Now we are free

I have just got back to from another trip out, but this time I’m not telling you where exactly. This is because I am conscious that now we are allowed to go visiting sites after long lockdowns during covid, many are struggling to do so because when they try, they’re finding it a shock so they don’t want to be out for long as they find they tire easily.

Fear not, this does pass so long as you keep trying to go out again. I am also very aware of the effect lockdowns have had on the places we normally visit in our spare time with many struggling to survive and some have already closed. So let’s try to prevent more from doing so by visiting places as close to home as well as those further afield, while we can.

My top priority right now is to support all the animal places near me I can this summer. This, despite having once worked in the theatre and live entertainment industry for many years but they too need our support among many others.

It’s on my list to take in a few shows, certainly but birds and animals need our support more… more than ever. Sadly many animals got mistreated during lockdowns, abandoned or abused and as a result there’s been an increase in appeals to help animals of late. Without our pollution and illegal trafficking in wild animals they would be not in such dire need of our support. Covid, ebola, and AIDs all started as a direct result of the illegal trade of wild and often rare wild animals.

Zoos and Safari parks may well be the last specimens of many species that were once so familiar to me as a child. White rhinos are already extinct now. Places such as zoos, and Safari parks, rare breed and bird of prey centres are currently in danger of closures due to the lack of visitors when Covid restrictions prevented them from opening. Without their survival, breeding rare animals to be reintroduced into the wild will stop. Animals have not done anything at all to deserve all this and if you want your descendants to see the animals you saw in your youth then please, along with all the theme parks, historic sites, concerts, live shows, museums and activity holidays try and also take a day trip to reacquaint yourself with nature and all its amazing species and support whatever animal places there are near you.

Charity Appeals – how I handle them

War ruin

Every year on January 1st I pick just three to donate to anonymously on a regular basis. It’s never very much but every little helps and all such donations mount up and in fact make up the bulk of most charity’s income. Then throughout that year I donate a larger sum to 7 more I come across of more when I was working and could afford it, less if I wasn’t.

If everyone who could did the same, think how much quicker our planet could recover from our actions and inactions at our worst to heal it with our behaviours at our best. And if wealthy individuals and businesses could be just that bit more generous to a few more worthy causes it would also speed up the economic global recovery.

I don’t expect those now struggling to feed themselves to donate anything, even without Covid, the natural disasters alone have increased in their frequency quite aside from the continuing insanity of conflicts and wars during a pandemic or indeed without any such additional threat to life and well being. It does mean however, that the numbers of those who can donate something need to do so as often as is comfortable with whatever they can comfortably spare. And if you want to avoid being bombarded by the charities of your choice as I do… Donate anonymously. I never respond to any appeals for money on social media as there are simply too many fraudsters and scammers there. Do your own research and donate to charities you know and trust.

I have seldom supported animals before, nor visited many animal centres. My trip today was to a local bird of prey centre which I thoroughly enjoyed and I am fortunate to be close enough to a variety of zoos, nature reserves, safari parks and sanctuaries to be able to visit many on day trips during the course of this summer.

Animal charities are of course not the only ones in dire need of help right now but I would ask for you to pick just one you like to support given how many species are at risk of extinction now.

As an artist I will soon have dozens of reference photos of fond memories to see me though any future lockdowns and cold dark winter evenings by doing this. Just by going on day trips we are helping both our own recovery and many other things besides in our local area. Indeed, when I was a child day trips were the only form of holiday we had, but I got to see a greater variety of things compared to my school chums that way. Have a great summer of exploration everyone. Enjoy it and thank you for sparing the time to read this.