Late one afternoon in a high altitude gorge in the Indian Himalaya, whilst looking around for rocks to hold down the tent, I found a fossil.
It was a small one, no larger than a debit card.
I couldn’t believe my luck. Over the years I’d seen many fossils in the quarry like terrains above the tree line but this was the first time I’d seen one which was small enough to take with me.
I picked it up and studied it: there was a spiral of fine indentations, which at a guess had been some kind of shellfish or a worm.
With the light fading and a cold wind blowing Anya yelled out at me rather testily:
What are you doing?!
We’re supposed to be getting the tent up!
I shoved the fossil in my pocket.
For years afterwards, it sat on my desk next to my laptop.
I made no effort to find out what kind of fossil it was, of which creature. It was a souvenir.
Then one evening, decades later, I saw a film called ‘Ammonite’ and as a result, that small souvenir garnered at random in an abyss became a stepping stone on a journey into the life story of a remarkable woman……