I left Alderney at eight in the morning, and saw a few dozen gannets from the plane. Got to London just before eleven on a sweaty old day. It was full of people, very few of whom had seen a gannet that morning.
I had meetings with the excellent Intelligent Life magazine, and then with Charlotte Atyeo, my brilliant sports publisher at Bloomsbury. Between them a quick lunch with my old friend Chris Breen, who runs Wildlife Worldwide, and we discussed some of the mad adventures we’ve shared.
Then home. Or not. Buckled rail. Damn. Delay. More delay. An announcement they’d make another announcement when they had something to announce. The Evening Standard said the trains were suffering from the wrong kind of heat. So I worked a flanker and transferred to the East Suffolk Line. Got home just in time to say goodnight to Eddie.
Five weeks ago the Wildlife Trusts told us do something wild every day in June. Eddie and I have done that, mostly together, sometimes separate. And it’s been great. Now the course was complete.
So I talked about Alderney, and how they’re tagging gannets to get information for science and for conservation, and explained how I had helped to hold the gannets while the transmitters were attached. And Eddie took all this on board and relished the thought.
I told him that I was invited to name gannet 118, and how as soon as the bird had been released, he set off on a spear-fishing trip, all the time sending back messages about his journey. He travelled 20 miles due north to fish off the Isle of Wight before turning round and coming back – I hope with a full crop of bouillabaisse to feed the young one.
“So what do you think I called gannet 118?”
“I don’t know.”
“He’s called Eddie.”
“Eddie!” said Eddie. Joyously.
We’ve had a great June, me and Eddie. Well, both Eddies. Eddie boy and Eddie gannet. For all of us, it’s been better than great.
It’s been wild.