An Evening With Andy Rouse

Yesterday evening, we attended An Evening with Andy Rouse at the Stroud Theatre in Street. No, not in a street – a town called Street. It’s a whimsical name for a town, but the South West is rich in natural whimsy.

For those who don’t already know, Andy Rouse is a wildlife photographer who has won many awards, and taken an amazing number of truly great photos. He’s also known for his humour and love of West Ham (for non-Brits – that’s a football club, not a type of meat).

We had a great time. Before the show even started Andy was running around meeting people and joking with them, and selling books and calendars. I jumped in early to pick up a copy of his latest book, Understanding RAW Photography, getting it signed, and taking the chance to hand him a Moo card.

The show itself was great – a whole series of stories and anecdotes, all built around a huge number of slides. It was just like going to a friend’s holiday slideshow, except your friend is very funny, and he spent his holidays with a bunch of gorillas, penguins and bears, with a little help from the Royal Navy. We saw penguins surfing and skiing, bears catching salmon, and a very violent capercaillie attacking Andy.

We learned a few new things, too. If you’re a male osprey, bring sticks to the nest, not moss. Moss won’t get you laid. If you’re in the arctic, don’t bang on the toilet door to scare whoever’s in there for a laugh. They may well have a gun in one hand and a frozen turd in the other. Kingfishers are very speedy things. Oh, and West Ham are, apparently, excellent.

If you have an interest in wildlife, or photography in general, I’d certainly recommend seeing one of Andy’s talks if you get the chance. He’ll be touring again next year, and you can find out about shows in advance from his blog.

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