Lost in Conversation with Sophie Pavelle and Claire Ratinon

When I received Sophie's proof copy of Forget Me Not I immediately checked out her Instagram. Great first move, her account is a fantastic representation of the science communicator. She's got all the content going; filming her bike trips, beaver endeavors and fun at Hay festival all while being incredibly witty and ever so slightly wacky. Sophie's a serious adventurer, as seen on a kayak, paddleboard, hiking or full wetsuit and snorkel gear. In many ways I feel I can relate to her.


When I left school, I completed a BTEC in Animal Management and then went on to train as a wildlife tracker in Botswana. Things happened and I ended up staying here, but I have a real personal interest in a huge variety of animals, especially ones on the cusp of extinction. So, this book has successfully grabbed my attention and pulled me in. British wildlife can be overlooked or many people will easily believe we don't really have any wildlife here. By age 18 I knew more about plants and animals in Botswana than I did at home. In 2018 I went into a local Primary School with 'The Lost Words' and scattered laminated animals and plants on the floor for children to name. The results were interesting indeed for a small school in the countryside, with few children recognizing a Heron or Sparrow but immediately naming a lion, Elephant or farm animals. What have we missed? Why are we overlooking our own wildlife? Is it not exotic enough? Well, maybe if we all followed Sophie on her low carbon journey around Britain we may find some pretty fascinating and "exotic" creatures lurking which need our help.

 

Sophie Pavelle talking about her book 'Forget Me Not'.


Sophie takes an epic trip post initial lockdown around the British Isles looking for some particular species which are at risk. Each chapter is a different species and is memoir/ fascinating facts of each adventure and animal. Sophie's humour leaps out of the chapters, and you'll be sniggering along with her slightly Devonshire terms and wit. I love Sophie's hand's up 'don't take me too seriously because I don't take me too seriously' character and she feels very relatable and therefore the book is very readable.


We're very lucky indeed to have Sophie come and speak with us next month at The Lost Kitchen as part of our Lost In Conversation series. Claire Ratinon will be joining us also to make for some fantastic conversation from two passionate women. Claire's book Unearthed is a nature memoir about unpicking the inherent beliefs about who she should be and finding out who she really is through her love of growing plants. Many diasporic people of colour feel cut off from the natural world here, and growing up in a city Claire had to work hard to realise her longing was for the outdoors.

There are so many children in Britain who could benefit from learning about our nature and spending time there, and through doing this, nature would also benefit. What can we do going forward to make sure our children can recognise the call of a Robin, grow beans and know that chemical fertilisers are killing our hedgehogs? Let's talk.


You can Book your tickets via the link below, each ticket entitles you to £5 discount on books at the event. You can also book for supper after the talk, highly recommended.


 

Rather excitingly Sophie has compiled a list of books which have inspired her over the last few years. We have put this list together on our Bookshop dot org shop with annotations about each book. I've read some of these books myself and I can see how they may have given rise to Forget Me Not. We read The Overstory by Richard Powers for book club in potentially 2019. (everything is either pre or post covid now right?) Though it had mixed reviews, those of us with a real keenness for nature and fate enjoyed it greatly. A complex, interwoven story spanning a range of characters, like branches crossing each other's paths.

If you want to read more check out Sophie's list here.


Well, there we have it. My first Blog. I'm not sure if it's a real blog or not, what even is a blog? I've started though and that's the point right? Onwards and upwards from here. If you'd like to hear more subscribe to our mailing list and i'll send you stuff, all the good stuff.


Last note, next week is Independent Bookshop Week, so wherever you are please support local. If you don't have a local bookshop use the link above, it's the most important week to NOT us the big A! We're giving away proofs, bookmarks, tote bags, £5 gift vouchers plus author events. So please check out the events section on the website and our socials.


Thanks for reading, Kayleigh

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