I've been blogging now at least once a week for six years and seven months, and this is my 416th blog post here. It's been an exhausting, brilliant and amazing journey, but I've made the very difficult decision that it's time to take a break from blogging for a while.
I began blogging when I was seven because I wanted to share more about the bones I found and the places I explored around my village. When I wrote my very first blog post, which only a couple of people read at the time, I never imagined that I would create something read by thousands of people every week.
I never ever imagined that it would lead to me appearing on television and in newspapers, that Chris Packham, CBBC Newsround and CBBC Wild would come to my house to film, that I would end up appearing on Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, that I would appear on BBC Breakfast, or spend two hours on BBC Radio Four, or even appear on the BBC alongside Sir David Attenborough. And the most amazing thing of all, though, is definitely my book.
Through my blog I've shared some amazing things. I've talked about some of the most amazing bones in my collection of course, including my leopard and my golden eagle skulls. I've blogged about trail cameras and badger decomposition. I've blogged about watching white-tailed sea eagles and watching the rut. And I've also blogged about exploring ruined castles, long forgotten bunkers, and tracing the history of old farmhouses.
This has been an incredible adventure, and if you've been reading here you've been with me for the whole adventure. I've met some amazing and inspirational people, like Ben Garrod and Paolo Viscardi and Ric Morris. I've also been able to chat to some pretty incredible young naturalists, like Melanie Gould. I loved working on my book with Jo Bourne, who is one of the most amazing book editors ever. I've travelled the country giving talks about my book and my bones, and I've loved every minute.
What people often don't realise, though, is how much time this takes up. Each blog post seems to take at least two hours, plus the time taken to research it, or go exploring. Now seems the right time to take a break from blogging and take a bit of breathing space.
I'll still be doing my thing - exploring and discovering new things about the countryside, although maybe a little less than before. I'll still be trying to reply to any emails sent to me, although I can't guarantee anything. But if you're looking for a great blog to follow about bones, try Paolo Viscardi's Zygoma.
Thank you to everyone who has emailed me, or inspired me, or tweeted me, or messaged me. I've tried to reply to every one, and I know at busy times I've missed a few (sorry about that). It's meant a great deal to me. I hope you've enjoyed my posts as much as I have.
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