Ok, that’s a tad dramatic. My little cellar isn’t so very crypt-like although the white walls, unpadded as yet, and the general silence would without doubt appeal to a trapist monk. Well, dear readers, I have finally put my next little tome to bed and to say I am maaaaaa’d out would be an understatement. For some months now I have dreamt of nothing but goats, strange ‘myotragus ‘ (meaning mouse-goats in ancient Greek), to be exact. They don’t climb over gates in my reveries so it’s not about counting them until my befuddled head is incapable of staying upright. No, this is more about investigating the arrival and extinction of these little creatures that roamed the islands of Mallorca and Menorca up until 5000 years ago. It just so happened that in 1909 a feisty fossil hunter named, Dorothea Bate, discovered little Myotragus in a remote cave in Mallorca. She rushed back to the Natural History Museum in great excitement to share her news. The unknown creature which resembled a rodent and a goat was named Myotragus. So to commemorate this intrepid and pioneering scientist on the centenary of the find, I am making goats one of the main themes of the new book.
In my research I have met some extraordinary scientists from the UK, Holland and of course Mallorca. Alas for esteemed academics, my book will be a severe disappointment. It is a a slightly frivolous and simple take on science but one that I hope might raise a smile in these troubled times. I write much about our local rural life and customs up here in the Sóller Valley….picking olives, attending the chant of the Sib.ila, local festivals, the truly unique little midwife toad known as ferreret and much more.
Well, I shall be back in London no fewer than three times in the next month. Should any of you happen to be in Oxford at the Times Literary Fair on Thursday 2, April, please hunt me out and say hello! I shall be speaking at 6pm…and hoping that my lack of technical prowess will not be a blow to the powerpoint presentation. I look forward to meeting some of you there. Many thanks to those of you who have e-mailed to wish me luck. Saludos y hasta pronto!
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