About this site

Sophie Atherton – Journalist & author – Nature writing and more

Take a look at the list of categories to the right. (NB: You might find it towards the bottom of the page if you’re reading this on a smartphone). This explains what sort of writing you can expect to find here – particularly the ‘and more’ aspect of things. There’s some explanation below, if you want to know more.

All: As you might expect everything is filed here, as well as in the relevant category.

Birds & wildlife: This is my main nature writing section. I called it Birds & wildlife partly because I became interested in other wildlife through birds and also to make the section appear higher up the alphabetical list.

Books & writers: Mostly what you’d expect, but includes songwriters and other things that broadly fit the theme – including pieces about the act of writing (as well as the words produced) and issues such as free speech.

Coronavirus lockdown: In the UK, from around 24th March 2020 because of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and to help stop the virus spreading, we were all told to stay at home and only leave our houses for essential reasons or daily exercise (just once a day, locally, alone or with members of your household and keeping 2m away from anyone you encountered while out). These are posts from that time – written to bring cheer to my readers – and myself.

Environment: Climate change, sustainability, ‘green issues’, plastics and more. There’s also likely to be an overlap with birds & wildlife here – given the effect climate change and other environmental damage is having on nature.

Lifestyle: Pieces relating to how we live our lives and the choices we make as we do so. Reviews of eco-friendly products and such will also be found in this category – along with any interviews and pieces about people if they don’t readily fit the ‘politics & people’ theme.

Misc LIGHT/Misc HEAVY: With a background in reporting and being interested in ‘things’ in general, there will be times I want to go ‘off topic’ and beyond my usual subjects. That’s where these categories come in. Misc light is short for lighthearted – maybe even uplifting – reads. Misc heavy will cover more serious topics and issues.

Politics & people: Might also be thought of as ‘politics and society’ or ‘politics and culture’. This is a broad section featuring political opinion pieces and social commentary – sometimes venturing into the territory of polemic. It also covers pieces about/interviews with people that fit the theme.

Scribblings: Short and/or very short pieces – especially of the ‘apropros of nothing’ variety.

Why change/WCHL: Is short for ‘Why change the habits of a lifetime?‘ my section/series on changing our habits to have less impact on the environment.

WOMEN: Women in the western world have made great gains in the last 100 years but for women as a sex class, wherever we live around the globe, full equality and emancipation is still not a reality. My writing in this section comes from a feminist standpoint.

A little history…

If you’ve been reading/following this site for a while – thanks. It means a lot to have loyal readers. Below explains the evolution of the site for readers old and new.

It started out as a blog more than 10 years ago when I was off work after the death of my parents. Writing had been (and still is) my day job and I needed to give myself a reason to keep doing it and somewhere to put it while I was grieving. I wrote all kinds of things on whatever took my fancy and it made for a pretty random website.

Things have moved on a lot since then – personally and in my career. Hence I felt the site needed to be a bit more organised, with pieces of writing grouped into themes (see above) and some of the older, random posts removed.

Originally it was called Not Sophie Anderton’s Blog because people sometimes misheard my name (I’m ATHERTON not Anderton) and seemed to think I was the model and reality TV personality Sophie Anderton. This was rather ironic given that I am a feminist and at the time Ms Anderton did a lot of work for ‘lad’s mags’ – which to me are the antithesis of feminism. I decided to play on the irony and the search engine hits likely to come with it.

But the joke got a bit tired – and I wanted to broaden it beyond feminist topics – so I renamed it Frank ‘n’ Sharp. The idea being it would feature writing that was forthright and well-observed – but also sometimes a little sharp-tongued if the subject called for or provoked it.

I then added the ‘& Green’ because I wanted it to be apparent that I was returning to writing about birds, wildlife and the environment.

After nearly 20 years earning my living as a writer and journalist – and because it’s a site where you can find writing by me, it seemed like the time to retitle it Sophie Atherton.