I was arranging a couple of lovely events this week - a talk to Age UK and some teaching in a fine Devon school - when I was asked a very good question by one of the hosts. 

Why do I do these events? 

Like so many of the best questions, it's a simple one and hits right to the heart of an issue. 

I suppose the answer is - because I can. Just as my wonderful riverbank friends can revel in the freedom of flight...

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(This is Malvo, newest arrival on the river, showing off whilst still looking impressively serious.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I enjoy making good use of the gifts I'm fortunate enough to have been given. 

Perhaps I see it as a kind of moral duty. If you are lucky enough to be in a position with some influence, it would be sad indeed not to use that well. 

If I can vaguely entertain, amuse, or even educate a few people with my books and talks, then why wouldn't I? 

And if I can open some youngsters' minds to fulfilling careers and lives they may never otherwise have considered...

I believe the term is a no brainer. 

Maybe it's the legacy thing. Wanting to try to leave the world a little better than the way you found it. 

Or perhaps it's just a quieter inner contentment issue. 

But whatever it is, that's the way it is, for me, anyway. 

The answer to the simple question why must be the equally simple answer... why not?