China and WWF-UK host reception of hope for Africa’s elephants

Invitation to the reception held by the Chinese Embassy in London and the WWF-UK to mark the closure of China's domestic ivory market

Invitation to the reception held by the Chinese Embassy in London and the WWF-UK to mark the closure of China’s domestic ivory market

China has closed its domestic ivory market. The evening begins with speeches, each given to mark the giant step taken by China to protect the elephants of Africa.

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Gloucester – an ancient English city with a strong heart

Gargoyle on Gloucester Cathedral, England

Gargoyle on Gloucester Cathedral, England

Gloucester is a city with heart and a sense of self. It knows its bones, and lays them out with pride.

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Review: BBC One – Attenborough and the Giant Elephant

An African elephant at home - photograph taken by Frederik Ahlefeldt-L-L

An African elephant at home – photograph taken by Frederik Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Lehn

This powerful documentary is about a giant and those who knew him. It is fascinating, sad … and so important to watch.

Sir David Attenborough is with us from start to finish. It is he who picks through the evidence to show us the life and times of Jumbo, the celebrity Victorian elephant.

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The Phraser – an apology and an explanation

My desk - it's been busy

My desk – it’s been busy

Dear Reader,

In case you’re there, and wondering where I might be, this is an apology for the silence, and an explanation … two explanations. The first is sad, and the second is hopeful.

  1. I’ve just been to Scotland for the funeral of a wonderful lady and friend; and
  2. I’m tidying up The Phraser to make it easier to navigate, and to prepare for a new focus on all things to do with books.

The site should be ready and gleaming by the end of the month. Meanwhile, I hope you have the time to do some browsing – The Phraser is open for that.

I look forward to getting back to you, and wish you good reading and good company … always!

Georgie

The New Year – 2018!

New growth on a winter's day

New growth on a winter’s day

This morning, the first day of 2018, started grey, cold and wet … then the sun came out. Light bounced off droplets, fresh shoots pushed up through the moss – it was bright and wonderful, still cushioned in autumn bronze.

Hope in the morning … Happy New Year!

Happy Christmas … may there be peace and goodwill

The Phraser will be on pause for Christmas. Here is a tiny handmade video of carol singers on a train platform. This was filmed from the bridge over the tracks so it is all a bit long-distance – a meander, caught on our commute home. 🚂Best viewed with sound.🎄🎶🎆

Interview with Barnaby Rogerson: Part II – Eland and travel writing

Open day at Eland Publishing in December 2017

Open Day at Eland Publishing in December 2017

It is late November 2017, and I am with Barnaby Rogerson, author and expert on North Africa, whose latest book, In Search of Ancient North Africa – A History in Six Lives, has just been published.

This is the second part of our interview and the focus is on travel writing in general and on Eland, the publishing house where he is a director.

We are in the Eland hub – books are everywhere.

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Interview with Barnaby Rogerson: Part I – North Africa

Barnaby Rogerson (in the white shirt) with Nigel Barley (author of the Innocent Anthropologist). The photograph was taken at the Eland Open Day in early December 2017.

Barnaby Rogerson (in the white shirt) with Nigel Barley (author of The Innocent Anthropologist). The photograph was taken at the Eland Open Day in early December 2017.

The day is sunny, the bus ride easy, and the grey door is exactly where it should be. There are no signs … just a button to press, and then a set of narrow grey stairs to follow in a spiral to the top.

I climb the smooth steps and at the top a door is open. Just inside a tall, elegant, eager dog waits to say hello. Beside the dog is a slightly less-leggy man. He is, as I presume, Barnaby Rogerson, author of In Search of Ancient North Africa – a History in Six Lives, and one of the directors of Eland Publishing.

Behind them both is a book-filled den.

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