in their lives made by humans are to do with relationship. Of these, 57% are made with the intention…


photo of an incredibly-in-lurve couple on a bicycle
photo of an incredibly-in-lurve couple on a bicycle

What is falling in love like? I mean, what is it really like, I mean, like totally realistically? Let me explain with a metaphor.

Let’s face it. Falling in love is like buying a car without knowing anything about it: its age or condition or how many previous owners it’s had, or how any of them looked after it, or whether the thing even works at all. There are any number of unknowns: for instance, how many car crashes has it been involved in (now you know why they use that term for bad relationships)? Has anyone died driving it…


Positive changes are also happening: let’s hope they stick when this is all over

Artwork called Universum: a person moving towards a different experience of the world
Artwork called Universum: a person moving towards a different experience of the world
Looking at things differently

Clearly this whole experience is something that none of us wanted to be happening, and which all of us want to end. There’s suffering and tragedy going on all over the world and it’s really scary. And yet, and yet…perhaps this may make it all the valuable to see if any positives can be found in the situation, to help us get through it and to maintain morale. So that’s what I’m going to try to do here.

The environment is benefitting

Perhaps the positive aspect…


it’s exponential, not arithmetical

Humorous photo of a person getting too close to a family of pixies who are self isolating
Humorous photo of a person getting too close to a family of pixies who are self isolating
This family of pixies is self-isolating, but the human is clearly getting way too close

We all know there are very good reasons why authorities all round the world are imposing restrictions on so that we keep away from other people in order to reduce and hopefully stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. It’s extraordinarily virulent, so that means keeping away from other people — not touching other people, not touching things other people have touched, and not being in the same air space as other people. And that applies to us whether we have symptoms currently, have recovered from the virus, or are feeling perfectly fine — we can still pass it on…


The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Cats

Gerry Thompson

Don’t **** with a Highly Effective Cat

1) Highly effective cats don’t need to be doing stuff all the time

I’m not saying that effective cats get a lot done without being overly busy — they’re just not interested in getting things done. They do as little as possible. And what they do best is nothing at all; they’re better at creatively doing nothing than anyone else in the universe.

Highly effective cats understand the importance of delegation. This is because cats don’t need to be motivated — only humans and dogs need motivation. So they let other…

Gerry Maguire Thompson

Gerry is a best-selling author, wildlife gardener, humorist and blogger www.gerrymaguirethompson.com

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