Years ago, I put a couple of radio shows I had produced back when I was a radio producer up on the internet. One of them, Ashley’s Worlds, was a kids’ ‘cartoon for radio’, in which all the characters were cats. The other, Claybourne was a sort of sci-fi-soap-opera-thriller-adventure in which – well, lots of weird stuff happens. Monsters and what-not.

One of the people who downloaded them was an American schoolgirl who became their biggest fan. She got in touch and told me how much she loved the stories (and how much she loved animals) – and, so of course, I replied.

Over the past five or six years, I’ve had the odd email from Beth, letting me know how she’s getting on and what she’s up to. And today I received this wonderful email from her father, Nick:

My daughter Beth has loved your stories since she was little…so much so she has written you several times. She is the American from South Carolina that loves animals and you recommended she read “All Creatures Great and Small”. Anyway I just came across your blog again and wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you encouraged her to read that book. She is making great strides in the field of zoo keeping and now is an assistant keeper at Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina.Thanks for being a good mentor. Our world is so large and yet so connected.

This makes me happy. As I said to Nick in my reply to him – when you look at the internet, at first it just seems like technology. And then you start using it and you begin to notice that it’s just people talking to each other.