Does My Bum Look Big In This?

The filming crew went back to Kenya three weeks ago and we haven't heard from them since - not so much as a tweet.

We hope the silence means that they are so busy filming exciting things (warthogs eating lions, crocodiles dancing on ice...) that they haven't the time to talk to us. They're supposed to be getting back at the weekend so we'll be posting news of the latest trip when we see the rushes.

Meanwhile the crew that stayed in the office got down to some needle craft - this is Elliot and Laura turning a baby-carrying backback into a computer-carrying backpack for the next field trip.


Settling Down

Still working out where to put everything but we're getting used to our new home...

The filming crew are all back home and the whole team are together for a brief week before the next leg of filming starts. While the boys were away, the home of Ammonite was moved from it's rather cramped quarters in Cotham to a fantastic building designed by one of the world's most astonishing men Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The building has been neglected over recent decades this summer our offices looked a bit like this

and there was quite a lot of work to do to achieve first this

and then this

It's been an amazing project: in an attempt to be as green as possible our furniture and fittings have all come from salvaged/recycled/reclaimed sources with a minimal use of new timber. Planted right next to the railway station we will be arriving for work by bike, train, bus and Shank's pony and hoping that our visitors will do likewise. But most of all this is the most beautiful place to be, we're hoping that the spirit of one of the world's greatest inventors will inspire Ammonite to design equipment that will lead us to uncover even more of the wonders of the natural world ...


It's A Wrap In Yala

The Sri Lankan team finished filming in Sri Lanka. They have packed up and just arrived home with several drives stuffed full of the most extraordinary footage of leopards, sloth bears, crocodiles, elephants and a whole lot more from this beautiful country. We'll be spending the next few months editing the material and meanwhile the shooting in Africa continues, expect more news from the Masai Mara soon...


Monsoon So Soon

As we approach our final days of filming here in Sri Lanka we've entered the start of the monsoon rains. We came to film at the peak of the drought when we had the best chance of filming leopards and we've not been disappointed. After two and a half weeks of blistering sunshine the clouds have been building over the park. Finally they gave way with an enormous thunderstorm and several inches of rain. Good news for the wildlife but not so great for a car full of computers and and car batteries.

We spent last night parked by a waterhole filming crocodiles in a torrential downpour that lasted hours. Our car is protected by some rudimentary plastic sheeting that when combined with almost 100% humidity becomes more like a mobile steam room. We did the best we could to film through the rain but nothing prepared Howard or I for the mind blowing curry the chefs had prepared for our dinner. Already sweltering in the car the kitchen staff have been ever increasing the heat of our evening meals. The result was an inevitable near paralytic meltdown of embarrassing proportions. Further fuel was thrown on the curry fire by our smiling driver encouraging us to drink hot chai to relieve the burn. Much to the amusement of our local trackers and driver it only added to the curry carnage and halted filming until our senses were in some way restored.

With only a few nights remaining we're hoping the rain holds off just a few more days but with black clouds overhead it seems unlikely. The monsoon has come and soon it will be time to pack up and leave this amazing place to replenish for next year.