Kapiti Island
New Zealand


Home of the
Motley Crew



our story teller

The Eagle & Child pub in Oxford calls me whether I’m living in, or visiting the UK.

The plaque on the wall says ‘C.S. Lewis, his brother, W.H. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and other friends met here every Tuesday morning, between the years 1939 – 1962 in the back room of this their very favourite pub. These men, popularly known locally as the “Inklings,” met here to drink beer and to discuss, among other things, the books they were writing.’

It’s a good feeling to have a pint, & propose a toast to the ‘Inklings,’ and follow in their footsteps.

HenriettaHenrietta was my paternal grandmother. I do not remember her. But naming this very personable French frog after Henrietta, honours what I don’t know, but hope to one day. Henrietta the ‘frog princess’ grew up in the lovely village of Vendome, in the Loire Valley in France. Now she lives with me, & is my constant travelling companion, & she especially likes tramping in New Zealand bush. However, in this picture we’re high in the Chinque Terrae in Italy, the mercury has hit 40C & Henrietta feels the heat challenge and leads us to the drinking water. She’s brings a welcome French connection to the Motley Crew, & you’ll meet her in the action of Te Motu.

Our storyteller’s bio-note follows…
We The Motley Crew are Alastair’s friends, and have authorised him to tell our
amazing adventures. It is more than a decade since he began writing our stories, which
record the trials and triumphs of us - a bunch of animals - out to save the world from man's depredations.We know he reads widely, and has been influenced by many writers, including CS Lewis, J R R Tolkien, Philip Pullman, Ben Okri. Janet Frame, Stuart Wilde, Thomas Moore… it’s a long list. We have encouraged Alastair to pack our stories with metaphor and allegory, and to weld all this to myth & legend… and he has. Then, from his own idiosyncratic, iconoclastic way of viewing and expressing life, he brings the mythopoeic ground of our being to life. He says, “As sensate beings within the realm of infinite possibility, The Motley Crew animals can do anything… so they tackle mankind by creative, inventive means, and this allows me to live in a fantastic, sometimes surreal, imaginary – quantum world.