Trip to Torino (Turin, Italy): Part 1

View of the Alps shortly before landing in Turin, Italy

View of the Alps shortly before landing in Turin, Italy

The gleam of snow on dark peaks fills the window for long minutes, then disappears beneath a carpet of greens.

As the aeroplane turns on its wingtip, grids of brown appear, stacked close to the lush curves of the Po River.

We land gently.

“Ladies and Gentlemen – welcome to Turin!”

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2018 – Tom Benyon OBE walks for ZANE, Zimbabwe…again

Tom and Jane Benyon (ZANE) on the final stretch of their 2013 walk into Oxford

Tom and Jane Benyon (ZANE) on the final stretch of their 2013 walk into Oxford

“There they are…sun hats, sticks, fluorescent vests…that’s them.”

“Walking? From Bournemouth to Oxford? In this heat? They’ve just had their 50th wedding anniversary. You sure?”

“Yes. I’m sure.”

“They’re mad. Why do they do it?”

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Army recruitment – is anyone talking to the families?

A programme on the radio got me thinking. It was the gap in it that caught my mind.

Ten days ago a panel of experts in The Briefing Room on Radio Four put forward important reasons for the shortage of recruits for the British Army.

Not one of the experts represented, or mentioned, Army families.

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The London Magazine: A Journey Through Silence

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

An unexpected excitement startled my writing life recently.

The London Magazine‘ England’s oldest literary periodical, with a history stretching back to 1732’  – contacted me recently to tell me that a piece of mine would be published in its online edition.

It was such a happy surprise as the piece, written originally for a competition run by the magazine, had been posted into the entry box weeks earlier. When I heard nothing I assumed it was gone for good … but here it is.

The piece is not long and is about some of my own encounters with silence and its consequences. I hope you’ll have time to try the link. To do so please click on the article title below.

A Journey Through Silence by Georgie Knaggs

My thanks to The London Magazine.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2018

Book Review: Return to Naples by Robert Zweig, Ph.D

Return to Naples - My Italian Bar Mitzvah and Other Discoveries by Robert Zweig PhD

Return to Naples – My Italian Bar Mitzvah and Other Discoveries by Robert Zweig PhD

I loved this book and its collection of carefully told memories. If you know Naples, or are curious about the city, this is an easy, fascinating read – a surprisingly gentle ride around a family and a city scarred by war.

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UPDATE – Live export: thousands of miles by sea to slaughter

A ewe and her lamb in the north of Spain

A ewe and her lamb in the north of Spain

My thanks to Lyn Douglas in Australia for telling me about the new regulations announced today around the live export of sheep.

The key points are listed below.

  • There will be no ban on the live sheep trade from Australia in the Middle Eastern summer.
  • The number of sheep transported per vessel in the summer months will be reduced by 28 per cent.
  • Independent observers will travel on all ships carrying cattle or sheep.
  • Any company that breaks the rules could face a fine of A$2.1 million.
  • The directors of any such company could face a jail term of up to ten years.

RSPCA Australia remains concerned.

Here is the link to the UK Reuters report.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2018

Live export: thousands of miles by sea to slaughter

A ewe and her lamb in the north of Spain

A ewe and her lamb in the north of Spain

Recent footage in the media shows the cruel conditions faced by sheep sent over the sea to slaughter. Hot, trapped, dying of thirst and panic, they struggle for life as the ships take them to their death.

This trade across oceans, particularly to and from Australia, has gone on for decades unnoticed by most of us, but the recent publication of footage of the conditions on board the live export ships puts disturbing evidence in front of our noses. We can’t look away any longer.

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