When our friends went off to help the Greek economy and offered us two weeks on their home 'Living the Dream', a wide beamed narrow boat, we leapt at the chance. Leaping was to become part of our daily lives from now on. Moored in Windsor, the 60ft long and 10ft wide boat had space for all creature comforts including shower room, king size bed and well-equipped kitchen.
The death of Cecil the lion has caused global public outrage, the like of which has never been seen before. On World Lion Day it is also important to remember the many thousands of lions whose welfare, and perhaps very existence, remain under threat from the unethical tourism taking place in Africa today.
The island of Madagascar plays host to an exciting array of rare wildlife and is home to mesmerising landscape. Its natural beauty is a one off and so is its story of existence. The unique way in which the island was formed and isolated from mainland Africa is the exact reason for its abundance of rare species, which are privileged to call Madagascar home.
With the situation in Greece still dominating the press headlines - even after the last-minute deal between Brussels and Athens - and with continuing anxiety across the EU (and beyond) about the potential consequences of the unfolding Euro crisis, I wonder why nobody of real influence in the worlds of politics or business has yet made the connection between the state of the world economy (generally speaking, up the creek without a paddle!) and the state of the natural environment (even worse).
What am I waiting for next? Male silver washed fritillary spinning and dancing in flight, skydancing red kites, powdery pink pillows of thrift and purple spikes of spring squill on the coast, meadows filling with colour, the coconut gorse and a turquoise sea - and that's just on the coast. Lots to come!
Many plants, trees and flowers on Earth are harmless and beautiful. But there are a few poisonous and deadly plants that can lead to sickness and worse, death. Many of the plants are alluring and the victims are unfortunately usually animals or children. We've created a list for 5 of the deadliest plants on Earth...