Ah Georgie – so evocative of those magical days….

The Phraser

Tsavo, Kenya Tsavo, Kenya

We turn our wheels west, from Kilifi towards Tsavo.

It’s hot, and there are five of us in the 4×4 … and about 250km to go.

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The Phraser

June day at Stonehenge, England This might give an idea of how hot it is – Stonehenge, England

Today one man and his wife start their walk to raise money for strangers many miles away.

It’s hot and it’s humid in England – the Istanbul side of warm – but that won’t stop them. As the rest of us flop in the shade they are off on their 142 mile walk. The route is from one side of the country to the other, and the aim is to raise money for those upturned by Zimbabwe’s waves of chaos.

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Source: Tom Benyon OBE walks for Zimbabwe … it’s hot

The Phraser

The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy The Museo Civico Gaetano Filangieri in Naples, Italy

The best treasure comes in chests, compact and crowded, brimming with what’s been most precious … and there should always be scars.

The Museo Filangieri is a chest like this.

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What excitement to see a wolf…

The Phraser

Options for the non-skiers at Lago Laceno near Avellino in Italy For the non-skiers at Lago Laceno near Avellino in Italy

I belong to a family of enthusiastic, occasional skiers who like nothing better than to plunge down cold, white mountains at speed.  The problem is that I don’t share this joy.

In the Apennine Mountains in the south of Italy I discovered nobody seemed to mind.  There were deckchairs, sunshine, and families who just wanted to be out and about – not up-there.

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Listen to this for a treat!

The Phraser

Pino Danielle - singer, adored by Naples, died suddenly January 2015 Pino Danielle – singer, adored by Naples, died suddenly January 2015. Saw this on a tambourine in Via San Gregorio Armeno just after Christmas.

Waves of emotion can hit you from any distance – one washed right over me this time last year. Bizarrely I wasn’t even near the event nor did I properly understand it.

It was the sudden death of the singer Pino Daniele on January 4th 2015.  The city whose heart split open was Naples.

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A collage of a crowded city at Christmas – individual, colourful, intense and holding on to how it’s always been.

Source: Christmas in Naples, Italy: from the outside

Wonderful work and Tom Benyon you are a hero – along with your wife and dog….

The Phraser

Rest point on a ZANE fundraising walk Rest point on a ZANE fundraising walk

Tom Benyon OBE has returned from a trip to Zimbabwe where he met many of those who work for, and who support, the charity he founded –  ZANE (Zimbabwe a National Emergency).

He describes his recent trip as mixture of sadness and joy.

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When will it be sunny then for our visit…. how about 22nd May…. for a few days… then we can see the ceramics for ourselves…

The Phraser

Mural outside Industria Ceramica Avallone in Vietri sul Mare Large tile mural by the entrance to Industria Ceramica Avallone in Vietri sul Mare

No – no foto!”  The small, elderly woman hustled through the piled plates towards us.

Non posso fare …?”  My bad Italian faltered.

No!”  Her finger flicked sternly from side to side as she halted in front of us, dark eyes flashing with suspicion.

“Who are you?”  The slow English syllables were weighted with menace.

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Can you imagine a world without elephants – could be reality in 20 years tome… please don’t let it happen.

The Phraser

Elephants together in the wild A newborn of the Kenyan Mountains family crosses the Ewaso Ngiro River, sheltered under the legs of family members. Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, 2007 from Earth to Sky, photographs by Michael Nichols (Aperture, 2013)
Copyright © Michael Nichols, National Geographic

Elephants are with many of us from our earliest story times.  We know they’re strange and wondrous, we sculpt them and paint them until our fingers are sore, but perhaps we’ve forgotten they’re real.

Perhaps it’s too easy to ignore their intelligence, their compassion and love of family. Perhaps we’ve chosen to forget their vast memories, huge strength and deliberate gentleness – all qualities we admire.  It’s easier to forget …

Or is it?  The research and the science are now increasingly insistent that the wild-born African elephant should be protected from the traumas of indiscriminate massacre and that it should never be sold into isolated captivity.

This short piece…

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