Samantha van Dalen

The press is awash with the brutality of this world. Since I was a little girl the big topic has always been peace in the Middle East... When we become so inured to blood and gore and it fails to move us, there is the risk of being permanently desensitised.
On bullies and birds It occurred to me as I watched the might magpie swat the tiny blue tit off the birdfeeder this morning
I blame the parents. I blame big business for cashing in on the rank stupidity that passes for humanity. The mother who can't be bothered to cook and feeds her child ready-made, processed food that is cheap and gives the sensation of 'bellyfull' but is the culprit of so many of modern diseases. I blame the death of the class system. Now everyone feels entitled to have whatever they want.
I was brought up in an agnostic house- my parents were not particularly interested in religion and made it plain to us three children that we could do whatever we wanted. In a sense I am grateful to my parents who both came from relatively liberal families and were not that ingrained with God and the rest.
"How will you know?" she asked. He looked at her and smiled. He had a way of taking her prisoner with those direct, frank, blazing blue eyes, making it impossible to look away. "Oh, I dunno," he replied, "intuition, I guess."
Lies, lies and damn statistics That expression of 'lies, lies and damn statistics', always makes me laugh. I spent many long
he poet laureate, author and activist who passed away recently redefined herself many times throughout her life. Even her name was an invention! Ms. Angelou once worked as a prostitute but that didn't define her.
I have observed the Cuckoo Pint for several years now. This year, the flowers appeared later than usual but were pollinated faster than 2013. The pollination of the flowers occurred in June last year and the fruit ripened in August. We are still in May and the flowers have been pollinated already.
At this time of year, the woods are carpeted with seeds, millions of them. The seasons pass by so quickly and nature must sprint along to play catch up.
At this time of year the birds are busy building and rebuilding their nests, rearing their young and are generally ravenous and noisy. Eastern philosophy teaches that it is important to provide food for the birds as a way of paying homage to the gods.