I visited Auschwitz during the winter on a bitterly cold February day. Crunching through the deep, freshly fallen white snow I arrived at the gated entrance to Auschwitz 1. Above the gates are the words, ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’, which translate as ‘Work Brings Freedom’ – a chilling welcome and reminder of the cynical cruelty facing all those who came here unaware of their fate. A few crowds of people had started to arrive and were about to embark on guided tours but having decided beforehand that experiencing what survives of Auschwitz was something I felt I needed to do alone, I moved away and began exploring on my own. Though many years have passed since the horrors and atrocities that took place here in the same place my two feet were standing, I felt proud that humanity had not forgotten what took place here and that people across the world still…

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4th July is here again and millions of people across the world are coming together to celebrate America’s Independence Day. Today marks 241 years since America gained independence from the British Empire in 1776. Celebrations have kicked off with parties, picnics, fireworks celebrations, baseball games and parades. Americans may know how to throw the biggest party but it is not only our friends across the pond who celebrate their freedom on this day each year; it is also a day of celebration for the Philippines who mark 4th July as the day they gained independence from the USA in 1946. Rwanda also celebrates its Liberation Day on 4th July; the day it was freed from genocide in 1994. So it’s safe to say 4th July is a special day for many people from many different backgrounds. For us Brits, we’ve always had a bit of a love affair with America. The Hollywood…

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Huddled under our blankets, we waited patiently. It had just gone 9 o’clock and the light was slowly fading – it wouldn’t be long now. Like most spectators at the nightly Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, we were getting giddy with excitement at the thought of seeing hundreds of the world’s smallest penguin – the ‘Little Penguin/ ‘Little Blue Penguin’ or even cuter, the ‘Fairy Penguin,’ return to shore after an epic day at sea. Out in the Southern Ocean little penguins might swim anything from 15-50 kilometres and dive down as far as 20 metres in search of fish. Measuring in at just 33 centimetres tall and weighing as much as a large bag of sugar, the little penguin is native to the southern coastline of Australia as well as the coastal mainland and islands of New Zealand where they also go by the Maori name of Kororā. We…

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This morning I went for a morning run down a pretty canal, over a little bridge and through some wide-open fields. I passed a smiley lady who was walking her dog, said ‘good morning’ to a friendly chap up and about tending to his barge, before catching a glimpse of a woman pouring her first cuppa of the day through the kitchen window of her pretty barge. I was beginning to slow down and take a breather when I spotted what I thought was a deer over in the distance to my right. Perspective can be deceiving so for a moment I thought it might possibly be a rather large rabbit or hare but then its white, fluffy looking rump patch came into view and it looked up, giving me the chance to see its majestic profile. Seconds later the deer began to run but not in a bouncy spring lamb kind of way. The deer was running like springbok run from leopards and cheetahs on wildlife documentaries. Apparently…

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‘Now this looks like a good spot to call home’, Gordon thought to himself. High up in the leafy eucalyptus trees at Kooloonbung Creek, Gordon Firie was settling into his new surroundings following a stint in Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on the east coast of Australia. After a very lucky escape he was delighted to be back in the wild once more where he could carry on enjoying the quiet life in New South Wales. Sporting a bright yellow new fashion accessory, Gordon was hopeful the yellow tag in his left ear would make him stand out to other koalas and to the little people who pass by from time to time and look up excitedly and point at him. He hoped they would know there was something different about him, something special – and there was…he had been on an adventure. Gordon was surrounded by the sounds and smells…

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