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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Talking about hedgehogs

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood whatever the weather. This post is from Nicola (pic is of Nell with a giant puffball not a hedgehog!)

First my mum reports finding a hedgehog in her new house in Hertfordshire which is turning its nose up at dogmeat treats. Then we read about the unfortunate specimen who was used for hurling at Ballymena in Northern Ireland and now we are inundated with hedgehog sightings. Most are run over, poor things, but at our last stop in Hexham we also saw one speeding across the cul de sac road late one evening being mobbed by a magpie.

And now in Yorkshire on one of our regular evening strolls with the dogs we found two on just a short stretch of lane. The first was roadkill, and dead enough to have no fleas on its spines. The next was a dazed female who we moved out of the way of traffic by lifting her on to a wall and into a garden raised about a metre above the road. About an hour later I suddenly realised the poor 'hog had probably just thrown herself out of the garden in a bid to find a new home but when we went back to the spot we'd left her curled in a tight, prickly ball she was gone - hopefully to a safe location away from traffic and slug pellets.

It's very exciting seeing a live hedgehog, though it did leave Pete musing about the hedgehog flavoured crisps of the 1980s born after a sketch on the satirical show Not the Nine O'Clock News. Nell seems keen to try them.

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