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How James Fenton almost drowned


Show and Tell: The bugs in my notebook
Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
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You really must keep notes of everything as it's happening. So you cover them in tape and have them in a waterproof bag slung at your waist, with a Biro in there. And it's important just to... just to write, scribbling them as you're going along. I mean, these ones are full of little drawings and so on: how you kill a wild boar, a peccary. But this notebook is quite dramatic, because here is Rhodnius prolixus, the assassin bug, that I clapped into my notebook, having pulled it off my face. Pulled it off my neck, in fact, exactly where it injects you if it's been parasitized.

Now this must be... I'd say this is Congo. No, it's not, it's not. It's South America. It's the Yanomami compound. It's bloody beautiful. These things are everywhere. I'd completely forgotten that was in there.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: South America

Duration: 1 minute, 23 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 11 August 2009